Lunch Break Health Care

Hillenbrand 6

A typical patient to the Health and Wellness Center receives at least a 20-40 minute appointment with the physician on duty

Here is my first article in a series on “Healthy and Vitality” for “Trends in Social Innovation.”

Jane Werner was having heart trouble. She had no energy and felt like sleeping all the time. Her doctor told her to exercise and lose weight. She tried that. Then she tried vitamins. Nothing was working.

“You exercise and you don’t feel any better and you wonder if there’s anything else out there,” she said. Just as she was about to start looking for a new doctor, she learned that a health center had just opened up at Hillenbrand, Inc., where her husband worked as an engineer. She thought she’d give that a try.

When she walked in the doors of the Health and Wellness Center—located on the grounds of Hillenbrand’s operation in Batesville, Indiana—she was amazed by the attention she received. Up until this point, Werner was used to quick in-and-out visits with a physician, lots of paperwork, and relatively impersonal interactions with the office administrators and nurses. But this time, she felt like she was really being cared for. The nurse practitioner gave her a full 20-minute appointment and took her concern seriously by referring her to a cardiologist who would investigate her heart issue more thoroughly and ultimately diagnose her with cardiac ejection fraction, a condition that would improve through therapy.

“I’ve never had such a caring experience in my life,” Werner expressed.

On top of that, Werner didn’t have to pay a cent for her visit to the center, not as a copay then or later.

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‘Les Miserables’ and Adoption

On Christmas evening, Michael and I joined my parents and siblings (and siblings-in-law) in the longstanding Sandvig family tradition of going to the movies for whatever blockbuster event the cinema world has been waiting for all year. This year of course, “Les Miserables” took the stage with such a performance that left not a dry eye around the world and shook me to the core. The film masterfully portrayed Victor Hugo’s classic tale of . . . well, pick your theme: law versus grace, sin and redemption, the plight of the poor, the glory of youthful courage, the tragedy of unrequited love, the joy of reciprocated love, self-sacrifice, etc. But for me particularly, at this juncture of my life, this movie, this musical, this novel, this story…is a story of becoming family. A story of adoption.

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Planting Trees

By Michael

So many years from now, long after we are gone, these trees will spread their branches out and bless the dawn. – Andrew Peterson, “Planting Trees”

This tree was hand-painted on a wall by our dear friend Ana in the room we had selected for Gabriel, before we moved to a different house.

There is a tree in our neighborhood that is reputed by some to be the biggest, oldest tree in our city. It’s enormous. It’s always been there, spreading its gnarly branches in sundry directions, providing leafy shade for an incredible number of square feet. Neighborhood children behold this tree with wonder, imagining some distant past in which this tree must have been planted to grow to such magnificent heights.

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