Saint Joseph Valley Local Section

Home of Michiana's Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Community

Football Hall of Fame Dinner Meeting

The dinner meeting on November 8th  2010 was held at the College Football Hall of Fame and featured Tom Werner discussing "Sport Doping: How the Chemists Catch the Cheaters-Sometimes"  This event was very well attended with around 40 guest.  We had a rather large turnout of physicians from Memorial Hostpital's Sports Medicine Group.  The guests were able to wander the museum and "Tailgate" on brats, dogs, nachos and salads before taking in the big screen for the talk.  Tom enlightened the group on the various methods that olympic and professional athletes use to enhance there perforrmance through the scrupulous use of "performance enhancing drugs".  He indicated that the World Olymipic Federation is really leading the pack and that the major league sports are limping behind.  He indicated that when MLB  started testing for anebolic steroeds, the number of professional baseball players with diagnosed ADDH went from the normal of around 3-4% to over 15%.  He pointed out that MLB made an exception for medically necessary drugs and anaebolic steroids are currently used to treat ADDH in adults and children.  He also mentioned that some of the banned substances now in the Olympics were designer drugs that were similiar to banned performance enhancing drugs but modified by chemists to shift the detection peaks.  The only way they wer discovered was another team saw an athelete taking something and tossing the container in the trash.  This was given to the Olympic committee and asked to be tested.

National Historic Chemical Landmark Dedication

On May 1st, the local section in conjection with the National ACS held a dedication ceremony in Elkhart to honor the designation of the Development of Diagonistic Test Strips a National Historic Chemical Landmark.  This Landmark honored the work of Alfred and Helen Free who worked at Miles Laboratory at that time and developed the first low cost, economical "Dip-and-Read test strip for detecting glucose in urine.  This ground breaking acheivement allowed for patients and doctors to reliably test at the home or office a persons urine glucose level.  This invention ultimately led to more comlplicated strips that could test more than 10 specific properties of the urine for the management of diabetes and other diabetes related diseases and eventually paving the way for self-testing blood glucose monitoring.

 The team of  scientists were honored at a public dedication at ETHOS, site of the former Miles Laboratory Headquarters and Helen M.Free representing the team of scientist and Patsy Boehler current occupant of the building where the plaque will be displayed accepted the plaque.from Bonnie Charpentier.  The local section also presented a historical landmark sign to the city of Elkhart accepted by Mayor Dick Moore.  A reception of punch and cake followed the ceremony with a Hands-On Demonstration provided by Bayer Healthcare and Siemens Helthcre Diagnostics volunteers.

A private dinner receptions was given by the local section for Helen Free and her Family as well as surviving members of the original development team.  A separate presentation of identical National Historic Chemical Landmark plaques were presented to Bayer HealthCare and Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics to mount at their current respective manufacturing sites in the Michiana region.

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