Coronavirus: Risks and Preventative Measures

Coronavirus is getting a lot of attention right now. Though thousands of cases of the newly identified 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in China and dozens of other countries, the immediate health risk to most people in the United States remains low. Still, federal officials are monitoring the virus and closely tracking this illness to help the most people possible.

Coronaviruses are part of a large family of viruses that include the common cold as well as more serious respiratory illnesses. Reports of the new coronavirus first surfaced in early December 2019 among people in Wuhan, China. The 2019 novel coronavirus causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person to person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is monitoring the outbreak and providing updates and guidance as it becomes available.

What are the symptoms of the new coronavirus?

Patients with confirmed 2019 coronavirus have reported mild to severe respiratory symptoms, including:

•   Fever

•   Cough

•   Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, in most severe cases

According to the CDC, symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

Is there a vaccine or treatment?

There is currently no vaccine to protect against the 2019 coronavirus. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. There is also no specific recommended treatment, but people who have been infected are encouraged to seek medical care to help relieve symptoms.

Protecting your health and those around you

We recommend some precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of any virus, the 2019 coronavirus in particular, and to help you avoid getting sick:

  • Avoid contact with sick individuals
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
  • Carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer so you can keep your hands clean even when you’re not near a sink 
  • Get a flu shot
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect high-traffic surfaces, like keyboards, phones, remote controls and door handles, and thoroughly wash glasses and utensils
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash — if you don’t have a tissue, use the crook of your arm
  • Stay home if you are sick, even if it’s just the common cold

6 Things Women Should Know About Heart Health

Heart disease is the nation’s leading killer of women. Paying attention to risk factors and living a healthy lifestyle, though, can help keep heart disease at bay.

While heart health is an important concern for all women, women transitioning through menopause in mid-life are at the highest risk. The menopausal changes in body composition, cholesterol levels, and fat distribution must be kept in mind when assessing risk for heart disease. Among women, 90% have one or more risk factors for heart disease at some point in their lives, according to American Heart Association statistics. Yet 80% of cardiovascular diseases are preventable.

Get annual checkups

It’s important to get annual checkups to assess heart-health risk and take action. Prepare in advance for the appointment, much as you would when gathering documents to meet with a financial adviser. Be prepared to have a conversation about past heart diseases in your family, or other relevant information.

In addition, become knowledgeable of your key health numbers, such as blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. For example, blood pressure of less than 120/80 is considered normal.

Know the symptoms of a heart attack

Women’s heart attack symptoms may cover a wider spectrum compared with symptoms in men. Women may experience the “classic” heart attack symptoms of chest pressure, chest discomfort or shortness of breath, just as men do. Beyond that, however, women may also show symptoms such as shoulder or back pain, generally on the left side, indigestion, or nausea.

Tell your doctor if you had a pregnancy complication

Recent research has focused on heart disease linked to pregnancy-related complications. Diabetes and hypertension during pregnancy as well as early delivery have been linked to increased cardiovascular disease risk years later. The overall stress that comes with pregnancy is a possible marker for heart disease later in life.

Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep—getting less than six or seven hours a night—is also connected to heart disease, as research has shown. Poor sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, can make it difficult to lose weight, and may make you less likely to want to exercise.

Tame stress

Chronic stress is another area of concern for women. It can lead to behaviors and factors that impact heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inactivity and overeating.

To cope with stress, eat healthy foods, exercise and get plenty of sleep. Consider talking to others about your stress, including a friend, parent, doctor or counselor.

Find a health partner

In all heart-healthy efforts, it helps to have a partner in the endeavor.

Work with a health care provider to find a customized treatment plan that fits your daily life and medical needs. A friend, family member or co-worker also can be a good partner for getting physically active and sticking with a healthy eating plan. If your routines are interrupted, don’t worry; a support system is a good tool to help you get back up.


Capital Medical Center Lends a Robotic Arm

Thurston County is reaching new medical heights with its very own Capital Medical Center.

Through a partnership with Olympia Orthopedic, the Center is the first hospital in the county to implement a ground-breaking robotic arm surgical system that functions to assist with hip-joint and knee replacement surgery.

This addition is an exciting one for those in the community that are proper candidates for hip and knee replacement, due to the improvements the robot makes from previous surgery performance. For one, robot assistance has proven to produce more accurate results. Studies show that robot-assisted knee replacement is two to three times more accurate than manual replacement. Further benefits include less time under anesthesia and recovery, and the hospital stay is often less than 24 hours.

Even though going under the knife is a requirement for many people during their lifetime, it can be a little nerve-racking for some. But the fact that the surgeon uses this new system during replacement surgery should bring some mental relief. According to Dr. Trask of Olympia Orthopedic, the robot makes the surgery safer and is completely guided by the surgeon. “I perform cuts through a haptic zone that only lets me cut the bone I intend to remove. I run it the whole time. The robot never does anything on its own.”

The system also allows every surgical experience to be personalized to each patient. “I get to plan their surgery virtually prior to making any bone cuts,” says Dr. Trask. “It allows me to be proactive and what to anticipate during their surgery. As a whole, [it] makes the procedure more predictable.”

Check out Capital Medical Center’s new surgical system today on their website and rest easy knowing that your hips and knees are in the hands of top medical professionals and technological advances!

For Additional Information

Capital Medical Center


A Community Advocate: Madelin White

Successfully running a small business for more than four decades is no small feat, particularly if you start off with little prior industry experience, as was the case for Madelin White, owner of Merle Norman Cosmetics, Wigs, and Day Spa in Lacey. “My father and I were both working for the state when he suggested we start a beauty-related business. He believed it was one of two types of businesses that could make it through a recession,” recalls White. “The other option was a tavern, and neither of us drank,” she says laughing.

Her father wasn’t wrong. The business has weathered seven recessions and diversified its services to include hair styling, massage therapy, facials and waxing—in addition to the full line of Merle Norman makeup and skin care. Over the years, White has built a loyal following that she describes as an extended family. “Today I have great grandchildren as clients who are the fourth generation of families that have been with me since the beginning,” she says proudly. “I haven’t retired because I would miss all of them so badly!”

The loyalty of her community is well-deserved. White has always tried to provide the best service possible and she goes even further by being a champion for small businesses and nonprofits. She has worked tirelessly to protect small businesses at the state and local level as a board member of the Washington Retail Association and the Lacey Chamber of Commerce. She has also advocated for grandparents raising grandchildren through programs at Family Education and Support Services and given countless hours to the American Cancer Society.

White’s support for cancer patients and education programs is something that hits close to home. “I’ve lost my whole family, except for my kids, to different types of cancer,” she explains. “Teaching classes at hospitals is one way I can offer my support. I try to give them a little fun, in an otherwise tough time of their lives, by showing them ways of camouflaging the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.”

For Additional Information

Merle Norman Cosmetics, Wigs, and Day Spa


Eating Healthy: Common Myths Debunked

Eating healthy and losing weight are common goals at the start of a new year. From fad diets to extreme workout programs, we’re constantly overwhelmed with what exactly is healthy for our bodies. Luckily, Pacific Medical Centers’ Christy Goff, RDN, CD, is here to share some information about common nutrition myths.

  • Not all carbs are bad carbs

Due to the popularity of food trends that remove carbohydrates from the diet, it’s hard to know what we should be eating. While we should cut back simple carbs, such as sugars and processed white flour, complex carbs contain many healthy nutrients that we need daily. For example, fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest, but that helps with digestion and managing cholesterol made in the body. Other goodies found in carbs are vitamins and minerals like vitamin B and magnesium. With this in mind, you should still be conscious of what types of carbs and bread you’re consuming. We recommend trying whole grains like whole-wheat bread, quinoa, squashes, couscous, and brown rice. 

  • Yes, eggs (and their yolks) are still healthy for you

There is still a lot of misinformation out there about eggs and their connection to heart health. Though egg yolks do have cholesterol, they do not contain saturated fat, which is linked to a higher risk for heart disease. Eggs also contain more nutrients than people expect, like omega-3, vitamin A, and choline. Choline is particularly great for the brain, which is especially beneficial for children and pregnant women. Another fun fact – all eggs, no matter what color (white or brown), have approximately the same nutrients. 

  • Integrating superfoods subtly still counts

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to include only expensive superfoods in your diet. While superfoods contain a high nutrient and antioxidant content with little calories, most everyday plant-based foods are important to add to your diet in addition to superfoods. Common superfoods that may not be difficult to incorporate are blueberries, kale, bananas, chia seeds, eggs, avocado, and salmon.

  • Why the Mediterranean diet remains a favorite among dietitians

According to US News, the Mediterranean diet remains the #1 Best Diet overall, and this is true among dietitians promoting it across the nation. This diet is an eating plan that includes an active lifestyle, high amounts of produce, nuts, and legumes, and low amounts of red meat, sugar, and saturated fats. This diet is a long-term lifestyle change that not only encourages more home-cooked meals but is also flexible and easy to follow. Researchers have demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet benefits an individual’s health by lowering the risk for brain and heart disease, cancer and diabetes. 

For more information on eating well, visit the Pacific Medical Centers’ website.

Service and Convenience at Light Dental

We can all agree on the qualities for the ideal dental provider: round-the-clock service, free consultations, same-day appointments, entire-family bookings, empathetic service and affordable care. It’s nearly impossible to find a full combination of such attributes. But then there’s Light Dental Studios.

The dentist-owned company—with 16 locations in the South Puget Sound—has customer service at the core of its mission. “We try to treat people the way we would want to be treated,” says owner and CEO Dr. Steven Broughton, who bought his first office from a former dentist in 1997. “People say our practice feels like we’re all neighbors, like they’re just going down the street for friendly dental care.”

With hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. including Saturdays, doctors available 24/7, free consultations, same-day appointments, and entire-family same-day care, Light Dental Studios has solutions patients need.

“We’re trying to make dentistry effortless by making it about our patients, not the dentists,” says Broughton. “Our schedule accommodates their schedule, not the other way around. Our doctors are always available, and almost all procedures are done in-house.”

Besides standard dental checkups, treatments and other services, Light Dental Studios offers on-site orthodontics, implants, surgeries and dentures. Children’s dental care is also offered. In fact, the offices frequently schedule care for entire families side-by-side on the same day to save time.

Light Dental Studios also gives back to the community at the annual South Sound Free Dental Day. That’s when the staff donates its time and skills to give away more than $90,000 worth of dental work—including fillings and extractions—on a first come, first-served basis. “We want patients to feel comfortable,” Broughton says. “Our first goal is to provide same-day treatment.”Broughton notes that Light Dental Studios will continue to add offices over the upcoming years in growing neighborhoods.



Physical Therapy with Fun & Family

Owners Kim Bisson and Susan Jankelson wanted to create a clinic that felt like home. Their goal was for each person who walked through the doors, whether patient or employee, to feel like part of the family.

Welcome home to Rainier Family Physical Therapy. What started over a cup of coffee in 2007 has transformed into a thriving practice based on two principles: family and fun! No more boring, stressful doctors’ offices. Rainier Family Physical Therapy wants to be a highlight of your day.

Committed to serving people in their own backyard, community involvement is important to this team. They are proud sponsors of the Run 4 Her Heart 5K supporting women’s heart health, and the K9 5K, a dog-friendly run in support of Bridges Center for Grieving Children.

Rainier Family Physical Therapy uniquely provides personalized treatment plans with expert staff trained in Counterstrain therapy, Muscle Energy techniques, Kinesio taping, therapeutic exercises, and various methodologies to promote overall healing and wellness.

The skilled team of physical therapists offers a variety of exercise, manual, and strengthening therapy options to suit different abilities and prevent future injury. They seek healing beyond the symptoms to find the source of issues for the most effective treatment.

“The therapists are amazing and make you feel like family. There is always a smiling face. I hate to be done, but I am grateful to be healed. Thank you all for your support and getting me back on track,” client Joanne wrote in a thank-you note.

Neighbors from Puyallup, Graham and around the South Sound depend on Rainier Family Physical Therapy for help with back and neck pain; muscle, tendon and ligament injuries; concussions; headaches and migraines; muscle tightness and weakness; pre- and post-surgical support and so much more. They even offer free consultations—with no pressure, only fun.

No one wants an injury. But—just in case—you need someone to call. Who better than family? For physical therapy, it’s Rainier Family.

18710 Meridian Ave E, Puyallup


More Than Just ‘Eye Candy’

Have you ever sat in a medical appointment, wishing you were receiving more personal service? Not just the next one in line, but actually cared about? Then take a peek into Eye Candy Optical and say hello to Dr. Kandi Moeller.

Dr. Kandi and her team are ready to treat you like family—which she jokes, “Isn’t always a good thing”—but get ready to have fun.

Dr. Kandi is a new neighbor too! Kandi Moeller and her husband moved to the South Sound in June, bringing with them five fluffy kitties, two of which were “foster” cats that they loved too much to let go. When was the last time you were invited to bring in pictures of your pet to share with your doctor? Dr. Kandi feels that pets are another part of your family and welcomes them with open arms.

Dr. Kandi is motivated in helping clients with things we may take for granted—kids seeing the chalkboard at school and seniors appreciating the beauty of leaves on trees. (And she may or may not have a goal to rescue as many cats as she can!)

With 20 years of experience as an optometrist, Dr. Kandi can do it all—eye exams, contact lens evaluations, medical exams, diabetes eye care, Lasik co-management, myopia control and orthokeratology. Eye Candy Optical also provides unique eyewear with superior quality lenses and coatings and contact lenses.

Dr. Kandi shared, “I want to educate folks on the need for eye exams. It’s not just about how well you see—I am also looking for life-or sight-threatening diseases that don’t have symptoms, like lung cancer, diabetes, glaucoma, leukemia and more. People can ‘see fine’ and ‘feel fine’ and unknowingly have cancer or other diseases. Everyone needs yearly eye exams!”

Take a look at Gig Harbor’s Uptown today and help welcome your new neighbor, Dr. Kandi and Eye Candy Optical, to the neighborhood!

4735 Point Fosdick Dr, Gig Harbor


Simple Steps to Reduce Your Risk of Falling

Can you name the most common cause of injury among older Americans? It’s falling—which happens to one in four adults age 65 or older each year—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This tallies up annually to 29 million falls that result in 3 million emergency department visits, 850,000 hospitalizations, and 29,000 deaths. The good news is that the risk of falling can be reduced by taking a few simple steps.

Tell your healthcare provider. A fall can be caused by a health condition or medication you’re taking. If you have fallen or feel unsteady at times, it’s important to evaluate your risk with your healthcare provider and develop a plan for fall prevention. Be sure to have your provider check your feet annually too. Discuss proper footwear and whether you should see a podiatrist.

Get an eye exam annually. A visit to an eye doctor will diagnose conditions that may limit your vision, like glaucoma or cataracts. If your eyeglasses prescription has changed, be sure to update your lenses.

Improve your balance and strength. Adopt an exercise regimen to strengthen your core and leg muscles. Tai chi, a gentle and graceful form of exercise and stretching, has been shown to help reduce falls. As an extra bonus, a recent study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that tai chi also helped improve brain function.

Make home modifications. More than half of all falls take place at home. Remove hazards such as clutter, throw rugs, and poor lighting. Install grab bars and handrails. Add non-slip materials to tubs, showers, and stairs.

Be cautious when walking Fido. A study in JAMA Surgery found a dramatic rise in bone fractures attributed to canine companions. When walking your best buddy, stay aware of your environment and take extra precautions during inclement weather. Investing in a retractable leash and obedience training can also help.

Taking these steps will lower your fears of falling and help you continue enjoying the activities you love most.


For Additional Information

National Council on Aging

Centers for Disease Control

The Names Family Foundation Gift of Wellness

The Names Family Foundation, which has supported health and wellness projects in the region for many years, has pledged a $3 million gift to support the new Fircrest Pool and Community Center, the largest gift in the city’s history.

The City of Fircrest is replacing the nearly 60-year-old pool and community center complex. The Fircrest-based Names Family Foundation’s gift is a huge boost to the city’s effort to raise $8.5 million in philanthropic gifts and public grants toward the $18 million project.

“I am excited for the young people who will get to make their own childhood memories in Fircrest,” said Rick Names, the Names Family Foundation’s Vice President.

The foundation was started in 1996 by Sis and Scott Names, who ran the successful Scott’s Athletic Equipment store in Lakewood for 42 years. Their family’s mission is to enrich the community by awarding grants to organizations that emphasize health, wellness, and physical education in the Pierce County area.

Five generations of the Names family have grown up in Fircrest and they have fond memories of participating in classes and sports at the community center, swimming at the pool, and enjoying their youth at Fircrest Park. “Fircrest will always have a special place in my heart, and I am truly excited to see what the future looks like for the city,” said Monica Names King, a granddaughter of the founders and secretary of the Foundation.

“The Names family has an incredible legacy of investing in gyms and recreational facilities throughout the region, and we’re honored that they are making such a historic pledge here in the city,” said Fircrest Mayor Hunter George. “Generations of residents of Fircrest and neighboring areas have grown up in our recreational facility. The Names Family Foundation is helping us ensure that future generations have the same opportunities to grow.”


For Additional Information