Society selects September Innovators of the Month

2013-09-29T06:30:00Z Society selects September Innovators of the MonthTimes Staff
September 29, 2013 6:30 am  • 

As part of its effort to highlight its 2012-13 class, the Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana has selected Garry M. Traynham and Debbie Mix as its September Innovators of the Month.

Taking advantage of the trails in our national park and other area parks, health care professionals are expanding a Park Prescription program in which doctors actually prescribe outdoor exercise, said Traynham, deputy superintendent of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Working with Porter Health Care System, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was the first of 401 national parks to start this program that began in Australia and New Zealand. Launched by retired Superintendent Costa Dillon, the goal is to involve the park and its 45 miles of trails to improve the health of the region.

“We are grateful for our partnership with Porter in which doctors encourage patients to get outdoors by giving prescriptions,” Traynham said.

Debbie Mix - Rural & Rustic Tourism Team for Cass, Fulton, Miami, Pulaski and Starke Counties

Five rural counties including Starke and Pulaski counties capitalize on what they call their “rurality” by promoting markets, festivals and other tourism assets.

Inventing a brand called “Rural and Rustic,” Cass, Fulton, Miami, Pulaski and Starke counties recognized they didn’t fit within the model from the state for tourism, said, Debbie Mix executive director for the Starke County Chamber of Commerce.

So they organized a tourism board and invested limited dollars for promotion starting with farmer’s markets. These imaginative counties are jointly promoting antiques and crafts, outdoor recreation, festivals and lodging. Already, six brochures have been widely distributed, and a new brochure is under development focusing on “unusual new ideas.” Said Shirley Willard of Fulton County.

“We’re celebrating our greatest asset - being rural and possessing great small towns," Mix said.

The society is part of the Gerald I. Lamkin Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center of Ivy Tech Community College Northwest.

For more information, call O'Merrial Butchee, director of the Lamkin Center at (219) 981-4942, or John Davies, assistant director, at (219) 981-1111, ext. 2292.



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