Weekly Features


IU School of Medicine-South Bend raises $220,000 for scholarships, research

Jan. 24, 2013

Serving a community’s health care needs can seem like a highly competitive business. But there’s at least one night a year when all that gets left behind. Just completing its seventh year, the annual Medicine Ball in support of IU School of Medicine-South Bend is the medical community’s “family affair.”

The December event attracted a sold-out crowd of hospital and clinic administrators, physicians and their spouses from across the Northern Indiana region, and raised more than $220,000 for medical school scholarships, program development and faculty research. Over the seven years of this event, the region’s medical community has raised more than $1.7 million for the IU School of Medicine-South Bend.

Timothy Corson

Mark Walsh, M.D., right, receives the Physician of the Year honor from Mark Thompson, M.D., left, and David Van Ryn, M.D., chair of the Medicine Ball 2012, during an annual fundraiser for the IU School of Medicine-South Bend.

Rudolph Navari, M.D., associate dean and director of the IU School of Medicine-South Bend, and his wife, Jane, were the official hosts. But the tables fill as physicians involve their peers.

This year’s chairs, surgeon Mark Thompson, M.D., volunteer clinical assistant professor of surgery, and his wife, Meg, and Emergency Medicine physician David Van Ryn, M.D., volunteer clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine, and his wife, Lisa, recruited physician friends, who in turn recruited other physician friends, until there was not a spare seat left in the ballroom of the South Bend Hilton Garden Inn.

Chris Murphy, head of 1st Source Bank, was this year’s event honoree, an award given annually to an outstanding supporter of medicine and the IU School of Medicine-South Bend. Murphy serves as director of the Medical Education Foundation, the civic group that serves as the IU School of Medicine-South Bend’s official community advisory group. He, with his wife, Carmi, also chaired the first Medicine Ball in 2005, shortly after the school opened its campus across from the University of Notre Dame.

The gala has two cardinal rules, said Murphy. First, it's an event for the medical community organized by the medical community. All hospitals and major clinics and practices are present. If there are non-doctors in the house, they tend to be parents of current or past students, or friends of someone being honored.

The second rule is that it be fun – a time to visit friends and to dance.

As the chair of the Medical Education Foundation for almost four decades, Murphy has worked to protect the regional medical school system and it’s financing. Along with his mother-in-law, Ernestine Raclin, he championed the construction of the freestanding medical school campus across from Notre Dame. He solicited local dollars to support its transition to a fully realized four-year medical school.

Also honored this year, as Outstanding Physician, was Mark Walsh, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine, who has been an instructor at the medical school for about 20 years. Besides former students, Dr. Walsh’s friends in the audience included legendary professor Emil T. Hofman, Ph.D., who taught freshmen chemistry to Dr. Walsh and Murphy.

Dr. Hofman succeeded in making a doctor out of Walsh, but, ironically, counseled Murphy against a career in medicine, although both his father and grandfather had been doctors.

Now a banker, Murphy says the IU School of Medicine is how he stays connected to the “family business.”

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