Eat Out on Capitol Hill - Great Beginnings!
Our immense gratitude to Jeff Ofelt, owner of Cha Cha Lounge and Bimbo’s Cantina for his numerous contributions including underwriting printing costs, making connections with many of his associates on the Hill, and serving as advisor. “We’ve been much busier than usual tonight!” stated Thank you Dinette owner Melissa also to Café Nyffeler while working Presse owner the stove line at 9:30 pm. Joanne Herron “Lots of people mentioned for pulling up Country Doctor tonight,” her e-list on from Barrio’s receptionist. our behalf. “It’s been a very, very We thank busy night” observed the Stranger Morgan Phillips, manager for their of Oddfellows Café. unending of you also got creative; publicity for the event! It was like this all over consuming your main course Thanks also to the Capitol Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Times for donating a full September 14th as so many at one site, moving on to ice cream at another, and page ad. Designer Lupe of you ate and drank at the ending the evening with Carlos donated his talents 29 businesses that supported a nightcap at yet another CDCHC’s First Annual Eat Story continues on page 3. Out on Capitol Hill. Many spot. Thank you so much.

1 Eat Out on Capitol Hill 2 Message from the Executive Director 3 More Eat Out on Capitol Hill 4 Program Profile: Diabetes Health Maintenance 5 News Fan Mail 6 Save the Date! Third Annual Dinner 7 Welcome New Staff Reach Out and Read

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our mission To improve the health of our community by providing high
quality, caring, culturally appropriate primary health care that addresses the needs of people regardless of their ability to pay.
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS Pamela Dunn Chairperson Joan Kleinberg Vice-Chairperson Secretary Jerry Sale Treasurer Cheryl Anderson Colt de Wolf Patrick Ferguson Robert Lesko Ly Sieng Ngo August Piper, M.D. Winnie Sperry Sara Thompson, M.D. Rik Wyman ex-officio Kathy Smith-DiJulio Greg Swint Raleigh Watts Emeritus Willie Gammon Lisa Taylor

CDCHC is a wonderful place to get health care. I say this not just because I work here but because this is confirmed by patients all the time in many ways… families who have been patients for four generations, the patient who takes time to write a letter of thanks, patient comments on our quarterly patient satisfaction survey. I received a letter from a patient expressing their appreciation, “I just want to write a quick note on how thankful I am for Country Doctor… I don’t think I’d be employable again without your help. The next time I am employed, ahead financially, Country Doctor is the organization that will be remembered”. A medical student described her learning experience here this way: “Each doctor and nurse practitioner has a unique style that works and attracts a different panel of patients. But a unifying theme among these patients is the amount of respect and trust the patients have for the providers. I was swept away by the dedication of the physicians and the staff at Country Doctor”. Our quarterly patient satisfaction survey asks patients whether they would recommend Country Doctor to others – 98% do. Several comments are worth sharing: “I have nothing but love and respect for this clinic and the care I have been provided over the years. CDCHC is the perfect example of what health care should look like in America today”; “This clinic is extremely important to the community and its future”; “I first came here years ago because I could not afford to go anywhere else. Now I can go elsewhere but prefer to come here”. CDCHC has been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1998 – for the fifth time last October. Although we are very proud of this accreditation, (the medical system’s equivalent of the “good housekeeping seal of approval”), it is truly the opinion of our patients that matters most. Last year we asked patients, “if finances or insurance were not a barrier would you continue to seek care from CDCHC?” 88% said “yes”; those saying “no” wanted to seek care closer to home. The “yeses” are best summarized by this patient comment, “because the service (quality) is really good and the human touch is really important. I like supporting a clinic that is compassionate toward all in our society”.
Linda McVeigh

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A round of applause to: Barrio Bimbo’s Cantina Café Presse Caffé Vita Cha Cha Lounge Coastal Kitchen Dinette Eltana Bagel Café Fuel High 5 Pies Julia’s on Broadway Le Bête La Cocina Molly Moon Ice Cream Monsoon Oddfellows Café Olympia Pizza Piecora’s Pizza Poco Wine Room Poppy Poquito’s Quinn’s Pub Ristorante Machiavelli Smith Tango The Tin Table Volunteer Park Café

to create the artwork and layout of all print materials. His creativity really captured what the event and Country Doctor are each about. The event would not have been possible of course without the incredible support of the Capitol

Hill restaurant community. Please remember these businesses the next time you’re deciding where to eat and drink on Capitol Hill, or when you’re considering whether to come up to the Hill or go elsewhere.


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going to be motivated until they feel really bad and the condition has gotten out-of-control. Another barrier can be cost; medications, lab work, diabetic supplies, and visits to specialists all add up. Without free or low cost access those with little income will wait until their condition is so bad a visit to an emergency room is required. CDCHC’s goal is to eliminate the barriers to care. Each CDCHC patient who tests positive for diabetes or pre-diabetes is referred to Astrae or Nancy to establish a realistic plan-of-action based on the patient’s socio-economic situation, culture, language, mental health, and any substance abuse issues. In Nancy’s words, “They need tools and support to secure medicine, understanding, and motivation to make this as easy as possible.” Nutritionist Carla Levesque adds, “Understanding and motivation are also important when it comes

“They don’t feel sick so patients often wait until they’re acutely ill with lost vision, poor circulation, a stroke or even a heart attack before they will seek help. Because diabetes is not something you can see and is an expensive disease to control, it’s very hard to motivate an underinsured or uninsured patient population with few resources,” according to diabetes educators Astrae Doty Vargas and Nancy Huzo-Podegracz, RN. The biggest barrier for patients is often psychological; many aren’t

to making dietary changes. Changing lifelong eating habits is challenging. With education, healthy foods can be appealing and affordable. The goal is to encourage realistic food choices and applaud even small successes.” Astrae has a patient who lives close to one of our clinics. It took four years of listening, encouragement, and education to overcome this patient’s fear of needles and help her feel comfortable enough to have her inject insulin by herself. Astrae was able to secure a “hidden” needle at no cost making the process much less fearful for her patient. Success followed.

The key at CDCHC is working as a team, serving as the bridge with providers, understanding patients’ individual needs and circumstances, and building trust. In the words of a former diabetic patient, “Nancy made me want to want it enough. With her encouragement and follow-up, I finally made the changes I needed to make.”

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Recent grants We thank the following foundations for their support: Glazer Foundation Horizon Foundation Joshua Green Foundation The Norcliffe Foundation Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund Medical Director Dr. Rich Kovar named 2012 national Family Physician of the Year. Rich Kovar, MD, Medical Director, was selected as the National 2012 Family Physician of the Year by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Candidates are nominated by their constituent chapters and in the case of Dr. Kovar, are often at one time also the state’s Family Physician of the Year. Six national finalists are selected and their nominations reviewed by a panel of final round judges that this year included US Representative Dr. John Fleming of Louisiana (R). Reading the list of criteria, Dr. Kovar has them in spades. Two stand out; “Provides his patients with compassionate, comprehensive, and caring family medicine on a

I visited the clinic today for the first time. I never thought I would be without a job and health insurance… and here I am. I want to thank you so much for the services that I received and for being there. I was treated with the greatest dignity, and really liked my doctor. Thank You!!!! “So lucky to have a place like this!!! Great people here, that help those who need it!” “Love, love, love this clinic. Everyone is friendly and my doctor is FANTASTIC. Thank you all so much.” –Facebook, June - September 2011

continuing basis and, “Is directly and effectively involved in community affairs and activities that enhance the quality of his community.” Congratulations, Dr. Kovar!

Get connected. Check out CDCHC’s Facebook page.

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MD, the new provider at the Carolyn Downs clinic site. Kristen continues, “I’ve always wanted to work in a community health center. At a public health clinic you work with a similar population but there are lots of missing pieces to comprehensive healthcare services such as a diabetes program and obstetrical care. I appreciate having everything in one place. The doctor and patients both benefit from this.” A Kent native and UW undergrad, Kristen headed east to Tufts University in Boston for graduate and med school. As have several other Country Doctor providers, Kristen did her residency at Swedish Hospital First Hill and, like Dr. Carrie Rubenstein, Kristen was awarded a Geriatric fellowship to Swedish. “There’s a strong sense of collegiality here. I feel well-supported plus none of us would be here if we didn’t appreciate the mission. I treat people who can’t get care elsewhere.” In her sparse free time, Kristen is on the athletic field! Whether it’s playing in a women’s softball league or as member of the Underdogs, a volleyball team comprised of former medical residents, Kristen confirms, “this is my main outlet”.

“It’s hard getting into Country Doctor; nobody ever leaves,” according to Kristen Anderson,

Reach Out and Read
Children up to five years old receiving a well-child exam at the Carolyn Downs clinic site will now leave each visit with a book that they chose in hand. Reach Out and Read is a program that promotes early literacy and school readiness by providing new books to children during their wellness visits and speaking to parents about the importance of reading at a young age. (This program was started at the Country Doctor site several years ago by Katie Hester, ARNP.) Thanks to the efforts of Carolyn Downs clinic site director Dr. Megan DeBell and volunteer Kate Collins, funding for almost two years’ worth of new books was raised at a dinner hosted by Geraldine’s Counter in Columbia City. The event exceeded all expectations. Thank you for supporting the event and recognizing the power of literacy.


Country Doctor Community Health Centers 500 19th Avenue East Seattle, WA 98112 Working together for the health of our communities.


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