September 17, 2019

Getting Started

President Andy called the meeting to order and asked Bill West to give the invocation.
Brad Montgomery gave the attendance report: 29 members and 1 visiting Rotarian: Nate Nevala from the Mount Lebanon Club. 


  • President Andy shared a thank you from DG Jim Hahn: “You are a great club, what Rotary is all about.”
  • John Hopper reminded the club that the deadline for nominations for the Annual Service Awards for Community Service, International Service, and Vocational Service is October 1st.

Happy Dollars

Please Note!
Next week no 50/50... but bring an extra $5 and take a chance for 2 tix to the DVSSP dinner and fundraiser on 10/16 at the Hilton Garden Inn.

If you don’t win the tickets consider attending anyway.

See Lisa Hannum or Susan Price for further details.


  • Susan Priest was happy that she did not have to take scribbled notes on today’s program, since she IS the speaker, and hopefully knows what she plans to say, also happy to see from the O-R that John Tecklenburg was involved in the selection of a new voting system which will provide a paper trail.
  • Joe Piszczor is happy that the Day of Giving last week netted over $950,000 in donations to eligible charities in 24 hours. Sad to announce he will be away next week, 10,000 feet high in the Rockies chasing large ungulates.
  • Rich Podgurski was happy to share Mary Jo’s announcement of a special program for teens at the Teen Center on September 25 from 4 to 7. Mark Kennison from the Presidents Pub will be giving a cooking demonstration. Also: the Teen Center is initiating tutoring sessions for Cyber School students every Wednesday from 3 to 5. 
  • Tom Drewitz was happy to celebrate his 52nd anniversary.
  • Susan Price was happy to see Tom Gladden back.
  • John Hopper: Happy to have been able to attend the candidates’ forum on Monday, which was well moderated and CIVIL.
  • Brandi Butler was happy to announce that the Scholar’s Bowl has over 20 teams, and to warn people who may be interested that they will be cutting off registration at 25 teams.
  • Bill Allison was happy to have spent a week on Cape Cod with family. Great weather, great seafood. He was sad to announce that John Northrop’s wife Rose is in the hospital with pneumonia.
  • Tom Gladden: Happy to be here.
  • Brad Montgomery was happy to announce that he was helping out the Chartiers-Houston-Southpointe club by being the sales agent for their annual Thanksgiving Pie sale. Yum.
  • Bill Messler: $4.00 happy for yesterday’s visit from son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters. $1.00 happy for upcoming session with psychiatrist and counselor.
  • Mike Pecosh: Happy to share that he was the counselor in question and to reveal that beer would have a large part in the necessary session. He was also happy to point out that three of the four Bills in attendance were attired in natty red shirts, but that Bill Allison seemed to have missed the memo, as he was in a plaid shirt.
  • Phil Rush was happy his wife’s hip is back in action, and that there would be no more laundry, cooking or shopping in his future.
  • Karen Reese: Happy to announce her nephew and his wife are about to add another Gillespie girl to the family.
  • Rachel Lozosky was happy to announce her 2ndnephew was born yesterday, and she already has 50 pictures of him on her phone.
  • Visiting Rotarian Nate Nevala was happy that he started a new job with Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, and will be in our neck of the woods more often. We will look forward to many more visits from him.

Program: Susan Priest - All of Us

Susan Priest spoke about a longitudinal health study now open for persons to participate. She began with a history of the health issues of FDR, which illustrate the lack of knowledge of the seriousness of blood pressure in the medical community in the 1930s and 1940s. 
In 1933 at the time of his inauguration, FDR’s blood pressure was 140/100, which is now considered borderline hypertension.  It was seen as unimportant. By 1941 it was 188/105 and medically considered “normal for a man of his age. In 1944 when he was nominated for his fourth term as President, it was 240/130. Today uncontrolled blood pressure at this level would almost certainly preclude a party from nominating such a health-risk. But his doctor “believes he is not really ill.” At the time of his death, two months after his inauguration, it was 233/190. 
This was the state of knowledge of the relationship of blood pressure to heart disease at the time. In 1948 Congress passed a bill to establish a long-term study, called a longitudinal study, to follow a large group of persons over a 20 year period to more clearly understand the causes and possible mitigating factors in heart disease, which was the leading cause of death.  
The town of Framingham in Massachusetts was chosen, as the study medical team was a collaboration between Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Soon afterwards a similar study was launched in Minnesota, the Twin Cities Business and Professional Men’s Study.
In 1957, ten years after the beginning of the study, the first major studies were published. At the time, the rule of thumb for what a normal blood pressure should be was 100 plus the person’s age. For the speaker, that would be 174 as the upper or systolic pressure. The study showed that a blood pressure of 160/95 or above there was a 4-fold increase in heart disease, and a few years later they noted that strokes were also a major consequence of high blood pressure.
The federal funding for the study was due to end in 1967, but the medical profession began a drive to get private funding to continue. Contributors included life insurance companies, who valued the data in preparing actuarial tables; and also The Tobacco Research Institute and Oscar Mayer Company. President Richard Nixon intervened and the federal government continued the study, expanding it to the spouses and children of the original study patients, beginning to seek familial patterns. 
However, the study mainly covered New England males, and male and female bodies are not the same, although your speaker insists that our BRAINS are similar. At this time, also, the availability of the first oral contraceptives raised concerns about what the long term effect of using “the Pill” might have on women’s health. It was proposed to recruit volunteers from among the nation’s registered nurses. In 1976, nurses were almost all female, and they could be expected to understand the purpose of the study and to be able to answer questions posed in medical language. Married registered nurses were recruited from Californa, Connecticut, Florida, Maruyland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. (The ten most populous states at the time.) 71% signed up for the study, 121,700 nurses. One of them was the speaker’s mother.
Participants provided health status, and filled out extensive questionnaires every two years. The study expanded to include information about the participants eating habits and activity levels. At one point the study wanted to examine trace minerals in the diets of the nurses. Toe nail clippings were submitted by 63.000 nurses to provide this information. DNA samples were collected from 33,000 women in the early twenty-first century.
This is the history of longitudinal studies in the US.
Now there is a new study, conceived of in 2015, and started last year. It is an ambitious study, aimed at enrolling one million participants from every ethnic and sociological group in the country. The Framingham study was from a largely New England group. In the 1950’s this meant a largely white population which included Western European immigrants, but was low in other immigrants and African-Americans. The nurses study self-selected for an educated, largely urban population.
The new study named All of Us, intends to create a population which reflects the diverse nature of America. The aim is to provide the data to create “Precision Medicine”. Medicine targeted at the individual, not the generic patient. Where you live, your lifestyle, your family history, your genetic make-up all alter how medication and recommendations for life-style choices will impact your health.
By gathering data on ALL kinds of Americans, the study aims to improve health care delivery to ALL kinds of Americans. The data gathered is not like research studies which focus on only one disease or one group of people. It will be used by researchers in many areas. The goal is to improve understanding of the risk factors for certain diseases and to discover what treatments work best for people based on their different backgrounds. It will work to connect people with the right clinical studies for their needs, and to learn how technologies can help to keep us healthier.
As data is gathered and grows, the study expect to see patterns emerge which are not seen in smaller scale studies. It aims to reach groups of people who have been left out of health surveys in the past. The plan is for a ten year study, but as more information is gathered, and more is learned, it may continue. 
By making the data available to researchers in all areas, it is expected that more discoveries will be made in a more timely fashion. Researchers will not have to rely on volunteers in a limited area, but can use the rich data available from the study. By sharing lessons learned in research, the researchers can learn what works well as study continues.
Participants are considered partners and will have full access to the data they share and all research projects that use All of Us data. Monthly newsletters share information.
Anyone over 18 can enroll. The initial process involves extensive questionnaires about the participant, and final enrollment involves a visit to a participating facility where blood and urine samples are taken. They are sent to a central facility where they are frozen for later study. 
In the first year, a quarter of a million persons have begun the registration process, and close to 180.000 have completed it with the donation of samples. So far, diversity goals are being met and exceeded. 53% are ethnic or racial minorities, compared to 39% in the general population. More impressive, 80% are from groups which have been defined as “underrepresented in biomedical research.” This included gay people, rural dweller, the elderly, and those who are disabled or do not have good access to medical care.
Interested persons can go to, or the main site
Tom Drewitz informed us that the VA has a similar study aiming to enroll 1 million veterans. 
Joe Marsh Winner
Bill Allison Non-winner
Bill led us in the 4-way test.
Washington Rotary
We meet Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
W & J College, The Commons
60 S. Lincoln St.
Washington, PA  15301
United States of America
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Sep 24, 2019
Club Assembly
Oct 01, 2019
Don't Write the Obituary Yet: a Cancer Journey
Oct 22, 2019
Club Assembly
Oct 29, 2019
Annual Service Awards Luncheon - Ballroom
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Birthdays & Anniversaries

Member Birthdays
Mike Minder
September 4
James Uram
September 7
John Tecklenburg
September 12
Liz Rogers
September 14
Brad Montgomery
September 23
Bill Mesler
Sandy Mesler
September 2
Lisa Hannum
September 14
Tom Drewitz
Mary Lyn
September 16
Bob Hillberry
Sally Hillberry
September 17
Join Date
Roger Ecker
September 1, 1973
46 years
Tom Drewitz
September 1, 1987
32 years
Andy Goudy
September 14, 2001
18 years
John Rodgers
September 14, 1999
20 years
Timothy Warco
September 17, 2014
5 years
JQ Quayle
September 26, 2017
2 years
Russell Hampton
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