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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 …

Gary Meadows food
Fall 2014

Let Food Be Thy Medicine

Back in the ’90s, scientists for two major cancer-research organizations reviewed thousands of studies and saw armies of broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onions, tomatoes, garlic, carrots, and citrus fruits turning the tide on various cancers. Then, just a decade later, the same scientists said the evidence had since become “somewhat less impressive.”

It was a classic case of science coming off as, well, fickle. One minute, chocolate and beer are good for you. The next minute, science says “sorry” and snatches them from your hand.

“It goes back and forth,” says Gary Meadows, a Washington State University pharmacy professor with nearly four decades researching nutrition … » More …

Lisa Brown at WSU Spokane
Fall 2014

For the Health of a City

For decades the fifty acres at the bend of the Spokane River just east of downtown was a forgotten freight yard, a pocket of blight. Originally an industrial complex dotted with warehouses and laced with train tracks, the city made it a dumping ground for incinerator waste.

By the 1980s, Spokane was also in the weeds. The mining and timber industries that had built the city and sustained it for more than a century were collapsing. Commodity agriculture, the third leg of the city’s economic stool, wasn’t much better.

“This was having a terrible impact on our economy,” says Dave Clack, former chairman of Old … » More …

Fall 2013

If You Don’t Snooze, You Lose

About an hour before sunrise on August 27, 2006, Comair Flight 5191 was approaching 120 miles per hour on its takeoff from the Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky, when co-pilot James Polehinke noticed something strange about the runway.

“That is weird,” he said in a conversation captured by the flight recorder. “No lights.”

“Yeah,” said Capt. Jeffrey Clay.

Sixteen seconds later, their 50-seat commuter jet ran out of runway. Polehinke just managed to get airborne but not enough. The plane hit an earthen berm, clipped a fence and a clump of trees, and went down in a ball of flames.

The pilots had gone … » More …

Ruth Bindler
Winter 2012

What I’ve Learned Since College—An interview with Ruth Bindler ’01

Ruth Bindler ’01 PhD grew up in the Adirondacks of New York. In the 1960s, when she started college at Cornell, the typical paths for women were teaching and nursing. Since she enjoyed her science classes, nursing seemed a logical route. Turned out it was a great fit. After working for a time at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, she moved to Wisconsin with Julian Bindler, who later became her husband, and found both nursing work and graduate school.

Bindler not only went on to become a successful public health nurse, she authored several books on children’s health and medication, was a … » More …