Northwest Indiana health briefs: Purdue startup introduces less invasive, liquid biopsies - October 26, 2018

Courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana

Purdue startup introduces less invasive, liquid biopsies

Tests to determine if you have cancer can be frightening, uncomfortable and time-consuming. Now, Purdue University researchers have developed and are commercializing a new method that could make early detection of cancer and other diseases easier, faster and less agonizing for patients.

Tymora Analytical Operations advanced a Purdue-patented innovation to use liquid biopsies for early detection of cancer and other diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Earlier detection of cancer, which strikes 1.7 million people in the United States each year and kills 609,640, is important in improving outcomes.

Likewise, individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common cause of dementia in the U.S., could benefit from earlier detection and treatment.

Other cancer research — focused on exosomes, which are found in blood, urine and saliva — has typically looked at the components that make up the DNA and RNA of patients. Tymora stands out since its research focuses on looking at the active proteins for detection.

The researchers developed a technique with liquid biopsies, using urine, blood or saliva, and biomarkers for early cancer detection.

Despite the numerous research projects emerging in cancer detection, tissue biopsy remains the most prevalent method.

Methodist to host forum on community health

Methodist Hospitals is partnering with the Association of Black Cardiologists in a Cardiovascular Prevention and Wellness Call to Action Forum for community leaders from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Nov. 2 at St. Timothy Community Church, 1600 W. 25th Ave. in Gary.

Leaders from civic, health care, faith-based, business and other organizations are invited to have a critical discussion addressing health care issues and current socioeconomic conditions.

A panel of experts will provide information regarding advances in cardiovascular diagnosis, treatment and management and address issues regarding access to health care.

The panel will be moderated by Dr. Andre Artis, cardiologist and medical director of the Heart and Vascular Institute at Methodist Hospitals, and Denise C. Dillard, chief of advocacy for government and external affairs at Methodist Hospitals.

Special guest speaker will be actor, educator and activist Lamman Rucker. Rucker currently stars as Jacob Greenleaf in the hit drama series, “Greenleaf,” airing on OWN and Netflix. Rucker is a spokesman for several charitable efforts and community action initiatives including the Association of Black Cardiologists, American Heart Association and The Black AIDS Institute.

There is limited seating available so RSVP by going to

NWI Parkinsons dinner dance set for Nov. 2

NWI Parkinsons is having its four annual Dinner Dance for Parkinson Disease on Nov. 2 at Avalon Manor, 3550 E. Lincoln Highway in Merrillville, featuring the musical group Sandbox. Tickets are $75 and include free champagne and hors d’oeuvres until dinner. There will be silent auction tables prior to dinner and a dance exhibition during dinner. Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner is at 7 p.m. and dancing starts at 8 p.m.

Call the NWI Parkinsons office 219-237-2342 for tickets and information or stop in at the NWI Parkinsons office at 2927 Jewett Ave. in Highland.

HealthLinc receives award to fight opioid crisis

On Sept. 19, Valparaiso-based HealthLinc was named as a recipient of the Quality Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services award by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration.

The award will allow HealthLinc to expand access to quality integrated mental health services, with a focus on conditions that increase risk for or co-occur with substance use disorder and opioid use disorder.

HRSA awarded over $396 million nationally to community health centers, academic institutions, and rural organizations to combat the opioid crisis.

In Indiana specifically, HRSA awarded $6 million to 22 community health centers through the Expanding Access to Quality Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services program.

The SUD-MH awards support health centers in implementing and advancing evidence-based strategies that best meet the substance use disorder and mental health needs of the populations they serve.

For more information about HealthLinc and the 2018 Quality Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Award, contact Brandi Anstine at

IUN to hold health fair Nov. 6

The Indiana University Northwest School of Nursing and College of Health and Human Services is proud to offer important health screenings to the community at its annual health fair from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Nov. 6 in the John W. Anderson Library Conference Center.

Available services include lab work, free health screenings, and health information.

Lab workups include, but are not limited to: a wellness panel; hemoglobin A1C (diabetes screen); thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH); prostate-specific antigen (PSA); hepatitis C antibody; and vitamin D screenings. Free health screenings include blood pressure screenings, bone density screenings, and HIV testing.

Lab work will be conducted between 7:30 and 10:30 a.m. Those participating in the wellness panel must fast for 12 hours and may only drink black coffee or water during the fast.

The wellness panel lab work is $30. Prices will vary for additional lab work. Payment is due the day of the test. Only cash or checks will be accepted. Appointments are not necessary.

The John W. Anderson Library Conference Center is located on the south side of the main campus on 35th Avenue.

For more information, contact Clinical Coordinator Glenda Dexter-Brown at 219-980-6619 or For information about parking at IU Northwest, please visit

Franciscan Physician Network to acquire Michigan City practice

Franklin Clinic, a family medicine practice in Michigan City for more than 30 years, will be acquired by Franciscan Physician Network on Dec. 1.

Current staff and physicians will remain at Franklin Clinic, which specializes in family medicine, internal medicine and pediatric primary care. In January, the practice will add Dr. Huma Mulk, a board-certified internal medicine specialist. She will join Dr. Vidya Kora, Dr. Hitendra Patel, Dr. Jagjeevan Gandra, nurse practitioner Jeffrey Wiencek and Dr. Anil Chawla.

Franklin Clinic is located at 3723 Franklin St. in Michigan City.