Supplement to the Wednesday, July 15, 2009 Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
Why Become Established with a Local Primary Care Physician? A relationship with a Jefferson Healthcare primary care physician will give you a team of health care providers who …
… practice evidence-based medicine. … coordinate your care and ease your access to specialists through formalized referral relationships. … get to know you and use the shared decisionmaking model for those patients who want to be active participants in their health care. … use electronic medical records to follow your pertinent health history. … are trained in all areas of medicine – including prevention – and can care for you through all the stages of your life.
Jessica Shriner & her baby Rafella with Carrie Day, M.D.
Mother-to-be Jennifer Kruse with Joseph Mattern, M.D.
Our clinics now offer … … more same-day appointments. … evening hours for your convenience.
Ken Parson with Todd Carlson, M.D.
834 Sheridan, Port Townsend • 360-385-2200
Your Comprehensive HealthCare System Quality healthcare with formalized referral relationships.
health & wellness • wednesday, july 15, 2009
To establish yourself as a patient, call one of the clinics listed at www.jeffersonhealthcare.org. The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
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wednesday, july 15, 2009 • health & wellness 3
Inside Sound mind & body
At Evergreen Mind-Body Therapies, JES Schumacher employs biofeedback to help clients learn to gain control over their body’s responses to stress, anxiety and a host of other problems, including chronic pain.
Health care options
Finding the health care help you need is not always easy, and that can be especially true for people who lose their jobs and their health insurance.
Personal care Page 10
The South County Medical Clinic has become an important part of the community and is well known for its high standard of care.
Watch out for the flu
The media spotlight has moved on from the swine flu outbreak, but that doesn’t mean we’ve heard the last of it.
Back to boot camp Page 14
Getting some exercise and losing weight can be a pleasant experience. Just ask these folks. ON THE COVER: Dr. Catherine A. Parkman is on duty at the free JC MASH clinic in the basement of the American Legion Hall in Port Townsend. Photo by Barney Burke Port Townsend Oﬃce 226 Adams Street Port Townsend, WA 98368 360-385-2900 Website: www.ptleader.com Special Section Editor: Fred Obee Lead Production: Kathy Busic
4 health & wellness • wednesday, july 15, 2009
Published continuously since October 2, 1889 Port Townsend Publishing Company Scott Wilson, Publisher Copyright 2009
Karen Martin is part of any effort to provide better service at Jefferson Healthcare Hospital. The switchboard station, located in the lobby entry, is now open until 8 p.m. to help direct people to particular oﬃces or departments and answer questions about programs and services.
Want to lead a healthier life? By Fred Obee of The Leader We receive so many conflicting messages about our health that sometimes it can seem overwhelming. Red wine is good for you but alcohol is bad. Lose weight on all-protein diets or by limiting the intake of fats. Fish is a healthy food, except for the ones with mercury in them. Running is good exercise, except that it is hard on your knees. Load up on carbs or cut them out. What should you do? Fortunately, there are a lot of people in Jefferson County who can help you sort the conflicting messages and set you on a road toward a healthy lifestyle, regardless of your age, income or circumstances. Experts say one of the best things you can do is develop a relationship with a personal physician. The Internet is wonderful resource as well, but there is no help quite as good as a knowledgeable professional who knows the details of your life. Some people need to be careful before starting a rigorous exercise regimen. Some have conditions that won’t be helped by particular diets. The latest how-to book might have convinced you about the path you need to take, but as in all health decisions, it can pay to get a second opinion.
Fortunately for the residents of Jefferson County, we have a large community of health care providers who will take a personal interest in you and get you the answers you need. Jefferson Healthcare offers wellness programs and support groups that make weathering health emergencies easier, and it is committed to providing health care services to all people who are in need of medical attention, regardless of ability to pay. If you need help and you don’t know where to turn, Jefferson Healthcare is a good place to start. Log on to jgh.org or call 385-2200. If you have questions about sexually transmitted diseases, immunizations, family planning, breast and cervical health care or
Bicycle riders combine healthy exercise with scenic views.
footcare, Jefferson County Public Health Department stands ready to assist you. In all, Jefferson County Public Health is home to nearly 100 programs and services. Visit jeffersoncountypublichealth. org or call 385-9400. If staff at the public health department can’t help you, they will know who can. Can’t afford dental care? The OlyCAP Oral Health Center provides dental care, hygiene services and dental education to low-income, uninsured people. Its staff covers the full scope of primary dentistry. Many local dentists volunteer at the clinic, and several times a year the Olympic Peninsula Dental Society partners with OlyCAP to sponsor “Give a Kid a Smile” programs. OlyCAP also operates a mobile dental service that visits Port Townsend, Clallam Bay and Brinnon. Go to olycap.org or call 385-2571 for more information. Inside this issue of our annual health magazine, we feature a few more people around town who are stepping forward to assist residents in making good health care decisions, whether it is finding an affordable insurance option, learning new ways to reduce stress or finally making that commitment to shed a few pounds. So get moving! There’s a wonderful network of people out there ready to help you.
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
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wednesday, july 15, 2009 • health & wellness
A sound mind body
Biofeedback helps people breathe right, stay healthy By Kathie Meyer of The Leader Sometimes just breathing deeply is your best health option. At Evergreen Mind-Body Therapies, JES Schumacher employs biofeedback to help clients learn to gain control over their body’s responses to stress, anxiety and a host of other problems, including chronic pain. And breathing is a big part of that. “The breath is one of the most powerful ways to stay focused and conscious,” says Schumacher, who is certified in biofeedback therapy by the Biofeedback Certification Institute of America. In her office, located in Suite 18 on the second floor of the McCurdy Building at Water and Taylor streets, I find it’s pretty easy to relax. The clutter-free room is pleasantly decorated with soft turquoise highlights and charming furniture, and soothing instrumental music plays in the background. I take a seat in a lounge chair like the one my Dad used to have, and she tells me to pull the lever, put up my feet and just inhale and exhale. A day at work should always be this good, I think. Using a sensor clipped to my earlobe and connected to a laptop computer, she hooks me up. The program proceeds to measure my heart rate, breathing, muscle tension and heart rhythms, and shows the results on the laptop’s screen.
“Is your chest lifting or is your belly lifting?” she asks. Those who breathe shallowly from the chest are in “fight or flight” mode, the sympathetic part of the autonomic nervous system, she says, a condition that can get triggered by bosses, traffic and spouses. I don’t have a spouse, nor do I have to drive through a lot of traffic. But I do have a boss. The goal is to get back into the parasympathetic, i.e. peaceful, aspect of the nervous system. Schumacher tells me that she used biofeedback and acupressure techniques to rid herself of chronic headaches. She tried massage, chiropractics and other health applications, but nothing worked. When she used biofeedback, she found that she was hunching her shoulders and tightening her muscles. After that, she tried new postures and exercises to see what helped. Now, she says, “I rarely have headaches.” As I rest in the chair – or rather, spend a hard day at work – the computer screen tells me how I’m doing. Since I’m in the newspaper business, I expect it won’t be a pretty sight. “A person can look relaxed, but their mind may be going a million miles a minute,” says Schumacher. But I truly am relaxed and am passing the demonstration with flying colors. At the easiest challenge level, I stay in “the zone” the entire time; Schumacher says her clients typically measure outside the
6 health & wellness • wednesday, july 15, 2009
JES Schumacher uses a number of techniques, including biofeedback, to help those with physical and emotional problems learn to recognize the signs of stress and anxiety and adjust their body’s response to alleviate their condition. Photo by Kathie Meyer
The breath is one of the most powerful ways to stay focused and conscious. JES Schumacher certified biofeedback therapist
zone on their initial visit. I also have a high “coherence” reading, which means that in addition to breathing easily from my belly, I stay relaxed 76 percent of the time during our session. Even at the next level, I get a 70 percent rating. There are a total of four challenge levels. Schumacher tells me to think about something that upsets me. So I do, and almost immediately go from the green bar (high coherence) to the red bar (low) on the screen. In the second level, she tells me to count backwards from 300 by sevens,
and that, too, gets in the way of my good standing. The truth is, I’m doing well because I already have a background in yoga practice and learning to “let go.” If Schumacher had met me 16 years ago, I guarantee that line and those colors on the screen would be telling a different story. Schumacher has other tricks up her sleeve. Some of them are games called “Rainbow,” “Garden” and “Balloon.” In Balloon, you try to take a trip around the world in a hot-air balloon. The calmer you are, the faster and higher you travel. Other programs on her laptop include an “emotional visualizer” and another, more traditional, medical model that measures electrical activity in the muscle. She also offers an “emotional freedom technique,” based on Chinese medicine and acupuncture, in which clients learn about the eight meridian points Despite my good scores, I can see where I could benefit from a six-week session with Schumacher because – let’s face it – at some point we all have to
get up from the chair and face the real world. Schumacher has had clients use her training to improve their meditation practice or prepare for a job interview or courtroom appearance. She has helped clients deal with health concerns, including arthritis, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder and smoking addiction. Some people rely on it solely as therapy, and others use it in conjunction with pharmaceutical medication. Whatever the issue, Schumacher can train clients to notice when they are going down the wrong path emotionally and physically so they can do something before it gets out of hand. “I really haven’t met anyone yet that can’t improve what they’re doing,” she says. “Most people have positive changes in the first week, and we just build on that.” JES Schumacher is also a registered counselor in Washington state. To learn more about Evergreen Mind-Body Therapies, call 360-301-4431.
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
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wednesday, july 15, 2009 • health & wellness
Lost your insurance? Many local options for getting the medical care you need By Barney Burke of The Leader Finding the health care help you need is not always easy, and that can be especially true for people who lose their jobs and their health insurance. But options are available in the community, and many health and insurance professionals are ready to help you find your way to a healthy life. Kristin Manwaring, president of Kristin Manwaring Insurance, has a front-row seat to the health care dilemma. “Times are tough,” she said. “People are losing their jobs.” If you lose your job, there’s are least a couple of ways to stay insured and/or get access to medical care. One option is COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985), if your employer had 20 or more employees at least 50 percent of the previous year. You will have
to pay the entire cost of the monthly premiums formerly paid by your employer, but that often is less than health care available individually. COBRA also allows you to keep coverage in place until something else can be arranged. The most affordable option in Washington is Basic Health. Following
recent budget cuts, the state raised rates rather than disenroll any of its 100,000 enrollees. Still, the average Basic Health enrollee will pay just $61.60 per month in 2010, up from the 2009 average of $36. You must meet income guidelines to quality for Basic Health, but even if you do qualify, there’s a waiting list of 30,000 people, so some patience is required.
We can individually help people with medical needs by helping with something else. Bonnie White co-director of Community Support Services, OLYCAP
One of the best local options for health insurance is available to businesses that are members of the Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce. A 48-yearold person, Manwaring said, might get a policy with a $2,700 deductible for $213.71 monthly, as an example. Employees, spouses and children can be added, and you can choose a higher or lower deductible, along with dental and vision insurance options. A $10,000 life insurance plan
is included. To get on the chamber’s plan, you must have a bona fide business, Manwaring noted. No one is disqualified from this plan for medical reasons, but be prepared to submit copies of your business license and recent income tax return to meet requirements of state law, she said. Manwaring also offers individual plans from Lifewise Health Plan, Regence BlueShield, KPS Health Plans, Premera Blue Cross and Assurant Health. Completion of the standard health questionnaire is required – with some exceptions – for these plans, and the rates are higher for smokers. One example is a 48-year-old person, who could pay $339 a month for a comprehensive plan or $109 for a catastrophic plan. A smoker would pay $391 or $125, respectively. In this example, the comprehensive plan has a $1,000 deductible compared to $10,000 for the catastrophic plan. People are reluctantly choosing higher deductibles these days, Manwaring said, but you can try to keep it in perspective by considering how inflation has affected the cost of everything. “We’re working with everybody individually,” she said of finding the right amount of insurance for what each person can afford. Call 385-4400 or visit kristinmanwaring.com.
LENDING A HAND
Bonnie White (left), co-director of OlyCAP Community Support Services, and JoAnn Porter, a VISTA health care access coordinator, can explain the numerous ways in which OlyCAP can assist people who can’t afford medical insurance. Photo by Barney Burke
8 HEALTH & WELLNESS • WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2009
If you can’t afford any insurance at all, OlyCAP might be able to help you. The local nonprofit operates a dental clinic five
Kristin Manwaring offers health insurance, including a special group plan for members of the Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce, through her agency, Kristin Manwaring Insurance. Photos by Barney Burke
days a week in Port Angeles. Once a month, a threeday mobile dental clinic is offered here, altering between Brinnon and Port Townsend. “Everyone is seen,” said JoAnn Porter, a VISTA health care access coordinator at OlyCAP. OlyCAP’s prescription vouchers are accepted at all local pharmacies, and it can help you find free and discounted drugs through the Prescription Bus program. OlyCAP can also assist with some costs of medical equipment and supplies,
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
and transportation to appointments. But it can’t pay for past medical bills. “We can individually help people with medical needs by helping with something else,” said Bonnie White, co-director of Community Support Services at OlyCAP. Since Dec. 1, the agency has distributed more than $1 million in subsidies for home energy bills, and that makes household budgets go a little further, she said. Single people, White said, don’t typically qualify for Medicaid unless they’re also on the state’s welfare program. But with Temporary Aid for Needy Families, “children are covered,” she said. Another resource is Mark Cherniack, the social worker at Jefferson Healthcare Hospital, White and Porter said. They also noted that people who earned too much to qualify for assistance last year might now be eligible if they lose their job. “We take extenuating circumstances into account,” said White. The OlyCAP website is olycap.org; call 385-2571.
NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY
We’re working with everybody individually. Kristin Manwaring president, Kristin Manwaring Insurance
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
The Jefferson County Medical Advocacy and Services Headquarters, or JC MASH, clinic was founded in 1994 and operates at the American Legion Hall at Water and Monroe streets in downtown Port Townsend. The free clinic operates from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. No appointment is necessary, and patients are seen on a first-come, firstserved basis. It’s staffed by Dr. Kim Rotchford, Dr. Catherine A. Parkman, and Joan Cole, RN.
Joan Cole, RN (left), Dr. Catherine A. Parkman and Dr. Kim Rotchford (not shown) operate the free JC MASH clinic on Tuesday nights at the American Legion Hall in Port Townsend.
“These people need access to medical care and they don’t have it,” said Dr. Parkman of why she and Dr. Rotchford volunteer their time. Patients fill out a brief medical history form, and the staff checks patients’ vital signs and related information. If necessary, patients are referred to the emergency room at Jefferson Healthcare Hospital or elsewhere in the local health
care system. The clinic typically offers “brief, limited care.” There’s a waiting area and a nicely equipped, private examining room. Afterward, Cole, the patient advocate, follows up to see if you’re getting the care you need. The clinic website is jcmash.com; call 385-4268.
These people need access to medical care and they don’t have it. Dr. Catherine A. Parkman
WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2009 • HEALTH & WELLNESS 9
South County clinic delivers personal care By Viviann Kuehl, Contributor The South County Medical Clinic has become an important part of the community and is well known for its standard of care. “It’s very much a success,” said Jefferson Healthcare Chief Operating Officer Paula Dowdle. “It fills a need for that portion of our county and provides a great service for those people. It’s been there 14 years and is very well established. Merrily [Mount] does a great job.” The clinic, next to the post office at 294843 Highway 101 in Quilcene, has a homey, welcoming feel. The small space is made larger with good lighting from the softly curtained windows, a lamp, and a ceiling light panel of blue sky with puffy white clouds. Art prints are on the wall next to a bookcase holding health-related books and a wooden magazine rack filled with current issues and health information handouts. Flowers and plants are on the tables next to the comfortably padded wooden chairs. A sign advises, “Walk the intuitive path with practical feet.” That is exactly what family nurse practitioner Merrily Mount has done to make the clinic a vital part of the community. “Our thing is dealing with the person as a whole. We’re growing all the time. We have a successful practice with lots of ancillary programs, and a medical social worker here with cognitive therapist background,” said Mount. “Many times I feel the psychosocial presentation is as important as the physical presentation in dealing with patients.” A Quilcene family now dealing with cancer in the family gave the clinic high marks. “They’re very proactive and get right on the problem,” said the wife of the patient, who wishes to remain anony-
Merrily Mount, Candace Frye-Taylor and Mark Cherniack are Quilcene’s South County Medical Clinic medical team. Photo by Viviann Kuehl
mous. The family had a good experience as they faced this life-threatening disease. With cancer treatment, sooner is better, noted the family, and treatment was started immediately. “She’s very caring for the citizens and her patients. She’s very compassionate. She feels for you and knows where you’re coming from. She can refer you to a good doctor, and one that’s good in compassion as well as urgency. You need something positive, and she wants you to keep that positive attitude and does everything she can to keep that. “That’s very important. When you have people like Merrily who can get the important things across without getting you down, it’s a good experience.” Mount said she enjoys seeing her patient looking better.
10 health & wellness • wednesday, july 15, 2009
“He came by, and he was already getting his chemo and looked really good,” she said. “That sparkle in the eye is the best. To have a person come in and say, ‘I’m on the road,’ is what’s important.” Medical social worker Mark Cherniack is in the office two days a week to
It’s very much a success. It fills a need for that portion of our county and provides a great service for those people. Paula Dowdle chief operating officer Jefferson Healthcare
help with problems and obstacles that get in the way of good health. “Particularly with the economic situation in the country, there is a need for resources that the social worker supplies,” said Cherniack, who has 20 years of experience in social work. “I can help with Social Security disability, Medicaid, support for depression and anxiety, and make referrals to other providers.” For example, it might be that a patient needs to sign up for Medicaid and needs guidance and encouragement, or even that someone needs housing, explained Mount. Two insulin-dependent patients got bumped off their insurance and suddenly had no insulin or equipment, but within a few days they had what they needed. “I really like coming here,” said Cherniack. “Merrily creates an environment that is
supportive and nurturing for everyone, and the community is very fun to get to know.” Diabetes educator Amber Benner is in the office once a month to consult and makes sure every aspect of diabetes care is covered. Irene Marble, a nutritionist at the hospital, comes out every six months to counsel diabetics on food choices and how to read labels. Immunizations are offered on Wednesday afternoons. “Any child that needs immunizations can get them,” said Mount. The clinic provides laboratory blood-draw services for its patients and as a courtesy for all other providers. Mount is pleased with the clinic’s degree of integration with other programs, including the health department’s teen program on Wednesdays, Jefferson Healthcare Hospital services, Jefferson Mental Health Services and OlyCAP. “They can pay for one month’s supply of medication, and many times that gives us the Band-Aid we need until we can find other sources,” said Mount of OlyCAP. Mount works hard to match patients’ needs with whatever resources are available. “The main thing is access,” explained Mount. “No one will ever be denied access to care. We’re here for the community and what they need.” Hours have been flexed to offer appointments on two evenings a week for people who need that schedule, said Mount. Office coordinator Candace Frye-Taylor makes appointments at 765-3111. The clinic is open Monday through Thursday starting at 9 a.m. On Mondays and Thursdays it’s open until 6 p.m.; on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 7 p.m. Someone is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: either Mount or another doctor on call for the clinic.
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
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The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
wednesday, july 15, 2009 • health & wellness 11
Swine flu may return in fall By Allison Arthur of The Leader The media spotlight has moved on from the swine flu outbreak, but that doesn’t mean we’ve heard the last of it. Swine flu has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and some say it could make a comeback this fall. There’s even a chance it might mutate and become more virulent. So what should we do in Jefferson County to avoid it? Short of locking yourself in a closet for the winter and avoiding all human contact, there are simple precautions to take to avoid any variation of the flu, says Dr. Tom Locke, public health director for Jefferson and Clallam counties. “We have to be serious about influenza prevention. It is preventable, but people get blasé,” said Locke. “Doing something so basic that people think it would hardly work is actually effective,” he said of paying attention to washing your hands, practicing what officials call “respiratory etiquette” – covering your mouth when you cough – and simply staying home when ill. “There’s a lot of room for improvement in terms of hand washing and people taking the social responsibility of staying home if you are sick. We don’t do nearly enough of that. You recover faster as an individual and you won’t expose your coworkers or fellow students.” In early June, Locke predicted that swine flu – known officially as H1N1 – would likely be deemed a pandemic, essentially an epidemic that is widespread.
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
Dr. Tom Locke, public health officer for Jefferson and Clallam counties, says he practices what he preaches and not only uses tissues but recently was shown on a local television program getting a flu shot. He also uses a mask when engaged in his hobby, woodworking. Photo by Allison Arthur
Less than a week later, it was. The county’s top health official noted that Jefferson, Clallam and Kitsap counties were braced for activating emergency protocols for swine flu in early May, but they backed off that response because the swine flu seen now seems comparable to the seasonable flu in terms of its impact on people. But if you want to know what to expect come fall, Locke says to pay attention this summer to what’s happening in the Southern Hemisphere: New Zealand, Australia and Argentina.
They’ll get the flu first. “That’s going to be a
preview of what will happen here and what the risks
‘respiratory etiquette’ Health officials urge people to follow “respiratory etiquette.” • If coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth with a tissue and toss the tissue in the garbage. • Hand washing is encouraged. Washing in warm water is best, but washing in cold water is better than not washing at all. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers work well. • If you are sick, you should stay home, call your physician, and wear a mask when going out in public. Symptoms of the flu include cough, fever, sore throat, malaise and headache. Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea) have occurred in up to 38 percent of outpatients in the United States, according to the World Health Organization. Fact sheets about the swine flu, in several languages, are available at the health department at 615 Sheridan St. in Port Townsend.
are for different groups,” Locke said. Health officials still are in the process of watching how swine flu progresses, and monitoring whom it impacts most seriously. “We need to continue to do this surveillance. We simply don’t know enough about this class of virus yet to know what its probability of becoming more serious is. That effort is under way,” Locke said. Locke also predicted that there would be a vaccine developed for the swine flu. And there likely will be two doses of vaccine given four weeks apart, he said. The federal government spends millions of dollars to develop such vaccines, but there probably won’t be enough for everyone. There were reports in mid June that schoolchildren could end up getting vaccinated first, when school opens in the fall. Much depends on what officials learn this summer. What also is known is that the swine flu is hard on pregnant women. Several women have developed complications, including spontaneous abortions, according to a WHO report on the website who.int. “For simplicity’s sake, anyone who is pregnant or likely to be pregnant is a high-priority candidate, and priorities [for who would get the vaccine] would likely be set at a national level,” Locke said. The further along a woman is in her pregnancy, the more important it would be for her to get the anti-viral treatment, he noted. The H1N1 virus is different from regular influenza, and so vulnerable See VIRUS, Page 15▼
wednesday, july 15, 2009 • health & wellness 1
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wednesday, july 15, 2009 • health & wellness 13
Losing weight helps keep you healthy By Melanie Lockhart of The Leader Losing weight, as a concept, is simple: energy in, energy out. Actually accomplishing it, however, is easier said than done. Teresa Hoffmann, coowner of Port Townsend Athletic Club, calls it “lifestyle management” and says that it’s easiest to take things one step at a time. She recommends exercise first, and following that up with healthy food habits. Healthy diets naturally become more desirable when a solid workout is established. “The most important thing is to start incorporating exercise every day – make it a habit,” Hoffmann said. “That doesn’t mean you have to come into the gym for an hour every day.” It can start with little things: Ride a bike instead of driving to work, join a friend for a morning or evening stroll, play Wii Fit in the living room. Or you could hike up Mount Zion, climb Chimacum Rock, or sign up for a gym class or program, such as Hoffmann’s “Boot Camp.”
Teresa Hoffmann, co-owner of Port Townsend Athletic Club, turns downtown PT into an outdoor gym as she leads a six-week “Boot Camp” program.
The most important thing is to start incorporating exercise every day – make it a habit. Teresa Hoffmann co-owner, Port Townsend Athletic Club
Haller Fountain makes a great prop for various conditioning exercises. Photos by Melanie Lockhart
For six weeks this spring, Hoffmann offered a morning Boot Camp – an accelerated, results-driven conditioning program that combined creative fitness with old-fashioned military-style drills. The group met from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. five times weekly and turned Port Townsend’s outdoors into a gym. Each day was an unknown for the participants, who performed various workouts at Chetzemoka Park, Pope Marine Park and Haller Fountain. The variety was Hoffmann’s way of spicing up the exercise. “Keep it interesting, keep it fun,” Hoffmann said. “It
14 health & wellness • wednesday, july 15, 2009
doesn’t have to be miserable.” Getting out there once is usually easy. The challenge is sticking to it.
“It’s hard at first, but then you start to feel good,” she said of a solid, consistent workout.
Weight loss 101 Here are some basic guidelines and advice for losing weight: • Work out more calories than you bring in – but follow a healthy diet. • Drink plenty of water. • Make exercise a consistent habit, not just temporary – and stick to it! • Consider keeping a food journal that documents every single item you consume, especially in the beginning. It keeps you in check and lets you look back to see where you might be able to improve. • Vary your workouts. Or do something you really love, like rock climbing or hiking. If you enjoy yourself, you’re more likely to keep at it. • Don’t get discouraged when results aren’t immediately apparent visually. Your current body condition didn’t happen overnight, and neither will change.
Many people will go to the extreme with an “all or nothing” attitude. They’ll have a temporary drive. Soon, they’re burnt out and fall into old habits, Hoffmann said. “It’s a lot of work – that’s the self-discipline part: to do what you know is right even if it doesn’t always feel good. Eventually, it’s a good habit.” Also, get help and guidance if you don’t know what you’re doing. Hoffmann says she sees numerous people come into the gym and work out with poor technique. At times, others think they can learn by watching, but sometimes what they watch is wrong in the first place. “You’re always going to get better results when you have a trainer there with you and a group to support and motivate you,” Hoffmann said. When the economy took an unfortunate turn, Hoffmann, like others, worried about the impact on Jefferson County. But from her observations, the desire for healthy living is one thing that remains constant in people. “I think the economy helps people think about what is really important to them because we realize how fragile our life can be,” Hoffmann said. “Even in uncertain times, taking care See EXERCISE, Page 15▼
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
virus: All-hands-on-deck approach ▼Continued from page 12
groups – young people who haven’t had the flu, people with metabolic diseases such as diabetes, pregnant women and people with immune deficiencies – would need to be vaccinated against both swine flu and the runof-the-mill flu that goes around each year, Locke said. In fact, the seasonal flu vaccine contains three different viruses, Locke noted. For those who aren’t vaccinated and become ill, the county has a stockpile of 1,000 doses of flu treatment, but they would be used only for people seriously ill, Locke said. As of mid June, only one young woman from Port Townsend and two people from Clallam had been con-
firmed as having contracted swine flu. None were identified, because of health privacy laws. All recovered without being hospitalized. Locke says an issue of concern for him is that local health departments like his are “under resourced.” Policy makers have decreed that money should be put into health care, but that doesn’t necessarily trickle down to health departments and illness prevention, he says. Even bigger health organizations have been hampered because of lack of funding, he said. When the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was hit with the swine flu earlier this year, “they had only a few hundred people and they get spread very thin.” That could explain why news reports came out more
quickly with updates on the swine flu than did the CDC’s own website, which often was behind in tallying reported cases of swine flu by state. Nevertheless, Locke said information on swine flu was changing daily, and so the web became an important resource of information, including cdc. gov, which offers information about everything from swine flu to teen drivers to surviving cancer to information about fruits and vegetables. The Centers for Disease Control website and the county health department website – at jeffersoncountypublichealth.org – will keep people informed, Locke said. Past pandemics While the seasonal flu does claim some lives each year, past pandemics have changed
exercise: Use it or lose it ▼Continued from page 14
of yourself is something people canalways control.” And once the exercise and diet habits are established, it’s easier to see that control firsthand. “The more you act, the more you will continue to act,” Hoffmann said. “It’s like the law of physics: A body in motion tends to stay in motion. Use it or lose it. You’re not preserving yourself by doing less.” A group of Jefferson County residents performs stair exercises behind Haller Fountain. Photo by Melanie Lockhart
The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader
Up close and personal, this is what H1N1, better known as swine flu, looks like. Photo courtesy of Dr. Tom Locke
world history, Locke said. “If you are facing a replay of the 1918 epidemic, you’d take an all-hands-on-deck approach. In the United States, 500,000 people died and the population back then was 100 million. Worldwide, they estimated 50 million to 70 million died of influenza. It virtually stopped World War I,” he said. “A replay of that in 2009 would kill 1.5 million Americans. It’s staggering. That would change history.” The initial medical data on swine flu “was looking really bad,” Locke said of why health officials first started sounding an alarm when they were seeing death rates of 2 percent in Mexico. “Almost everything we’ve learned so far is that this
virus, in its current stage, is relatively mild. There have been deaths, but they are very rare and less than we see with seasonal influenza.” Still, hospitalizations with the swine flu are higher. Typically, 1 percent of people are hospitalized because of seasonal flu. Nationally, with swine flu “it’s running about 4 percent of confirmed cases and in Washington as of June it was 6 percent.” So what to do about it when it rebounds this fall? Locke says the simple, oldfashioned and easy precautions actually work. So wash your hands. Cover your mouth when you cough. And please, says Locke, to prevent the spread of the flu, stay home if you’re sick and keep the kids home, too.
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ptleader.com wednesday, july 15, 2009 • health & wellness 15
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Published on Sep 4, 2009