Senior Times -- February 2019

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February 2019

Volume 7 • Issue 1

Kennewick public hospital board shifts its focus BY ROBIN WOJTANIK for Senior Times

RDO launches new store in Kennewick

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Prosser Memorial Health opens new clinics Page 9

2019 Ag Hall of Fame inductees

Page 10

save the date

Regional Home and Garden Show Feb. 22-24 TRAC 6600 Burden Blvd., Pasco

Pharmacy’s prescription for success? Customer service

Tri-City’s only free medical clinic sees rise in patient volumes, visits


Senior Times 8919 W. Grandridge Blvd., Ste. A1 Kennewick, WA 99336

No longer tasked with operating a large hospital, leaders of the Kennewick Public Hospital District are focusing their sights on how best to serve the community going forward. “We will try to make the most impact RX Pharmacy technician Justin Hunter shows how many prescriptions we can with the money we have,” said often go into a bubble pack, which serve as pre-made pill boxes for Marvin Kinney, commissioner and board patients. The service, along with free delivery, has helped the indepenpresident for the Kennewick Public dent Richland pharmacy grow since opening in 2014. Hospital District. “And that’s going to mean partnering and being innovative.” The district collects about $1.3 million a year through property taxes, with about 80 percent of this going to the new owners of Trios Health. Tennessee-based RCCH BY KEVIN ANTHONY HealthCare Partners bought Trios and I wish that I could just clock out for the for Senior Times Lourdes Health in Pasco last year, but it day and know I’m getting a full paymerged with another health care system check and not have to worry about that,” Randy Johnson is big on challenges. called LifePoint Health months later in Johnson said. “But I think at the same It’s why the owner of RX Pharmacy November and is now known by this time that’s not really in my nature. I’ve on the Kadlec campus in Richland name. always been driven toward leadership jumped right in as a pharmacist and store After the payment to LifePoint what and a challenge, and the business stuff manager straight out of college. remains for the district totals about interests me. It’s why he went from working behind $260,000 a year. “Granted, I lose a lot of sleep over it the counter for one of the biggest chains “The purpose of the district is to provide and it’s not the easiest, but I don’t think in the nation to opening up his own health care services for the citizens of the I’d want it any other way.” shop. district, which is a large part of Benton Competing in an industry dominated And it’s a big part of why his indepenCounty. Its mission has been that for 50 by big chains like Walgreens, Rite Aid, dent pharmacy has grown into a thriving some odd years now, and that hasn’t Walmart and CVS is not for the timid. business in four-and-a-half years. changed,” said Leland Kerr, superintenuRX PHARMACY, Page 2 “Certainly you have those days where dent of the Kennewick Public Hospital District. “We’re done running a hospital but we still have a district,” Kinney said. The sale of the hospital system closed in August 2018 and since then, the board has been focusing on tying up loose ends. The process didn’t end neatly on the day BY ELSIE PUIG experiencing becomes so severe, someof the sale, as the district had to unwind for Senior Times times it gets addressed too late.” issues with pensions, workers’ compensaThe most recent estimates from the tion claims and indemnifications. Grace Clinic — the only free medical Washington Insurance Commissioner uHOSPITAL, Page 14 clinic in the Tri-Cities — is seeing a indicate that there are 32,000 people in greater volume of patients, pointing to a the Tri-City community without medical greater need for volunteers and services. insurance. In 2018, patient volume increased by “If you look across the business com35 percent and there was a 25 percent munity, there is only a small percentage increase in new patients over the previof retail, service and agriculture industry ous year. Last year, the Kennewick clinic that provide health benefits,” Brault said. treated 1,200 to 1,300 patients, which To qualify for treatment at Grace accounted for about 7,000 patient visits. Clinic, patients must prove they have “If you don’t have insurance and you income at or below 200 percent of feddon’t have a means to pay out of pocket, eral poverty level. That means a family there aren’t other options,” said Mark of four must earn $4,183 in gross monthBrault, volunteer CEO for Grace Clinic. ly income, or $50,200 in gross yearly “There is the emergency room, and income, to qualify. there’s us. Until the problem they’re uGRACE CLINIC, Page 7



Senior Times • February 2019

509-737-8778 509-737-8448 fax 8919 W. Grandridge Blvd., Ste. A1 Kennewick, WA 99336

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Advertising Account Manager 509-737-8778 ext. 1 Senior Times, a publication of TriComp Inc., is published monthly. Subscriptions are $21.67 per year, prepayment required, no refunds. Contents of this publication are the sole property of TriComp Inc. and can not be reproduced in any form without expressed written consent. Opinions expressed by contributors and advertisers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Senior Times staff, other contributors or other advertisers, nor do they imply endorsement by Senior Times staff, other contributors or advertisers. Every effort will be made to assure information published is correct; however, we are not liable for any errors or omissions made despite these efforts.

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RX PHARMACY, From page 1 Johnson’s secret? Service. RX Pharmacy is staffed up: three pharmacists in addition to Johnson, four technicians and three more assistants, plus three delivery drivers and another technician who also helps with deliveries. The staff of 15 makes for a pretty crowded work space in the 1,300-square-foot pharmacy in the Corrado Building, but it also is why most prescriptions are filled in 10 minutes or less. Delivery drivers are another key service. Johnson estimated RX Pharmacy makes 70 to 80 deliveries a day. The free service isn’t reserved just for the infirmed who can’t leave their homes. It’s for people who are stuck at work, or anyone who can’t carve out the time to get to the pharmacy. Delivery is a growing trend with pharmacies, much like with restaurant or grocery services. However, most stores use courier services. RX Pharmacy has its own drivers and three delivery cars. Other services — such as delivering outpatient prescriptions to Kadlec patients before they leave the hospital, or bubble packaging drugs for patients with multiple prescriptions (think pre-made pill boxes) — have helped the business grow from four employees when

Johnson took over the location in July 2014. “We try to do the exact opposite of the big guys,” he said. “Up to this point, we’ve done very well.” Well enough that Johnson opened a secRandy Johnson ond, non-retail store — RX Pharmacy LTC — last June to exclusively service longterm care facilities. Managed by Dawn Johnson, Randy’s wife, the business works with 29 agencies from Walla Walla to Yakima, up to Moses Lake, ranging in size from adult homes with three residents to assisted living facilities of 150. The second location brings the total number of employees to 23, including the Johnsons. This means Randy has to spend more time in management and human resources than behind the counter. It’s a tough balancing act. “I never want to get away from being a pharmacist,” he said, “and I think also as an owner, it’s important for me to be up there filling prescriptions and in the workflow and seeing some issues that I’m not going to see if I’m sitting back here in the office.”

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Johnson credits his staff for the pharmacy’s success, calling them the “cream of the crop” and pointing to their familiarity with customers as a key to growing RX Pharmacy to the point where it fills about 8,000 prescriptions a month, about twice what the previous pharmacy was doing at the location. Johnson would know; he was the manager of that store — a Walgreens — before buying the operation in 2014. It was the conclusion of managing stores for other owners that started at the 14th Avenue Pharmacy in Pasco immediately after he graduated from the Washington State University School of Pharmacy in 2004. The 14th Avenue store was purchased by Walgreens in 2009, and Johnson continued working there for two more years before moving to the store as his current location, then owned by Walgreens. “During that five-year period working and managing with Walgreens, I just saw a lot of things that Walgreens was doing from being such a large entity and corporately massive, that a lot of things were falling through the cracks,” he said. When Johnson took over, he implemented a few workplace policies to give the pharmacy a personal touch. “As a pharmacist (at a chain), you wear the tie, you wear the white coat. Everyone answers the phone the same way. Everyone is supposed to follow the script and that type of thing,” he said. “I feel like our patients and our customers coming through that door feel more comfortable when me as the owner — I’m wearing jeans and a polo shirt and the staff are in scrubs or a ‘14th Avenue’ shirt and have more of that homey feel. “And what I’ve found is people are more likely to open up to you, ask you the difficult questions. I think sometimes in that white-coat setting, people clam up a little bit, don’t feel as comfortable. We try to keep it certainly professional, but have a little more laid-back feel to how we operate here. “And I think people love it.” RX Pharmacy is one of a handful of independent pharmacies in the Tri-Cities. Others include Malley’s Compounding Pharmacy in Richland, Fiesta Pharmacy in Pasco, and Reliance Pharmacy and the Medicine Shoppe in Kennewick. Independent pharmacies can remain competitive by taking part in national buying groups. RX Pharmacy is in a group with 2,000plus other pharmacies. uRX PHARMACY, Page 3

Senior Times • February 2019

RDO Equipment Co. to launch new store format in Kennewick


Geared to hobby farmers, DIYers, store to sell John Deere mowers, Gators, attachments BY JEFF MORROW for Senior Times

Homeowners, hobby farmers and do-it-yourselfers will be able to shop for lawn mowers, compact tractors and utility vehicles at a new store in Kennewick this spring. The new RDO Equipment Co. concept store will open by April 1 on the south side of Kennewick Ranch Home off Columbia Center Boulevard. RDO’s new retail store format will be the second of its kind in the chain. The first one opened in Bismarck, North Dakota, last fall. The Kennewick store will feature a large demo area where customers can test machines and learn how to properly pair attachments, with lawn and land equipment experts ready to assist. “We’re very excited about this,” said Jarrod Bailey, manager for the RDO Equipment Co., store in Pasco. “It’s something that the company has planned to do before I even started here (10 years ago). Our Pasco store is located out here in east Pasco. And it’s tough sometimes for people to get to. But it’s going be huge, having the new one being in the center of the Tri-Cities. Being centralized will help a lot of customers, being close to the Columbia Center area.” Bailey said RDO does a lot of field service for lawn mowers, with one field service truck already serving the Pasco store. With the new Kennewick store opening, it’ll add a second truck. “The Kennewick store will have a front showroom and a shop in the back,” said Bailey, who is excited RDO and Ranch & Home could partner at this location. “We have a similar customer base RX PHARMACY, From page 2 Still, independent pharmacies are never going to beat the chains on the bottom line, which brings it all back to service. “Certainly I’m sacrificing some from the bottom line to be able to do those services and employ those people,” Johnson said. “But to me it’s worth it. And that’s been a big part of why the business has grown. Taking care of people at the end of the day is why most of us got into the pharmacy world and the health care world.” RX Pharmacy: 800 Swift Blvd., Suite 140, Richland; 509-713-7444;

as those at Ranch & Home,” Bailey said. Lindsay Paulson, RDO public relations specialist, said the Kennewick store will be 5,800 square feet. “We’re still waiting on an estimate of cost,” Paulson said. With a tentative opening of April 1, it should take six to eight weeks of construction to complete the project. The new store will produce 10 to 15 new jobs, Paulson said. Bailey said the new store managers will come from the Pasco store. “RDO is big at promoting from within,” Bailey said. The Pasco store at 1707 E. James St. is staying put, Bailey said. It’ll continue to support large agriculture and construction equipment and other select consumer products. “This (Kennewick store) is just in addition to our Pasco store,” he said. The Pasco store, which has been open since at least the early 1990s, has 61 employees. Overall, there are 75 people working in the region for the company. “Pasco is a hub for the Northwest,” said Bailey, who said there are RDO stores in Wasco, Hermiston, Pendleton, Sunnyside and Othello. “The majority of our business out of Pasco is for large agricultural customers, like traditional farmers,” Bailey said. “Being a John Deere dealer, we have the benefits of very good quality equipment.” And while RDO Equipment sells John Deere machines, “parts and service is a big thing,” Bailey said. “Keeping the up time for customers going is one of the critical things we do. We want their down time to be as little as possible. Keeping them up and running is important to us.” Bailey estimates that one-eighth of RDO’s business in the Tri-Cities

RDO Equipment Co.’s new lawn and land store, which opened recently in Bismarck, North Dakota, will be similar in concept to the one scheduled to open in Kennewick this spring next door to Ranch & Home. (Courtesy RDO Equipment Co.)

deals with lawn and garden. “And a quarter of that is commercial lawn mowing services,” he said. Much of that should move to Kennewick, as should the corporate utility trailers. “Those are used by people who have five to 10 acres, and by people who have places as small as two acres will use them,” Bailey said. “It could be people building fences, or using them as little loaders.” RDO Equipment Co. just cele-

brated its 50th year in business. It was started by a 26-year-old farmer named Ron Offutt in Moorhead, Minnesota, in 1968. Offutt was farming alongside his father at the time, using rented John Deere equipment from a local dealership in nearby Casselton, North Dakota. Later that year, Offutt bought the store and then grew it, with 75 stores now in nine states, and partnerships on three other continents.

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Senior Times • February 2019

CALENDAR OF EVENTS Bring your grandchildren and families to events with a star.





• The Mane Event: 6 – 9 p.m., Princess Theatre Green Room, 1226 Meade Ave., Prosser. Tickets: • Family Bingo: 3 – 5 p.m., Richland Community Center, 500 Amon Park Drive, Richland. Contact: 509-942-7529. Free event. • The Best is Yet to Come fundraising gala, benefiting MidColumbia Arts: 7 p.m., Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. Tickets:


• Alzheimer’s Education Series “Understanding Alzheimer’s & Dementia”: 1:30 p.m., Kadlec Neurological Resource Center, 1268 Lee Blvd., Richland. Register: 509-943-8455. Free event.


• Valentine Bingo: 1 – 3 p.m., Kennewick Community Center, 500 S. Auburn St., Kennewick. RSVP: 509-585-4303.

• A Night with Cougar Football: 6 p.m., Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. Tickets: 509-335-0220. • St. Joseph’s annual Art and Wine Gala: 6 – 11 p.m., Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. Tickets: stjoseph-kennewick.


• Community Lecture Series “Modern Day Alchemy: Building the Future Atom by Atom”: 7 p.m., Richland Public Library, 955 Northgate Drive, Richland. Free event.


• Manhattan Project Park Ranger Talks “Manhattan Project Across the U.S.”: 6 – 7 p.m., Richland Community Center, 500 Amon Park Drive, Richland. Contact: 509-942-7529. Free event.


• Dine out for United Way: various restaurants. Visit: uwbfco. org/dine-out-2019 • Understanding Grief class: noon – 2 p.m. or 6 – 8 p.m., Chaplaincy Grief Care. RSVP: 509572-0593. Free event. • Community Lecture Series “Four-Color Reality: How Comic Books and the Real World Shape Each Other”: 7 p.m., Mid-Columbia Libraries, 1620 S. Union St., Kennewick. Free event.


• Regional Home and Garden Show: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., TRAC, 6600 Burden Blvd., Pasco. Visit:


• Regional Home and Garden Show: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., TRAC, 6600 Burden Blvd., Pasco. Visit: • Heart for the Arts, benefiting the Academy of Children’s Theatre: 5:30 – 9 p.m., The Academy for Children’s Theatre, 213 Wellsian Way, Richland. Tickets: • Three Rivers Craft Brew & Bacon Festival: 6 – 10 p.m., Three Rivers Convention Center, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. Tickets: threeriversconventioncenter. com. • Three Rivers Contra Dance: 7 p.m., Trinity Church Gymnasium, 1007 Wright Ave., Richland. Visit:


• Regional Home and Garden Show: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., TRAC, 6600 Burden Blvd., Pasco. Visit:


• Memory Care Café: 10 a.m. – noon, Richland Public Library, 955 Northgate Drive, Richland. Contact: 509-942-7680. Free event.


• Stride’s Annual Masquerade Gala: 6 – 9 p.m., Benton County Fairgrounds, 1500 S. Oak St., Kennewick. Tickets:

Senior Times • February 2019 uBRIEFS AARP offers free tax assistance in Tri-Cities

The AARP Foundation is providing free in-person tax assistance and preparation through April 15 with its Tax Aide program. AARP Foundation Tax Aide volunteers are trained and IRS-certified each year to ensure they know about and understand the latest changes to the tax code. Assistance is being offered in the following locations: • Richland Public Library, 955 Northgate Drive, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturdays, through April 15. • Richland Community Center, 500 Amon Park Drive, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through April 11. No clients accepted after 11 a.m. • Mid-Columbia Libraries, Kennewick branch, 1620 Union St. from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Mondays, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Thursdays through April 15. • Pasco Police Community Center, 215 W. Sylvester St., from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays through April 15. • Mid-Columbia Libraries Pasco branch, 1320 W. Hopkins St., from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through April 10.

• Mid-Columbia Libraries Keewaydin Park branch, 405 S. Dayton St., from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays and from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays through April 13. • Burbank Library, 875 Lake Road, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays on Feb. 9 and 23, March 9 and 23 and April 6. For more information, including which documents to bring to the tax site, call 888-227-7669 or visit

Richland’s curbside recycling rates increase

Starting in February, the rates for Richland’s co-mingling curbside recycling program will be increasing. Residents with the standard 96-gallon blue container will see a 90-cent increase, from $5.70 to $6.60 a month, and businesses or those with a 300-gallon triple size gray container will see an increase of $2.20, from $13.90 to $16.10 a month. Commercial customers can view the recycling rate structure by visiting ci.richland. or by calling 509942-7700. Over the years, the costs of processing recycled materials climbed and the resale markets and international exports fell. A cost and market evaluation study was done in 2018, and it

found recycling processing costs have increased 185 percent since 2015. The city council voted in favor of an increase in January. Recycling drop boxes in Richland neighborhoods remain available free of charge. For locations, visit

Lourdes Health opens new rheumatology clinic

Lourdes Health has opened a Rheumatology Clinic inside Lourdes Medical Center at 520 N. Fourth Ave. in Pasco. Dr. Sudeep Thapa, who most recently completed a fellowship at Wayne State University and is board certified in rheumatology, joined the clinic. He completed his residency at Henry Ford Hospital and medical school at Wayne State University. He is fluent in English, Hindi and Nepali. “This is a specialty that patients in our community have historically had to wait months for an appointment. With Dr. Thapa’s new clinic, people are now able to get the help they need much sooner,” said Melda Velasquez, director of Medical and Surgical Specialties, in a release. The clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 509-416-8890 or visit

Kennewick Sears store to close in March

The Kennewick Sears store steered clear of three national closure lists this year but its luck has run out. The most recent list of 80 store closures includes the Columbia Center mall’s Sears. The closure also affects Sears Auto Center, which will close in January, according to the company. All affected employees were notified Dec. 27. The stores will close in late March with liquidation sales beginning in about two weeks. The company filed for bankruptcy in Oct. 15. The Kennewick store is the only Washington store included on the most recent list, though the closure list released in January included 39 stores, including Shoreline, Federal Way and Chehalis. An October closure list included 142 stores, including Puyallup. A November closure list including 40 stores didn’t name any Washington stores. The 132-year-old Sears opened in Minneapolis as the R.W. Sears Watch Co. when there were only 38 states and Grover Cleveland was president. In 1893, the corporate name of the firm became Sears, Roebuck and Co., according to Sears archives.

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Senior Times • February 2019

West Richland voters asked to consider paying for $12.5M police station BY SENIOR TIMES

West Richland voters will be asked in April to consider a $12.5 million bond to build a larger police station. The bond would add 42 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to property taxes. That means owners of a $200,000 home would pay $84 a year. The proposed 22,500-square-foot police building would have a secure armory and evidence room and a safer lobby for visitors and staff. There also would be more space for police

and parole officers, who currently work four to a desk. Parole officers must now meet with offenders in hallways or parking lots due to lack of space at the current facility. There also would be additional space for officer training, community meetings and an improved kennel for animal control, which community members have requested. “Police departments are being closely scrutinized,” said police Chief Ben Majetich in a news release. “A larger, secure facility will improve policing services and reduce liability for taxpayers.”

The location for the station isn’t set in stone, but two properties are under consideration: a 2.5-acre Bureau of Land Management-owned lot just east of Bombing Range Road off Morab Street and a privately-owned, 2.5-acre lot off Mount Adams View Drive. Both properties are near the Benton Fire District 4 station on Bombing Range Road. A four- to five-acre lot is recommended for the project, according to the Police Facility Assessment Committee’s report. Land acquisition is in the preliminary stages and cannot move forward

until after a successful bond vote. Several issues would be resolved with a larger facility, according to the chief. Problems with the current 3,000-square-foot police facility, which was built in 1976, were highlighted during a recent homicide investigation in the city. Officers tried to conduct interviews with the suspect in a secure space and process evidence without breaking the chain of custody. “It was a nightmare. We were having to whisper so the suspect couldn’t hear us. At one point, we even thought that there might not be enough room to dry the evidence for processing,” Majetich said. But, Majetich said, they were lucky there was one suspect in the case. There have been instances when multiple people have been arrested and held in administrative offices or forced to remain in patrol vehicles with an officer because of lack of space. The West Richland City Council voted in December to place the bond issue before voters after more than a year of work. A group of West Richland citizens spent six months assessing the police facility’s needs and found the current station to be “wholly inadequate.” Its recommendations mirrored those of an architectural and engineering firm that developed the plans for a proposed new facility. The city and police department also held multiple town hall meetings and public hearings. “Policing is getting harder and we will rise to the challenge. Having an adequate, secure facility is just as important to public safety as police officers and patrol cars,” Majetich said. West Richland has seen a 30 percent growth in its population since 2010, with about 15,300 currently living in city limits, according to a 2018 state estimate. The bond requires 60 percent voter approval to pass. The special election is April 23. The police department also is offering tours of its current facility on the following dates: • 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16. • 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21. • 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26. Participants must be West Richland residents and register for a tour by calling 509-967-3425. More information about the project, including a brief video highlighting the challenges with the current facility, can be found online at -facility-information.

Senior Times • February 2019 GRACE CLINIC, From page 1 Grace Clinic opened its doors in 2002 for only a few hours every Saturday in the basement of a Methodist church in downtown Pasco. In those 16 years, it has recorded 72,000 patients visits. The free clinic relies solely on the generosity of financial donors and volunteers. Apart from nine paid staff, the clinic is staffed and operated by volunteers. Its annual budget is about $500,000. For medical services, the clinic offers everything from acute care to dental services to counseling. It also offers a food pantry for patients, should they need it. Grace Clinic does offer specialties like cardiology, audiology and gynecology services, depending on volunteer availability and if patients are referred by their primary care provider. “Having a specialist here is so hugely valuable,” said Avonte Jackson, clinic director. The clinic treats a high percentage of patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, sinus infections and the flu. It also performs a lot of emergency dental procedures, such as extractions. The clinic can help patients access prescription medication through Walmart’s $4 prescription program or through a pharmaceutical company’s patient assistance program, or PAP. “We have a PAP coordinator to help with that. There is about $300,000 worth of medication that comes through that program,” Brault said. “It’s not 100 percent satisfactory because there are limits in the PAP program but it meets the lion’s share of the need.” In July 2017, the clinic was able to add another day to its schedule. It is


uBRIEF Ben Franklin Transit launches new general demand service

With an increase in patient volume from last year, Grace Clinic is seeing a greater need to expand its dental services. It hopes to adopt a new volunteer model to offer dental services more days of the week. (Courtesy Andrea Starr, PNNL)

now open five days a week, thanks to a partnership with Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland and Trios Health in Kennewick. The hospitals send third-year medical residents to Grace Clinic for rotations — sometimes four weeks a time. Thanks to the partnership with Trios, which employs an osteopathic doctor, it was able to offer osteopathic manipulative treatments in early 2018. Brault said the partnership helped address some long-standing gaps in the schedule as retired physician volunteers have had to stop volunteering due to health problems. “Today, from a medical standpoint, we’re in a good position,” Brault said. “Today, the challenge is keeping up with the financial cost of operating. There is an increase in costs with substantially more patients.” He also said that adding more dental volunteers is a priority and hopes to

expand the clinic’s dental capabilities. “Dental is the place where we have (the) greatest imbalance between demand and capacity. We’re working to expand that capacity (in 2019),” Brault said. “The issue we face is that the vast majority of our dentist volunteers are not retired. They’re actively practicing, so their availability is principally on Saturdays.” Brault said he hopes to implement a new volunteer model where dentists commit to volunteering three days a year and are assigned those days 90 days in advance. “That way we can offer dental services more days of the week and help more people,” Brault said. Information about how to donate to the clinic is available on its website. Grace Clinic: 800 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick;; 509-735-2300.

Ben Franklin Transit has launched a new general demand service. The new service will provide customers in Kennewick, Pasco, Richland and West Richland areas with pre-scheduled pickups at designated stops in each city. Finley’s general demand service launched Jan. 2. Customers will be picked up within a scheduled window of time from one of the designated stops and taken to one of several connection points to access the bus system. Return trips work the same way, with scheduled pickups from one of the designated connection points and drop-offs at a general demand stop. All trips require advance scheduling. Cost is $1 or $3 each way, plus any applicable bus fare when transferring to a bus route. Tri-City Taxi, which closed abruptly Oct. 30, forced the discontinuation of the transit’s taxi feeder, night and Sunday taxi service. The new general demand service will continue on an interim basis while Ben Franklin Transit conducts a search for a third-party contractor to provide one or more of the services in the longer term. For more information about the new service, visit NewPlaces or call 509-735-5100.

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Senior Times • February 2019

uBRIEFS KSD voters to consider $125 million school bond

Kennewick School District is asking voters to consider a $125 million school bond. The bond would pay for six school construction projects, including replacing Kennewick High, adding classrooms and making athletic improvements at Kamiakin and Southridge high schools, replacing Amistad Elementary, replacing or remodeling Ridge View Elementary, and adding a new elementary school. The bond also would buy land for future schools and be used for capital facility maintenance for existing facilities. If approved, school taxes will increase by 30 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, or $60 a year for a $200,000 home, but the overall tax rate will be less than what you paid in 2017 or 2018 due to recent changes by the state in how schools are funded, according to the district. Voters last approved a school district bond in 2015. More information about the bond is available at Ballots were mailed to voters on Jan. 23 and are due Feb. 12.

ACT to perform ‘Keeping Mr. Lincoln’ this month

The Academy of Children’s Theatre is performing “Keeping Mr. Lincoln,” the story of Abraham Lincoln from a modern perspective. Performances will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15 and Friday, Feb. 22 and matinee performances at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, Sunday, Feb. 17,

Monday, Feb. 18, Saturday, Feb. 23 and Sunday, Feb. 24. Tickets are available by calling 509943-6027, or visiting the ACT office at 213 Wellsian Way, Richland or Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors 65 and older and youths 13-18, and $10 for children ages 12 and younger. In addition, for the first time, ACT will take this production on the road to participate in the 2019 American Association of Community Theatre Youth Fest in June in Gettysburg. ACT is one of four youth acting groups across the country invited to participate.

Grief classes, support groups scheduled

Chaplaincy Grief Care is offering several support groups and classes. “Understanding Grief: An Introduction” is two-hour session for grieving adults that covers common grief reactions, the uniqueness of each person’s grief, as well as healthy coping strategies. The class includes a 30-minute DVD. The class will be offered: • Noon to 2 p.m. or 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21. • Noon to 2 p.m. or 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday March 21. • 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 13. • Noon to 2 p.m. or 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 16. • Noon to 2 p.m. or 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 12. To register and for more information, call 509-572-0593. Other drop-in groups include: • Grieving Parents’ Support Group is for adults experiencing grief due to

the death of a child at any age. It meets from 6 to 7:30 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. For more information and to register, call 509-572-8342. • First Year and Beyond is for those who have experienced the death of a spouse or partner without the commitment of a 10-week group. It is from noon to 1:30 p.m. the first Thursday of the month and from 6 to 7:30 p.m. the third Monday of the month. Refreshments are offered. For more information and to register, call 509572-0593. • Chaplaincy Survivors of Suicide Support Group is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of every month. For more information and to register, call 509-572-0593. • Gone Too Soon: Pregnancy and Infant Loss Group is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. the second Thursday of the month. For more information and to register, call 509-430-4204.

Revamped Playground of Dreams re-opens to kids

Children can now to return to play in a portion of the Playground of Dreams at Columbia Park in Kennewick, thanks to a $75,000 donation by the Tri-City Water Follies Association. The original nearly 20-year-old wood structure was torn down last fall to make way for a modern, safer and inclusive playground. The donation helped complete the first phase, which includes a hydroplane toy, and kicks off a capital campaign to raise $482,000 to complete the second half of the project. When complete, the new playground will include features representing iconic Tri-City landmarks such as the cable bridge, lighthouse and Lampson crane, in addition to a musical instrument, zip track and climbing features. Components will be connected by ramps and accessible to children of all abilities, including those in wheelchairs. Individuals can support the rebuild by buying $10 wristbands, $100 com-

memorative lapel pins, and $250 “dream medals” that can be inscribed with a name or personal message and will be affixed to the pillars at the playground entrance. They are available at the Southridge Sports and Events Complex and Kennewick Community Center, and online soon at

Discounted tickets on sale for pink ice night fundraiser

The 14th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Night with the Tri-City Americans hockey team is Saturday, Feb. 9 at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. The rink will be painted pink and money raised will benefit the TriCities Cancer Center. Pink game jerseys worn by the players will be auctioned off at the game and online, commemorative T-shirts will be available with a donation, silent auction items will be available on the concourse, as well as giveaways to the first 500 people through the doors. Discounted tickets are available in the Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation office for $12. Call 509737-3413. Tickets also may be bought online, with $3 per ticket donated to the cancer center. Visit tccc2-9.

Benton REA to move annual meeting to West Richland

The Benton Rural Electric Association will be holding its annual meeting outside of Prosser for the first time since its inception in 1937. The annual members meeting will be Saturday, July 13 at Enterprise Middle School in West Richland. About 60 percent of members live in or around West Richland — a significant historical change. The meeting will feature an appreciation lunch, children’s activities as well as tethered rides on a hot air balloon. More details will be released in June.

Senior Times • February 2019

Prosser hospital district opens new clinic in Grandview BY SENIOR TIMES AND SUNNYSIDE SUN

Prosser Memorial Health has opened a new clinic in Grandview. The clinic at 1003 Wallace Way, just south of Interstate 82, will be open daily to provide family medicine, pediatrics, women’s health and mental health services as well as urgent care. Walk-ins are also welcome. Prosser Memorial Health has been expanding its services to better serve patients in its coverage area, which stretches from Benton City to Sunnyside, according to hospital district officials. The Grandview Clinic follows last year’s opening of clinics in Prosser and Benton City. Primary care clinics have been needed throughout the region, and the new 9,700-square-foot facility was developed by a third party, said Shannon Hitchcock, spokeswoman for Prosser Memorial Health. Prosser Memorial Health is leasing the facility from Terry Barnes. She declined to comment on how much the public hospital district invested to open the clinic, saying “it is an ongoing investment and hard to put a total dollar value on at this time.” The clinic opened Jan. 7. Dr. Jose Santa-Cruz will provide physicals, general pediatric care, wellness exams and other primary care

Prosser Memorial Health opened a new clinic in Grandview on Jan. 7. The clinic at 1003 Wallace Way will be open daily to provide family medicine, pediatrics, women’s and mental health services, and urgent care. (Courtesy Prosser Memorial Health)

services. He is certified in advanced cardiac life support and advanced life support in obstetrics. Also serving the clinic are Erica Garza, an advanced practice registered nurse from the Prosser Clinic, and Steven Zirker, a physician assistant from the Benton City Clinic. Garza will handle women’s health issues, while Zirker will provide afterhours care. The three providers are bilingual. “We’re looking for another family physician,” said PMH Administrator Alana Pumphrey during a recent tour of the clinic. The facility boasts a full lab and imaging to provide on-site labs and X-rays, she said.

“Patients won’t have to travel to a hospital or other clinic,” Hitchcock said. The exam rooms and medical assistants will work within the same pod as the medical provider offices to provide patient and staff convenience, Pumphrey said. She said the lab and imaging services are available to patients of other area medical providers, as well. Additionally, there will be mental health services available at the clinic, Hitchcock said. The clinic will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with urgent care services. To schedule an appointment, call 509-203-1080.

uBRIEF Community invests more than $750,000 to impact local health care


Kadlec Foundation, which supports programs, equipment and capital projects at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, received more than $750,000 in donators and sponsor gifts in 2018. The donations were used to: • Fund 37 grants for medical equipment, programs and services for the medical center and clinics totaling $576,735. • Provide free mammograms for 412 underinsured women. • Serve 119 Kadlec patients through the Good Samaritan Fund with hotels, gas, bus passes and medical equipment. • Provide 53 scholarships to local students pursuing degrees in health care programs. • Provide equipment and support to 21 schools participating in Kadlec Academy, an after-school health program for elementary age children To learn more, call 509-9422661, visit, or send an email to foundation@


Senior Times • February 2019

Farmers, ag advocates inducted into Mid-Columbia hall of fame BY SENIOR TIMES

Six longtime farmers and agriculture advocates were inducted into the Mid-Columbia Agriculture Hall of Fame this year. They were honored Jan. 17 at the Pasco Red Lion during an awards dinner gala event presented by the Pasco Chamber of Commerce and Port of Pasco. This is the 19th year Hall of Fame honors have been awarded to Mid-Columbia farmers, families and agribusiness leaders in Franklin County and neighboring MidColumbia counties. The new inductees were recognized for their outstanding contributions to agriculture and agribusiness in five categories: The Mid-Columbia Ag Hall of Fame Pioneer Award honors individuals who have had a significant influence on the development of agriculture and unselfishly served their communities. This year’s inductee is Harold “Feathers” Thompson who hailed from Connell. Thompson was born on his father’s Connell ranch in 1923. He expanded the family’s wheat farm and cattle ranch after recovering

from serious injuries in a World War II crash as a tail gunner in an anti-submarine patrol plane. He later Harold Thompson earned numerous recognition for his cattle breeding stock and methods. Thompson started the Junior Hereford Association in Washington state and was inducted to the National Horned Hereford Hall of Fame. He acted as the Connell Municipal Court judge from 195670 and served on the Connell City Council for eight years. He was the go-to man for financing, organizing and finishing community projects. The Rising Star Award honors a young person in the agriculture industry who demonstrates a commitment to community involvement with a dedication to enhance agriculture. This year the honor went to Rob Davis of Connell. He started his agriculture journey in 1999, managing oversight of numerous row crops. He stepped up to manage the whole farm after a serious injury to farm owner Carl

Rob Davis

Noble. In 2006 Davis started RHD Farms. He was chairman of the U.S. Potato Board from 2013-14 and has tirelessly advocat-

ed for agriculture. He also is active in the Washington Cattle Feeders Association Six D trucking, striving to improve the transportation component of the Beef Quality Assurance program. He is involved in numerous area FFAs and livestock shows, working with students and service clubs. The Agriculture Advisor Award is given to a person who has had a significant impact in ag advancement and educational programs and similar organizations influencing the industry through leadership, guidHeidi Shattuck ance and community involvement. This year the honor went to Heidi Shattuck of Pasco. Heidi is the agriculture education teacher at Connell High School. She has been recognized as the Outstanding Teacher of the Year and Rookie of the Year by the Washington Association of Agriculture Teachers. She tirelessly guides her students through their projects as well as volunteering for numerous events and community service. The Stewardship Award is presented to those who have served the community and displayed leadership in agriculture over a long period. Jeff and Vicki Gordon of Pasco

received the honor this year. The Gordons, along with Jeff’s brother Bill, planted Jeff Gordon their first wine grapes in 1981 when there were only 19 wineries in the state. Their leadership in the growth of the Washington Vicki Gordon wine industry has focused on quality and access. Jeff was the second president of the Washington Wine Growers and served as the president of the Washington Wine Commission. The Gordons’ greatest contribution was their leadership in the formation of the Washington State University Wine Center on the Richland campus. The Visionary Award is a special honor conferred through a consensus of Ag Hall of Fame Committee members. Pete Taggares received the honor this year. Pete Taggares He was at one time one of the largest and most influential farmers in the MidColumbia and the Northwest. In 1963, he built the state’s largest french fry plant in Othello and farmed more than 50,000 acres in five states and built an additional plant in Minnesota. In 1978, he was named one of the 10 most powerful men in the state by The Associated Press.

Through season of change you have kept your promise of love, honor and respect. Dementia has brought change, but your commitment remains strong. Let us help you to continue to love, honor and respect during this challenging season.

509-783-5433 5505 W. Skagit Ct. Kennewick, WA

Senior Times • February 2019


Kennewick Community Center

500 S. Auburn St., Kennewick • 509-585-4303 All activities are at the Kennewick Community Center unless otherwise listed. Activities, times and location subject to change. For more information, call 509-585-4303. • Bunco: 1 to 3 p.m. Fridays. Cost: $1 per day. • Woodcarving: 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays. Cost: 75 cents per day. 9 a.m. to noon Fridays. Cost: $1

per day. Bring supplies or borrow from the class. • Dominoes: 12:30 to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays. Cost: 50 cents per day. • Party Bridge: 12:30 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Cost: 50 cents per day. • Bridge Tournament: Second Sunday of each month, 2 to 6 p.m. Cost: $1. RSVP 509-586-3349.

• Pinochle: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays and Fridays. Cost: 50 cents per day. No class Feb. 18. • Chinese Mahjong: 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays. Cost: $1 per day. • Sewing: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays. Cost: $1 per day. • Clay Sculpting: 1 to 2 p.m., Mondays. Cost: $1 per day. Bring your own supplies. No class Feb. 18.

• Indoor Walking: 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Cost: $1 per day. Location: Southridge Sports Complex, 2901 Southridge Blvd., Kennewick. • Hair Cuts and Clips: Hair cuts provided by Pam Eggers. Second and fourth Wednesday of each month, 9 to 11 a.m. by appointment only. Cost $1. Call 509-585-4303.

Richland Community Center

500 Amon Drive, Richland • 509-942-7529 All activities are at the Richland Community Center unless otherwise listed. Activities, times and location subject to change. For more information, call 509-942-7529. • Cribbage: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays. Cost: free. Location: lounge. • Golden Age Pinochle: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays. Cost: $1 per day. Location: game room. • ACBL, Duplicate and Party Bridge: Various groups. For a schedule of each group, cost and location, visit the Richland Community Center or call 509-942-7529.

• Birthday Club Social: Second Tuesday of each month, noon to 12:30 p.m. Cost: free. Location: lounge. • Pie Socials: Third Tuesday of each month, noon to 12:30 p.m. Cost: free. Location: lounge. • Greeting Card Recycling: 9 to 11 a.m. Mondays. Cost: free. Location: meeting room. • RSA Dance: Third Friday of the month, 1 to 4 p.m. Cost: $7 per person. Location: Riverview room. • International Folk Dancing: 7 to 9 p.m. Thursdays (location: Riverview room) and 6 to 9 p.m. the first Saturday of the month for a potluck

and dancing (location: activity room). • Fitness Room: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Cost: $2 per day or $8 per month. Location: Fitness room. • Foot Care for Fabulous Feet: Have a licensed registered nurse spe-

cializing in geriatrics care for your feet. 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every other Monday. Cost: $30. Location: wellness room. Call 509-942-7529 for an appointment.


Senior Times • February 2019

Pasco First Avenue Center 505 N. First Ave., Pasco • 509-545-3459

Most of Pasco’s senior services programs take place at the First Avenue Center, unless otherwise listed. Activities, times and location subject to change. For more information, call 509-545-3459. • Basin Wood Carvers: 1 to 3 p.m. Thursdays. Cost: Free. • China Painting: 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays. Bring your own project and supplies. • Cribbage: 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.

• Drop-In Snooker: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cost: $1 per day. • Mexican Train Dominoes: 12:30 to 3 p.m. Mondays. Cost: Free. • Pinochle: 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays. • Wavemakers Aqua Fit: Class for those with arthritis, fibromyalgia, lower back pain, muscle weakness, those who use a cane or a walker and anyone who loves the pool. Location: Oasis Physical Therapy, 6825 Burden

Blvd., Suite D, Pasco. This class is offered on various days/times. Call 509-545-3456 to register. • Enhance Fitness (40+): Class focuses on stretching, balance, low impact aerobics and strength training. 10 to 11 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Call 509-545-3456 to register. Location: Pasco City Hall Activity Center, 525 N. Third Ave., Pasco. • Happy Feet program (60+): Get your feet cared for by a licensed, reg-

istered nurse. By appointment 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays. Cost: Free with suggested donation of $12 to $15 per person. Call 509-545-3459. • Foot Care for Adults (18+): Get your feet cared for by a licensed, registered nurse. By appointment only, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Cost: $30. Call 509-545-3459.

Prosser Senior Community Center

1231 Dudley Ave., Prosser • 509-786-2915 All activities are at the Prosser Senior Community Center unless otherwise listed. Activities, times and locations subject to change. For more information, call 509-786-2915. • Pool: 12:30 to 3 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays. Cost: free. Location: pool room. • Tia Chia Quan: 6 p.m. Mondays. Taught by Kraig Stephens. Cost: $50 per month, 65 and older get discounted rate. Beginners start the first Monday of every month. Wednesday

and Friday open practice is at 5 p.m. which is free to club members only. Location: dining room. • Wellness Class: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays and Thursdays. Taught by Cheri Eisen of Sirius Therapeutics. Cost: $25 per month for members, $32 per month for non-members. Location: living room. • Mahjong 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Cost: Free. Location: living room. • Bingo: 10 a.m. Wednesdays. Cost:

3 cards for $1. Location: dining room. • Pinochle: 5:30 p.m. Thursdays. Cost: $1. Location: living room. Bring potluck dish to share. • Prosser Friendship Quilting: 1 to 4 p.m. second and fourth Thursdays. Cost: Free for members ($5 per year). Location: dining room. Bring sewing machine and project to work on. • Lunch and Learn Program: 1 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of the month. Subject changes every month. Cost: Free. Location: dining room • Monthly Potluck: Noon to 3 p.m. the third Sunday of every month. Cost: Free. Location: dining room. Bring a potluck dish to share.

• All-you-can-eat breakfast: 8 to 11:30 a.m. the last full Sunday of each month. Cost: Adults $5 per person, children 12 and under $3. Location: dining room. Includes pancakes, eggs, ham, apple juice and coffee. • Birthday Celebration: Typically the third Friday of the month. Call 509-786-1148 to verify. Provided by Meals on Wheels. Cost: suggested donation of $2.75. Location: dining room. • Meals On Wheels: 11:45 a.m. Monday through Friday. Cost: Suggested donation of $2.75. Location: dining room. Call 509-7861148 for reservations.

West Richland Senior Center 616 N. 60th, West Richland 509-967-2847 All activities are at the West Richland Senior Center. For more information, call 509-967-2847. • Potluck Lunch: noon, second Tuesday of the month. Bring a dish to share. • Bingo: noon, third Monday of the month. Hot dog luncheon at noon. $3 suggested donation. • Pinochle: 1 p.m. Mondays. • Bunco Potluck: noon, first

Wednesday and third Friday of the month. • TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Fitness: 11 a.m. Thursdays. • Exercise: A co-ed, light cardio class, led by exercise video, is 9 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. A donation of 50 cents for members and $1 for others is requested.

Senior Times • February 2019

Medium Medium

For more information about Senior Life Resources Northwest visit



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© 2019 Syndicated Puzzles

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© 2019 Syndicated Puzzles

Str8ts - Medium


cake. • Thursday, Feb. 28: Smothered pork chops, mashed potatoes with gravy, mixed vegetables, bread and diced pears.



cheese, sausage patty, broccoli and applesauce. • Tuesday, Feb. 26: Roast turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, bread and a cranberry oat bar. • Wednesday, Feb. 27: Chicken enchilada casserole, refried beans, Mexican slaw and frosted carrot

© 2019 Syndicated Puzzles

Meals on Wheels is a program of Senior Life Resources Northwest and is supported by donations. For those 60 and over the suggested donation is $2.75 per meal. Meals may be purchased by those under 60 for $7.25. Menu substitutions may occur. For reservations, call between 9 a.m. and noon the day before your selected meal. For reservations in Richland, call 509-943-0779; Kennewick 509-585-4241; Pasco 509-543-5706; Parkside 509-5452169; Benton City 509-588-3094; Prosser 509-786-1148; and Connell 509-234-0766. The Senior Dining Café serves soups, sandwiches and salads without a reservation. Hours are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. The café is at 1834 Fowler St. in Richland and can be reached by calling 509-736-0045. • Tuesday, Feb. 5: Tuna noodle casserole, Lyonnaise carrots, dinner roll and blueberry crumble. • Wednesday, Feb. 6: Sweet and sour pork, fluffy rice, oriental vegetables, wheat roll and fruit cocktail. • Thursday, Feb. 7: Beef tacos,

refried beans, fiesta vegetables and applesauce. • Friday, Feb. 8: Herbed chicken with mushroom gravy, herbed potatoes, green beans and carrot cake. • Monday, Feb. 11: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes with gravy, salad with dressing and chocolate pudding. • Tuesday, Feb. 12: Lemon pepper cod, fluffy rice, bread, pea and cheese salad and a cranberry oat bar. • Wednesday, Feb. 13: Chicken and rice casserole, glazed baby carrots, bread and poke cake. • Thursday, Feb. 14: Pulled pork sandwich, baked beans, green beans, coleslaw and chocolate cake. • Friday, Feb. 15: Birthday day! Roast beef with gravy, mashed potatoes with gravy, Italian vegetables, dinner roll and ice cream. • Monday, Feb. 18: Closed for Presidents Day. • Tuesday, Feb. 19: Chicken alfredo, mixed vegetables, salad with dressing, breadstick and chilled peaches. • Wednesday, Feb. 20: Harvest apple pork chop, rice pilaf, broccoli Normandy, bread and a brownie. • Thursday, Feb. 21: Chicken and white bean chili, green beans, cornbread and yogurt with berries. • Friday, Feb. 22: Sloppy joes, green beans, coleslaw and chilled pineapple. • Monday, Feb. 25: Macaroni and

Sudoku - Medium

Meals on Wheels February menu


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Str8ts example


Senior Times • February 2019

HOSPITAL, From page 1 “We have to redo our policies and take out everything that had to do with credentialing of doctors and procedure. It’s taken us quite a while to get to this point. There was a lot of unknowns and things that popped up that we didn’t expect would come out of the bankruptcy,” Kinney said. “We were kind of in limbo. But now we’re kind of winding to where we know everything and we can go forward.” The district’s future could include any number of directions, as commissioners vet additional needs of the community that could benefit from the $260,000 a year, above and beyond what is provided by LifePoint. “We have all kinds of ideas that everyone’s thrown out, from helping Grace Clinic to mental health issues, to expanding adult day services,” Kinney said. “We held workshops, and we had every commissioner say what they think we should do and we put it all together. Or we could go the United Way route — that’s an avenue we could do, too. So, we’re looking at having a facilitator help with our mission and values.” The United Way is not limited to funding one program or community resource, which means the Kennewick Public Hospital District could consider funding multiple community-based programs. The district organized in 1948 when

the process of building Kennewick General Hospital began. The health system was renamed Trios Health in 2013. The new hospital in the Southridge area was built in 2014. “They were Marvin Kinney caught between two pieces — the need and demand for more sophisticated hospital equipment and facilities, which resulted in the Southridge campus, and the downturn in regards to the economy, and the cost of, literally, doing business,” Kerr said. “And unfortunately, that came to kind of a head here in Kennewick. In order to maintain its continuing mission of providing health care services to the citizens of the district, it found the only way to do that was to sell the hospital.” Some consider the Southridge expansion to be the undoing of the hospital system’s solvency, but Kinney, a commissioner for the last 20 years, said he doesn’t regret the decision. “I think the Southridge hospital is an excellent location. It’s going to grow. We were ahead of our time. And we just couldn’t catch up. There’s going to be thousands of homes out there, and it’s going to be in a great spot. We just couldn’t hang on,” he said. Selling the hospital came in August

2018, more than a year after Trios Health filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. The sale pulled the hospital out of bankruptcy, with RCCH HealthCare providing indigent and charity care, which is the district’s responsibility. Since then, “not much has really changed,” Kerr said. “The hospital continues to exist for primarily two purposes. One, is to provide a revenue source for those contracted public services, and the second is, it still considers itself a partner in the area for health care and wellness.” “We’ve had some criticism,” Kinney said. “People asking, ‘Why do you even exist? Why am I paying a property tax for the Kennewick Hospital District?’ And our answer is No. 1, if we didn’t collect the tax, there may not be a hospital here. And the No. 2 is, let’s see what impact we can make on some of the health issues that face the community,” Kinney said. Kerr described this new phase as the district “discovering its new mission and its new vision in regards to health care.” Kinney called the need for a new phase a culture shock, coinciding with the hospital’s sale date. “We had to start from scratch on Aug. 4. We had no staff, no direction. We got together and contracted with Lee Kerr to be our superintendent,” he said. This was a statutory requirement of

the district and had always been filled by the chief executive officer of the hospital. Kerr’s father was one of the founding doctors of Kennewick General Hospital and he has a longtime personal and professional connection to the hospital. In the early 1970s, Kerr was the hospital’s attorney while his father was chief of staff. Also an attorney in private practice, Kerr is now one of only two contracted employees of the district, compared to the 1,100 staff it once had. “The new budget is really, really different than the previous budgets where we were dealing with multimillion dollars because we had revenue sources from not only the taxes, which was a relatively small portion of it, but the operating revenue,” Kerr said. “So you take that part away and the only thing left, essentially, is the tax revenues.” The district tax levy is 13 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. This means about $32 annually for a home worth $250,000. Kerr estimated another $35,000 is brought in annually through charitable donations. “We’re using the tax revenues from (LifePoint) to fulfill that public hospital mission,” Kerr said. “Our primary concern is that they fulfill our public function: indigent and charity care. And the other portion is making sure that we uHOSPITAL, Page 15


Senior Times • February 2019 HOSPITAL, From page 14 still have the full range of medical services available to citizens. We are funding a portion of the services they provide that are specifically associated with our mission.” The commissioners have both literally and figuratively rolled up their sleeves to move forward with that mission, organizing a volunteer work party to clean up the outdated offices at 805 S. Auburn St., in Kennewick, on the former campus of the original Kennewick General Hospital. The offices allow for meeting space, file storage and a place to park a phone that can receive inquiries or public records requests. Kinney has hopes of doing more to improve the space in the future so it may be of more use to the district. “There are two heroes, as far as I’m concerned, in this,” Kerr said. “One is the board of commissioners, which has had a really rough couple of years. They identified as their primary goal, preservation of the hospital for the benefit of the district, no matter what it took to do so, which I think was a really tough one to accomplish. And RCCH is the second hero. They got into this thing with a lot of optimism and probably an underestimation of what it would take financially to turn the corner, and they have jumped in and taken on a lot of debt that they probably did not have to. They’ve done some things to better the hospital and medical services that were above and beyond what was required. I think both of them have really risen to the occasion under difficult circumstances.” Commissioners now meet two to three times a month, marking a significant drop in the amount of time required for the seven board members who often met up to 10 times a month to discuss various committee functions. Board members include Kinney, Gary Long, Rick Reil, Wanda Briggs, Steve Bodgett, Leonard Dreisbach and Mike McWhorter. Kinney said the board intends to seek direction from LifePoint on potential health and wellness needs that aren’t currently being filled. As the district determines what it will specifically focus on in 2019, the board and its superintendent are approaching its renewed mission with optimism. “As we looked at closing the door on the RCCH transaction and opening the door on our new vision, a new light lit in our eyes. We got back to the idea with enthusiasm and interest,” Kerr said. “We’ve got a re-energized board. So I’m kind of expecting a lot from them.” To reach the hospital district, email or call 509-5794405. This is a message phone only and replies can be expected within two to three business days.

Be vigilant during this year’s tax season BY DANIELLE KANE for Senior Times

Tax season has arrived and the Better Business Bureau Northwest and Pacific wants consumers to be vigilant with their financial accounts, tax returns and any communications they receive from the Internal Revenue Service. In 2018, Washington residents reported 71 tax-related scams to BBB’s Scam Tracker tool, which is down from the 135 reports in 2017. In 2018, two of those taxcollection scams were reported in the Tri-Cities. One consumer reported phone messages threatened him with police arrest if he did not call back right away. Another consumer was told the federal government had filed a lawsuit against her for committing tax fraud and, when she called back, all the person did was ask questions about her personal information. These scenarios are common. And, as we navigate through tax season, con artists likely are to increase calls to consumers, posing as someone from the IRS, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the Social Security Administration. This is a type of imposter scam that the BBB often sees this time of year. Scammers are looking to get access to your personally identifiable information, or PII, which allows them to wreak havoc on your financial accounts. If a scammer successfully calls a consumer pretending to be a Social Security representative and gets that Social Security number, it could be an avenue for the scammer to file tax returns in this consumer’s name. Unfortunately, this could be the start of an even larger identity theft issue, so it is critical consumers guard their PII closely, espe-

cially during this season. Most frequently, the BBB receives reports that consumers get calls, Danielle Kane allegedly Better Business from the Bureau IRS, using high-pressure tactics and threats to convince them they owe money on their taxes. One of our primary tips has always been: The IRS does not call; it mails a letter letting taxpayers know if they’re in violation. But, there is an important caveat. The IRS changed the way it deals with unpaid debts in 2017. It is now using four private debt collectors, so it is possible to receive calls from these collectors if you’ve owed money for years. But this is the only circumstance in which the IRS says these collectors would call. The four collectors, all of which are BBB accredited are: CBE Group, ConServe, Performant and Pioneer. In this case, consumers already should be aware that they owe money and can verify the legitimacy of these calls because they would have previously received letters from the IRS and a debt collector notifying them. Secondly, the debt collectors must abide by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, meaning they cannot curse or threaten consumers. If they do, this should be taken as a red flag the caller is not legitimate. Finally, the debt collectors themselves are not allowed to collect payment – they should still be directing consumers to contact the IRS directly. To ensure you are protecting your information, it is best to fol-

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Payment options: private pay and Medicaid (COPES, MPC, DDD, Respite)


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low the BBB’s general tips on taxcollection scams: • First, it is still true the IRS will not call you directly. If you do get a call about your taxes, verify it is coming from one of the four agencies listed above. If not, hang up. • Second, never give personal information to unsolicited callers. This includes, but is not limited to, your Social Security number, credit card information and login information to any relevant accounts. • Finally, don’t trust your caller ID. The internet has made it possible for scammers to use fake IDs when they call your home. It’s called “spoofing.” The number may look like it’s coming from someone – or even a local area – that you know, but it very well may not be. To learn more about tax collection and other imposter scams, visit To file a report on a known scam, visit

Danielle Kane is the Tri-City marketplace manager for the Better Business Bureau Northwest and Pacific.

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Senior Times • February 2019

SENIOR TIMES EXPO April 16, 2019 • 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Southridge Sports & Events Complex 2901 Southridge Boulevard, Kennewick

uBRIEFS STCU credit union warns consumers of fraud attempt

STCU credit union is warning consumers that it received information that scammers have been targeting individuals with officiallooking, but fake, emails that ask consumers to log into their STCU account. The link provided in the phishing email takes them to a website that mimics STCU’s site. Emails can be forwarded to to help the credit union track the fraud. Those who are interesting in learning more about preventing identify theft and fraud may attend free STCU workshops from 6 to 7 p.m. March 28 at the Kennewick Community Center, 500 S. Auburn St., and from 6 to 7 p.m. April 18 at the Richland Public Library, 955 Northgate Drive.

Benton PUD giving away nightlights for donations

Calling all Vendors Here’s an opportunity to meet and talk with hundreds of seniors from around the Mid-Columbia. As an exhibitor, this one-day event on April 16 is designed to showcase your products and services to active and retired seniors and their families.

Booth space is limited. Call 509-737-8778 for more information.

Tiffany Lundstrom 509-947-1717

Chad Utecht 509-440-3929

Benton PUD is offering LED nightlights to customers who make donations to its Helping Hands program. Customers who pledge a monthly recurring $1 donation or more, increase their currently monthly donation or make a one-time donation of $10 or more are eligible to receive the nightlight while supplies last. The lights must be picked up in person at Benton PUD offices at 2721 W. 10th Ave in Kennewick or 250 N. Gap Road in Prosser. The Helping Hands program helps those meeting guidelines who need help on their bill and is distributed by Community Action Connections to Benton PUD customers.

Foundation fills 20 grants to help tongue-tied babies

The Family Health and Wellness Foundation, formerly the Trios Foundation, provided 20 grants to families without insurance to finance lip and tongue tied surgeries on infants from 1 day old to 3 months old during 2018. The procedures performed by Drs. Andrew T. Mohlman and Lance W. Gledhill were financed through the Gartner Child Assistance Fund. The procedures included labial and lingual frenectomies. Labial frenum is a muscular tissue that connects the inside of the upper lip to the center of the gums between the two upper front teeth. Lingual frenum is a muscular tissue that connects the bottom center of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. These procedures eliminate the presence of frenum to help relieve challenges associated with eating and speaking properly.

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