Saying Goodbye

I’m saying Good-bye after 22 years!

Retirement comes the end of July for Barb Malich, CEO. As I look back over the years it is with very mixed emotions—looking back at how far we have come, I’m filled with pride. It has been a tremendous privilege to work with such amazing people – the PCHS staff, many Boards of Directors, and with my colleagues from community health centers across the state.

Watching this chapter of my life close—amidst a period of tremendous growth and development for PCHS is daunting. A new PCHS dental program is opening in late summer in Port Orchard, the administrative offices are going to consolidate and relocate to the 2nd floor in the KPS building—which will then lead to some additional space for our incredibly effective integrated Behavioral Health and Chemical Dependency screening/treatment programs.

It feels like I am walking out on a work in progress, but that has always been the story for PCHS. I walked in on a work in progress 22 years ago….and just look at what we have accomplished!

PCHS is driven by the mission “to provide accessible, affordable, compassionate, quality health care services to our community” and accelerated by the vision that “PCHS is a premier Medical Home providing exceptional individualized health care”.

I was always particularly focused on reflecting our core values –to be Patient Driven, Respectful, and Empathic—and I am deeply committed to our GUIDING PRINCIPLE “To see and value every person who comes through our doors”.

It has been amazing over these 22 years to lead PCHS through unstoppable growth from a single site on Pacific Avenue in Bremerton to five beautiful clinics across the county. I take tremendous pride in the fact we achieved accreditation with AAAHC on the first try with NO findings. The spirit of quality, safety and commitment are reflected in every patient visit we provide. But what has been most amazing, to witness, is the pride in our achievements reflected in the most incredible staff of any health care facility—anywhere! What a team!

Patients will continue to demand more services and our capacity to respond be measured by continued growth. As a result, the health of the community will improve unabated. PCHS saw a huge jump over the past two years in patients served as the full benefits of the Affordable Care Act became reality in Kitsap County. With coverage for so many Kitsap residents comes regular care, screening, support, and improved health outcomes because of access to preventive care. The challenges will continue be overwhelming at times as healthcare access and health care economics drives changes for our community. “Transformed” is the operative word for the future of healthcare in Kitsap County!

PCHS is on the right track—now the leadership baton passes to Jennifer Kreidler-Moss, PharmD, CEO, and a new era for PCHS will begin. I will miss it all, but I’m very excited to see what my future holds! Until we meet again!

Barb

Warfarin/Coumadin Patient Support

Why we work so hard to support our patients on Warfarin/Coumadin

 

Warfarin (Coumadin) is a medication that is prescribed for patients that have blood clots or heart conditions that can lead to blood clots. Warfarin can be a dangerous drug if it is not properly managed by a healthcare professional shown by the high number of Emergency Room visits for side effects each year. The Peninsula Community Health Services pharmacists have been working with patients on warfarin for over 7 years to ensure that our they are safely managed to prevent blood clots and side effects. Nationally, about 50% of warfarin patients are in the goal range when they are followed by a healthcare professional. Our pharmacists’ dedication to providing a high level of care is shown by our patient’s being 20-30% above this national average with a very low rate of side effects and hospital visits caused by warfarin.

Dental Care for a Beautiful Smile

By Peter Jaret
Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

Given all the chewing, crunching, biting, and gnashing they do, our teeth are surprisingly resilient. Still, everyday wear and tear and the natural aging process take a toll.

Here’s what happens to teeth as we age — and what you can do to keep your teeth strong and sparkling for a lifetime.

Preventing Acid Erosion

By far the biggest threat to teeth is sugary and starchy food. These carbohydrates ferment, causing the bacteria in the mouth to produce acids. Those acids can quickly eat away at the enamel of teeth. As a result, this creates tiny pits where tooth decay can form.
Most of us assume that sugary candy is the worst offender. But sweetened carbonated beverages, such as colas, can be even more dangerous, since carbonation increases acid levels in the mouth. Some recent studies have singled out sports drinks as a particular threat to tooth enamel.

What to do:

  • Go easy on sugary foods, especially carbonated soft drinks and sports drinks.
  • Avoid frequent snacking, which causes acid levels in the mouth to remain high over an extended time.
  • If you get a craving for something sweet, chew sugarless gum. Chewing increases saliva production, which helps cleanse the mouth and neutralize acidity.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes and floss daily. Daily dental hygiene reduces bacteria levels in your mouth.
  • See your dentist every six months for a regular checkup that includes removing plaque buildup.

Preventing Mechanical Wear and Tear on Your Teeth

The function of teeth is mostly mechanical — to mash and grind and otherwise break up food to make it more easily digested. For the most part, our teeth are resistant to cracks and chips.

“Contrary to what many people assume, teeth do not become more brittle with age,” says Steven E. Schonfeld, a private practice dentist and spokesperson for the American Dental Association. “Still, we see patients all the time who have cracked or chipped a tooth biting down hard on something like an olive that still has a pit or a kernel of unpopped popcorn.”

Teeth that have fillings or root canals are particularly vulnerable, since they don’t have the strength of structurally intact teeth.