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Society selects October Innovators of the Month

Society selects October Innovators of the Month

  • Updated

As part of its effort to highlight its 2011-12 class, the Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana has selected Dr. Ahmad K. El Samad, Michele Murphy-Wise and Boris Matakovic as its October Innovators of the Month. 

Northwest Indiana is in the forefront of foot and ankle surgical care today, thanks to Dr. Ahmad K. El Samad. He was likely the first to introduce the celebrated “Ilizarov technique” regionally that can help prevent amputations due to diabetes.

Now specializing in limb salvage at St. Catherine’s Hospital in the Institute of Foot and Ankle Reconstructive Surgery, Dr. El Samad has prevented needless amputations using this approach he learned in Italy.

The VNA Phoenix Center in Valparaiso may be one of the few in the Midwest providing peer support for grieving children, teens, young adults, ages 6 to 24, and their families. This need "arose out of the stories of grieving hospice families and their children,” said Michele Murphy-Wise, program director.

The center has helped 72 children, teens, young adults and their families through bi-weekly sessions led by trained volunteer facilitators since 2010. Funding came largely from a $250,000 grant by the Urschel Laboratories and the Urschel Family.

Knowing the importance of high-speed communications in a global economy, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District is making available excess dark fiber-optic cable for use by companies and communities after an expansion project along its 74 miles of rail line from Chicago to South Bend, said Boris Matakovic, chief information officer.

In expanding its signal system, enterprise network communications, video surveillance systems and passenger communications systems, the owner and operator of the South Shore installed an ample amount of fiber optic cable. NICTD is making the excess cable available to outside enterprises to enhance their communications across Lake, Porter, LaPorte, and St. Joseph Counties as well as Cook County. By increasing the capability for high speed communications, communities are positioned to attract high-tech companies, he 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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