Honoring Ed Farrar, MD
Posts Tagged ‘AZ Wells’
Confluence Health Foundation’s 24th Annual “Spirit of A.Z. Wells” will be held Friday, November 13 at the Wenatchee Convention Center Grand Ballroom at 6:00 p.m.
The “Spirit of A.Z. Wells” Award pays tribute to those who selflessly share their time, talent and treasure for the betterment of Confluence Health and our community.
Dr. Farrar has been unanimously selected as this year’s “Spirit of A.Z. Wells” honoree. He was selected for his consistent commitment to our community and his patients since he started his Wenatchee practice in 1983. In addition, he was on the University of Washington clinical faculty for several years, has served as president of the Washington State Orthopedic Association, has been a volunteer surgeon in Nepal and a Confluence Health Foundation Board of Trustee since 2010.
A passion of Dr. Farrar’s is the exoskeleton bionic therapy. This is a devise that helps people with lower extremity weakness, walk again. Proceeds from the evening will help establish a Financial Assistance Endowment for exoskeleton bionic therapy so anyone, regardless of their ability to pay, may have access to this cutting edge technology. Confluence Health is proud that we were the first facility in a four state region to provide this type of physical therapy to patients of North Central Washington.
Please click here to register.
Dr. Edward Farrar, recipient of 24th annual “Spirit of A.Z. Wells Award,”
leading the drive to make exoskeleton therapy available to all who can’t walk
By Jeanette Marantos for the Confluence Health Foundation
WENATCHEE—Edward Farrar has a gift for overcoming obstacles. He abandoned a football scholarship at Georgia Tech after just one year, so he could study medicine. He raised his sunken cabin cruiser in a Florida hurricane and then spent a year working construction to pay off his debt on the uninsured boat.
He went back to school newly motivated, working as a research assistant and waiter while graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Florida in 1974. He entered medical school at Emory University and graduated Magna Cum Laude. His residency training at the University of Washington led him to a career as an orthopedic surgeon, and in 1983, he founded Wenatchee Orthopaedics with another orthopedic surgeon, Fred Deal. He remained on the clinical faculty at the University of Washington for several years, and from 2004-2006 served as the president of the Washington State Orthopedic Association. He climbed mountains all over the world and worked as a volunteer surgeon in Nepal. He was also an avid cyclist, and would regularly ride his bicycle up Number 2 Canyon on his way to work at Central Washington Hospital.
So when a distracted driver ran him over one October morning in 2008, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down, it took him less than a year to go back to work as a consulting physician, with a whole new perspective on orthopedic medicine as a paraplegic. Even though he almost died on a bicycle, he still bikes regularly with a recumbent handcycle—a kind of reclining bicycle that’s hand-propelled. He gets himself out of bed every day and drives himself to work.
Still, out of all those achievements, Farrar says one of his greatest moments came last spring, when he strapped on an Ekso™ Exoskeleton and, for the first time in six years, stood up and walked.
“The best way I can explain it is to ask you to sit in a chair and imagine that the only thing you can feel are your arms. Then imagine you want nothing more than to stand up and walk outside, but try and try as you might you cannot get your body to move, even though your mind and your heart are screaming, ‘Get up and walk!’ It’s an internal frustration you have to live with 24-7, that there is no hope you can ever again make that movement. Then you get in an exoskeleton. You lean forward, you stand up, and suddenly you’re 6 feet tall again and you can look at people eye to eye. It’s a dramatic difference in how you feel in the world,” he said.
“Even if it’s artificial, walking with a robotic device is still walking, and walking is a miracle. Walking has so many health benefits; even being able to walk short periods of time on a regular basis can make a huge difference in your life. Now we finally have a tool that can give paralyzed people some hope.”
Farrar will be recognized for his community contributions Nov. 13 during the Confluence Health Foundation’s 24th annual gala presentation of the Spirit of A.Z. Wells Award for Community Service. Tickets are available at the Foundation office, 665-6030.
All proceeds from the gala, and from the foundation’s annual Armada Golf Classic golf tournament this fall will go toward funding Farrar’s new goal: making exoskeleton therapy available to all eligible paralyzed people in the region, regardless of whether their physical therapy benefits have expired.
The physician-led Confluence Health didn’t need much persuading to bring the device to Wenatchee in 2014. Farrar demonstrated the exoskeleton in front of the executive board last June, and the equipment was in Wenatchee by September, making Confluence one of the first medical centers in the entire Northwest to provide exoskeleton physical therapy to paralyzed patients.
Farrar, a member of the Confluence Health Foundation board, helped the foundation raise $80,000 from the community to purchase the $150,000 device, but the Confluence board was so impressed with the exoskeleton’s potential, it decided to cover the rest of the cost itself. “This wasn’t a business decision or financial decision,” he said. “It was one of those times where physicians who care for people said, ‘This is the right thing to do, so we should do this.’”
Now Farrar is leading the charge to create an endowment with at least $150,000 that will be used to fund scholarships for patients whose physical therapy benefits have expired on Medicare or their health insurance, so they can continue getting exoskeleton therapy.
“We now know that getting a person who is paralyzed up and into a walking motion is one of the fastest ways to get the spinal cord and nerves to heal,” Farrar said. “It won’t cure me—my injury was too severe—but less than 10 percent of the people with spinal cord damage are injured as badly as I was. We’ve learned there’s more neural plasticity in the brain and spinal cord than we imagined, and for people with partial paralysis—from strokes, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and, of course, spinal cord injury—this kind of therapy can be almost miraculous.”
It’s not clear yet how much therapy is needed to kick-start damaged nerves into working again, but Farrar said he hopes Confluence Health can get involved in research looking into that very question, because getting an answer could help guide insurers and government officials in adjusting the limits for physical therapy coverage.
“Compared to all other health problems, treatment options for neurologic injury and disease are still pretty primitive, and the U.S. lags behind most of the developed world in this area of medicine,” Farrar said.
“The specifics of neurologic disorders do need to be understood more completely by both health care providers and politicians, no question, and nothing is real until it’s personal. Once you or a loved one have a neurologic disorder or disease, you realize that a physical therapy cap of two months isn’t enough. Neurological conditions aren’t like broken bones that heal in six weeks; they become lifelong disabilities for people. In America, 75 percent of people with spinal cord injury become obese because they have nothing to do but sit around all day and eat. Being able to get the benefits of exercise is huge.”
Farrar said he remembers several paraplegics he cared for whose bones became “osteoporotic”—porous and brittle. “They would have multiple fractures, or develop pressure sores that wouldn’t heal….if they’d had a chance to stand up and walk two times a week, they might have avoided those problems.”
Exercise was a regular part of Farrar’s life before his injury, and he’s done as much as he can to continue the practice since. He has a workout station in his house, and was able to get back to cycling within six months of his accident by using a recumbent handcycle. “I just wanted to be able to move and do something without a wheelchair,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it was courage; I’d say it was desire.”
But he couldn’t have done it alone, Farrar says. That’s one of the most important things he’s learned since he was paralyzed. “You really learn how important our connections are to others—friends, family, the people you work with—and how important it is to find something to look forward to on a day to day basis.”
Farrar has a long list of vital “connections”— the ongoing support of Biosports Physical Therapy, a group of friends who cycle with him every time he goes out on the Loop trail and the owners of Arlberg Sports, who make regular cycling possible by storing his bike for him in their shop, which is right next to the Riverwalk Crossing pedestrian bridge.
Storing a bike may seem like a little thing, he said, “but I can meet my friends, get on the bridge and ride around the Loop without ever having to deal with traffic. They not only do it for me, but for three other paraplegics who keep their handcycles there.”
Those kinds of connections make this valley a special place, he said.
“I’m not sure that would happen in other communities. When you have an injury like this, hope is the hardest thing to hold on to and the most important thing to keep. You end up putting your life back together in pieces, and I have been truly blessed to live in Wenatchee, because I have been able to put together a quality of life that would be almost impossible in other places.”
WENATCHEE — In a time when nonprofits often go in search of help, community volunteer Rudi Pauly is a bright anomaly. After more than 60 years of service, she’s not only a strong advocate for community involvement; her relentless smile and boundless enthusiasm make it sound like fun.
“I always learn something from being on a board; like how the hospital functions or the Literacy Council or museum,” said Pauly, this year’s recipient of the “Spirit of A.Z. Wells” Award given annually by the Central Washington Hospital Foundation.
“You meet new people too. That’s always interesting to me because I like people. It’s such a wonderful way to be part of this vibrant community. Wenatchee is getting better as the years go by. Everybody should be helping this community grow, and grow with it by learning all the different facets that make it so vibrant.”
Pauly played a big role in making this community glow through CREST and Allied Arts. She worked on everything from cleaning up Wenatchee’s once-polluted riverfront to serving on a multitude of boards, including Central Washington Hospital Foundation, the Wenatchee Valley College Foundation, Douglas County Planning Commission, Chelan-Douglas Family Planning, Eastmont School Board, Art on the Avenues and the Performing Arts Center of Wenatchee.
Pauly will be recognized for her community contributions Nov. 14 during the Central Washington Hospital Foundation’s 23rd annual gala presentation of the Spirit of A.Z. Wells Award for Community Service. Tickets are available by calling the foundation office at 665-6030.
Luck certainly played a hand in getting Pauly to Wenatchee. She was born Ruth Caroline Schram in Norfolk, Neb., the youngest of three daughters to John and Frieda Schram, descendants of German immigrant farmers. Her father gave the petite, vivacious Rudi her nickname — a German variation on rootie toot toot.
Rudi’s parents were active in their Lutheran church and always stayed informed. “It’s funny because they were Republicans, and I’m a Democrat now, as are my sisters, but we learned a lot from our parents. They stressed responsibility and voting and paying attention to what was going on, nationally and internationally.”
Her life changed dramatically in 1943, when recruiters from Boeing came to Sioux City looking for men to manage the company’s war-time production lines. Her father had always wanted to move to the West Coast, she said. “They made him an offer with a higher salary and paying for his move. Three months later we were in Seattle.”
When she graduated from Roosevelt High School, Rudi initially enrolled at Seattle University, where she met business major Jim Pauly her very first day. The couple would marry three years later, but not before Rudi transferred to the University of Washington. Her UW roommate was Kay Girard, whose boyfriend and future husband, Norm Hamilton, urged Jim Pauly to move to Wenatchee to work for his family’s business, Hamilton Fruit.
The Pauly family — which would later include sons Mark, Doug and Steve — moved to Wenatchee in 1953.
Rudi mixed her time as a mother, homemaker and hostess with community service. Her inspiration and mentor was Joan VanDivort, who worked avidly to clean up the Columbia River and create parks along the river through a variety of groups, including Allied Arts and the Columbia River environmental Study Team (CREST).
“Basically the riverfront was a dump when we came to Wenatchee. The water had become so polluted from sewage that the first thing we were told was, ‘Don’t ever play around the river.’ There were no sewage treatment plants then in Wenatchee or East Wenatchee, which is hard to believe, but eventually our congressional delegation helped pass a federal funding bill and it was gradually cleaned up.”
Jim Pauly died in 2007, but his work at Northern Fruit Co. made it possible for all three of their sons to stay in the area. Mark manages the 100-acre Chelan Red Orchard near Manson, Doug serves as manager at Northern Fruit and Steve pursued his father’s passion for international marketing by opening his own fruit export business, Pauly Marketing.
Rudi herself isn’t much interested in slowing down. She serves on two boards now — Art on the Avenues and the Performing Arts Center — and gets in as much skiing as she possibly can and her mind is always busy with ideas for more community improvements.
“… Wenatchee is still so young and has so much more potential. … Community involvement is so important. It’s a way to enrich your life and community and feel like you’ve played a part in its enhancement.”
Source: Wenatchee World
Philanthropist Carl Campbell and his wife Betty (1922-2010) have been chosen as the recipients of the 22nd annual Central Washington Hospital Foundation “Spirit of A.Z. Wells” Gala. The “Spirit of A.Z. Wells” Award is presented annually in recognition of those who have provided significant support and leadership to Central Washington Hospital or other charitable health-related institutions in North Central Washington. Named after philanthropists and community leaders Alfred Z. and Emogene Wells, the award was established in 1992 to pay tribute to those who selflessly share their gifts of time, talent, and treasure.
Carl and Betty certainly fit that bill. They have been side by side in their support of healthcare in our region for over 60 years. Because of this generous couple, residents in five counties experience a quality of health care that is extraordinary. Born and raised in Yakima, Carl and his wife Betty arrived in the Wenatchee area in 1953. Together they oversaw construction of Parkside Sanitarium. The Parkside facility grew very quickly and expanded into retirement communities in nearby towns. The business has now evolved into Triple C Convalescent Centers, a locally-based company with facilities in 21 states, including Colonial Vista Retirement and Assisted Living in Wenatchee. Their vision and labor have made possible the extension of medical, social and cultural services in an environment of warmth and compassion that challenges, uplifts and encourages human beings.
In 1982, Carl followed his love of flying and aircraft to establish Executive Flight, a charter and maintenance service, at Pangborn Memorial Airport in East Wenatchee. It has been one of the joys of Carl’s life.
Carl and Betty generously contributed to many local non-profits, civic organizations and other community efforts and their quiet dedication has been the reason for many improvements of healthcare in our region. Sadly, Betty passed away in 2010. At 91years young, Carl continues their legacy of philanthropy, entrepreneurship and service to the Wenatchee Valley. He is a private man who has always had the ultimate goal to serve other people.
The Central Washington Hospital Foundation and its board are privileged to recognize Carl and Betty Campbell for their philanthropy to our community. Our Gala honoring Carl and Betty will be held on Friday, November 8, 2013 in the Hangar at Executive Flight. There will be a fabulous sit down dinner, fine wines from a local winery and music from our treasure of talent in the Valley. It will be an event to remember.
This year’s beneficiary of Gala proceeds is our Comfort Giving Circle through Central Washington Hospital’s Homecare Services. This incredible program will enhance the quality of life for our hospice patients on service by providing complementary therapy services (massage, pet, music and cosmetology) in their home. These therapies are proven to diminish symptoms such as pain or anxiety and provide a calming therapeutic presence and are not covered by insurance.