National Health Center Week | August 9 – 15, 2020

National Health Center Week, August 9th-15th, is an annual celebration aimed at raising awareness about the mission and contributions of community health centers, like CHAS Health, over the past half century. This year’s theme is “Community Health Centers: Lighting the Way for Healthier Communities Today and in the Future.” In 2019, 84% of CHAS Health’s patients identified as low income and we served nearly 15,000 patients experiencing homelessness. Community health centers were created specifically to address health disparities and we are proud to continue to meet this mission. 

While it can be challenging to find cause for celebration during these uncertain times – we feel now more than ever it is important to highlight the great work that CHAS Health and Health Centers across the nation are doing. 

In Washington State alone, our community health centers have adjusted operations to meet the increased demand for healthcare from uninsured patients throughout our communities. These changes include expanded telehealth access, opening of COVID testing sites, and increased public education activities. 

These interventions have served as a shock absorber to help our local hospitals avoid overcrowding. While there is still more to do, we hope this week will serve as an opportunity for us to share some of our great work. 

Help us fight Coronavirus

Stuck at home with just your savage sewing skills and want to do your part?

Make face masks from home and help keep our staff safer.


Just follow the instructions contained in this how-to video:

Or this video from Deaconess Hospital

Or any other video you fancy!

What you will need


  • CHAS can provide the fabric in the form of Chas Health T-shirts. Contact to pick up shirts. 

Elastic cord. 

  • This can be sourced from Joann Fabric, and potentially other craft stores. 
    • Don’t have random elastic cord lying around? Get creative and try cutting up hair ties, or anything else that can comfortably be worn around the ear and has a little give to it!


If you have made a mask and don’t have any particular clinic in mind, please drop them off at the closest site to you and they can be redistributed as needed. 

Just because you’re not on the front lines doesn’t mean you can’t support our community


These masks are for use by staff not involved in direct patient care such as front desk and pharmacy. If you are involved in direct patient care, you will use a surgical or other paper, mask. We will also be able to distribute them amongst our communities and patients. 

Other resource:

Casey Linane-Booey, Risk Manager

Immune Boosting Foods

Cold and flu season aren’t over just yet (not to mention the COVID-19 pandemic) and in addition to good handwashing techniques, you can help to boost your immune system through the foods that you eat. 

Vitamin C is an antioxidant (stops oxidation/damage to cells) and helps your body to better absorb iron. Both of these functions are important for your immune system. You’ll find vitamin C in foods like:

  • Citrus fruits (oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, and grapefruit)
  • Red bell peppers
  • Papaya 
  • Mango
  • Spinach and other dark leafy greens
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

Zinc is an important part of making protein for the healing process. Some zinc containing foods include:

  • Beef
  • Dark meat chicken
  • Pork chops
  • Crab
  • Clams
  • Chickpeas
  • Hemp seeds
  • Lentils
  • Oatmeal

Vitamin E is also an antioxidant. It also helps keep your immune system strong against viruses and other bacteria because it helps with the creation of your red blood cells. Vitamin E is found in: 

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Avocados
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pine nuts
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Rainbow trout
  • Kiwi

Flavonoids rich in antioxidants and can help your body stay healthy and possibly decrease your risk of some chronic health conditions. Various flavonoids are found in:

  • Green tea
  • Black tea
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Elderberries

Check out the following recipes for a few ways to include some of these immune-boosting foods in your diet. Recipes from 

Fresh Fruit Smoothie


  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup cantaloupe or other melon chunks
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon honey


Remove rind from pineapple and melon. Cut into chunks. Remove stems from strawberries. Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. Serve cold.

Fresh Fruit Kebabs


  • 6 ounces low-fat, sugar-free lemon yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 4 pineapple chunks (about 1/2 inch each)
  • 4 strawberries
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 banana, cut into 4 1/2-inch chunks
  • 4 red grapes
  • 4 wooden skewers


In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lime juice and lime zest. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Thread 1 of each fruit onto the skewer. Repeat with the other skewers until the fruit is gone. Serve with the lemon lime dip.

Whole-Wheat Blueberry Pancakes


  • 1 1/3 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen whole blueberries


In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon together.

In another bowl, beat milk, egg and oil together. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture, and stir until the flour is moistened.

Add blueberries and stir gently.

Coat a griddle or skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium-high heat. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot griddle and cook until browned. Flip and brown the other side.

Written by Keri Smith, Lead Dietitian

5 Things You Can Do To Prepare for Bloomsday 2020!

Bloomsday 2020 is quickly approaching and on May 3rd 2020, nearly 50,000 people will take the streets of Spokane to run, jog, or walk their way through 7.5 miles.

The question though, what can I be doing now to get prepared for Bloomsday? Just like any race, training for Bloomsday takes dedication and hard work, we put together a list of 5 things you can do to get prepped for the big race.

  • 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 7.5-mile trek through Spokane streets—it’s also a great excuse to do some sightseeing as the weather begins to warm up!

  • 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 efficiently. Find someone who is going to give you that push you need and you may just build a lifelong love for exercise.

  • 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.

  • 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 health is not at risk. They can also let you know if your finish time goal is reasonable and give you tips for proper training.

  • 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.

Most importantly, have fun! Bloomsday 2020 is a great way to connect with family, friends, and community – all while enjoying some exercise. We hope to see you out there this year. For more information on Bloomsday 2020, check out .

NOW OPEN! John R. Rogers High School Clinic

Healthcare can be complex, especially in today’s busy world. Many provider hours are limited to the school day, and offices may be located far from the school. That means students have to take time away from school and possibly find a ride, making it difficult to get the care they need while maintaining academics.

School-based health centers (SBHC) tackle that problem directly by adding an on campus clinic, making getting the care you need as simple as walking to the other side of the building.

Why school-based health centers?

Essentially, school-based health centers is an extension of your neighborhood health clinic in the school.

Healthy students are better learners. When students don’t feel well, it’s much harder to learn and pay attention in class. Not to mention days where students may be too ill to come to class at all, making it harder to catch up on materials.

School-based health centers aim to tackle this by offering an easy–to-access clinic where students don’t have to take time off to be seen by a provider.

According to data from the School-Based Health Alliance, school-based health centers:

  • Help students do better in school
  • Increase high school graduation rates
  • Decrease school discipline cases

How is a SBHC different from the school nurse’s office?

A SBHC is a fully-licensed primary care facility, providing a range of physical and mental health services, with limited dental services.  SBHC’s and school nurses work closely together, with school nurses able to refer students to the SBHC to resolve student health problems.

What services will CHAS Health at John R. Rogers -based health centeroffer?

This new clinic will be for students and school staff only, and will provide the following services:

• Primary medical care

• Answers to your health questions and concerns

• Treatment of common injuries and illnesses (allergies, rashes, sore throat, etc.)

• Counseling (help with emotional and social issues)

• Sports physicals

• Vaccinations, including flu shots

• Reproductive health services

• and much more

CHAS Health at John R. Rogers High School be staffed by Jeff Hayward, Family Practice Physician Assistant; Kristie Stolgitis, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner; Michelle Timmerman, Behavioral Health Proivder; Kelsey Kienbaum, Medical Assistant.  Johnnie Beans serves as the School Outreach Specialist, and is actively engaged in connecting with the students and staff.

Hours of operation will be Monday – Friday 7:30 am to 4:00 pm with both scheduled appointments and same day walk-in appointments available. 

School-based health centers often are operated as a partnership between the school and a community health organization, such as a community health center, hospital, or local health department. The specific services provided by school-based health centers vary based on community needs and resources as determined through collaborations between the community, the school district and the health care providers.

CHAS Health at John R. Rogers High School is made possible thanks to funding from Kaiser Permanente, in partnership with Spokane Public Schools.

For a more in-depth look at studies on school-based health centers:

Christmas Wreath Antipasto Skewers


30 wood skewers
30 baby mozzarella balls
30 basil leaves
10–15 cherry tomatoes
10 whole artichoke hearts, halved
20 large green olives, pitted
(you can get flavored if you’d like)
30 large black olive or large kalamata olives
10 cherry peppers, halved
Fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish


  1. Line up all your ingredients so you’re
    ready to assemble antipasto skewers.
  2. To each skewer add mozzarella ball and basil leaf. From there mix and match the rest of the ingredients! Hint: have fun with this,
    make each of your skewers a little different!
  3. Get a round serving platter and place
    assembled skewers in the shape of a wreath.
    Depending on the size of your platter you
    may need to do a double layer of skewers.
    Than stick pieces of fresh rosemary in
    random places underneath the skewers to
    make it look like a Christmas wreath.
  4. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
    (Can be made one day ahead of time)

“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world” –Dr. Seuss

This Thanksgiving season, we are thankful for the many individuals, organizations and businesses who give back to their community. Here at CHAS Health, we are fortunate to witness the generosity of others who donate their time, talent, and treasure.

Earlier this year, the children’s corner at CHAS Maple Street Clinic got a makeover thanks to Katie Mathews and Junior League of Spokane. Katie reached out to us ask if she could do a project to create a reading nook for children. She went with a Dr. Seuss theme, and Junior League provided wall hangings, book racks, and books!

“In alignment with the mission of the Junior League of Spokane to develop the potential of women and improve the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers, the new member group I was a part of was tasked with creating a reading nook at a community partner/agency of our choosing. With the League’s current focus area of improving childhood literacy in Spokane, we wanted to reach children in a location where they might not normally have access to books.  We especially liked the idea of a reading nook at CHAS because there is a correlation between health and education, and CHAS is committed to serving all families and individuals with dignity and respect, regardless of their situation.  Also, as a Social Worker, I believe it’s important to meet the individual where they are.  By providing a reading nook at the Maple CHAS clinic, not only could the JLS provide a fun, whimsical space where reading can be approachable and entertaining, the child can bring the book home where it can enhance the child’s imagination and help increase their vocabulary.”

-Katie Matthews

Encouraging children to read fits right in at CHAS Health. Our pediatricians participate in Reach Out and Read, a program proven to increase literacy and school readiness for children ages zero to six. During a medical exam, the pediatrician reads an age-appropriate book to the child, encourages the child’s family to spend time reading out loud every day, and the child gets to take their book home.

Amerigroup sponsored over 7,000 Reach Out and Read books to give out to children this year. Thanks to generous partners like Katie Mathews, Junior League of Spokane, and Amerigroup, children and families in our community are being encouraged to read.

In the words of Dr. Seuss, “To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” Thank you for being the world to our patients!

This blog post part of a special CHAS Health series for #GivingTuesday 2019. #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that focuses on the collective power that individuals, communities and organizations use to celebrate generosity and philanthropy worldwide. During the Thanksgiving season, it is easy to get swept up in the fervor of shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, will kick off the giving season and inspire people to collaborate and give back. Follow CHAS Health on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.

“Such a blessing at a really hard time”

Jumping in a car to go wherever you need go, whenever you need to go there, may be something many of us take for granted.

At CHAS Health, a number of our patients do not have reliable modes of transportation to access their health care appointments. They may not own a car, or if they do, gas may be cost prohibitive. Others rely on bus transportation, but occasionally need a little assistance purchasing a bus pass.

Certain medical diagnosis require more frequent access to care, which means expending more of your budget on transportation costs. For example, in addition to regular primary care visits, a patient diagnosed with cancer significantly increases the number of medical appointments they must make to see their oncologist and other cancer care providers.

Year after year, the Pink Shamrock Foundation has provided transportation assistance for our patients who have breast cancer. CHAS Health pays for bus passes for patients in need of transportation assistance, and gas gift cards paid for by the Pink Shamrock Foundation assist patients who rely on their own transportation to access medical appointments. The gas gift cards are particularly helpful for patient who reside in rural areas and must travel into a city to access cancer treatment.

Our patients are incredibly thankful for this assistance. We were pleased to share with the Pink Shamrock Foundation some of the stories our staff heard from patients who received gas gift cards this year:

Cheryl was so happy when I described the program to her that she started to cry! She said, “I was just sitting here wondering how I was going to get to Spokane.”  She lives out of town and the gas card will help her afford her trips to the cancer specialist.

Mary told me that this was “such a blessing at a really hard time” and that getting to take part in the program without having to do any paperwork “renews my faith in people”.

Lynda told me she is retired and was very grateful, saying: “Every little bit helps.” She is on a fixed income and lives (in her words) “out in the middle of nowhere” and this will help her get to her appointments.

Janet is currently unable to work and is living with her daughter and granddaughter. Her granddaughter drives her to and from appointments and she is thrilled to be able to “pitch in” thanks to the gas gift card. She said they are on a tight budget and that she really appreciates the extra help.

As you can see from these stories, the gas gift cards mean much more than the face value of the cards. This assistance provides people with hope and joy. Thank you to the Pink Shamrock Foundation for impacting the lives of the people who we are honored to serve!

This blog post part of a special CHAS Health series for #GivingTuesday 2019. #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that focuses on the collective power that individuals, communities and organizations use to celebrate generosity and philanthropy worldwide. During the Thanksgiving season, it is easy to get swept up in the fervor of shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, will kick off the giving season and inspire people to collaborate and give back. Follow CHAS Health on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.

Helping patients to afford prescription medications

“A patient was diagnosed with breast cancer and was unable to keep working and not able to afford her medications. We used the grant to pay for her medications and helped her get the care she needed.”

The rising cost of pharmaceuticals has been in the headlines a lot lately. At CHAS Health, we see firsthand the impact when patients have difficulty affording medication. Financial barriers can result in either not purchasing a medication, or a patient will ration their medication (ie, not take the full dose so that the medication lasts longer).

To help our patients to access necessary medications, we have developed several prescription assistance programs.

Thanks to funding from the Idaho Community Foundation, in 2013 CHAS Latah Community Health in Moscow, Idaho, started a prescription assistance program.

And, thanks to funding from the Lewis-Clark Valley Healthcare Foundation, at the beginning of 2019 CHAS Lewis & Clark Health Center in Lewiston, Idaho, started a prescription assistance program.

Monetary donations from local churches and individuals, as well as ongoing grant funding, sustain these vital programs.

This year, the average cost of each prescription purchased through these assistance programs has been $15. That may not sound like a lot of money, but consider that patients using this program are prescribed, on average, four prescriptions. That’s $60 ($15/prescription) every time a patient needs to re-fill their prescriptions.

CHAS Health staff help patients to apply for pharmaceutical company prescription assistance programs when available, and help patients to enroll in health insurance coverage. Even with pharmaceutical company-backed assistance programs, patients generally have to wait for enrollment to begin.

Providing prescription assistance to patients in our clinics provides immediate relief for individuals struggling to juggle physical and financial health. For patients with diabetes and other chronic conditions, a consistent medication regime is critical to enable an individual to feel well, maintain a regular work schedule, and to be able to participate in everyday life.

This blog post part of a special CHAS Health series for #GivingTuesday 2019. #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that focuses on the collective power that individuals, communities and organizations use to celebrate generosity and philanthropy worldwide. During the Thanksgiving season, it is easy to get swept up in the fervor of shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, will kick off the giving season and inspire people to collaborate and give back. Follow CHAS Health on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.

Safety and Warmth for the Most Vulnerable in our Community

Twenty-five years ago, CHAS Health started in a two-exam room clinic serving homeless patients who had no other place to go for care. Today, we serve patients from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, including over 13,000 patients experiencing homelessness. Our clinics serve individuals who are couch surfing, those who are living in their own vehicle, and those who do not have a roof over their head.

CHAS Health employs two amazing individuals, Ilze and Sabrina, who spend their days outside of the clinic walls to meet with people wherever they are. Ilze and Sabrina visit meal sites, local shelters, and parks to make sure individuals experiencing homelessness are safe. They help navigate people to health care services and other appropriate resources.

Last year, Ilze and Sabrina passed out:

  • 21,014 socks
  • 12,202 hygiene kits
  • 3,916 gloves
  • 2,912 hats
  • 1,044 bus passes
  • 21,019 other items, including bottled water, hand warmers, and essential all-weather items.

Where do these socks, hats, and gloves come from? Each year CHAS Health employees conduct a Winter Survival Drive, donating hundreds of gloves, hats, coats and other cold-weather gear. In addition to our employee drive, throughout the year we receive financial donations from individuals who designate their donation to our homeless program.

The Inland Northwest is a beautiful, and cold, place to be during the winter months. We appreciate all of our community partners, donors, and employees who come together with a compassionate heart to help the most vulnerable among us.

Pictured are CHAS Health staff at a past Spokane Homeless Connect, an annual event that brings together a wide range of service providers under one roof:

This blog post part of a special CHAS Health series for #GivingTuesday 2019. #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that focuses on the collective power that individuals, communities and organizations use to celebrate generosity and philanthropy worldwide. During the Thanksgiving season, it is easy to get swept up in the fervor of shopping events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, will kick off the giving season and inspire people to collaborate and give back. Follow CHAS Health on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.