Rotarians hear about Regenexx and stem cell research

After some fine dining at Elmwood Country Club, President Bill Fitzgerald rang the bell to get the Tuesday Marshalltown Rotary meeting underway. John Fink opened with prayer and Pledge of Allegiance and Denny Grabenbauer led in celebrating birthdays and anniversaries of membership. Guests included Brian Bartz, Rollie Ackerman and Linda Moore.

Amanda Accola presented a vocational minute and Todd Steinkamp gave a news update. The Marshall County Relay for Life is coming up later in the month. Rotary team support is being led by Bruce Wirin and Joel Greer. Participation and donations are encouraged. The 4th of July lands on a Tuesday, so the meeting that day will consist of a picnic at the Drager residence. A RSVP will be necessary.

The program for the day was presented by Anthony Vasquez, EVP with Regenexx and the topic was stem cell research. Regenexx proclaims to be “America’s leader in reducing orthopedic cost for employers.” They operate 43 clinics in the United States and three abroad. They opened an Iowa clinic in late 2013 and have two physicians in Des Moines. There are options on the spectrum between surgical and non-surgical. The main goal of their physicians is to avoid orthopedic surgery. Health care costs are a concern for employers so this topic is timely as orthopedic issues are the number one reason people go to the doctor. Vasquez shared a high-level view of science and evolution of stem cell therapy. High level athletes are often the pioneers in many of the most recent enhancements. He contrasted the risks between surgery and stem cell procedures. By “helping the body heal itself,” Vasquez said stem cell procedures often offer three advantages: less invasive procedure, improved outcomes and cost savings. There was a good round of question and answers. Vasquez noted that they work predominantly with self-insured plans of large employers. These groups often set the trend for fully funded plans and he predicts that insurance companies will be more embracing within five years.

Being part of Rotary allows for opportunity to serve and live this year’s theme is: Rotary Serving Humanity.