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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Rotary members have Riley connection

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Ed Cable, the Director of Gift Planning for the Riley Children's Foundation, tells members of the Rotary Club Wednesday about the great accomplishments of the Riley Hospital for Children.
Ed Cable's goal at Wednesday's Rotary Club meeting wasn't to ask for the organization's support.

The director of gift planning for the Riley Children's Foundation knew he already had it.

"You have been involved with Riley since day one," he said.

Rotary helped raise money for the construction of the original Riley Hospital for Children in 1921.

In 1930, the hospital opened the Rotary Building after the club raised more than $275,000 ($3.8 million adjusted for inflation) statewide.

Perhaps most poignantly, when Cable asked how many members knew a child who was treated at the hospital, about half the people in the room raised their hands.

Cable, a Certified Public Accountant and self-professed "numbers guy," spent much of his time in front of the Rotary Club rattling off impressive facts and figures about Riley Hospital for Children.

Among these was a revolutionary policy that allowed round the clock visitation for parents of sick children. The practice, which was the first of its kind when Riley began it in 1963, is now the standard for pediatric care nationwide.

Cable also made the case for Riley's need for support.

The severity of a child's illness can be measured in a standard ranking scale called the acuity index. Since Riley takes the kids that other hospitals don't have the skill and resources to care for, the hospital has the sickest children in the country.

That is, it has the highest acuity index ranking of any children's hospital in the United States.

And among the more than 330,000 patient visits in 2006, 1,400 from Putnam County alone, more than 60 percent of children rely on Medicaid, Medicare or are under- or uninsured, Cable said.

And Cable assured the crowd that no Hoosier child has ever been turned away for financial reasons.

Greencastle Rotary Club President Ginger Scott said she invited Cable to speak to remind the new members about the organization's commitment to Riley.

But North Putnam Schools Superintendent Murray Pride didn't need any reminder at all, he said.

He's been a supporter of the hospital since his daughter underwent open-heart surgery there when she was 3.

Anyone interested in making a donation to the hospital foundation can call 877-867-4539.

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