Health & Wellness Close to Home

Moving to a new community means finding new healthcare providers for you and your family. Thurston County offers a wide variety of independent health practitioners and large healthcare systems to meet the needs of every member of your household. You’ll find high quality services, which rival larger communities, conveniently close to your new home.

Thurston County’s Public Health & Social Services department provides a wealth of information online about services and programs to achieve and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. A list of community gardens, helpful information and resources for quitting smoking, first-time pregnancy support, and much more is available on their website.

When you’ve finished lifting moving boxes and are ready to get back to lifting weights, Thurston County is home to several national gym franchises, in addition to locally-owned facilities and YMCA branches. You won’t have to look very far to find options for cardio, strength training, yoga, or aquatics. Recreational leagues for both youth and adults are offered seasonally through city parks and recreation programs for football, soccer, baseball, and volleyball.

Health and wellness resources are abundant and convenient in Thurston County. As you meet your new neighbors, ask for recommendations about their favorite healthcare practitioners, recreational activities, and wellness programs. It won’t take long to find the right combination of care providers and healthful activities that are the best fit for you and your family.

Health & Wellness Resources

Thurston County Public Health & Social Services

Hospitals & Emergency Departments
Capital Medical Center |
Providence St. Peter Hospital |

Urgent Care Clinics
MultiCare Indigo Urgent Care |
Providence Immediate Care
Rapid Orthopaedic Urgent Care
UW Neighborhood Olympia Clinic |

Dental Care
Thurston-Mason Counties Dental Society |

Mental Health
National Alliance on Mental Illness/Thurston-Mason
Chapter |

Parks & Recreation Programs
City of Lacey |
City of Olympia |
City of Shelton |
City of Tumwater |

Senior Centers/Resources


Find Relief from Back Pain Close to Home

Most adults can recall a time when they’ve felt back pain. It’s one of the most common medical complaints to physicians. Georgetown University’s Institute for Health Care Research and Policy reports that some 16 million adults have persistent or chronic back pain. That’s 8% of all adults. As a result they are limited in certain everyday activities. People with back pain may miss work, feel downhearted and be less involved in social activities.

“When your back pain is to the point that it’s impacting your quality of life and you’re ready to do something about it, it’s time to get evaluated,” says Dr. Zachary Abbott, D.O. He is one of the fellowship-trained spine physicians at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates’ Comprehensive Spine Center. The specialty center saves patients from running around town for multiple appointments. Instead, they can have quick and easy access, all under one roof, to tests and procedures that aid in a diagnosis. The center’s diagnostic tools include X-ray, ultrasound and MRI.

Abbott is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, electrodiagnostic medicine, sports medicine, and pain medicine. “I see my role as an educator,” he explains. His goal is to assess what’s wrong and help the patient understand the issue. Then he presents all of the treatment options and helps the patient determine which one is the best fit.

One significant advantage of the Comprehensive Spine Center, according to Abbott, is that he and his colleagues are able to collaborate regularly about treatment plans for patients. This helps ensure that each individual receives the highest level of care.

For most patients, he says, nonsurgical treatments are the first step. When surgery is called for, patients can turn to the spine center’s orthopaedic and neurological surgeons, who are at the top of their fields. They specialize in back, neck and spine care using advanced techniques. These include minimally invasive, robot-assisted surgery.

“We’re committed to providing patients with excellent care that rivals that of larger cities,” says Abbott. As evidence of that commitment, a new stand-alone facility is being constructed next to Olympia Orthopaedic’s Westside Clinic for the Comprehensive Spine Center. Completion of the building is expected in 18 to 24 months.


For Additional Information

Olympia Orthopaedic Associates

3901 Capital Mall Dr SW, Olympia


Treating Pain/Reducing Risk of Opioid Abuse

If you’ve ever undergone a surgical or dental procedure, your doctor may have prescribed an opioid, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, or morphine, to reduce your pain. Properly used, these drugs can be very effective. Improper use, however, can negatively affect the reward center in the brain, eventually leading to addiction.

Responsible prescribing and use of opioids is important to the physicians at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates. “We want to minimize pain for people after surgery and treat their chronic pain as well as we can, while also leading the way in educating the community about new prescribing guidelines and limits, and why they’ve been introduced,” explains Dr. Douglas Taylor, who is board-certified in anesthesiology and interventional pain management.

When an individual undergoes a procedure at Olympia Orthopaedics, says Taylor, a key conversation that takes place is about expected pain after the procedure and the treatment for that pain. “We stress that prescribed opioids are to be used as a rescue medication in times when pain is really severe,” he says. Patients are encouraged to use alternative methods for pain control. These may include icing the area, using pain patches or taking over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen. Also commonly used during surgery are nerve blocks, which can minimize pain for up to several days, says Taylor.

Prescribing smaller quantities of opioid medications means that fewer pills end up left over and at risk of getting into the wrong hands. “People with opioid addiction often report that they started with prescription medicines that were in the home of a family member who’d recently had surgery,” says Taylor. “We’re trying to minimize this chance by reducing the amount [of drugs] that get into the community in the first place.”

Olympia Orthopaedic physicians employ many pain treatments, including physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy and injection therapies. “We are dedicated to helping our patients heal and minimizing their pain in safe and appropriate ways,” says Taylor.


For Additional Information
Olympia Orthopaedic Associates
3901 Capital Mall Dr SW, Olympia

Olympia Orthopaedics Welcomes New Sports Medicine Physician

Moving to the Pacific Northwest is a new adventure for Leila Borders, MD, who is joining the team at Olympia Orthopaedics. Hailing originally from Georgia, the doctor stayed true to her southern roots when pursuing her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Emory University and Mercer University, both in her home state.

“I’m excited to make Olympia my new home,” says Borders. “I was initially worried that I might get homesick for Georgia, but when I came out to interview I was pleasantly surprised to find the plants and foliage were similar, so that helped put me at ease.”

Before starting her new role, Borders is completing her primary care sports medicine fellowship at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. She completed her internal medicine residency at the same institution. As part of her training during the last year, she is helping college, high school and semiprofessional athletes to stay at peak performance, in addition to addressing routine health care issues and injuries.

“I enjoy sports medicine because I am able to help change a patient’s quality of life,” the doctor explains. “It’s wonderful when I can help someone with their injury or chronic joint pain and it allows them to do the things they want to do.”

One way Borders will do this in Olympia is through total joint readiness for patients preparing for joint replacement surgery. Maximizing a patient’s ability to engage in physical activity before surgery can help the patient have much better results after surgery.

The doctor is also hoping to work with both recreational and elite athletes to optimize their performance. “One of my favorite things has been working with the student athletes at a rural high school,” says Borders. “It’s such a rewarding experience helping them to improve their athleticism and I’m looking forward to doing the same in Olympia.”

Borders is certified in internal medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Olympia Orthopaedic’s Westside Clinic has begun scheduling appointments for Dr. Borders.

We welcome Dr. Borders and her expertise to our community.


For Additional Information
Olympia Orthopaedic Associates
3901 Capital Mall Dr SW, Olympia

New Trend In Joint Replacement Surgery

If you’ve known anyone who has undergone joint replacement surgery or if you have considered it yourself, you’ve likely heard that a hospital stay of two to three days is a normal part of the recovery process. Thanks to advancements in surgical care, some patients of Olympia Orthopaedic Associates are able to go home within hours of their knee, hip or shoulder replacement.

Nearly three years ago Olympia Orthopaedics introduced a program pioneered at its Olympia Surgery Center and the area’s two hospitals: the RESTORE Outpatient Joint Replacement Program. The program focuses strongly on preoperatively preparing patients to be discharged safely and effectively to home the same day of surgery.

“Outpatient joint replacement is a great option for people who are generally healthy and motivated to recover,” says Becki Taylor, RN, BSN, surgical services program manager. “Closely following the exercise and activity regimen prescribed after surgery by the surgeon and physical therapist is key to a successful outpatient procedure.”

For the right patient, the technology and techniques used with this surgery can reduce the average recovery time, compared with traditional inpatient surgery. Patients also tend to experience fewer side effects postoperatively, such as nausea and pain. The elimination of an inpatient hospital stay reduces the cost of the procedure and minimizes the risk of acquiring an infection.

Recovering in the comfort of your own home is one of the advantages of outpatient total joint replacement that patients appreciate most. “Once we have determined that a patient is ready for discharge, which averages about 3½ hours after surgery, the individual is sent home to recover with the help of a ‘coach’ or family member,” explains orthopaedic surgeon Stephen Snow, M.D. In most cases, he says, a patient is able to perform activities of daily living independently within a day or two.

Olympia Orthopaedic’s expertly trained surgeons have performed more than 600 outpatient joint replacements. They were among the first 5 percent of providers in the nation to make joint replacement available in an outpatient setting and are the only clinic in the area offering the procedure.


For more information about outpatient joint replacement at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates:
3901 Capital Mall Drive SW, Olympia

outpatient total joint program

orthopaedic2Looking at a knee or hip replacement? Olympia Orthopaedic Associates, the largest full-service orthopedic group in the South Puget Sound area, now offers an alternative to the usual hospital stay of two to three days: outpatient surgery for healthier patients, who can then go home the same day of surgery.

“Olympia Orthopaedic Associates provides patients with convenience and the highest quality orthopedic services to get them back to the life they deserve—a life in motion,” says Becki Taylor, surgical services program manager.

Advancements in medicine now allow healthier patients to be up and moving very soon after surgery and returning home the same day, Taylor says. Patients are screened before being offered the program, to determine their fitness for outpatient surgery. OOA, which has been a part of the Thurston County community since 1972, started offering this service to patients in March 2015.

“We are very proactive in educating patients to ensure success after surgery,” says Taylor. Every patient having an out-patient total joint replacement at OOA attends a class and a preoperative physical therapy evaluation, she says. This process ensures that the patient and caregiver are well-prepared for recovery. Taylor reports that post-anesthesia recovery time is about four to five hours after surgery. During their stay, she adds, patients again meet with a physical therapist to go over exercises and to create a recovery plan. Ongoing recovery continues at home, with an outpatient physical therapy program.

According to Taylor, this well-tested, yet innovative program is available only at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates. Ask your primary care physician if the outpatient total joint program is an option for you.


For additional information:
Olympia Orthopaedic Associates