H. Dan Adams, M.D., Evansville
A retired heart surgeon, Dr. Adams has served on the Evansville City Council since 2007 and was just elected to another four-year term. He believes he is helping people but in a different way than in medicine.
“People love it when physicians serve in the community,” he said. “It puts one in touch with real life.”
Dr. Adams noted that the problem-solving skills he used as a surgeon have helped him as a city councilman.
For example in 2009, his additional research helped prevent the closure of two fire stations. “I knew that closing the stations would affect the emergency response time for residents around those areas,” he explained.
In addition to his duties with the city, Dr. Adams often lectures students at the University of Evansville and IU School of Medicine-Evansville. He discusses issues, such as lifetime care of the heart and the metabolism of alcohol.
“I know time is an issue for physicians, but volunteering in the community is very rewarding,” he noted.
Thomas P. Mason, M.D., Auburn
Dr. Mason has always been interested in organ donation and wellness. In 1999, he combined his two passions by creating a program for fourth graders called “Life is Cool.” The age group was chosen based on their school curriculum and eagerness to learn.
“We really wanted to reach adults but they won’t come to seminars. So, we decided to take our message to the kids, knowing they would tell their parents about it,” explained Dr. Mason.
For two and a half days every April, about 700 children from all of the local schools participate in the program held at DeKalb Health. The hands-on educational activities involve pig organs to help teach anatomy, physiology, and to demonstrate lifestyle lessons, such as the effects of smoking on the lungs.
Last year, Dr. Mason was the medical advisor for a video version produced by the Indiana Organ Procurement Organization and the local PBS television station. The “Life is Cool! Pass it On” program is now aired by PBS stations nationwide.
“It makes a difference when physicians get involved,” said Dr. Mason. “If you can help one child, it’s worth it. Teach back what you have learned.”
Watch the video here.