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green tea cup & teapot
Summer 2017

Reading the benefits of tea leaves

Much of what is known, scientifically, about the arthritis-fighting benefits of green tea has in one way or another come from Salah-uddin Ahmed and his research group.

It was Ahmed who helped establish that a phytochemical found in green tea essentially halts the progression of rheumatoid arthritis in lab rats.

It also was Ahmed who helped pinpoint where in the disease’s progression that the phytochemical, known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate or simply EGCG for short, is able to combat further degradation without blocking other cellular functions.

Now, with scientific evidence supporting green tea’s health benefits continuing to pile up, Ahmed hopes the research he and his … » More …

Midwives tend to a newborn baby while the exhausted mother rests in bed, circa 1450. Another child lies in a cradle beside her, being rocked by a servant. Original Artwork: A miniature engraving from 'Histoire de la Belle Helaire' on a 15th Century manuscript from the Imperial Library, Paris. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Spring 2017

Call the midwife

ViviAnne Fischer practices midwifery in her clinic near Pullman, where you can see her connection to the long and complicated history surrounding the practice.

In a green-colored house along a dirt road, at the top of a set of stairs, a large, nondescript black suitcase stands before a crammed bookshelf, her “library” for families. Inside the suitcase is a mix of new, modern medical equipment beside bottles of herbal extracts.

On the other side of the room is an odd-shaped stool at the foot of a bed. The bed is almost cot-like but the wooden frame poking out from beneath the quilt is carved. The … » More …

Winter 2016

Power to the patient

The health care system has long been focused on finding ways to improve patient care.

But to pharmacist Josh Neumiller and other members of an interdisciplinary research team at Washington State University Spokane, too often something was missing.

Patient perspectives.

“We flipped that around,” explains Neumiller, an associate professor at WSU’s College of Pharmacy who studies medication lapses and other adverse conditions among those who take multiple prescription drugs. “There’s been this realization…that the people these improvements were supposed to be for weren’t being included in the decision-making process.”

Neumiller, along with researchers from the WSU College of Nursing and Providence Health … » More …

Fall 2016

The Epidemic

“This program saved my life,” he says as he enters the room. Kris, 37, is in the Spokane Regional Health District methadone clinic where he has come for treatment of heroin addiction since 2008. The intense, dark-haired man speaks openly, earnestly, as if he has nothing left to lose.

Kris says his journey into addiction began, “Quite simply, by a doctor.” Struggling with pain from a minor car accident in 1999, he was prescribed increasingly stronger doses of hydrocodone and OxyContin over a nine-year period. The FBI eventually raided the unethical physician and closed his practice, leaving patients like Kris stranded and facing withdrawal when … » More …

Fall 2016

Fat furnace

Body fat has gotten a bad rap in recent years. It’s understandable given that 70 percent of American adults are reportedly overweight or obese, costing $190 billion per year in related medical bills. But new research shows not all fat is created equal.

Washington State University professor of animal sciences Min Du says our bodies are equipped with both good and bad types of fat that naturally work together to balance weight and metabolism. The process—along with a little help from diet and exercise— involves an intricate interplay between white, beige, and brown fat—or adipose tissue.

“When most people think of body fat, they’re … » More …

Tangletown in Seattle
Summer 2016

It takes a (walkable) village

They call it Tangletown—a Seattle neighborhood where streets and trolley tracks intersect like wayward skeins of yarn. In the 1930s, local residents routinely chose the trolley for trips to work, the market, or hardware store. They did that several times a day and it involved a lot of walking, says Glen Duncan, professor in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine and chair of nutrition and exercise physiology at WSU Spokane.

Duncan lived in Green Lake near Tangletown for a time, and says public transportation systems like trollies provided a level of physical activity that is all but lost in today’s society.

“We’re completely … » More …

The Pharmacist illustration
Summer 2016

The Pharmacist will see you now.

Shelves full of informational brochures, health aids, and other over-the-counter remedies. Pharmacists filling and checking prescriptions, tending to paperwork, and meeting with customers.

Tucked into a portion of a busy Fred Meyer retail store, it looks like a typical community pharmacy.

Except there’s a difference. A big one that could help transform how and where many routine health care services are delivered.

Located in the Vancouver suburb of Mill Plain, it’s among the first wave of enhanced pharmacies where customers not only can fill prescriptions but receive direct medical care for a range of common ailments that would otherwise require a trip to a doctor’s … » More …

Take a walk and call me in the morning - thumb
Spring 2016

Take a walk…and call me in the morning

The U.S. Surgeon General wants YOU to get off the couch and start moving. In the new Step It Up! program, Dr. Vivek Murthy urges walking or wheelchair rolling for all Americans. He’s not alone—the Centers for Disease Control touts walking as the closest thing to a wonder drug without any side effects, says April Davis ’97, ’09, ’12 MS, clinical assistant professor in the WSU Spokane Program in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. Like Panacea, the mythical Greek goddess of universal remedy, walking has something for everyone.

Since Kenneth Cooper first popularized aerobics in 1968, millions of Americans have taken up running, cycling, and … » More …

Police training in a new light
Spring 2016

Police training in a new light

The call came into 9-1-1 from a Spokane YMCA last October: A middle-aged man was threatening to break the kneecaps of an eight-year-old, because he said the boy could “ruin my NBA career.”

Corporal Jordan Ferguson of the Spokane Police Department responded, fully aware of the suspect’s antagonistic and unpredictable behavior. Ferguson’s body camera footage shows what happened next.

In the lobby of the YMCA, an employee first describes the man’s erratic statements. Ferguson tracks the man to the gym, who then walks away yelling. Rather than restraining the man immediately, Ferguson asks him questions and listens carefully and calmly, taking his time as the … » More …