Rotary speakers for October

Norm Noble

On Tuesday, October 4, Dr. Kris Venkatesh will speak to the Sun Lakes Rotary Club regarding colorectal cancer screening options. Not a favorite subject, but a discussion that is essential. Colorectal cancer is cancer that develops in the tissues of the colon and/or rectum. Colorectal cancer screening saves lives, a) by finding and removing precancerous polyps before they become cancerous, and b) by detecting the cancer early when it is most treatable.

Both men and women should undergo testing for the disease beginning at age 50. People with a high risk for colorectal cancer and those with a family history should talk with their doctor about being screened at an earlier age. A study by leading cancer groups found that colorectal cancer deaths have declined nearly five percent in recent years, in part due to prevention through screening and the removal of precancerous polyps.

It’s this and more that Dr. Venkatesh will discuss.

Dr. Venkatesh was born and raised in Arizona, receiving his undergraduate and medical degrees from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He underwent general surgery training at Parkland Health and Hospital Systems in Dallas, Texas and he received specialized colon and rectal surgery training at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut. He is board certified in general surgery and colorectal surgery. He works at Chandler Regional Hospital, Mercy Gilbert Hospital, Banner Desert Hospital as well as the Southwest Endoscopy Clinic in Gilbert.

On Tuesday, October 11, Paula Brimhall will speak to the club about the Assistance League of East Valley. Paula is a native Arizonan. She has been in Tempe schools since 1958 including graduating from Tempe High when it was the only high school in Tempe. She earned Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at ASU, and then she left town to get her doctorate at NAU. She worked in the Tempe School District as a junior high school math teacher, teacher of gifted students, principal and supervisor of principals, evaluated Charter Schools around the country, and supervised student teachers for Northern Arizona University.

Paula has been a member of Assistance League of East Valley for seven years. The Assistance League of East Valley is a nonprofit, charitable organization committed to volunteer service in the community. Assistance League of East Valley works with community agencies and schools to provide help to children and adults in need. They are a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers with no paid employees. In 2015-2016, members and community volunteers contributed more than 31,506 service hours enabling them to touch the lives of more than 12,269 men, women and children.

The funds to support these philanthropic programs are raised through major fundraising events as well as individual, corporate and foundation support. The funds raised are returned to Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and Ahwatukee communities of the East Valley through philanthropic programs including: Operation School Bell®, Assault Survivor Kits®, Adult Day Care Socials, Scholarships and Share Our Spare.