There were 37 members and 2 guests present, all enjoying the Cinco de Mayo decorations and menu. This holiday is celebrated by Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in commemoration of the 1862 defeat of French troops at the Puebla Battle in east-central Mexico. The guests were: Cathy Carmody from Between Friends (David Birkenstein guest) and Bob Porter, tax accountant from Wilmette (Mark Kotz guest).  John Thomas led the Pledge of Allegiance;  Patti gave a list of things we all should do everyday for our mental and physical well-being; and Dirk Tussing gave the Dig N Grin.  Cathy Carmody presented her “time to shine” by explaining that her Between Friends organization is a nonprofit agency dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence and abuse. It has been in existence for about 30 years and provides a crisis line, counseling/ support services, court advocacy, prevention and education. It is located in Rogers Park and has been a past recipient of the Rotary charitable grant program. There is presently a strong effort to curb harassment and abuse of young women starting in junior high, with 1 in 4 of such persons reporting being victimized by these actions. More information about this organization can be obtained at 773-274-5232.
    John announced that the next meeting will be at the Happ Inn in Northfield with Stacy Sigman, Northfield Village Manager, being the guest speaker. Tony mentioned that there will be a special tribute to David Gotaas at this meeting.  Patti reminded everyone of the Rotary Benefit on May 13 at Michigan Shores Club in Wilmette. On command, Liz Taylor and Connie Berman joined Patti in a very cute little skit emphasizing the importance of the Benefit and all the fun things planned for that evening, including silent auction and live entertainment.
   Birthdays announced were Dirk Tussing, Bob Baker and Barb Tubekis.
   Rich Lalley contributed Happy Bucks because he was recently able to raise $600 from Rotarians in a very short period of time (5 minutes) to buy books to give to Rotary;s District Conference for distribution to people in Pakistan.
   Our speaker was Dr. Chadwick Prodromos who has offices in Glenview and Chicago. He is an Assistant Professor at Rush University, specializing in Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. In addition to being a 1971 graduate of New Trier, his other education credentials include such universities as Harvard, Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins and Princeton.. His presentation dealt with new treatments for arthritis and sports injuries using Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell injections. His basic point was that 80% of eligible arthritis/sports injury patients are successfully treated with PRP injections instead of  joint replacement or other surgery. Traditional orthopaedic doctors are not involved in this trend because many are now employed by healthcare networks whose revenues are enhanced greatly by joint replacement operations. Such operations have increased 50% in the last 7 years. The problem with joint replacement is that the new joint will last only about 15 years, at best, and the second operation, especially for older people, is usually not as easy or successful as the first one.
   The usual treatment for arthritis is to mask the symptoms with medications and other treatments until the symptoms become so severe that the only alternative is joint replacement. The new treatment is in 3 parts: Stop pain medications and  reduce activities that cause pain so that the body can heal itself.  Then improve joint flexibility through physical therapy. Then treat with PRP and/or stem cells to decrease inflammation and stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities.
   PRP are solid particles in our blood that contain natural growth factors which enhance healing and decreases inflammation. PRP is the patient’s own plasma in which the platelets have been concentrated.  40cc of blood are drawn in the Doctor’s office (slightly more than a normal blood test) and  the blood is centrifuged and processed there  until he gets 4 cc of plasma with the platelet count being quintupled. This PRP is painlessly injected in his office with the entire process taking about 1 hour.
    Mesenchymal stem cells are found in bone marrow and fat and are the building blocks of cartilage, bone, ligaments, tendons and muscle. These cells are collected via a painless bone marrow aspiration in the Doctor’s office. No sedation is needed and the process takes about 10 minutes. A small amount of fat is taken via a mini liposuction. Then PRP is also prepared and is injected along with the bone marrow aspirate and fat into the affected area. This procedure takes about 90 minutes without sedation. Again, about 80% of patients are able to avoid joint replacement with PRP injections lasting 1 to 2 years and those injections involving Stem cells lasting even longer.
   Doctor Prodromos has performed over 1600 injections. He has had especially good success with Patellar, Achilles, rotator cuff,  biceps tendinitis and elbow tendinitis. Such patients are usually pain free after 1 to 3 initial injections and generally do not need subsequent treatment.  Sports professionals undergo these procedures on a regular basis. The FDA has not been negative about these procedures, but it has not officially approved them yet because they usually require placebo studies and the Doctor questions the ethics of this requirement. These procedures are not covered by Medicare or Medicaid, but the Doctor said that a normal PRP treatment in his office is half of what the medical centers would charge. He mentioned that rheumatoid arthritis has not responded as well to these treatments as regular arthritis, but that his organization is working on this and seeing better results. He mentioned that his wife, Dr. Marilyn Prodromos, is a dental surgeon and is using these injections for the treatment of TMJ (jaw occlusion problems).  Plastic surgeons are starting to use these injections for face lifts rather than plastic surgery. Anyone with questions about this information can go on the Doctor’s website at
   After his presentation, several Rotarians were able to limp up to the podium to get free medical advice! Dr. Prodromos’ website is at