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“I feel such a strong calling to help serve this area,” says Ciara Wesen-Smith, who said she never dreamed she would be able to practice medicine in her hometown of Centralia. “This community helped me be successful.”

Dr. John Mansfield, M.D., retired after a 21-year career in the U.S. Air Force, is now splitting his time between Longview and Morton.

Teri Walker, a nurse practitioner, holds the P90X2 DVDs that she works out to in her workout room at her home in Chehalis. Walker is starting a fitness program using the P90X system, which she has been using herself for over seven years. She is certified by Beach Body, the company who owns P90X, to instruct others in the popular workout program.

Dr. Sarah Landrum is the only M.D. in south Lewis County, and this Louisiana native plans to call the Toledo-Winlock area home for many years to come. Photos of Clara Wesen-Smith, Teri Walker and Dr. Landrum, by Pete Caster / pcaster@chronline.com; Dr. John Mansfield Courtesy Photo/Morton General Hospital

Caring for Lewis County By Kyle Spurr kspurr@chronline.com

To kick off this year’s set of Live Healthy features in The Chronicle, we talked to the four biggest medical centers in Lewis County and asked them to point us to one of their medical providers that people really ought to get to know. From a Centralia High School graduate who is living her dream by practicing medicine in her hometown to a doctor who was inspired to practice small-town medicine during response to Hurricane Katrina, we’re pleased to bring you this look at a few of our county’s notable medical care providers. Dr. John T. Mansfield, M.D. Urologist Morton General Hospital Dr. John T. Mansfield, 50, who joins Morton General Hospital this month as a urologist, recently completed a 21-year career in the U.S. Air Force, where he worked as a urologist and treated patients around the world, including in Iraq and

in Haiti immediately after the 2010 earthquake. Mansfield worked as the lone urologist at Balad Air Base, the busiest trauma hospital in Iraq, from January 2008 to June 2008. In that time, Mansfield said he did more than 200 major procedures, with about one half from bomb injuries and the other half from kidney stone surgeries. “Body armor protects soldiers’ brains, chest and abdomen,” Mansfield said. “But their extremities are exposed. A lot of injuries happen to urological parts.” Mansfield cared for about 10 to 20 patients a day with no days off for the six month deployment. In January 2010, Mansfield volunteered to lead a 90-person, 20-bed hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, following the devastating earthquake. Mansfield worked for two months straight and treated about 50 people per day. One day in Haiti, Mansfield remembers a young father bringing his young

wife into the hospital. The wife was bleeding to death after giving birth. Mansfield said he helped rehabilitate the woman while other doctors saved the baby at the people’s home. “Today that family is intact because we were there that day,” Mansfield said. Mansfield, who lives in Castle Rock, is now working at Longview Urology and plans to spend one to two days a month in Morton General Hospital starting on January 11. Mansfield, a graduate from the University of Rochester and the University of Utah, said he is familiar with treating patients in rural communities after he spent four years in Alaska during one of his many deployments. “There is a need up there (in Morton) that has been unmet,” Mansfield said. “A lot of those folks have to drive a long way for a lot of care.” Teri Walker Nurse Practitioner and Fitness Ambassador Steck Medical Center

Teri Walker, 49, a nurse practitioner at the Steck Medical Center of Lacey, started using P90X, a home fitness program, seven years ago, and since then she has been motivated to share the workout with any clients looking to improve their health. The Steck Medical Center in Chehalis hired Walker in June as a fitness ambassador. Walker will begin a fitness nutrition practice at the Steck clinic in Chehalis in January. The fitness practice will focus around P90X workouts and nutrition plans. Walker, who worked as a nurse for 23 years at Providence Hospital in Centralia and in Olympia, earned a family nurse practitioner master’s degree from Washington State University in 2010. Since then she has worked with chronic disease management in Lacey before joining the Chehalis clinic to focus on fitness. Walker said the doctors in Chehalis will refer patients to her that need to lose weight or get off medications.

Live Healthy • January 2013

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Live Healthy “I want to end the trend,” Walker said about one in three adults in America being obese. The fitness practice at the Chehalis clinic will offer people a P90X challenge pack for $180. The challenge pack is not covered by health insurance. Walker said she will put people in groups and organize contests. “Accountability is huge for people,” Walker said. Walker, a 1981 graduate of W.F. West High School, will also offer a $305 detox program for 21 days and other personal training. “My focus is to get people into fitness and nutrition,” Walker said. “You have to start somewhere. If we could just get people healthy around here, they will feel so much better and be more productive.”

Dr. Sarah Landrum, M.D. Health Care Provider Valley View Medical Clinic Sarah Landrum, an M.D. at the Toledo Valley View Medical Clinic, was a medical school student at Tulane University in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.   Landrum, 34, who grew up in Baton Rouge, La., evacuated to Baton Rouge and started volunteering at various clinics. “My experience after Hurricane Katrina led me to helping with community health care,” Landrum said. “My motivation is to work in a small community and do community service.” Landrum, who worked at Group Health in Seattle after graduating from Tulane, joined the Toledo Valley View Clinic two years ago and treats about 18 to 25 patients a day. “The majority of my patients are from Castle Rock, Winlock and Toledo,” Landrum said. “I treat newborns to geriatrics,” Landrum is the only M.D. working for Valley View in south Lewis County. Valley

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View is one of the few health care providers that sees patients without health insurance. “I don’t think anybody goes into medicine to make money,” Landrum said. “I practice medicine to take care of the community, and I can’t do that if I’m limited by who can afford care.” Landrum remembers living in Portland as a small child and visiting a family friend’s farm in Vader. She decided to move across the county to the Northwest to live on her own farm. Landrum lives with her husband and 10-month-old son on a 15-acre farm in Winlock. “I always dreamed of having a farm of my own,” Landrum said of her property that is filled with cows, pigs and chickens. Landrum said she sometimes misses the culture of Louisiana and visits about twice a year, but she said is drawn to the rural life of south Lewis County.   “I’m planning to stay put,” Landrum said. ••• Kyle Spurr: (360) 807-8239

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Ciara Wesen-Smith Nurse Practitioner Providence Centralia Hospital Ciara Wesen-Smith, a 2005 Centralia High School graduate, will return to the Hub City in February to work as a nurse practitioner at Providence Centralia Hospital. Wesen-Smith, 25, who has worked at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia in the oncology unit since August 2010, will be one of four primary care providers at Providence Centralia. “Everything fell into place,” Wesen-Smith said, since she never expected to achieve her dream of working in internal medicine. “This is exactly where I want to be.” Wesen-Smith graduated from Washington State University as a registered nurse in 2010 and finished her nurse practitioner degree from WSU-Vancouver in July. “I feel such a strong calling to help serve this area,” Wesen-Smith said. “This community helped me be successful.” While Wesen-Smith admitted she will feel consumed with work when she starts on Feb. 25, she said she will rely on support from her fellow doctors and an old softball coach from college. Wesen-Smith played softball at

Jacksonville State out of high school. Between studying nursing and playing softball, Wesen-Smith decided it was impossible for her to do both. She went on to pursue nursing, with the blessing from her softball coach. “My coach was really adamant that we give back to our community,” Wesen-Smith said. “I was always more of a nerd than an athlete. This is how I feel I can honor her and be a productive member of the community.” Wesen-Smith said her passions are in chronic care, end-of-life care and treating cancer patients. She will see about 17 patients a day on average at Providence Centralia and hopes to create close-knit relationships with each patient. “I work with embracing the whole person,” Wesen-Smith said. “I can’t do surgery and I don’t want to, but I can see patients and diagnose them.”

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Live Healthy • January 2013

2 • Live Healthy • An Advertising Supplement of The Chronicle Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013


Live Healthy Jan. 2013