News & Notices

News from the club and its members and notices.

Press Release: Durham Rotary Honored by District


The Durham Rotary Club

For Immediate Release

 June 26, 2013

 Durham Rotary Club Honored as Best in District


Durham, North Carolina: Durham has another volunteer and service honor to its credit, courtesy of The Durham Rotary Club.

Rotary International’s District 7710 includes 46 clubs across the Research Triangle region and surrounding communities recognized the Durham organization with its “Best Club in the District” award.

The Best Club award is only awarded by the District in years when one club is has clearly demonstrated an outstanding performance in Rotary’s commitment to “Service Above Self.”

Among Durham club programs recognized with annual 2012-2013 awards by District 7710 were those to promote childhood literacy through the club’s signature “Reading Rangers” initiative.  The District also recognized the Durham club for new membership growth. Past President Arthur Rogers was recognized with a “club builder” award for recruiting new members.

“We’re hitting on all cylinders,” said Don Stanger, outgoing club president for the 2012-2013 Rotary year.  “Thanks to hard work by many Durham Rotarians, we’ve made continued gains in our service goals in Durham, particularly in the area of literacy.

“We’re also pleased with our membership goals,” Stanger said. “Our membership of more than 200 community and civic leaders is diverse and reflective of our city.  It is energetic, enthusiastic and growing.

“Our Monday speaker’s program is becoming widely known as one of the Triangle’s go-to venues. Club programs have included senators, nationally recognized authors, medical pioneers and other community leaders.  In short, if you want to serve, and have fun while doing it, you need to consider membership.”

The Durham Rotary Club was formed in 1915 and is the oldest Rotary Club in Durham. It currently has more than 200 active and honorary members.

Interested individuals can visit the club site at


Contact:  Mark Lazenby (804) 335 5191 (

or Jay Zenner (919) 819 6666 (


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Picture Caption:

 Durham Rotary Club President Don Stanger and Vice President Meg Solera display award by Rotary International’s regional district recognizing Durham’s club as best among 46 clubs in this region of North Carolina.  The award is presented periodically to individual clubs for excellence.




Program Report: Dr. Mitchell Heflin – Dementia

MitchHeflinWebDr. Mitchell Heflin has been meaning to get to our Rotary meeting for some time. But as was quickly revealed by a show of hands, almost everyone has been touched by dementia in his or her lives, and as such, he is a busy man.

Dr. Heflin and his wife met in medical school at the University of Virginia, and luckily for us they both served their residencies at Duke, both in internal medicine, though Deanna, his wife focused on pediatrics and Mitch on geriatrics.  He is now Director of the Duke Geriatric Evaluation and Treatment Clinic and directs Duke’s Geriatric Fellowship Training Program and Duke Geriatric Center.

We didn’t get to know Dr. Helfin much, but we did get a thorough and comprehensive look at dementia and his approaches to family care. Perhaps we can tell the most about him though, as he continually emphasized diet and exercise as best prevention, and by his apology at perhaps getting too loud because he gets “excited and kinetic” when he speaks. And he referred to the change we all dumped in the Alzheimer buckets as a double entendre: change as in money, and change as in our mindsets about how we must take care of our older citizens in Durham.

We all laughed in recognition when he asked if we wondered about our own aging memories, but he defined dementia as memory loss that “disrupts your routine”, whether that is occupational, social or functional.

I hope we can link to his presentation, but I will summarize with this: Dr. Helflin suggests that with our aging population this will only become more costly and urgent.  As Ted Corvette noted when he introduced him, Dr. Helflin and his team’s approach requires the entire family be interviewed, involved and included, which takes half a day for each new patient. And that medicines now can only slow dementias and their onset, so with cures a ways off, prevention is key as is caregiver stress relief and symptoms management.

For more information, go to:

Submitted by Deirdre Haj

Note: Below is the PowerPoint that Dr. Heflin used during his presentation.


The Dedication of DRC Habitat House

President Don, long a board member and past president of Durham Habitat, pinch hit for Sam Nichols and Ted Corvette who led the club’s effort to raise money, organize volunteers and build this Habitat home on Gunter Street in Durham.  This five bedroom house is amazing.

Rotary Minute: Deana Labriola

DeanaminutewebI was on my way to the Doctor’s office while at last week’s Rotary meeting and not feeling well at all and, frankly, not looking forward to taking notes on Deana’s “minute.” But what happened was that I got engrossed in her story (not the first time I’ve had this problem) and noted only four things. 1. Her family ran a bar in a Chicago suburb that was open almost around the clock. 2. Her mother is an over-achiever to this day and during Deana’s teen years in the 80’s came out of the closet as a gay woman. 3. Deana put herself through undergraduate school with a combination of athletic and academic scholarships.4. She was practicing law in New York and was a block away from the WTC on 9/11.

With nothing to fill in the blanks, I asked Deana for her notes. Turns out that are as well done as everything Deana does for the club and I suppose for her clients, family and other volunteer venue at the Y.

So, I urge anyone who wasn’t there…or was there and was as foggy as I was… to read the whole presentation below.              -JZ


–          To really give a picture of me, it’s probably best to talk about those people and experiences that influenced me most

–          I was born and raised in the southern suburbs of Chicago.  My dad owned a small town bar (set in Chicago).  The bar had been in my family 50 years.

–          My mom was an overly ambitious college student at the time she met my dad.  They were 19 and 22 respectively.  Married at 19, pregnant at 20. 

[Read more…]

Upcoming Events – 6-22-2013

JUNE 24, 2013            DR. MITCH HEFLIN


Introduction: Ted Corvette

JULY 01, 2013            NO MEETING!!!

In Observance of the Fourth of July Holiday

JULY 08, 2013            BOB INGRAM

Hatteras Venture Partners

Durham Community and RTP Strategy Update

Introduction: Don Stanger

JULY 15, 2013            ALEX QUIGLEY, Principal

Maureen Joy Charter School

Introduction: Chris Combs

Program Report: Captain David Jacobs – Medic One

DavidJacobs2webA heart attack occurs when one of the coronary arteries becomes blocked and fails to deliver oxygenated blood to part of the heart muscle. If severe enough this can stop the heart…heart attack…cardiac arrest.

I’ve pushed lawnmowers thousands of miles over the years but when I cut my grass the last time last year in early November it was the first time I can remember having to stop frequently and catch my breath. I didn’t have this problem in October or ever before.

To make a long story short, a month later, on 12/12/12, I found myself on a table in the cath lab at Durham Regional watching the doc insert a stent in the coronary artery known as the widow-maker. They estimated the blockage at 95% and apparently closing fast.

During the presentation by our own Rotarian, Fire Department Captain David Jacobs, I wasn’t thinking about the stent but about what might have happened while I was stubbornly finishing the grass even though I was finally becoming aware that something really wasn’t right.

Unfortunately there are enough meatheads in the world like me that, in spite of other redeeming qualities, will try to wish health problems away and delay dealing with them. This is why we need passionate advocates like Captain Jacobs who was asking for support of the Medic One Foundation and the Durham Fire Department to improve the resuscitation rate for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest kills nearly 400,000 Americans each year, which is six times more than breast, lung, and prostate cancer combined. When cardiac arrest strikes the heart stops abruptly, without warning. For each minute that elapses, the chances of survival diminish 10%.

David also pointed out that the effectiveness of treating cardiac arrest is one of the best outcome measurements for evaluating the quality of our emergency services, which David leads here in Durham.

The goals of Medic One are to answer two questions. First, can non-physicians be trained to perform in a situation requiring resuscitation? The second is can lives by saved? The answers are both yes. Medic One came out of pioneering work in the late 60’s in Seattle. The first innovation they called “tiered response” which essentially means getting trained resources to the scene quickly and this often means a fire truck rather than an ambulance. Seattle’s second innovation was that they were the first to implement “Citizen CPR.”

In the early 70’s when the government defunded Medic One, the local Rotary, recognizing its value, contributed a substantial amount for equipment to keep what would become a national foundation up and running.

Today over 40 years later Seattle has become the model system that Fire and EMS agencies around the world are trying to copy. They get results. Their survival rate is 56%. North Carolina’s rate is 5%. Yep, they are 11 times better than North Carolina as a whole, and we are far from the worst. Think Detroit.

Durham, under David’s leadership, wants to raise that average. In the 90’s up until about 2110, EMS in Durham were getting a pulse back about 12 to 18% of the time. Today it is between 35% to 40%.

By raising money locally under the flag of Medic One they wish to provide community wide CPR and AED training, advanced training for firefighters and paramedics and buy state-of-the-art defibrillators. Part of the campaign is also to put pubic access defibrillators in targeted areas.

More information about Medic One in Durham is available from David at his email address,

In answer to a question about why they take a fire truck out on an emergency call, David coolly replied that they couldn’t get there in five minutes if they ran.

David proved in two ways the slogan at the bottom of his PowerPoints, “We do more than just fight fires.” They save meatheads like me from ourselves and do jokes pretty well too.