Health news at a glance

Posted 3/13/18

CHIP offers community health discussions

Jefferson County residents are invited to participate in various programs developed from the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), completed in 2016, …

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Health news at a glance


CHIP offers community health discussions

Jefferson County residents are invited to participate in various programs developed from the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), completed in 2016, and led by Jefferson County Public Health, Jefferson Healthcare and City of Port Townsend. Programs include:

“Comprehensive Rural Outreach Group”: Meets noon-1 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Brinnon Community Center. The group is led by Senovia Garcia-Ewers. An initial meeting was March 8.

“Access to Healthcare Committee”: Takes place from 11 a.m. to noon the fourth Wednesday of each month at Jefferson Healthcare, Vic Dirksen Room. The first meeting is set for March 14. The group is led by Jen Wharton.

“Chronic Disease Prevention”: Meets 10-11 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Jefferson County Public Health. The group is led by John Nowak. The first meeting is March 13.

“Mental Health/Chemical Dependency Prevention”: Meets 1:30-2:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at the Port Townsend Public Library. An initial meeting is scheduled for March 14.

For more information, call Garcia-Ewers, CHIP executive director, at 360-385-2200, ext. 2029 or email

Nominations sought for public health heroes

Each year for National Public Health Week, this week taking place April 2-8, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) and the Board of Health honor people and organizations that make a significant contribution to maintaining and improving health in Jefferson County.

Nominations are open to the public through March 26. Community members may submit a nomination for an individual, agency, business or group that they feel is making a difference in the health of Jefferson County.

JCPH began recognizing public health heroes locally as a way to celebrate National Public Health Week, honoring people who live or work in Jefferson County and who promote public health in their daily lives.

According to JCPH, a public health hero is a person or an organization that promotes public health in daily life. Public health hero awards could represent the following categories, though other categories are considered:

• The Community Health Promotion Award honors individuals or groups whose efforts increase the quality of life in the county.

• The Public Health Leadership Award honors those in the community who have provided leadership in creating policy solutions that ensure, promote and protect the community’s health.

• The Business Merit Award recognizes companies for environmentally sound practices, which might include healthy lifestyle choices guiding decisions about what to sell, how to support employees’ health and health choices, and how to promote community health.

• The Community-based Organization Award recognizes organizations that provide infrastructure and services that promote public health in a variety of ways.

• The Special Recognition for the Public Health Hero honors individuals or organizations who help identify a problem and then help the community work toward its resolution, e.g., planting trees, building trails, promoting physical exercise or healthy diets, or fitting children’s car seats.

Members of the public may nominate as many deserving individuals or groups as they like.

Nomination forms may be picked up at JCPH (615 Sheridan St.) or online at

Completed forms, due Monday, March 26, can be dropped off at the office, mailed to JCPH, c/o Public Health Heroes, 615 Sheridan St., Port Townsend, WA 98368; or emailed to

JHC welcomes therapist team

Jefferson Healthcare recently welcomed two new therapists to its wellness and rehabilitation team.

Husband and wife Chad and Nicki Boehm said they were attracted to the sense of community they felt at Jefferson Healthcare and in Port Townsend. Both are outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy the water and the mountain lifestyle Jefferson County offers. Each brings specific expertise to the growing wellness and rehabilitation team at Jefferson Healthcare, according to a press release.

Nicki Boehm, MOT, OTR/L, CLT, has been an occupational therapist for four years and is a certified lymphedema therapist. She is a graduate of the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, and her clinical interests include orthopedic injuries, neurological impairments and lymphedema therapy. Her practice style focuses on meeting personal goals and recovery.

“My every day is your (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she said in a press release. “Injury and illness are never ideal, and I’m honored that people allow me to help them during challenging times in their life.”

Nicki is the second certified lymphedema therapist to join the team. A lymphedema therapist benefits breast cancer patients in their treatment programs by establishing baseline measures prior to surgery, patient education and expectations as well as preventive measures for improved outcomes after surgery, according to a press release.

Chad Boehm, DPT, CSCS, has practiced physical therapy for four years and is a Level 1 certified track and field coach as well as a certified strength and conditioning specialist specializing in musculoskeletal injuries.

Chad said he works with his patients to achieve steady gains with as little pain as possible. This supports his philosophy of performing the minimum amount of work required to facilitate change in order to avoid overuse or injury. He enjoys working with athletes to help with their performance issues as well as wellness rehabilitation. He is able to examine a runner’s gait to determine the source of pain, and sometimes the solution can be as simple as education on proper form and the creation of a recovery plan that includes physical therapy.

Compiled by Leader staff writer Katie Kowalski.