Rotary End Polio Now Campaign, Kiyhon (Kim) Kim

Speaker Friday, December 16, 2022

Many of us in the US thought we had eradicated polio here. However, in 2022 there was a recognized case of it in New York City and it is suspected of being “around” in New York and London, though it is still endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The effects of the disease range from no symptoms, to flu-like symptoms in 25% of patients, to withered limbs, to full paralysis. Between 2 and 10 percent of patients who experience paralysis from polio will die. People who are infected with polio at an early age can recover significantly only to relapse in later life with significant disabilities. This disease can be quite serious and spread very easily. (Source CDC)

Since 1985, Rotary has spent more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect nearly 3 billion children in 122 countries from this paralyzing disease. Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by governments to contribute more than $10 billion to the effort. The average cost to vaccinate a single child in the world is $3.00 (

So with this setback in the US and other places to eradicate polio, what will we do? How are we faring in our current efforts? How many vaccinations have we been able to complete? Our speaker this week is Kiyhon (Kim) Kim, our District Polio Program Chair. He has details about what Rotary is doing and how we can all help.

Kim Kim was born and raised in a Buddhist temple in Korea. At 17 he came to America, not knowing any English. Through perseverance and hard work, he finished high school and later graduated from Middle Tennessee State University. He has owned several businesses while he works at the hospital as a director. Ever since he joined Rotary Club, he has traveled five continents to do good in the world. He received the President’s volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama, Rotary’s highest honor the Service Above Self Award, the Tennessee Hospital Association Meritorious Service Award and many more. He has served as District Governor of our Rotary District and has also helped support Shelter Box. He returned to Korea to marry his wife Sue in an arranged marriage. Kim and Sue have one daughter and two sons.

 Our Current Speaker Schedule

4/5/24David A. Smith — Sports and Wagering in TN – TN Sports Wagering Council
4/12/24Thomas Gooch — “Our Fathers House”
4/19/24Barb Izzo “Polio Plus – Why I’m A Supporter”
5/3/24Casey Campbell, Principal “Our Vision At Cockrill Elementary School”
5/10/24Sara Figel, Director, Nashville Conflict Center
5/17/24The Intersection of Business and Sustainability and how to Benefit from It

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