Celebrating Success : 20 Years with Olympic Dermatology

Selective laser surgical procedures. Fine-tuning in diagnostics. The paradigm shift in the development of designer medicines. Scientists that uncover the biochemical nature of disease by studying human genome sequencing.

These are some of the medical advances that keep Dr. James L. Brazil fascinated with his work at Olympic Dermatology and Laser Clinic in Olympia as the clinic begins to celebrate its 20th birthday.

“I love my practice. I love Olympia. I love being part of the community. I’m honored to offer services to our patients,” Dr. Brazil said. “This 20-year celebration was supposed to be a big community party, but the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented that. We will celebrate our success and happiness with you in other ways.”

Dr. Brazil finished his residency in 1991 and moved to Olympia for a five-year trial. He’s still there after 29 years, practicing first at Memorial Clinic before forming his own clinic in 2000 with a small staff. Now the clinic includes a staff of 21, including three who have worked with him for a total of more than 50 years.

“I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to bring an extraordinary amount of technology to Olympia for skin rejuvenation, body contouring, hair removal, tattoo removal and leg vein treatments,” he said. “I like being able to practice as a medical doctor, surgeon and pathologist.”

Dr. Brazil and the staff are a full-spectrum general dermatology practice, including skin diseases that are diagnosed as being associated with internal diseases. With the surgical focus of his practice, he can remove growths and perform reconstruction of the face.

Some other aspects of work at the clinic are new, including tele-dermatology–consultations with distance connections. Some guidelines have stayed the same. 

“Always use broad-spectrum sunscreen, minimize sun exposure and avoid tanning beds,” Dr. Brazil counseled. “Trust an expert. An online search with a lay person is no substitute for a well-trained medical provider. The same holds for public health. Trust an expert.”

To learn more, visit the Olympic Dermatology website.


Is it Safe for Seniors to Return to the Gym?

In recent years there has been a lot of research highlighting the importance of exercise for seniors. For example, we have learned that, contrary to popular belief, weakness and poor balance are linked to inactivity rather than age.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, we are also acutely aware of the increased risk that the virus poses to individuals over the age of 60. According to the CDC, 8 out of 10 novel coronavirus-related deaths reported in the United States have been among adults aged 65 years and older.

Gyms are beginning to reopen as a growing number of communities ease the stay-at-home mandates put in place to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. Many seniors are now facing a dilemma about the risks of exposure to COVID-19 and the risks of prolonged periods of inactivity, which can include loss of bone density, muscle mass and cardio strength.

Fortunately, there are several options for those looking to stay home and stay fit. There are several resources that offer at home fitness programs designed for the 50+ crowd. For example, AARP.org offers links to several video-based exercise routines and many local retirement communities have taken their activity and fitness programs online with platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, which can be a great way to meet other people (virtually). See what type of programming is available at communities that you may be interested in learning more about for yourself or a loved one. You can also contact your local YMCA and, of course, your own physician for recommendations about effective movements and activity that you can do safely at home.

If you do make the choice to head back to the gym, the following guidelines are recommended by the CDC.

Wash hands often

• Everyone should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds at the beginning and end of the visit and whenever you think your hands may have become contaminated.

• If soap and water are not readily available, such as with outdoor activities, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

• Remind guests to wash or sanitize their hands before serving or eating food.

• Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so visitors do not share towels. Have a no touch trash can available for guests to use.

• Always speak with your physician before beginning any type of exercise routine.


Flu Shots This Season

Want to avoid the flu this year? Getting a flu shot each year is the best protection. Providence Health and Services recommend a flu shot for everyone 6 months or older, especially:

  • People age 65 and older
  • Pregnant women
  • Young children
  • Individuals of any age with chronic illness, such as heart, lung or kidney disease, asthma or diabetes or are immunocompromised
  • People who live with or care for those at higher risk

Will the flu shot protect me from COVID-19?

The flu vaccine will not help you avoid infection with COVID-19, says Providence Southwest Infectious Disease Physician Preeti Kondal, D.O., because it is a different virus than influenza. But it will guard you against influenza strains that are expected this flu season, specifically two different influenza A strains, and two different influenza B strains.

Why should I get a flu shot, especially this year?

Getting a flu shot decreases the possible impacts on your respiratory system. It not only reduces your risk of illness but can prevent hospitalizations. Less people in the hospital fighting the flu, also leaves more resources for the care of COVID-19 patients.

While the flu shot is not 100 percent effective, even if you do get the flu, symptoms are usually milder if you have been vaccinated.

When is the best time to get a flu shot?

“The flu vaccine is available now, and you should be vaccinated early in fall before the season begins as it takes about 2 weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop to provide protection,,” says Dr. Kondal. “The vaccine protection lasts about six months.”

Flu season typically peaks in January or February.

How do I get a flu shot?

First, contact your primary care provider. If you do not have one, check with your pharmacy, or an immediate care, express care or urgent care clinic. Flu shots are covered by most insurance plans.

What is the difference between the flu and COVID-19?

Flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.

Stay healthy and safe this fall!

Neighborhood Clinic Serves the Community

As the sun shines the last of its afternoon brilliance through the trees lining South Yakima Avenue, doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel arrive from their shifts at medical centers and put on their Personal Protective Equipment to volunteer another evening at the free Neighborhood Clinic, a 501c3 nonprofit. 

“For folks like ‘Joe’, a visit with the Neighborhood Clinic could be the difference between life and death,” says NC Excutive Director Benita Ki. One evening, soon after Washington’s Stay Home Stay Healthy directive, ‘Joe’ was triaged outside the clinic doors according to the clinic’s protocols responding to Covid-19. He was given a nasal swab test which would not come back that night. Joe was experiencing homelessness, and when the test returned positive, the clinic staff began to search for him. With the help of area shelters, he was eventually found and given care at a newly opened center for folks who need a safe space to quarantine. 

A third of the clinic’s visitors are people who are experiencing homelessness. Nearly two-thirds of all patients identify as people of color, and ninety percent do not have insurance. The volunteer medical team also sees a growing number of patients who speak very little English.

One hundred and fifty hardworking medical staff continue to volunteer for shifts at the clinic during this pandemic, many without having even a bite to eat after work before they arrive. Even so, Clinic Coordinator Josefina Clarivel Manzueta, RN, acknowledges that “it can be a little bit overwhelming at times.”

The clinic itself is over thirty-five years old, and has continued to provide urgent care as well as help with some chronic conditions to patients on Monday and Thursday evenings. In partnership with the University of Washington Tacoma’s Social Worker program, the clinic also provides referrals and locates other resources for people who choose to meet with a social work intern. Neighborhood Clinic also helps area hospitals by diverting patients from crowded and costly emergency room visits for issues that can be cared for at the clinic.

With support from donors, Neighborhood Clinic has been able to remain open throughout the pandemic, and has continued to provide excellent healthcare service to the community! For more information, including ways to donate or volunteer, visit neighborhoodclinictacoma.org.

Tumwater Eye Center’s New Facility

At the new location of Tumwater Eye Center, Dr. Douglas Jeske and his wife, Karen, have created a distinctive look and customer experience for their patients. This new facility, located at 6510 Capitol Boulevard SE, features state-of-the-art eye care technology and equipment.

With the help of Orca Construction, Quincy Home Interior Design, and Tovani Hart Architecture, the Jeskes turned a 1950’s home office into a classic, yet contemporary eye clinic. On the exterior of the building there are large overhanging eaves, created with sustainable hardwood and composite siding materials, creating a uniquely Northwestern style which adds depth and character to the building. Upon entering, you are greeted by the warm, welcoming open-design entry featuring vaulted ceilings and extensive windows that flood the space with natural light. The optical display cabinets use beautiful LED illumination and textured laminates to enhance the international frame collection. Noted elements of the design feature budding birch cabinetry harvested from sustainable crops, sliding office door enclosures, and natural linens encased in a recyclable resin.

Beyond the beauty of the location, Tumwater Eye Center features extensive use of technology to create a unique patient experience. Dr. Jeske uses premium computerized refracting equipment to create precise vision corrections. The vision concerns of patients are solved using the most current contacts and progressive lens designs and materials, including blue light blocking lenses. Qualified and compassionate staff help patients through state-of-the-art digital and infra-red retinal imaging and dark adaptation testing to allow early diagnosis of eye disease. Computer monitors in each exam room allow patients to observe images of their own eyes as Dr. Jeske offers practical education on eye health. The practice is also on the cutting edge of telemedicine, which allows remote patient examination with the simplicity of FaceTime.

For Additional Information

Visit their new location at 6510 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater or online at tumwatereye.com.


Olympia OB/GYN Heroes: Babies Born During Pandemic

Babies are born when they are ready, and dedicated medical personnel tackle coronavirus challenges to deliver them safely.

That’s true of the team at Olympia Obstetrics & Gynecology (OOG), who developed new techniques as they work with patients and welcome babies. They are using technology in positive ways while they keep everyone safe.

“We love moms and babies,” said Dr. Darrel Bell. “The virus hasn’t changed how special each delivery has been. I thank all those who protect mothers and babies by wearing masks and practicing social distancing.” An average of 100 babies a month are delivered by clinic medical staff.

Cari Bussey, certified nurse midwife with the clinic, said, “So much about obstetrics is about family. It is different not having family members in the clinic with the mother.”

“I can’t wait to get over separating families,” Dr. Bell agreed. Partners are always welcome in the delivery room, but “not a lot of extra people are invited into the hospital,” he said, adding that for some patients this limitation created a “beautiful intimate time.”

“We’ve discovered a lot of silver linings,” Bussey said. “Health care workers have been forced to hop on the telemedicine effort. We’ve been able to adopt what works for us, and patients enjoy some benefits. “OOG utilizes a telehealth system that ties the visit to the patient’s electronic health record. Patients receive a link via email or text and can access us through their mobile phones, iPads and desktops.”

Deb Cannon, practice administrator/manager at the clinic, said, “We are a big family, and maybe none of us really understood what it means to be an ‘essential worker’ until now. We have been proud to have maintained a safe environment for everyone; that includes the babies.”

ShowCase Magazine salutes Olympia Obstetrics & Gynecology for going the extra mile for their patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Olympia Obstetrics & Gynecology

MultiCare Good Samaritan

Good Samaritan has been caring for COVID-19 patients since the beginning of the pandemic in Washington. Throughout the COVID-19 response, community members have been providing a morale boost to health care workers through kind words, donations and artwork.

Read the following reflections from Good Samaritan team members about working at the hospital and what the outpouring of support from the community means to them.

Charlene Falgout, Chief Nurse

“I’m so proud to watch our nurses, day after day, dress up in gear and take care of our patients with courage, heart and grace. They adapt to the numerous changes and they continue to do the rightthing to protect and care for their patients and families.”

Lescia Myers, Clinical Director, Critical Care

Lescia has been leading the COVID-19 teams at Good Samaritan.

“The support from the community is what brings joy to staff throughout the day. It makes us feel like we are not alone. I want to celebrate our COVID-19 teams on 8-Dally and 5-Dally. My team and the staff at Good Samaritan Hospital have been amazing. The support from the community and the response from the system and across the nation makes me hopeful for the future.”

Acacia Corson, Patient Access

“I love all of the community support – I love all of the art. Something so small can make such a difference. The small businesses who have had to cut their own business but are still making donations to support us – it speaks volumes.

What makes me hopeful is the way everyone at Good Samaritan Hospital jumped into action during this crisis, ready to assist one another and other departments any way they could.

After all of this, I can’t wait to see my friends up close and hang out. My two-year-old daughter keeps me hopeful. She reminds me of what things used to be like.”

Michele Rivers, Director of Nutrition Services

“The support from the community is beyond. It’s beyond. We just love you for it. We all have families at home. But we are all a family too. My team has more than eighty people and we’re at the frontlines of this pandemic as well. I’m proud of the way that we’ve been able to help others. I’m also proud that we can still come here and have fun.”

Sandy Ross, RN, BSN, CPAN – PACU Nurse

“I’ve worked here for 29 years. The community support right now is very heartening. The artwork is wonderful! We have pictures from kids in the PACU. We also love the donated meals. I want to recognize some of the unsung heroes like our housekeeping and nutrition services team members. They are just as exposed as the rest of us and they are doing such great work.”

Dr. Dennis Kolb, MD, Chief Medical Officer

“I’m proud of the way our teams have been flexible with all of the changes, never losing sight of why we are all here. Everyone who works here has stepped up in their own way. What makes me hopeful for the future is knowing the strength of our team.

The support from the community is everything – it’s why we’re here.”


Wesley Health and Home Care Continues to Serve

Wesley Health and Home Care has been serving families all around the Northwest for years with their in-home health care services, and this summer they’ve continued to provide excellent, reliable service with the recently-introduced Palliative Care Program. This program offers home health services for homebound patients with advanced diseases. 

For those with a serious illness, the option of palliative care combines home health and hospice services to manage whatever disease or symptoms they may encounter. Palliative care is an effective option for those who may not be ready for hospice but could benefit from specialized care and emotional as well as physical support. Wesley’s new program allows a team of professionals to provide palliative services while addressing the many ways serious illnesses affect patients and their families.

While eligibility for hospice care requires a certain prognosis, palliative care is administered based on each person’s individual need. A palliative care doctor is able to visit patients once a month, or whatever frequency they deem appropriate, and works alongside the primary care doctor to help manage symptoms and minimize hospitalizations. 

The Wesley Home Health team ensures that their palliative care patients receive nursing, social work, chaplain services, and volunteers when needed, along with a guarantee of invaluable in-home service from caregivers.

For more information, visit the Wesley Health and Home Care website.

A New Home for Mary Bridge Children’s

In 1955, the dedicated women of the Tacoma Orthopedic Association (TOA) realized their goal when the first standalone children’s hospital in the region– Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital–opened its doors for care.

Then, in 1987, the need for more space and more services drove the hospital to move its inpatient services into a new wing at Tacoma General Hospital. The hospital continued to fulfill the vision of the TOA — now called the Mary Bridge Brigade — to provide specialized pediatric care. But its co-location inside an adult-services hospital meant that Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital faced challenges in providing the completely child-focused experience the hospital’s young patients and their families need and deserve.

And so, the time has come for Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital to once again have its own building — designed to provide the safest and most advanced pediatric care possible.

The new Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital is expected to open in late 2024. This is a complex project that will take a number of years to complete and will have impacts across the Tacoma General/Mary Bridge Children’s hospital campus. More details will be shared with the community as soon as they are finalized.

Generous community support has been the bedrock of Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Health Network for nearly 100 years. For that reason, Mary Bridge Children’s Foundation is also in the earliest planning stages of a fundraising campaign to support Mary Bridge Children’s. Updates on the fundraising plans will be provided as they are developed. Visit the Mary Bridge website to learn more!

Fitness: Workout Classes to Stream Online

Keep up your fitness routine while at home during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) time with thanks to these local workouts locations. 

Barre Classes, Olympia

Define Barre is offering online virtual Barre Classes. Join  alone or bring a friend.  Sign Up below with FIRST Class FREE through the Online Store.


Yoga and Thi Chi, Tacoma Wa 

Join classes on-line stream classes. Relieve stress, increase flexibility and energy, and make your joints feel better. Try a live online group class or a 1-on-1 private session for $15


Ruby Soul Yoga, Lacey Wa  

Yoga classes offered such great health benefits. Ruby soul slowly re-open under Phase II with limited hours and services beginning June 5. Check out their in-studio & virtual class schedule online.