President: Catrina VanAtta
President-Elect: Mary Kane
Vice President: Joe Giordano
Treasurer: Kati Flynn • Secretary: Joanne Lamoureux 

News 2022-03-09
March 9, 2022
Reporter:  Gail Lyman

Wednesday’s meeting:
Dr. Susan Salashor, Director, Physician Assistant Program, Ithaca College
Hybrid Meeting at Coltivare and on Zoom


President Catrina called the meeting to order, and in unison we recited the Four-Way Test.
Joe Giordano introduced his guest, Ryan Wuerthner from M&T Bank.
Cal Walker introduced his guest, Dr. Ammitai Worob, a small business owner/chiropractor.
Visiting Rotarian and District Governor Evan Kurtz introduced himself from the Zoom window.


Larry Robinson delivered his TFD in-person, the first time since his surgery!  He gave a quote encompassing a ‘millennial’ response to a ‘boomer’ regarding current events (from “Reginald at the Theatre,” a short story by H. H. Munro (Saki)):
“After all,” said the Duchess vaguely, “there are certain things you can’t get away with.  Right or wrong, good conduct and moral rectitude, have certain well-defined limits.”
“So, for the matter of that,” replied Reginald, “has the Russian Empire.  The trouble is that the limits are not always in the same place.”


Aly Evans describes herself as a “leader/woman/wife/mother/nana/bread maker/friend/teacher/doer/feeder.“  Her special connections to the community are through Foodnet, Rotary Club of Ithaca, Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way.  We also learned the Aly loves to make bread every week, is an avid Star Wars fan, and is “passionate to make the world a better place.”


Cal Walker:  “Presidential Apology, Tuskegee Effect, and Why It Still Matters”
Last week Cal gave an amazing slide presentation of his life of advocacy under our new meeting topic “Get to Know a Fellow Rotarian.”  This week he spoke about his advocacy with the Tuskegee History Center (Tuskegee, AL) that was established as a permanent memorial to the unwitting participants in the US Public Health Service’s “Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.”  Cal is on the Tuskegee History Center board and has familial connections to the study (maternal grandfather and paternal great-grandfather).
Cal gave an historical review of the government sponsored research program that began in 1932 and ended in 1972.  Researchers followed 600 rural black Alabama men (400 syphilitic with 200 in a control group) who responded to recruitment campaigns believing that they would get free medical care to cure their “bad blood.”  Government doctors refused to tell syphilitics their diagnoses, withheld effective treatment for syphilis even after penicillin was widely available in the 1940s, and actively denied any other treatment.  Researchers studied these patients over the course of 40 years, determined to track the disease (syphilis) to its end point—autopsy.
The study was halted only after a whistleblower, Peter Buxtun, exposed it, triggering a class action lawsuit (Pollard vs. United States of America).  In and out of court settlement, Civil Rights Attorney Fred Gray obtained justice on behalf of the victims and their families of the “Tuskegee Study” with a monetary settlement, a permanent memorial  (Tuskegee History Center), and an official apology.  President Bill Clinton gave a touching, sincere, and formal apology for the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male” at the White House on May 16, 1997.  Cal provided video excerpts from this powerful speech (hear President Clinton’s 30-minute unabridged speech here.)
 The “Tuskegee Effect” has been cited as one of several major reasons for COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and refusal within the African American community.  Cal said that being aware of the details of this misguided study can help us all better understand why the mistrust is so deep-seated.  He also shared the position of the Tuskegee History Center Board of Directors by stating, “there are many reasons people choose to pass on the vaccine, (but) the Tuskegee Syphilis Study should not be one of them because the situations are completely different.”


Newsletter Reporter:  Gail Lyman
Photographer:  Mike Brown
Newsletter Facilitator:  Loralyn Light
Set-Up Crew:  Joe Giordano, Harlin McEwen, Dave Martin
Zoom Team:  Brett Bossard
Club Service Facilitators:  Beverly Baker and June Losurdo