New Dental Clinic in North Spokane!

New CHAS Health Dental Clinic in North Spokane

We are excited to announce a new dental clinic in North Spokane! CHAS Health Family Dental opens on August 19 and offers dental services to the whole family.

At CHAS, we offer comprehensive dental services for patients of all ages – from toddlers to adults, we are here for you through all phases of life. Our experienced dentists, hygienists and support staff work closely to coordinate with our medical and pharmacy departments to ensure your visit is timely, efficient and pleasant.

We offer







Root canal therapy

Orthodontic referrals

Nitrous oxide sedation


National Health Center Week

In commemoration of National Health Center Week, CHAS Health is excited to celebrate being “Rooted in Communities.” This is a National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) campaign which emphasizes the fact that plants, people, and communities are not so different from one another in their needs—we all require basic resources to grow.

National Health Center Week (August 4th-10th) is an annual celebration with the goal of raising awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades. This week we’ll be joining Community Health Centers across the country to highlight the important work to make our communities healthier and happier.

Community Health Centers provide innovative health service delivery to more than 28 million patients! Learn more at nachc.org


Rogers High School Clinic Opening Fall 2019

We are excited to be opening a new clinic in Rogers High School this fall. This exciting grant from Kaiser Permanente will allow us to provide medical and behavioral health services to over 1500 students, plus; staff, parents, and siblings after school hours right on the North Spokane campus.

Health centers in schools have been associated with better attendance and higher grades.

The clinic is slated to open by November 1, and will be funded by Kaiser Permanente for three years, as well as an additional $165,000 raised by neighborhoods in the Rogers High School area.

Fewer than two percent of Washington’s schools have health centers on their campuses.


Pediatric Tips For Summer

As the school days wind down and the thought of summer vacation draws closer, it’s important to have a game plan ready to stay healthy this summer. The warmer months are a wonderful opportunity to explore, play and learn outdoors. We’ve prepared a few tips to help you navigate your children’s health this summer:


Camp brings a ton of kids together for fun, learning, and outdoor time. Make sure you have your needed vaccines ready prior to first day of camp. Vaccinations can help protect against diseases and conditions that pose higher risks in a camp setting. And if your child brings something home with them then the whole family may be at risk. Tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), meningitis, hepatitis a are typically recommended by camps.


If your child hasn’t gotten their annual wellness check, summer is a great time to get this taken care of. Kids are out of school and schedules are a bit more free. At this exam, make sure to get any required vaccinations, asthma checks, epi pens, sports physicals, etc. for the upcoming school year.


It’ll be that time to start thinking about getting back to school already before we know it. While your child is getting prepared for school, it’s also time for you to get prepared. Make sure your school immunization forms and medical records are complete prior to first day of school. In addition, make sure all medications/ADHD  or other plans are prepared for the upcoming school year.

Water safety:

Water-related activities are popular, especially with access to such amazing lakes, rivers, and public swimming pools. Make sure your child has gotten in to swimming lessons to protect young children from drowning. Many area pools offer courses that are surprisingly affordable.

Beat the heat and sun:

Cover up and use sunscreen every time you and your child go outside to prevent burns. During especially hot months, dress light, schedule outdoor activities outside of the hottest times of day, morning and evening. Stay cool with cool showers or baths. Never leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car – even if the windows are cracked open.

Wear a helmet:

Always protect your noggin while you are on a bike, skateboard, or other personal wheeled transportation. This goes for parents too, be a great example to your children – plus, you never know when an unexpected bump in the road may come from.

Don’t forget the 5-2-1-0 rule:

5 – Try to eat at least 5 fruits, roots, & vegetables a day.

2 – Watch less than 2 hours of screen time.

1 – Play more! Get at least 1 hour of physical activity per day.

0 – Try to cut down sugary drinks to 0. Sugary drinks have little health benefit and a lot of empty calories.

We hope you have a wonderful summer this year! Take the time to build lasting family memories, get outdoors and have fun!


Oral Cancer – what you need to know

April is here, bringing warm wet weather, Easter egg hunts, and dreams of May flowers.  But April is an important month in other ways, as it is oral cancer awareness month.  That means that now is a great time to learn a little more about the signs, symptoms and causes of this disease.  Maybe not something we all want to talk or think about, but very important. According to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, oral and pharyngeal cancer kills nearly one person every hour of every day of the year. 

Oral and pharyngeal cancer is located in the oral cavity, nose, pharynx, voice box trachea and esophagus.  The mortality rate is higher than other cancers because typically it is not detected early.  The prognosis for patients who have oral cancers is much higher the earlier it is detected.   Oral cancer can be broken into two categories, non-HPV related oral cancers and HPV related oral cancers.

The most common cause of non-HPV related oral cancers are excessive alcohol and tobacco use.  In particular, the combination of smoking and heavy alcohol use increases the risk of oral cancer by 15 times, according to the NIH.  Men are at higher risk than women, as well as those age 55 or older.   Exposure to sunlight can increase the risk of oral cancers of the lip (so don’t forget your sunblock!)

Signs and symptoms of oral cancer caused by tobacco usage and/or excessive alcohol usage may include one or more of the following and are persistent in nature (meaning they do not resolve on their own and linger beyond two weeks:

  • Any sore or ulceration that does not heal within 14 days.
  • A red, white, or black discoloration of the soft tissues of the mouth.
  • Any abnormality that bleeds easily when touched.
  • A lump or hard spot in the tissue, often on the lateral border of the tongue or underneath the tongue.
  • Tissue raised above the area that surrounds it; a growth.
  • A sore under a denture, which even after adjustment of the denture that does not heal.
  • A lump or thickening that develops in the mouth.
  • A painless, firm, fixated lump felt on the outside of the neck that has been there for at least two weeks.

HPV related oral cancers differ slightly form non-HPV cancers.  HPV is the human papilloma virus.  According to the CDC, up to 8-0% of Americans with have an HPV infection during their lifetime, but the great majority (99%) will not develop cancer as their immune system will clear the virus.  Men are affected more than women (approximately 4:1), particularly white, non-smoking men between the ages of 35-55.  The HPV vaccine protects against cancers caused by the virus.  Your child can and should be vaccinated as early as 11 or 12.  The vaccine is recommended for young women through age 26 and young men through age 21.

Signs and symptoms of HPV related oral cancer may include:

  • Hoarseness or sore throat that does not resolve.
  • A painless, firm, fixated lump felt on the outside of the neck, which has been there for at least two weeks.
  • Constant coughing that does not resolve.
  • Difficulty swallowing; a sensation that food is getting caught in your throat.
  • An earache on one side (unilateral) that persists for more than a few days.

In addition to preventing, identifying and treating diseases of the dentition and periodontium, one of the most important jobs your dental team does is screen for oral cancer.  This includes both an extra oral assessment of the head and neck region as well as a thorough assessment of the oral cavity including the lips, tongue, tongue, cheeks, tonsils and throat.  If you have noticed a lesion that you are concerned about, make sure to let your dental team know.  

There is always more to learn about Oral Cancer.  Check it all out at the Oral Cancer Foundation’s web site.

By Dr. Warder, Dental Director


What you need to know about Juuling (and other electronic cigarettes)!

Juuling has quickly become very popular in our high schools, colleges, and even middle schools.  While electronic cigarettes were created to help people quit smoking, in young people they are actually becoming the introduction to tobacco use.  Here are some key things to know:

Safer does not equal safe.  Yes there are no studies linking e-cigarettes to cancer.  Just because e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes does not mean they are safe.  They still contain many chemicals that we know are airway irritants and carcinogens.  They contain nicotine.   We have no long term studies of the safety of e-cigarettes.

Nicotine is addictive. The Juul pods contain the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.    Some e-cigarettes juice is even stronger.  Studies have shown e-cigarette fluid that claims to be nicotine free often contains nicotine.  We also know nicotine affects the developing brain leading to difficulties with attention, learning, impulse control, and mood.

Teens are the target of advertisement. Juul, the most common e-cigarette used among teenagers, began advertising on Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter.  There is a huge social media presence of Juul and Juul is starting to show up in TV shows and movies.  #doitforJuul is a common hashtag that people use to show them using a Juul.  This affects teens, even if they do not realize.

People vape a variety of substances. On youtube you can find videos of people using a variety of fluids including caffeine, alcohol, and Marijuana. Anytime someone is breathing in a substance, it is likely to irritate the airwyas.  There have even been cases of people dying after vaping synthetic cannabinoid.

Juul use is increasing tobacco use among teens. Starting in the 1990s there was a steady decline in tobacco use among teenagers, reaching as low as 12% of all teenagers ever using tobacco.  With the advent of Juul, as many as 35% of teenagers admit to using nicotine containing products.  Unfortunately, many of these Juul users go on to smoke traditional cigarettes.

Juul and other ecigarette companies create fruit flavored fluids that appeal to young users.  Juul can be easily concealed and has become a trend among high school students.  Our teens are getting addicted to nicotine and we must do our best to prevent this!

By Dr. Ashlee Mickelson


Nurse Practitioner Residency Program Receives Accreditation

The CHAS Health Nurse Practitioner Residency Program has received accreditations from the National Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Training Consortium (NNPRFTC). The NNPRFTC serves as a national accrediting organization, focused on consistently upholding the principles of excellence in accreditation and clinical training while fostering innovation and leadership in healthcare. Accreditation shows the commitment of CHAS Health to provide the highest levels of rigorous clinical training for postgraduate trainees and the same high level of conduct in business practices.
The CHAS Health Nurse Practitioner Residency Clinic opened in August 2017, to help train the next generation of Nurse Practitioners beyond their stand-alone education. The clinic is designed for fully licensed and credentialed ARNPs seeking to perfect their knowledge, skills, and abilities in a real world primary care setting. The program has expanded healthcare access to patients, while advancing the education of new nurse practitioners. The clinic has three long-term CHAS Health providers onsite, who provide guidance for three fully licensed ARNP Residents during the 13 month program.
Through accreditation, CHAS will be able to further develop our program through self-evaluation; identification of strengths and weaknesses; on-going refinement of the curriculum; and program enhancements to meet changing practice environments. For our patients and communities, accreditation is beneficial because it promotes the health, safety and welfare of society by fostering the development of competent health professionals, some of whom we hope to retain.
This is trailblazing work, as less than 10 programs are accredited nationally and CHAS Health was the first to successfully receive pre-accreditation prior to full accreditation.

5 Things You Can Do To Prepare for Bloomsday!

  1. Get started on a running or walking program

There are endless options out there to improve your endurance when preparing for a long distance run or walk, so find one that best caters to your needs and goals. Interval training is a great way to get your heart rate up and give your body the boost it needs to keep running during steady periods of time. If you plan on walking, it’s a good idea to get into a weekly or even daily walking routine to prepare your muscles and joints for the 7 mile trek through Spokane streets—it’s also a great excuse to do some sightseeing as the weather begins to warm up!

  1. Join a team or get a partner

Exercising with other people can often be a lot more fun than just going by yourself. When we have a reliable teammate or partner to push us, we tend to reach past our own expectations and reach our goals for efficiently. Find someone who is going to give you that push you need and you may just build a lifelong exerciseship.


  1. Increase your water intake

It is recommended that the average person drinks between 5-8 eight ounce glasses of water a day. When preparing for the big race, it’s important to consistently drink water throughout the day and get in the habit of drinking water BEFORE you are even thirsty. Though Bloomsday doesn’t take place during a hot month, 7.5 miles often takes a lot of sweat—refuel and recharge.


  1. Visit your physician

Though Bloomsday participants run and walk at all levels, it’s a good idea to visit your health care provider before starting a training program to make sure your heath is not at risk. They can also let you know if your finish time goal is reasonable and give you tips for proper training.


  1. Start stretching regularly

It is always good to stretch before and after doing any strenuous physical activity, but daily stretching is great at increasing flexibility to prevent future injury. If you don’t have much experience with stretching, taking up a Yoga class or even finding a TV program that teaches stretching, Yoga or Pilates at home could be beneficial to your Bloomsday experience.


March is National Nutrition Month!

National Nutrition Month (NNM) is celebrated every year during the month of March. It is a nutrition education campaign that focuses on the importance of providing science-based nutrition information to help people with making healthy lifestyle changes. It was created and promoted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics starting in 1973, originally in the form of National Nutrition Week.

Every year, a theme is chosen for NNM. Recent past themes have included, “Go Further with Food”, “Put Your Best Fork Forward”, “Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle”, and “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right”. The theme this year is a simple one – National Nutrition Month. This year’s focus is back to the core purpose of NNM, which is “to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of good nutrition and position registered dietitian nutritionists as the authorities in nutrition.” The key messages of the 2019 NNM theme are:

  1. Discover the benefits of a healthy eating style.
  2. Choose foods and drinks that are good for your health.
  3. Include a variety of healthful foods from all of the food groups on a regular basis.
  4. Select healthier options when eating away from home.
  5. Be mindful of portion sizes. Eat and drink the amount that’s right for you, as MyPlate encourages us to do.
  6. Keep it simple. Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated.
  7. Make food safety part of your everyday routine.
  8. Help to reduce food waste by considering the foods you have on hand before buying more at the store.
  9. Find activities that you enjoy and be physically active most days of the week.
  10. Consult the nutrition experts. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists can provide sound, easy-to-follow personalized nutrition advice to meet your lifestyle, preferences and health-related needs.


As you can see, there is special attention on making the public aware of a most valuable resource for nutrition information…registered dietitians or registered dietitian nutritionists (RD/RDN).


What is a RD/RDN?

A RD/RDN is considered to be a food and nutrition expert, armed with a wealth of knowledge to share with those interested in making diet or activity changes to enjoy a more healthy lifestyle.

What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?

In order to become a RD, a person must complete certain requirements, which include obtaining a degree in a health-related field from an accredited college or university, completing a supervised internship, and pass an examination. The title “nutritionist” is not regulated and anyone with basic background knowledge of nutrition might call themselves a nutritionist. Just remember, every dietitian is a nutritionist, but not every nutritionist is a dietitian.

As part of NNM, we celebrate our RD/RDNs on National RD/RDN Day, which is always the second Wednesday of March. And did you know that CHAS has several dietitians on staff? We are armed and ready to help come alongside you to help you to achieve your health and wellness goals.