Posted by Diana Martinelli on Mar 03, 2019
In order to truly care for others, we should start by caring for ourselves. WVU Health Sciences Vice President Clay Marsh, MD, returned to his native state of West Virginia to make a difference in the health of its residents. In this program, drawn from our 2017 archives, he distills what he's learned into simple tips for a healthier you.


PRESIDING TODAY IS: Diana Martinelli, President

bellDing! We’re now in session.

Welcome all – Visitors, fellow Rotarians and guests alike to this E-Club program!

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At the beginning of each meeting we remind ourselves of the The Four-Way Test.  Therefore, please remember to ask yourself always . . .

Of the things we think, say or do:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Reflective Moments

The things you are passionate about are not random. They are your calling.        
-Fabienne Fredrick son
And in light of the latest snow storm to grip the Midwest and Northeast, it helps to remember:
No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.
-Hal Borland


Program:  Caring for Ourselves; Leading Others

At a district meeting in 2017, we had the privilege of hearing Clay Marsh, MD, talk about various research studies and what they tell us about longevity. The son of a longtime, well-known journalist, editor and commentator, Dr. Marsh returned home to West Virginia after serving for many years in leadership roles at The Ohio State University. He returned to help lead West Virginia University’s Health Sciences Center and, in so doing, to make positive strides in our residents’ health and health care systems.
Dr. Marsh spoke at length about research findings from around the world that, when boiled down, point to several consistent findings about health, disease and longevity. As a result, he recommended five simple changes we can make to improve our health and, thus, our chances to live a longer life:
  1. Reduce sugar intake — Americans eat approximately 120 pounds of sugar per person per year. Its addictive nature and physiological effects make it a pervasive health hazard.
  2. Move your body — The simple act of walking each day can help ameliorate other risk factors by strengthening your heart and improving circulation. In addition, it’s been shown to elevate mood.
  3. Practice gratitude — In our consumption-oriented society, many people view their “glass” as half-empty instead of half full. By recognizing the beauty and gifts around us each day and actively expressing gratitude for them, we are growing a positive mindset about our lives, rather than feeding dissatisfaction and want. For example, if you are fortunate enough to have a job, think to yourself “I get to go to work today,” rather than “I have to go to work….”  “I get to mow my lawn today” instead of “I have to mow my lawn.” Think about those who want jobs but don’t have them; those who wish they were physically able to mow or had a lawn that needed tending.
  4. Connect with others. People who care about others and have others who care about them are both happier and healthier. If you find yourself alone and lonely, seek out human contact. Invite a neighbor for coffee, volunteer to help others if you’re able, make a phone call….  We are social creatures, who rely on others for feelings of safety and security, and studies show that social media alone do not fill these needs.
  5. Look for and pursue your purpose/passions. Dr. Marsh said he is pursuing his purpose by returning to his home state to work with other like-minded people who believe they can make a difference. As today’s reflection above states, the things you are passionate about are not random, are not coincidental: they are your calling. Look for ways to pursue your passions, and you’ll be happier — and healthier.
Our district also had the pleasure of hearing from the fabulous Tiffany Ervin, self-proclaimed “Rotary geek,” who spreads the news of Rotary service through her website She shared with us her journey in and passion for Rotary and her own purpose to help cure Alzheimer’s — a disease that has so ravished her mother’s memory that she no longer recognized Tiffany at all.
Tiffany told the members of District 7530 that for a long while after she joined Rotary, “I was in Rotary, but Rotary wasn’t in me.” She reassured us that Rotary will become part of who we are as we find our own passions for service in the world and work with others who share those passions through Rotary — the largest international service organization in the world, and as such, an organization that is able to achieve seemingly impossible goals, such as eradicating polio worldwide.
After all, Rotarians work together across six focus areas, and I challenge you to find a cause that doesn’t fit within them:
  1. peace and conflict prevention/resolution
  2. education and literacy
  3. clean water and sanitation
  4. disease prevention and treatment
  5. maternal and child health
  6. economic and community development
In thinking about our own purpose and that of our businesses and organizations, Dr. Marsh reminded us of an older TedTalk by Simon Sinek, called “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” In it, Mr. Sinek speaks of the “golden circle” of success. The TedTalk link appears below to end this week’s meeting; I hope it helps to remind you of your own personal purpose, that of the company for which you work, and that of Rotary International. 
Thank you for participating in this program! Please be sure to leave a comment.