Engaged Enlightenment

Group enjoys connection, health benefits from daily meditation at Vann Park
Friends and neighbors gather each morning to meditate at Vann Park, an idea originated by Lorenzo Minor.

Each morning, Vann Park on Evansville’s East Side welcomes a flurry of activity. Walkers trot their dogs across the lawn. Runners stretch their legs by tracing the park’s perimeter. Families converge on the playground, children ambling across the jungle gyms and slides. Pairs sit at picnic tables for a friendly game of chess.

Amidst the bustle, just before 9 a.m. — weather permitting — a small clutch of people congregates on a patch of grass on the far west end of the park. Setting up camp under a broad canopy of trees, they settle into lawn chairs and greet each morning by freeing their minds. Through 20-minute sessions, the group practices meditation, quietly communing with themselves and stilling their thoughts and breathing. They’ve found that the sessions start their day on a positive note.

Meditation itself is not a new practice. Its history traces back to sixth-century BCE Buddhist, Hindu, and Taoist traditions. Its earliest purpose is less clear: Historical studies show it could have been a tool for contemplation or socialization. Meditation took root in early Eastern religions as a way to commune with God and oneself, and the practice has since moved to the western world. In the past 20 years, it has gained a more mainstream following for its research-supported healthbenefits, but for the group of friends gathered each morning at Vann Park, the daily sessions have provided a much-need grounding after a tumultuous year.

A ray of light in a pandemic

Meditation was a path Lorenzo Minor had already embarked on before the group formed. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Minor, a longtime local baker and namesake of the former Lorenzo’s Bistro on south Hebron Avenue, began practicing meditation each morning at the park. After a few sessions of solo meditation, he invited friends and neighbors to join in — something they were eager to do since it naturally allowed for social distancing.

The group enjoys a smattering of conversation before and after the sessions. Minor chooses a meditation topic via the app Headspace; although the sessions are mostly silent, they are themed around certain affirmations or goals. A woman’s soothing British accent — the app offers a small collection of voices to choose from — softly narrates the sessions, leading participants through breathing exercises and silent recitations for about 20 minutes.

The group usually consists of about a half-dozen friends and neighbors. Most are retired from a wide variety of professions — accounting, psychiatry, social work — and have time to devote to morning meditation sessions. Participant Patricia Harralson says many in the group already were meeting for dinner parties two or three times a week, so daily meditation became a way to stay connected to one another during state-mandated stay-at-home measures.

“There’s a basic group,” Minor says. “The little group we have is extremely comfortable together, and very loyal.”

Improved health

Research conducted by the University of California Los Angeles’ Mindful Awareness Research Center has found that meditation can stimulate a person’s socialization, reduce loneliness, and significantly improve sleep quality.

In the year since beginning daily meditation, Minor says his sleep habits have improved and his blood pressure has lowered. He’s also observed an overall sense of calm permeate his demeanor.

“Not much bothers me anymore,” he says.

Minor says the meditation sessions have produced such a stillness in him that it now translates into other parts of his life. He notes that meditation isn’t confined to dedicated sessions, but rather produces the opportunity to connect with oneself anywhere and at any time.

“You can meditate even while washing dishes,” he says.

▲ As the group practices meditation, its members have become more in tune with the surrounding nature, particularly a family of hawks that calls Vann Park home.
A connection to nature 

The meditations sessions also help the group members commune more deeply with their natural surroundings. They observe squirrels playfully chattering, listen to the wind softly rustling the grass, and can easily identify bird songs.

“The park adds a lot of meditation,” Minor says.

“Mornings are the best time,” adds David Wilson, a neighbor who is sometimes joined at meditation by his visiting grandchildren. “With your eyes closed, you can actually hear the birds,” Harralson says. “I really like listening to the sound of rain.”

Of particular interest is a family of hawks residing in the neighborhood. After spotting the hawks mid-flight, the group now keeps an eye on the avian family — an opportunity they perhaps would not have had if not for their daily meditation sessions.

Amongst the people frequenting Vann Park, the meditation group has become a reliable fixture each morning. Regular passersby know what time the sessions start and, therefore, when the best time is for chatting with participants. Neighbors enjoying a cup of coffee on their front stoop wave hello. Over time, the City of Evansville’s groundskeeping crew learned the group’s routine and has now started its morning mowing at the other end of the park.

Sometimes, nearby children will quietly wander into the group’s circle, curious about its activity. A set of grandparents once brought their 2-year-old grandchildren over, an experience Minor calls “really magical. They wanted to see everything.”

Daily meditation at Vann Park is open to anyone who wishes to join, Minor says — no reservation or fee required. Group members are skilled at guiding newcomers into the practice of meditation, since they too were once beginners.

“It’s so good for people with anxiety,” Harralson says. “You don’t have to just sit silently. You could commune with God if you want to. Every experience is different.”

Staying a Step Ahead

Meditation gives the mind a break

By Grace Stevens

Now, more than ever, mental health is at the forefront of conversation and concern.

No stage of life is exempt from the importance of mental hygiene. Living in the digital era of today, constant messaging regularly triggers the fear response system in the brain. After a few minutes of scrolling through a device, a person is bound to feel triggered by inadequacy, anxiety, or stress. Once overloaded with content, the typical person is left without many strategies to effectively cope. What we are now seeing is a society plagued with symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Meditation is a scientifically proven and practical solution for a person of any age to cope with the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings of daily life. It has long been used to improve our mental, physical, and emotional processes. There’s also evidence from the clinical practice of meditation that it can reduce anxiety and pain and improve the quality of life for people suffering from illnesses such as cancer.

The goal of the practice is to turn off the racing mind, bring awareness to the breath, and access one’s inner state of calmness within being in the moment. Through meditation, a person is able to ground the nervous system from becoming over activated. Similar to the oldest trick of fixing a device, in which you turn it off and reboot, meditation is like a reboot for the brain. When you are anxious, stressed, or worried, meditation allows the brain to take a necessary and helpful pause.

Meditation is referred to as a practice because it is not something that can be achieved or mastered, but is simply a process that needs consistency and nurturing. The challenge is that it is way too simple. Stop thinking and breathe. Notice the thoughts that arise, and instead of judging them, resisting them, or dwelling on them, simply let them go. Make your mental health a priority, and give it a try.


New Name, Same Mission

Cancer Pathways Midwest Provides hope to Tri-State residents
Opened originally as Gilda’s Club in 2014, the organization changed its name to Cancer Pathways Midwest in April.

Cancer is a far-reaching illness, affecting nearly every person in the Tri-State in some way. Cancer Pathways Midwest, recently recognized with the Health and Social Services award at Leadership Everyone’s Celebration of Leadership, delivers individualized support and resources to anyone impacted by the deadly disease.

“We were thrilled to be recognized for the work that we’ve done and feel like it kind of validated the work that we’ve been doing,” says Melanie Atwood, Cancer Pathways’ executive director. “Our main goal is that someone will recognize us and what we do and tell someone else so that they don’t have to go through this journey alone. Everything we do is driven around that.”

Opened originally as Gilda’s Club in 2014, the organization changed its name to Cancer Pathways Midwest in April, in an effort to maintain more control over its own programming and avoid paying rising fees.

A Gilda’s Club in Seattle also moved away from the network about four years ago and became the original Cancer Pathways. The local group gained the rights to use the name and became Cancer Pathways Midwest but is completely independent and in charge of its own programming.

Since changing the name, Atwood says the group has seen a 950 percent increase in walk-in visits and referrals.

This community funded organization offers free programs that take place in a clubhouse setting away from medical facilities and are overseen by licensed mental health professionals.

Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, Atwood says the organization will be onsite more at hospitals and schools, teaching prevention techniques against high-risk behaviors like vaping.

Cancer Pathways provides educational and nutritional workshops, along with a wellness program offering yoga and Tai Chi classes. It is also expanding programming specific for youth and families in collaboration with organizations like cMoe, Wesselman Woods, and the YMCA.

The nonprofit has about 4,500 visits to its programming and activities, serving 400-500 people each year in the Tri-State.

“Our goal is to reach them in a number of ways and to help them right in the middle of their most devastating time,” says Atwood. “If you’re newly diagnosed, then you need something different than if you’re done with treatment or if you’ve just lost a loved one. We have a program for all of them.”

Award-Winning Support


Z is for Zen

Looking to relax this summer? The River City has you covered. From recreation to meditation, the best place to chill out is outdoors. Here are some ideas.

Nature Trails

Enjoy a quiet stroll through Howell Wetlands, 1400 S. Tekoppel Ave., only one of five urban wetland parks in Indiana. Walking trails and boardwalks wind through its 35 acres of natural beauty, including marshland, lowland hardwood forest and upland meadow.

Amble through Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve, 551 N. Boeke Road, which at 200 acres boasts one of the largest tracts of old-growth forest in an urban setting in the country. View animals’ natural habitats and take in the many varieties of native flora.

Outdoor Yoga and Pilates

Aiming to rejuvenate your body and soul in the great outdoors? Look no further than these summer yoga seriestaking place outside. For updates on weather-related cancelations or relocations, be sure to check each event’s social media before attending.

Practice your downward dog on the picturesque roof of the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana at 212 Main St. Sessions are led by instructor Ashley Kiefer and held at 5:30 p.m. each Thursday this summer. A suggested $10 donation goes toward funding the arts council’s programming.

The Franklin Street Bazaar holds a yoga session featuring a rotation of instructors on Saturdays at 9 a.m. in the courtyard of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library’s West Branch. The Post House at 215 Vine St. in Downtown Evansville also frequently invites residents and the public to practice yoga at 9 a.m. Saturdays in its courtyard.

Join Club Pilates one Saturday a month at the Allen Family Amphitheater in Newburgh for a free morning Pilates class with a river view. Participants should reserve their spot via the Club Pilates app or by calling (812) 618-2499.

Attendees to each event should bring their own mat and towel.

Meditation at Vann Park

Clear your mind and get in touch with nature each morning at Vann Park, at the corner of Vann Avenue and Bayard Park Drive. Precisely at 9 a.m., a group of friends and neighbors meets for a 20-minute meditation session. No reservation is necessary — just show up and bring your own chair. Check out our story on this group of friends in the July/August issue of Evansville Living, on newsstands soon!

Yoga on the Roof photo provided.


Planking with a Purpose

Weekday plank breaks keep April Nading refreshed and rejuvenated
April Nading, an instructor at Yoga 101, streams her “plank breaks” each day Monday through Friday as a way to motivate others.

It’s 11 a.m. in the Tri-State. Most people are finishing up tasks before heading to lunch, but if you head to Yoga 101’s Facebook page, you can join in on an exercise that takes no movement and only five minutes.

April Nading, an instructor at Yoga 101, streams her “plank breaks” each day Monday through Friday as a way to motivate others and encourage them to get simple, daily exercise. She started in April 2020, when many were staying home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everybody was stuck at home, and the studio was closed, and I was just kind of in a funk one day, and I remembered I had admin privileges to our Facebook page, and so I thought, ‘I think I’m going to do a plank and stream it on our page,’” she says.

Nading held it for one minute her first time, but kept at it. She added on time for each plank, working her way up to five minutes. She had her hip replaced last May and had to start all over with planking, but eventually worked her way back up to five minutes.

“It just became a fun thing, and now I don’t want to quit doing it,” she says. “I don’t know why I would stop now.”

Nading insists you don’t have to be in tip-top shape, or even have workout attire, to plank. She herself has planked in a variety of places, including in her dining room, on a beach, in offices, and even on a rooftop.

“My real goal here to try to motivate people to do a little more and try,” she says. “A lot of people are like, ‘Oh, I just can’t do it.’ I’ve had people tell me they thought they could only hold it 10 seconds and they held it 30.”

Taking a Break


A-maize-ingly Made

Professor Tobert's Orange Corn is Indiana grown
Purdue professor Torbert Rocheford set out on a mission in the 1990s to make corn more nutritious through biofortification

Corn, or maize, is the world’s most consumed staple food that, along with rice and wheat, comprises nearly half of all human food consumption.

With this in mind, Purdue professor Torbert Rocheford set out on a mission in the 1990s to find a way to make corn more nutritious through natural selection, a process called biofortification. His main focus was on providing vitamin A-rich corn for sub-Saharan Africa.

Wanting to bring this healthier corn to the United States, Torbert and his son Evan co-founded NutraMaize in 2015. Torbert handles the corn breeding, while Evan serves as the company’s CEO.

The nutritional boost from this “Orange Corn” comes from increased levels of natural antioxidant pigments called carotenoids — the same compounds that gives carrots their orange color and health benefiting reputation.

Non-GMO Orange Corn is now grown in more than 10 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the United States, NutraMaize grows its Orange Corn in Indiana with a farmer near Rushville, about 50 miles outside of Indianapolis.

Colored Crop


One Year Later

Governor Eric Holcomb addresses the state on March 16, 2020

On March 11, 2020, I was sitting on the tan carpet of my grandmother’s living room in southern Missouri when my phone buzzed. It was spring break for the University of Evansville, so the email from President Chris Pietruszkiewicz came as an unalarming surprise.

It was mere seconds later, as I was still reading the first few lines of the email, that my phone buzzed again. This time with messages from my friends and roommates — UE would close its campus for two weeks due to the impending threat of COVID-19.

It’s a moment repeated in the lives of every American; we can all remember where we were, who we were with, what was said when lockdown began. While I drove back to my parents’ house in St. Louis (where I spent quarantine after UE moved completely to online instruction on March 17), the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Indiana had its first reported COVID case on March 6, but like many state leaders, Gov. Eric Holcomb didn’t announce restrictions until March 12, after the WHO’s declaration. Non-essential gatherings were limited to no more than 250 people and schools were told to prepare for possible closures.

On March 16, 69-year-old Beech Grove resident Roberta Shelton became Indiana’s first reported COVID death. Unfortunately, Birdie (as she was known to her family and friends) was the first of many to lose their lives to the pandemic, a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by Holcomb. The Governor ordered all public and non-public schools to close until May 1 and delayed income taxes, utility shut offs, and evictions/foreclosures on March 19.

Despite increased restrictions the pandemic still felt separate from our lives. While events and schools had come to a halt, many people still gathered with their close friends and family, even celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on March 17. All the while I checked my email at least 20 times a day desperate to see a new update from President Pietruszkiewicz; “UE is open, come home!” But the moment never came.

On March 23, Gov. Holcomb ordered a two-week shutdown for the entire state. It was this moment that cemented COVID-19 into our history, our record books, and our memories.

Many felt like the tragedies of quarantine would finally be a thing of the past on Sept. 23, 2020, when Indiana entered Stage Five of its re-opening plan. COVID began to feel like an annoying mosquito that wouldn’t quit buzzing in our ears.

A few days later, I had my first day as Staff Writer with Evansville Living. Social distancing, mask wearing, and other practices recommended by the CDC were in place in our office and across the nation — we were all living a “new normal.”

But nothing about this past year was normal. Office plants withered, servers hung up their stained aprons and non-slip shoes, and I watched my senior year at UE fade into obscurity. While I missed out on my graduation and lived out of my spring break suitcase for almost two months, most Americans faced much worse.

Over the course of the pandemic more than 12,000 Hoosiers have lost their lives to COVID-19. Nearly 528,000 nationally and 2.61 million people globally died. By now, almost every American has or knows someone close to them who’s tested positive for COVID.

Today, exactly one year since the WHO’s historic announcement, it can be painful to reflect but doing so will show us how far we’ve really come. In the face of anti-mask and anti-lockdown campaigns, a major election, and the revitalization of several social justice issues, we’ve weathered the pandemic storm together.

As global death tolls and cases continued to rise and restrictions fluctuate in Indiana, the world banded together to push forward. Our collective losses and negative experiences in 2020 led to something incredible — a vaccine.

Operation Warp Speed was a program by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services created to expedite a vaccine for COVID-19. By pooling global resources, the brightest minds in vaccination science, and years of prior research on coronaviruses and mRNA vaccines, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were put on the fast track and approved for emergency use by the FDA on Dec. 11 and Dec. 18 respectively.

Johnson & Johnson joined the vaccination efforts with their own version on Feb. 27, 2021.

Currently, Indiana residents ages 50 and older, long-term care residents, first responders, and healthcare workers are eligible for vaccinations. On March 2, 2021, President Joe Biden announced all U.S. adults will have access to the vaccine by May. The figurative light at the end of the tunnel is slowly becoming a reality after one very long year.

One year. 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8,760 hours.

Today, March 11, 2021, we can look forward to a brighter year, happier months, joyful weeks, and safer days. But it’s important to not forget all the lessons we learned this year. The CDC has begun releasing guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals (one is fully vaccinated two to four weeks after their final dose) but wearing masks, social distancing, and practicing good hygiene are still crucial to the fight against COVID.

Above all, it’s important for us to remember our “old normal” as we move into a new era of public health and daily life. You don’t have to discard 2020 or shove it into the back of your scrapbook. It’s okay to grief those events we missed, the birthdays uncelebrated, the hours wasted on the couch in quarantine, and, most importantly, the friends and family we lost.

Yes, 2020 changed Indiana and the world, so will 2021, and 2022, and so on. So, as we look back on March 11 thinking “what a year it’s been!” just think what a year it could be.

Photos provided by and Governor Holcomb.


Tapping In

It’s almost spring in the Tri-State and that means it’s time for the 43rd annual Wesselman Woods Maple Sugarbush Festival.

Staff members and volunteers from Wesselman will show participants the process of tapping sugar maples from the first drop of sap to the final boil of maple syrup.

Guided hikes showcase the nature preserve’s sugarbush and visitors will have the chance to explore Wesselman Woods on their own with interactive and informative self-guided hikes. Masks are required to be worn inside the Nature Center and during guided hikes.

Due to COVID-19, the traditional pancake breakfast before the start of the event is cancelled, but you can still enjoy the maple syrup by purchasing it from the Nature Center.

The Maple Sugarbush Festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 2 through March 6. Regular admission of $10 is required for entry.


G is for Greenway

Evansville has many beautiful landscapes and trails, and one of the most ambitious projects over the past two decades in the city has been construction of the Pigeon Creek Greenway Passage, an effort by community leaders to further compliment the area’s environmental allure.

Winding through the heart of Evansville along the Pigeon Creek and Ohio River, the 10-foot wide paved trail highlights the creek and banks of the river in Downtown as well as connecting parks, businesses, and nature areas. The Greenway is a scenic route perfect for exercise, skating, riding your bike, or walking your dog.

The Greenway was designated a National Recreation Trail by the National Parks Service in 2004, which makes it a component of a larger national trail system stretching across the country.

Construction on the Greenway has been split into several phases since it’s initial construction nearly 20 years ago. The plan is to eventually have it encircle the city and reach as far east as Angel Mounds. To date, sections of the Greenway total 6.75 miles from Sunrise Park to Canoe Launch.

Just upstream in Newburgh, Indiana lies another greenway.

The Newburgh Rivertown Trail is a multi-sue greenway that extends from Angel Mounds to the Locks and Dam Park along the Ohio River Scenic Byway. Bending through the town’s riverfront, the trail is marked with interpretive signage and attractive landscaping as well as restaurants, coffee shops and a farmer’s market on Saturdays.

Dedicated in November 2010, the Rivertown Trail extends about one mile in length. Each year, Newburgh hosts a 5K that uses the trail as a substantial part of the course. The plan is to eventually connect the Evansville Pigeon Creek Greenway with the Newburgh Rivertown Trail upon completion.

There’s no better way to see our city than taking a jog on these intricate trails!


Clearing Connections

Proven interactive tool helps heal the mind

Your brain is hardwired to make connections. And it’s really good at doing it.

Walk into a room and you have a reaction. Most likely, it’s nothing substantial — the brain surveys what is around and then acts in response. However, there are times when someone may be triggered by another person, sound, or smell in a negative way that may cause a flight, fight, or freeze reaction.

“Our brain makes associations with all kinds of things all the time because that’s how it works,” says Lampion Center Therapist Andrew Martin. “But sometimes our brain makes associations with things that don’t really add up or don’t really go together, but it’s there.”

Those negative associations caused by trauma, anxiety, depression, addiction, or other mental issues can be addressed by one of the many forms of therapy that are used, with the most common being talk therapy, where a patient sits and discusses issues, situations, and more with a trained therapist, counselor, etc.

But therapy can be more than just talking, and one model that is used successfully in treating an array of issues is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, referred to as EMDR.

Initially developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro in the 1980s as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, Martin explains the technique uses dual stimulation — simple movements with the hand or other device that a patient follows back and forth with their eyes while they recall their triggering event or issue.

“The theory holds that trauma is experienced in the middle part of our brain that houses our memories and emotions due to the threat reposes cycle. These emotions and memories do not get moved to the front part of our brain for processing. In other words, they’re stuck there,” says Within Sight Partner and Psychotherapist Caron Leader. “EMDR helps them get relocated using dual stimulation, done in multiple, short sets of time while clients’ target a troubling memory.”

To put it simply, think again about connections. EMDR is about weaving your left brain (logic) and your right brain (emotion) together to help understand why we react, explains Susan Milligan, clinical coordinator for counseling services and counselor at Catholic Charities of Evansville. EMDR helps patients get both the left and right brain together to dive into why a reaction occurs, what trauma triggered the reaction, and then drive down the negative belief associated with the trauma, allowing a new positive belief to emerge.

“What’s so interesting is how we responded in the midst of our trauma is oftentimes the way we continue to respond in years well after the trauma occurred when we feel triggered again,” says Milligan. “EMDR is a means by which we can go back and change the narrative of the trauma with far more adaptive, healthy responses.”

“There’s a lot of neuroscience in EMDR as well. It’s this idea that whatever fires together, wires together,” adds Martin. “When I’ve done EMDR with people, we have gotten down to the fact that the triggering event was something very small and very benign. But it led to these dominoes that eventually got bigger and bigger that felt very overwhelming.”

Though the practice of EMDR is widely used, accepted, and found to be very effective, patients simply do not walk off the street into a clinic and request the therapy. Whether a patient is aware of EMDR or not as a possible therapy, all three counselors stress how they assess their patient first before suggesting the technique. The importance doesn’t lie in a client being “right” for the treatment — it’s about the comfort level of the patient.

“The client is always in control. In the midst of a session, if they want to stop, I will always honor that. If I suggest EMDR and they don’t want to try it, then we can use other modalities to meet the goals of care,” says Milligan.

“We educate people about EMDR and other therapy methods, discussing what is more effective for their presenting issue,” adds Leader. “Then we decide together based on what feels right for them.”

If a client chooses to try EMDR therapy, a beginning phase of resourcing happens, where the therapists help their clients learn how to bring down anxiety to stabilize and ground themselves — or become regulated. This helps the client once the therapy moves into processing the targeted traumas or anxieties, so that they do not leave a session uncomfortable or triggered after addressing issues.

You can think about it like grief — when somebody first experiences grief, it's really intense and very physical. Then overtime, that intensity lessens. EMDR does that — it lessens the intensity of the experience."

— Psychotherapist Caron Leader

Though Martin, Leader, and Milligan all work in different organizations and with all types of patients, each agrees EMDR therapy can accomplish what many clients are seeking — processing their triggers and being able to address them better.

“It looks to pinpoint certain issues very directly. So, it can really get at some of the issues and very specifically at what it is that we’re trying to work on. Another great benefit about this, and a lot of the research shows this too, is it can also move people through therapy much more quickly than it would in other ways,” says Martin.

Milligan has seen the same with her patients. On average, she sees patients working through EMDR find closure to their trauma in four to six sessions. While that is not the case with every client, she says, it certainly has helped many address triggers and anxieties that once seemed impossible to overcome.

“It’s a way to process issues without necessarily just doing talk therapy. It’s another tool for therapists to use in their toolbox,” she says.

According to Leader, though the overall result is a change in thought patterns, the outcome of EMDR therapy is much more as patients change the way the mind and body holds a negative experience, and teaches them how to move that experience not just in the mind, but feel it differently in the body as well.

“You can think about it like grief — when somebody first experiences grief, it’s really intense and very physical. Then over time, that intensity lessens,” she says. “EMDR does that — it lessens the intensity of the experience.”

Help is available for everyone, no matter their socioeconomic status. If you or someone you love is experiencing difficulty processing trauma, anxieties, depression, addiction, etc., trained therapists and counselors are available at Lampion Center, Within Sight, and Catholic Charities to assist.

For more information on EMDR Therapy in Evansville, Visit:


A Silver Lining

Deaconess Gateway Hospital welcomes arrival of COVID-19 vaccine
Dr. Gina Huhnke, medical director for the Emergency Department and Medical Affairs, received the vaccine on Dec. 16, 2020.

Deaconess President Dr. James Porter addressed media and hospital personnel on Dec. 16, 2020, as a small white cart carrying the newly created vaccine rolled in front of the crowd.

“These are people seeing COVID patients on the frontline every day and we thank them and are very excited to see them receive this historic vaccine,” he says. “We hope people look to these examples and know the vaccine is a better option [than COVID].”

When Deaconess received their first shipment of 900 doses on Dec. 15, they opened one vial — which contains five doses — and practiced the vaccination process on five unnamed frontline workers.

Another 900 doses were delivered to the hospital later that week, allowing many more volunteers to be vaccinated. Dr. Gina Huhnke, medical director for the Emergency Department and Medical Affairs, explained the safety of the vaccine, despite the quick timeline and many unknowns of COVID.

“This vaccination uses your own body to build antibodies against the Coronavirus so that the virus cannot attack you,” she says. “This vaccination produces an antibody against the spike protein which allows entry into the body’s cells. So, unless the spike protein mutates, which is a possibility but not as probable as other mutations, we’ll have a vaccination against many different varieties of coronavirus.”

The Pfizer vaccination requires two doses and volunteers had scheduled their second shot for early January.