Dr. Eric Brenner Extols Rotary As World-Class Health Organization

Even though EBOLA is splashed across the headlines, Dr. Brenner explained that POLIO is a much greater public health risk, as every ONE person stricken with polio is just the “tip of the iceberg” because where there is 1 case, that means there are 199 others “underneath” who are not yet symptomatic.

Polio was declared a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” (PHEIC) on May 5, 2014 by the World Health Organization (WHO)- only one of 3 ever declared and well before WHO declared Ebola a PHEIC – after Pakistan’s new polio outbreaks skyrocketed in 2014. Reportedly, Pakistani Taliban and other militants have waged a brutal campaign against polio vaccination teams, killing more than 50 health workers and security officials since 2012.

Adding intrigue, Dr. Brenner explained that these attacks began after it was discovered that one of the covert CIA initiatives to locate Osama Bin Laden was a door-to-door “hepatitis vaccination” campaign to gain information about his whereabouts. As has happened in Pakistan after recent militant attacks, officials are concerned that the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan could result in increased terrorist attacks causing a mass exodus of unvaccinated residents to flee and spill over into and become a threat to previously polio-free countries.

But the United States isn’t “immune” to the threat.  If the Ebola headlines have taught us anything, it’s that diseases are often just a plane ride away. With growing sentiment not to immunize in those generations who haven’t seen firsthand the debilitating and sometimes deadly diseases that vaccinations have wiped out in the U.S., the risk that polio could infect unvaccinated children in the U.S. is real.

Dr. Eric Brenner, M.D., is a public health physician and medical epidemiologist from the United States.  He attended the University of California at Berkeley where he majored in French Literature (B.S. 1966) after which he worked as a teacher in West Africa in the Ivory Coast for two years.  He then attended Dartmouth Medical School (M.D. 1973) and completed further clinical training in San Francisco and South Carolina, which led to Board Certification in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease.  He was worked at the state level with the S.C. Department Health; at the national level with the US CDC in Atlanta; and internationally with the World Health Organization (WHO) both in Geneva, Switzerland, and on short-term assignments in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.  At the University of South Carolina he has taught several post-graduate level courses relating to Infectious Disease Epidemiology  at the School of Public Health.  He has numerous interests including vaccine for preventable diseases and other diseases of public health importance.  (Courtesy:  Eric Brenner)

Stuart White, Executive Director of the Congaree Land Trust Spoke to the Club Oct. 10th

ALWAYS GREAT TO HEAR FROM OUR SPEAKERS ABOUT THEIR FUTURE EVENTS – SEE BELOW!

Congaree Land Trust > The Rotary Club of Five Points - Since 1954

October 10 at 2:45 PM 

Thanks for inviting Congaree Land Trust to speak to your club today. I enjoyed meeting fellow Rotarians and discussing our conservation work in the Midlands! Hope some of you can join us on November 9 at High Creek on the banks of the Congaree River.- Stuart

Stuart White, Executive Director, joined the staff of Congaree Land Trust in February 2012. He previously served in leadership roles with the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Peachtree Media Group, and the SC Waterfowl Association. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Stuart is a lifelong resident of Columbia and enjoys hiking, hunting, fishing and mountain biking with his family and friends.

Mary Dell Hayes, Development Coordinator, Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, Spoke on Friday, October 3rd.

Mary Dell Hayes rejoined the Staff at Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM) as the Development Coordinator in 2013.  Most recently Mary Dell worked in development for Pawmetto Lifeline.  Mary Dell loves to share her enthusiasm for STSM’s mission with our Community and help others invest in the agency’s future.  Mary Dell previously spent four years as the Volunteer Services Coordinator at STSM where she received the SC Governor’s Robin Burns Award for Volunteer Management.  In 2013 she received a Palmetto Center for Women Tribute to Women in Industry award.  She is a lifelong resident of the Midlands and a graduate of the University of South Carolina.  Currently, she is pursuing her MBA at USC.

The meeting will be held on Friday, October 3rd at 1 p.m. in the Hall of Fame Room, Columbia Convention Center.

Kim A. Wilkerson, S.C. President, Bank of America, Spoke About BofA’s Rich History

Kim A. Wilkerson is Bank of America’s South Carolina State President Local Market Delivery Executive.  She serves as the bank’s enterprise leader and provides business, civic and philanthropic leadership across the state.  Wilkerson joined Bank of America’s predecessor bank, Bankers Trust, in 1980.  She has held positions in the Credit Department, Small Business Lending, and the Commercial.  She graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Financial Management.  She is very active in civic affairs and has received several awards.

The meeting will be held in the Convention Center on Friday, Sept. 26th at 1 p.m.

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Five Points Rotary Holds 1st 2014 Rotary Day

Our Club answered the “5th” 4-Way Test question “Will It Be Fun?!” with a resounding “YES!” at our “Rotary Day” event on September 18th that was held in conjunction with Healthy Learners.  Five Points Rotarians, their families and friends gathered to fill baskets with supplies that will be distributed to over 90 school nurses. It certainly wasn’t all work and no play – thanks to great food from Village Idiot and great tunes, all involved had fun completing nearly 100 baskets in record-breaking time!


Jo Pauling-Jones, Executive Director of Healthy Learners, told the club on August 8 about success stories for children who were referred to this mission of the Sisters of Charity Health System, based in Cleveland, Ohio.

JoP-J The Sisters own Providence Hospitals in Columbia. One example was an 8-year-old boy who needed glasses.  He got the glasses and has graduated from the University of South Carolina.

Two of our Five Points Rotarians, President Teri and Jenny Isgett, serve on the Healthy Learners board.

Director of DHEC, Catherine B. Templeton Spoke About Fantastic Accomplishments/Improvements in Dramatically Reducing DHEC’s Budget & Time for Permit Issuance

Photo of Catherine Templeton

Charged with protecting the air we breathe, water we drink, and health of our population, among a myriad of other important programs like nuclear facilities and controlled substance enforcement, DHEC commands a $600M federal and state budget, 3600 employees, and over 100 locations around the state.

In her first 18 months at DHEC, Director Templeton expanded healthcare services and access statewide, reduced the time it takes to get an environmental permit by 40%, and deregulated or reformed regulations that had been in place for decades.  While creating these efficiencies and service enhancements, she cut the budget $68M, maintained all services during the federal government shutdown, operated under sequester, and did not request a dime from the South Carolina General Assembly.

Templeton has also fought against federal waste and abuse.  She has refused to allow the U.S. Department of Energy to ignore its obligations to clean up high level hazardous waste at the Savannah River Site by holding the Obama Administration to a $150 Million penalty other officials have been reticent to enforce.  Director Templeton also refused to take tens of millions of taxpayer dollars offered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for programs that were already responsibly and fully funded in South Carolina. 

Templeton has directed public health efforts to the one issue that that kills the most South Carolinians, makes the most sick, and if prevented would save the state the most money in healthcare costs: Obesity.  In September 2014, the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reported that South Carolina dropped from No. 7 to No. 10 in adult obesity.

Among other boards and committees, Director Templeton sits on the Homeland Security Advisory Council, the Governor’s Savannah River Committee, First Steps board, State Emergency Response Council, South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind board, the SC Health Care Coordinating Council Board of Directors, and the National Oceanic Council – representing Florida, Georgia, SC, and NC.

 Templeton’s appointment to DHEC runs through 2016. (Courtesy:  DHEC)

Gregg White from the U.S. Small Business Administration in Columbia Spoke to the Club Sept. 12th

Gregg White  Gregg White is the Deputy District Director for the South Carolina’s United States Small Business Administration located in Columbia, South Carolina.  He has also served as the Program Director and Team Leader for USDA/Rural Development for South Carolina and the Southeast.  He attended Eau Claire High School and graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Administrative Management.  He has been in lending for over 30 years in both the private and public sectors.  He has owned his own real estate, construction, tax service, rental service and landscaping/plant businesses.  He has served on Chapin and Irmo, SC’s town councils, planning commissions and chairman of the Irmo Economic Development Corporation.  He is active in his church and has served as a deacon, chairman of the building committee, finance committee and their youth Royal Rangers Programs.  His hobbies include hunting, fishing, gardening and weight lifting.  (Courtesy G. White)

Dr. Peter Brews, Dean, Darla Moore School of Business, USC, Will Speak to the Club on Friday, September 5th

Dr. Peter Brews, the new dean of the Darla Moore School of Business, brings more than 25 years of international business education experience to the University of South Carolina and a keen interest in ensuring the relevancy of business education in the 21st century.

The 57-year-old South Africa native most recently was on the faculty at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. He started his career in banking and finance and later earned two doctorates in business administration from the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Pittsburgh.

He has written extensively about strategic management for Internet-generation companies and has developed a deep understanding of the struggle for productivity worldwide.  (Courtesy:  USC)

The meeting will be at the Convention Center on Friday, September 5th at 1 p.m.

Polio in Columbia SC: Bringing It Home

You will see, on the Rotary International sites, photos like the one above of the last polio victims in India and other foreign countries. Samir, second from the right, 4 yeas old now, runs and plays with a slight limp, thanks to physical therapy. Thanks to your donations to Polio Plus, India and the South West Asia region and the USA are, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), officially polio-free. Donate now.

But did you know that one of the last polio victims in the USA lives right here in the Columbia Region?

His name is Jamie Fowler. At two years old, he, like Samir, became a polio victim, leaving him with a right leg that would not grow and, initially, wheelchair bound. He got the polio virus from the live Salk vaccine that was being used at that time.  This vaccine is no longer used in the US – since 2000. Jamie has, through surgery and his own physical, body building perseverance, learned to walk, albeit with a limp, without a crutch or walker. Jamie is in his late 30s now and has a family of his own.  “Like” his Facebook page.

But, see and hear Jamie’s full story on video by clicking here. Photo credit: Rotarian Allison Kwesell [Rotary Club of Chattanooga (Tennessee) Breakfast].  We’ll have a speaker, Eric Brenner, MD, on polio in the world on our meeting on October 24, 2014, RI’s World Polio Day.