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Cover Story: Artist Jane Seitz, who was given 18 months to live five years ago when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, has made it her passion to show others how to find distractions from the disease.When Jane Seitz was selected by a Texas company five years ago as one of two American artists to be featured at a gallery in China as part of the Beijing Olympics, the opportunity was a huge boost, not to mention groundbreaking — she would have been the first American female artist whose work would have been sold in a gallery in China.

“It was terribly exciting,” she says.

While preparing for the trip, however, Seitz received a call from her doctor: She was to drop everything and come in immediately. Seitz was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and needed emergency surgery.

Although the odds were stacked against her — pancreatic cancer is terminal and less than one-fifth of people survive the procedure she underwent read more »

 

Dr. Sherwin Shinn with his wife, Faria, outside the Boys and Girls Club Center in Gig Harbor where he practices at Lindquist Dental Clinic for Children. (Photo courtesy Dr. Sherwin Shinn)Dr. Sherwin Shinn built a thriving dental practice in suburban Seattle in the 1980s, and that success enabled him to travel the globe establishing clinics that provide dental care for people in some of the world’s most impoverished countries.

But he came to the Lindquist Dental Clinic for Children in Gig Harbor a few years ago as a temp.

“I was doing temporary services through an agency,” the 64-year-old dentist said. “It was right after I got back from living in Uganda, and I didn’t have a private office.”

He was a natural fit at Lindquist, a nonprofit that treats children from low-income families at its clinic inside a Boys and Girls Club center. Shinn was dental director for Lindquist’s four South Sound clinics for awhile, and he currently works four days a week at the clinic in Gig Harbor. read more »

 

Group Health Cooperative has approved a five-year extension to a contract for Franciscan Health System to provide inpatient care and other medical services for Group Health members in the South Puget Sound region.

The contract for coordination of services has been in place since 1996; the extension is effective in January 2013.

Officials from both nonprofit healthcare systems say the contract renewal is an innovative approach that reflects both sides’ commitment to broadening their partnership beyond the acute-care setting and to exploring innovative models for care delivery. read more »

 

The Washington State Department of Health has turned down Franciscan Health System’s request for administrative review of the state’s decision to deny a certificate of need for home-health services in Kitsap County.

FHS, headquartered in Tacoma, currently offers hospice services in Kitsap County, along with operating a clinic in Port Orchard and St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor. The nonprofit healthcare organization applied for a home-health services certificate of need in King, Pierce and Kitsap counties.

In its application for Kitsap County, FHS estimated the area would need six providers for home health by 2015 but currently only has four certified as Medicare and Medicaid providers. FHS officials have said its move to expand to home health stemmed from health care reform, which will mandate hospitals to ensure patients stay healthy once discharged and don’t return for inpatient services too soon. read more »

 
Healthcare

Associated Press

The overhaul of the nation’s health care system requires that by 2014, all businesses with 50 or more employees must provide health care benefits that are deemed affordable under the law. Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, small companies can get a better idea of what it means for their business.

Here are some questions and answers about how this affects small business owners read more »

 

For the past few months, word has been spreading around the Kitsap Peninsula about “Ready, Set, Go! 5210,” a new initiative focused on targeting obesity and chronic disease, with a special emphasis on youth. The YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap counties has been promoting various 5210 activities and pilot programs, and Kitsap Public Health District is spearheading outreach efforts related to workplace wellness.

The campaign is modeled after Let’s Go!, which was launched several years ago in the Portland, Maine, area and has since been adopted around the country. read more »

 
Healthcare

Liberals and conservatives agree the rapidly increasing cost of health care is unsustainable in the U.S. Last year the country spent $2.4 trillion, comprising 18 percent of our economy or gross domestic product. Although the rate of increase has tapered off slightly the past two years, the U.S. is still spending twice the rate of inflation for health care.

Who are the people using these health care dollars? Who are the most expensive patients?

The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) tracks health care expenditures and patient demographics. In 2008 and 2009, the last years of complete data, 10 percent of patients used 70 percent of all health care dollars. read more »

 

Silverdale regulars may have noticed some increased walking activity around town earlier this spring, as staff from The Doctors Clinic took to the streets. Physicians and employees participated in a Workplace Walk-Off Challenge, with teams competing against each other for the highest number of steps taken during a four-week period.

Almost 50 percent of the staff participated, focused on the goal of reaching at least 10,000 steps a day. By the time the 40 teams of five people were done, they had walked a cumulative 48 million steps, or approximately 24,000 miles.

“I was thrilled and overwhelmed at how many people participated,” said Kyrsten Wooster, benefits specialist for The Doctors Clinic who oversees wellness. read more »

 

Kristi McGee leads a workout in the studio with windows that open onto the shoreline.Participants in group workouts at Annapolis Fitness studio might notice a familiar face they’ve seen on television. And if they know who he is and what he’s accomplished, it could well inspire them to persevere in their own commitment to get fit and be healthy.

Jonathan McHenry, a 32-year-old graduate of South Kitsap High School, got the opportunity read more »

 
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