Staying Safe During a Power Outage

A utility pole dangles near E. 23rd Ave. and S. Garfield St., after a wind storm, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Spokane, Wash. (Young Kwak/Pacific Northwest Inlander)

A utility pole dangles near E. 23rd Ave. and S. Garfield St., after a wind storm, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015, in Spokane, Wash. (Young Kwak/Pacific Northwest Inlander)

Many Eastern Washington residents are still without power and with repair timelines not coming soon enough, we need to bring the focus of this storm back to YOU! It’s easy to get caught up in the waiting game, but one thing important to focus on staying safe. Here are a few tips to pass on:

  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, use generators, grills, and similar items outdoors only.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep your food at a safe temperature for longer. Foods that have reached a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit should be thrown away. Also, remember your medications such as insulin or liquid medications require cooling still, keep them close to an ice pack to make sure they remain usable.
    • More on food safety:
  • With dropping temperatures, one thing we need to be concerned about it hypothermia. Hypothermia happens when a person’s core body temperature is lower than 35°C (95°F). The biggest concern in our situation is chronic hypothermia. Chronic hypothermia happens from ongoing exposure to cold indoor temperatures (below 16°C or 60°F) and commonly happens with folks who:
    • misjudge cold
    • move slowly
    • have poor nutrition
    • wear too little clothing
    • have poor heating system
  • While we are past most of the active danger, there could still be downed power lines and you never know when they might be active. Steer clear of power lines and transformers. If you should find yourself in a situation where a power line falls on your car, stay inside the vehicle and never touch the line.

Stay safe out there, crews are working as fast as possible to get Spokane back to 100% operational.
Here is a great list of resources available to our community (via Spokane Public Library): http://www.spokanelibrary.org/inlandstrong/

CHAS awarded donation from The Pink Shamrock Foundation.

From L to R: Lindsey Ruivivar, CHAS; Katrina Schneider, PA-C, CHAS Denny Murphy Clinic; Tim Murphy, The Pink Shamrock Foundation

From L to R: Lindsey Ruivivar, CHAS; Katrina Schneider, PA-C, CHAS Denny Murphy Clinic; Tim Murphy, The Pink Shamrock Foundation

Katrina Schneider, PA-C at CHAS Denny Murphy Clinic, and I recently had the honor of attending The Pink Shamrock Foundation gala to receive a donation that will enable CHAS to provide transportation assistance for patients diagnosed with breast cancer.

The individuals and history behind The Pink Shamrock Foundation are near to our hearts at CHAS. The foundation was formed by the family of Denny Murphy. CHAS’s Denny Murphy Clinic honors her namesake. Denny Murphy played a significant role in founding CHAS and helping the organization to get up and running in the early years. She was an incredible advocate for Spokane’s most disenfranchised residents, promoting access to health care for all. Her legacy of helping others is continued through The Pink Shamrock Foundation.

At the gala, we had the opportunity to learn about a variety of organizations helping breast cancer patients and survivors throughout Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. At our table, Katrina and I met volunteers from Casting For Recovery, who help rehabilitate breast cancer patients using the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. We also learned about the YMCA of the Inland Northwest’s LIVESTRONG program, where cancer survivors participate in a 12-week small-group workout program. The gala highlighted the incredible impact The Pink Shamrock Foundation has in supporting such a variety of local programs helping individuals and families impacted by breast cancer, and provided all of us with the opportunity to network and make valuable connections.

Katrina and I shared with attendees about CHAS’s services and how our organization will use grant funding from The Pink Shamrock Foundation. At CHAS, once a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer she or he continues to receive primary care services while receiving oncology services provided by specialty providers. Continued access to primary care is critical while a patient is going through breast cancer treatment, and once treatment concludes. In addition to regular primary care visits, a patient going through cancer treatment is expending more of their budget on transportation costs to access specialty care appointments. Gas gift cards will be given to breast cancer patients to help them continue accessing primary care visits throughout the year, and will also be given to breast cancer patients in need of transportation assistance to access care at referred providers.

Thank you to The Pink Shamrock Foundation for this donation, and for your many years of service in the Inland Northwest! Your local efforts continue to significantly impact the lives of individuals in our community who are facing health challenges. Thank you for your amazing work!

–Lindsey Ruivivar, CHAS Public Policy & Development Manager

Colorectal Cancer Screening, on the Path to Success.

On Wednesday, October 28, CHAS welcomed visitors from the American Cancer Society, Great West Division. CHAS received a grant this year through the American Cancer Society, with funding from the Anthem Foundation, to improve the colorectal cancer screening rate at CHAS Maple Street Clinic. During the first six months of the grant, Maple Street’s staff have increased their clinic’s screening rate from 8.8% to 16.7%, with a goal to achieve 25% by April 2016.

Audrey Fine, Health Systems Manager, Primary Care, Great West Division, American Cancer Society, Inc., discusses colorectal cancer screening efforts with CHAS Maple Street Clinic providers and Medical Assistants

Audrey Fine, Health Systems Manager, Primary Care, Great West Division, American Cancer Society, Inc., discusses colorectal cancer screening efforts with CHAS Maple Street Clinic providers and Medical Assistants

Oftentimes patients schedule a medical visit to address an immediate need, such as congestion or fever. However, a critical component of primary care is prevention. CHAS staff actively encourage patients to receive appropriate cancer screenings. Annual tests can detect cancer of the colon, cervix, and breast at early stages.

Audrey Fine with the American Cancer Society concluded her remarks with CHAS Maple Street Clinic medical staff by sharing a very appropriate quote that beautifully captures the impact of preventative health care:

“The names of the patients whose lives we save can never be known. Our contribution will be what did not happen to them. And, though they are unknown, we will know that mothers and fathers are at graduations and weddings they would have missed, and that grandchildren will know grandparents they might never have known, and holidays will be taken, and work completed, and books read, and symphonies heard, and gardens tended that, without our work, would never have been.”

 

–Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, Former President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Excerpted from Dr. Berwick’s plenary address at IHI’s 16th Annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care (December 2004).

 

Thank you to the American Cancer Society and Anthem Foundation for their generous financial contribution, and the Cancer Society’s excellent ongoing technical assistance, to help improve access to preventive health care for CHAS patients.

Hello November! Tips for a festively healthy fall.

Gobble, Gobble!

The turkey has spoken and November is in!

Turkey

  1. Brr, It’s Cold Out There

As colder weather approaches, remember to layer up and keep warm. Use earmuffs to protect your ears, and gloves or mittens to protect your hands as flu season is very much upon us. If you haven’t already received your flu shot, stop by your local retail pharmacy or doctor’s office and keep those germs at bay by continuing to wash your hands throughout the day. No one likes a sick turkey!

  1. Be Thankful

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. We all love a holiday meal with our families – a warm turkey or ham just out of the oven, mashed potatoes covered in creamy gravy, stuffing and don’t forget those veggies – just remember to show your thanks to your body by maintaining a healthy diet through the holidays.

  1. Friendship Never Gets Old

As the days get shorter with the new season, it’s important to remember to use the buddy system when walking or biking to and from places. Carpooling is also a great way to save on gas and help keep the environment healthy! Make new friends, and keep the old.

  1. Get Up and Get Out

Stay healthy by getting regular exercise and spending time with family. Go outside during half-times and toss the ball around; do a little jig when your team makes a touchdown; or even join your family on a stroll through the park while you pick out your favorite leaves. Whatever it may be, doing 30 minutes of regular exercise will keep your mind, body and heart happy and strong!

  1. Take Care of Your Teeth

As you just spent weeks eating all of your Halloween candy, your teeth are certainly feeling it. Be sure to brush and floss at least twice daily, and especially after eating that delicious kettle corn you’ve been looking forward to. Avoid chewing on kernels as they can get stuck in your gums and cause discomfort, tooth breakage, and sometimes even infection.

Author: Katiah Peterson