MultiCare signs to acquire Capital Medical Center

MultiCare Health System has entered into an agreement to purchase the majority ownership interest in Capital Medical Center in Olympia from subsidiaries of LifePoint Health, a holding company based in Tennessee. 

Capital Medical Center is a full-service, 107-bed community hospital that opened in 1985 and serves communities in Olympia, as well as Thurston, Mason, Lewis and Grays Harbor counties. When this purchase is complete, MultiCare will have the majority ownership interest in Capital Medical Center. A small percentage of the ownership of Capital Medical Center (less than 10 percent) is held by a group of community physicians. Current plans are for the physicians to maintain these ownership interests, but this could change in connection with the transaction closing.

The agreement comes after nearly two years of discussion between LifePoint Health and MultiCare, as well as a rigorous review process that included evaluating the hospital’s finances, quality, compliance status, facilities and technology, as well as employee and provider relationships.

MultiCare has offered an array of services in the Olympia and Thurston County region since the late 1990s when we opened a Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital satellite clinic in Olympia. Today the services we provide in the greater Olympia area include pediatric care, laboratory services, OB/GYN care, orthopedics and sports medicine, cardiac care through Pulse Heart Institute and urgent care services at a number of Indigo Urgent Care locations.

Capital Medical Center — which will become MultiCare Capital Medical Center after the acquisition is finalized — will be an important addition to the organization. It will allow MultiCare to partner with more patients and more communities; have a larger impact statewide as an essential system of health; and give MultiCare greater ability to help shape the future of health care in the Pacific Northwest.

Despite the challenges we’ve faced in 2020, we are continuing our journey to become the Pacific Northwest’s highest value system of health. Over the years MultiCare has been a good steward of our organization’s resources, giving us the financial reserves we need to continue to invest in our existing organizations and services, to develop new clinical services, and to further extend our services into new geographic regions.

Radiology Scholarship for TCC Students

As a college student, it can be tough to manage work and school, especially when you have to pay for it all yourself. Scholarships can be the difference between earning a degree and being forced to drop out, which is why the TRA Medical Imaging Foundation and Tacoma Community College are proud to announce a new partnership! This partnership will provide financial assistance and a mentoring program for Tacoma Community College (TCC) Radiologic Technology students. 

In its first act of support, TRA Medical Imaging Foundation provided a one-time gift to four TCC Radiologic students who were identified as being at-risk of dropping out of the program. Funded by the Bamford Foundation and matched by the TRA Medical Imagining Foundation, this unique and generous gift met an immediate need for these students. 

TRA and TCC have also announced a new TRA Medical Imaging Foundation Scholarship that will be available for the 2021-22 school year. The TCC Foundation will administer this scholarship to eligible TCC Radiologic Technology students. Students may apply starting in January. 

“We have great, talented and dedicated students in our Radiologic program, and TRA has been an amazing partner, and have gone out of their way to learn about the challenges our students may face on their way to becoming radiology technologists,” said Krista Fox, Dean of Health, Business and Professional Services. “TRA has taken the time to understand these roadblocks, which include food insecurity, homelessness and other barriers. It’s given them a new respect for our students, who embody hard work, integrity and resilience – all attributes that lead to success in the health care industry.” 

In addition to financial support, TRA will provide mentoring for scholarship students. Because Radiologic Technology is a field with many sub-specialties, students will be assigned TRA mentors based on their areas of interest – mammography or CT scans, for example. 

Both the immediate awards and the ongoing scholarships will help students complete training for a field that has an increasing local demand for qualified technicians. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, radiologic technician employment is increasing nationally at a rate 13 percent higher than that of other jobs. TRA Medical Imaging, the South Sound’s largest imaging organization, employs 480 employees, which includes 125 technologists and 20 x-ray techs. 

“This education fund will help us grow the next generation of medical technologists by providing a mentorship program and scholarships for students who want to pursue careers as radiology technologists,” Dr. Douglas Seiler, President, TRA Foundation. “TCC has one of the best radiology programs in the state, and they’re right here in Tacoma. It’s a wonderful collaboration and a natural partnership that serves our community.”


For more information about TCC’s Radiologic Technology program, please visit TCC’s website.

6 Tips On Managing Fear In Uncertain Times

Almost everybody worries about what will happen during these unpredictable times. The prospect of not knowing if something good or bad will happen in the near future can produce a lot of fear and anxiety.

As a result, here are 6 tips on how to deal with fear of the unknown. 

1. No one can predict the future with one hundred percent certainty. There are always circumstances and factors that you can’t predict which can be used to your advantage. For instance, you are at work and you miss the deadline for a project you have been working on for the last few months. Everything you feared is coming true. Suddenly, your boss comes to your office and tells you that the deadline is extended and that he forgot to tell you the day before. This unknown factor changes everything.

2. Learn to take it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or coming months, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. 

3. Get all of the facts of the current situation. Instead of worrying about what may or may not happen, try to get of the facts of what you are worrying about and then try to find a solution to your problem.  Ask for help from others if you can!

4. Take a deep breath and try to find something to do to get your mind off of you anxieties and stresses. A person could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper, watch TV, play on the computer, or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. This will distract you from your current worries.

5. Challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make you fearful or depressed, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense. Always look at the bigger picture.

6. Worrying can make the problem even worse. All the worrying in the world will not change anything. All you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best, and when something does happen, take it in stride. If you still have trouble dealing with anxiety of the future, then talking to a counselor or clergyman can be of great help.

STANLEY POPOVICH

Code Lavender: Caring for our Caregivers

Caring for the community during a pandemic can take a toll on frontline and other essential health care heroes.

“There were days when you just wanted to cry, because these patients that you work so hard on to get them better, they weren’t going to get better,” Heidi Strub, RT, at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital, shares.

“It was not difficult just emotionally, it was draining physically,” Max Ceban, RT, at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital, adds. “It’s a dark memory in my life.”

It is because of this very reason that MultiCare has created the Code Lavender program to provide mental health and emotional support for health care workers.

Code Lavender is a donor-powered program that began in 2016 to provide peer-to-peer incident stress management following a traumatic event. Led by a team of physicians, nurses, chaplains, social workers and mental health counselors, Code Lavender offers debriefings, educational presentations, reflection rounds and spiritual care to help employees reduce stress and avoid burnout.

“People will share their heart for a minute, and then they go back to being brave, back into that role of being a hero,” MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital Chaplain, Jim Cornwell, says. Code Lavender is important for “sitting beside and being there in the little windows when they just need to process something.”

Today, Code Lavender has grown to include a 24/7 employee support hotline and twice-weekly virtual leadership roundtables to talk through challenges and strategize for success.

Gifts through the MultiCare Health Foundation help Code Lavender expand even further. Donations will help broaden educational, psychological and spiritual resources and extend the program’s geographical reach to MultiCare employees serving in the Inland Northwest.

To find out more, or to support programs like Code Lavender, visit the MultiCare website.

by Shelby Taylor

Right Care, Right Time, in the Right Place

In an ever-changing medical environment, Dispatch Health has emerged as a convenient alternative to traditional in-person visits.   Providing urgent medical care for an injury or illness in the comfort and privacy of your own home, a professional medical team arrives at your door complete with a well-equipped Rover vehicle.

For every house call, Dispatch Health sends a physician assistant or nurse practitioner along with a medical technician. An on-call physician is available at all times via phone. They will also communicate with your primary care team to ensure seamless care.

According to DeAnn Johnson of Dispatch Health, “Through our amazing teams of healthcare professionals, we are redefining healthcare delivery to be accessible, convenient and cost-effective.”

The Dispatch Health team will start with a phone call to triage your injury or illness over the phone and then evaluate if a visit from their team is the best course of action or if they recommend you seek higher-level care.  If a visit is recommended, a team in a Rover will be dispatched.  Each Rover vehicle is equipped with everything the team will need to treat you that an urgent care facility would have, plus more. 

As an affordable, safe option to going to a busy doctor’s office or hospital, Dispatch Health is accepted by most in-network health plans including Medicare and Medicare Advantage, as well as commercial insurance.  Billing of your insurance plan is completely handled by the Dispatch Health team to ensure the entire process is simple and convenient.

Need workplace COVID-19 testing for your company? Looking for quick tests for symptomatic and asymptomatic patients, residents, co-workers or loved ones? Dispatch Health can help test for COVID-19, flu, strep and mono.  They are available seven days a week, including holidays. Contact them to learn more!

You can request care between 8am and 10pm, seven days a week by calling 253-271-9720 or for more information visit their website at dispatchhealth.com.  Watch their one-minute video – mp4 file here or YouTube here.  For the most convenient process, download their free app – DispatchHealth – from the app store on your smart phone.  

Stay home.  Stay safe.  And, let Dispatch Health come to you.

Time-Restricted Eating: Fact or Fiction?

Does eating earlier in the day affect the way the body stores energy? The American Heart Association performed a study to answer this very question. Their findings revealed that restricting meals to early in the day does not affect weight among overweight adults with prediabetes or diabetes.

“We have wondered for a long time if when one eats during the day affects the way the body uses and stores energy,” says study author Nisa M. Maruthur, M.D., M.H.S., associate professor of medicine, epidemiology, and nursing at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. “Most prior studies have not controlled the number of calories, so it wasn’t clear if people who ate earlier just ate fewer calories. In this study, the only thing we changed was the time of day of eating.”

Maruthur and colleagues followed 41 overweight adults in a 12-week study. Most participants (90%) were African-American women with prediabetes or diabetes and an average age of 59 years. Twenty-one of the adults followed a time-restricted eating pattern, limiting eating to specific hours of the day and ate 80% of their calories before 1 p.m. The remaining 20 participants ate at usual times during a 12-hour window, consuming half of their daily calories after 5 p.m. for the entire 12 weeks. All participants consumed the same pre-prepared, healthy meals provided for the study. Weight and blood pressure were measured at the beginning of the study; then at 4 weeks, 8 weeks and 12 weeks.

The analysis found that people in both groups lost weight and had decreased blood pressure regardless of when they ate.

“We thought that the time-restricted group would lose more weight,” Maruthur says. “Yet that didn’t happen. We did not see any difference in weight loss for those who ate most of their calories earlier versus later in the day. We did not see any effects on blood pressure either.”

“Together, these findings will help us to more fully understand the effects of time-restricted eating on cardiometabolic health,” Maruthur says. This new research will be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2020.

Written in collaboration with the American Heart Association

Dr. Finch Joins Tumwater Eye Center

Devin Finch, O.D., says the timing couldn’t have been better for him to join Dr. Douglas Jeske and the team at Tumwater Eye Center. In July 2020, Dr. Finch completed a residency in ocular diseases at Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center in Texas after earning his doctorate in optometry the year prior from Pacific University College of Optometry in Oregon. At Tumwater Eye Center, the team recently moved into an expanded facility offering state-of-the-art eye care technology, equipment, and additional services.

“I’ve known Dr. Jeske for several years and I’m glad to work with him to provide high quality eye care to the community,” said Finch. “The team is friendly and personable, and the new facility has been designed to include top notch diagnostic equipment that helps to identify eye health issues sooner.”

In addition to providing comprehensive eye exams to assess the health of his patients’ eyes, Dr. Finch has clinical interests in treating retinal pathologies, dry eye disease, and glaucoma. He is especially committed to helping pediatric patients control myopia (nearsightedness) to prevent the condition from becoming unmanageable or becoming the catalyst for eye diseases later in life. Adults with moderate to high levels of myopia have an increased risk of blindness from cataracts, retinal degeneration, and glaucoma. A myopia control treatment plan, which could include the use of medicated eye drops or contact lenses, can slow down or stop the progression of myopia in children, improving their quality of life.

An Olympia native, Dr. Finch was glad to return to his hometown to be near his parents and friends throughout the Puget Sound. He enjoys traveling to foreign countries and spent time in Japan during his medical training and in Guatemala on a mission trip to provide eye care to those in need. Chile and Peru are places he hopes to visit soon.

JULIE LEYDELMEYER

For Additional Information
tumwatereye.com

5 Simple Strategies for Healthier Holidays

American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good™ movement offers simple tips for self-care this season.

Nourishing yourself is smart for your heart and an effective way to take control of your health during the holidays. During Eat Smart Month this November, the American Heart Association, the leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives, offers its latest recipes and science-backed tips to help you be Healthy for Good™.

“The holidays can present nutrition challenges and additional stressors, but simple changes and investments in your own health can make an impact on your wellbeing and help you enjoy the season even more,” said Jo Ann Carson, PhD, RD, retired professor of clinical nutrition volunteer chair of the nutrition committee of the American Heart Association. “Start small by making one more healthy choice today and build on it tomorrow.”

The American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good Eat Smart Initiative offers five tips for nourishing yourself this holiday season:

Get creative with swaps:

Cooking at home is a great way to take control of your diet and tweak favorite seasonal dishes. Reduce sodium by replacing salt with herbs and spices, adding more fruits and vegetables to dishes and using lower-sodium canned and frozen products. Combine lower-sodium foods with regular versions to help your taste adapt.

Snack smart:

To avoid overindulging at holiday gatherings, prep with nutrient-rich, Good Mood Foods that don’t sacrifice taste. Check out this no-added-sugars recipe for Cinnamon Sweet Tortilla Chips with Fruit Salsa created by the American Heart Association and Healthy for Good® supporter, SweetLeaf. It’s perfect for a pre-party snack that will keep you feeling full and less tempted by those unhealthy choices.

Take your time:

Don’t rush through meals. Enjoy mealtime with family and friends by pausing between bites and savoring your food.

Use time-saving technology:

Many grocers make it easy to shop deals and save time with online ordering and pick-up and delivery options. Plus, it’s easier to resist that candy bar in the checkout line if you aren’t in a staring contest with it.

Practice gratitude:

It can help lower blood pressure, improve your immune system and spur you to eat better and exercise more. Write down five things you’re grateful for and share them with your family and friends. Gratitude is the gift that keeps on giving.

For more healthy tips and recipes visit
heart.org/eatsmartmonth

Tuladhara Yoga in Gig Harbor

When you ask Alicia Barrett, owner of Tuladhara Yoga Studios, about yoga, her passion and love of the practice is immediately apparent.  Formerly a director at a major retailer, Barrett left the corporate life a few years back in search of her own community of people.

In the years that followed, Barrett traveled around, teaching yoga classes.  It was then the idea of creating a community of people through her own studio formed.  Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, she was drawn back to the South Sound area, where she overcame her fears and brought her idea to life.

“The regret of not trying would be worse than the failure of it not working,” Barrett says. So, in 2016, she opened her first studio in Lakewood.  This was followed by a second studio in Tacoma’s Proctor District, and, most recently, a third location opening in Gig Harbor.

The name Tuladhara means “the bearer of balance.” Students are encouraged to find balance in the body, mind, and spirit.  With more than 25 public classes alone at the Lakewood location, Barrett believes fully that Yoga is for ‘Every Body.’  “Classes can be really relaxing and restorative or, really sweaty and challenging,” Barrett said.  The three studios are heated, but they are not hot.  The focus in every class is on breathwork, meditation, and the posture practice. Students are encouraged to find the type of practice and poses that work for their bodies.

The new Gig Harbor location will focus on serving the entire community. From Kids Yoga to Chair-Assisted Yoga for Seniors, there will be classes and events for every shape and age– proving that yoga really is for “Every Body.”  If you want to learn more challenging poses or learn to stand on your head, there will be classes and events for the seasoned yogi as well. 

The newest Tuladhara Yoga studio is located at 4641 Pt. Fosdick Drive Suite 200 in Gig Harbor.  For a full view of the class schedules, events, and services at their three locations visit the Tuladhara Yoga website.Tuld

Great Food and Service: Forefront Healthcare

As part of a new long-term expansion plan, scheduled to be completed in 2023, Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community has recently announced their partnership with Forefront Healthcare! This partnership provides delicious, healthy food and dining services to the residents that TLRC serves. “The changes made to our dining services program have been warmly and enthusiastically accepted by TLRC residents and employees,” says Kevin McFeely, TLRC President and CEO. “We are excited about our future, and forming this partnership is a major step in ensuring our residents and employees nutritional well being.”

Tacoma Lutheran’s goal was to partner with a company who worked alongside the community members to help every resident with not only healthy nutrition but also delicious cuisine. Forefront Healthcare has been able to provide all that and more. “We strive every day to enhance the resident experience, and we look forward to a long and productive partnership,” says Patrick M. Johnson, President Senior Living at Forefront Healthcare. 

“The change has been for the better! The variety of food that is now offered to us, longer hours for us to come and go as we please, and the service is impeccable. Their omelets are amazing.” said Mary Roberts, resident at Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community. 

The new partnership with Forefront Healthcare is a welcome and exciting change at TLRC. Forefront will continue to help TLRC provide excellent care for current residents and residents for many years into the future.

MARTINA PRESTON