Pet Care Goes High Tech|
Story by CHEY SCOTT
Want a dog that lives to hunt? How about one that runs like the wind? Maybe one that doesn’t shed? Prospective pet owners are often willing to shell out hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for a purebred pup, hoping the little dog will have the perfect mix of good looks and instinctive talents.
The downside can be that these selectively bred dogs also carry a higher risk than their mutt counterparts of developing a genetic disorder.
Paw Print Genetics, a new start-up in Spokane, offers clinical genetic diagnostics of dogs. “We’re hoping breeders use our services before breeding to avoid passing along a disorder to the puppies,” says the company’s CEO and founder Lisa Shaffer. “For pet owners, you want to know what you’re getting into because, with some of these diseases, the dog can die young or it could cost thousands of dollars in vet bills to stabilize the pet.”
IN-DEPTH: Rehab Reality|
Story by NICHOLAS DESHAIS
NEWS Toys are stacked on the front porch of the Isabella House, but the kids are nowhere to be seen. Inside the front door and behind a red, velvety curtain in the imposing 113-year-old house on the edge of Coeur d’Alene Park in Browne’s Addition, their playroom is also abandoned, smelling faintly of cleaning product.
“The kids are at the park,” says Art Jacobs, who runs the house. “The women are meeting.”
Jacobs is leading a tour of the inpatient facility, which serves chemically dependent “pregnant or post-partum women.” There’s the TV room with seats for a dozen or more people, the dining area for twice as many and the kitchen, where a woman is lining up frozen burger patties on a baking sheet. Behind a closed door, the women who live here are talking.
PEOPLE: Dining with Dignity|
Story by JO MILLER
Marlene Alford grew up eating a hot breakfast every morning and coming home from school to cookies fresh out of the oven.
She met a stark contrast to her upbringing when she started volunteering at the Women’s and Children’s Free Restaurant in 1998. “To see a whole different side of life — moms who would take home salad in a baggie so that they would have something later — was kind of a real shock to me,” she says.
Alford, who has been the executive director of the restaurant for 10 years, became part of the organization when they needed a chef to fill in. At the time, she was working for a chef and was also about to open her own catering business, but set it back a while to help out. She came down and cooked for two weeks and never left.
“Serving $75-a-plate corporate dinners was not as rewarding as serving a wonderful home-cooked meal to a family,” Alford says. “Good food should be shared.”
Public Health: New Age of AIDS|
Story by DANIEL WALTERS
The exam room was cold, clinical, defined by sterile white walls. When the nurse came in with his diagnosis, she was crying. She didn’t even have to say anything. Mark Burnett knew.
This was in 1988 in Santa Rosa, Calif. Then and there, AIDS was a death sentence. His reaction to finding out he had it, he says, was typical. “There’s denial, there’s anger. There’s desire to make it go away,” Burnett says.
But there was a part of him that knew it was coming. He was gay, dating another gay man he suspected had the disease.
“He knew he was probably HIV positive, but refused to get tested,” Burnett says. Burnett had used condoms to try to protect himself, but apparently it hadn’t been enough.
55-PLUS: Checkup for Men|
Story by JACOB JONES
Dr. Bob Riggs, with the Group Health Veradale Medical Center in Spokane Valley, says one of the greatest hurdles to keeping men healthy as they age is just getting them into a doctor’s office.
Statistically, men put off medical appointments more often than women. Unless they have an emergency or an ongoing health issue, many fail to schedule checkups or screenings.
“Usually, the reason a guy comes in for a physical is because his wife made him,” Riggs says. “They just don’t show up. It’s a pretty big problem.”
innovation: Just Breathe|
Story by HEATHER CARO
NEWS Like most new mothers, Coeur d’Alene resident Rebecca Schroeder remembers feeling in awe of her baby boy when he was born in the summer of 2007. In the days following his birth, she recalls counting Brady’s tiny toes and smoothing his blond hair. But at his two-week follow-up appointment, her baby was already showing signs that something was terribly wrong.
“That’s when I first heard the words ‘failure to thrive,’” says Schroeder as she numbly recalls Brady’s steady weight loss, shrill cries and a nurse repeating a heel-stick screening test for a disease called cystic fibrosis.
Cystic fibrosis, Rebecca and her husband Brock would learn, is a rare but fatal genetic disease affecting around 35,000 Americans (70,000 worldwide). Due to a dysfunctional protein, people with CF produce thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs, obstructs the pancreas and decreases the body’s ability to absorb food. CF patients often lead lives punctuated by lengthy hospital stays and strict medication regimes. And despite advances, their average life expectancy is still only in the mid-30s.
A confirmation call from the pediatrician’s office quickly launched the young family into a whirlwind of doctor’s appointments, testing and consults, including a prescription for pancreatic enzymes that had to be force-fed to Brady with every meal, and that he would need to take for the rest of his life.
Story by ANNE MCGREGOR
CHECK IN Marquette Hendrickx is the grants manager at the Benewah Medical and Wellness Center in Plummer, Idaho. A graduate of the University of Idaho with a Master’s Degree from Gonzaga University, Hendrickx is also a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. In October 2012, the Benewah Medical Center opened in a building designed by NAC Architecture of Spokane. The center is believed to be the first joint venture in the U.S. between a tribe and city municipality for the purpose of providing health care for all residents. Read More>>
Story by CAT CARREL
CHECK IN Have you ever wondered why it’s so difficult to change the way we think? Our thought processes evolve over the course of our lives. By the time we are adults, our way of thinking is deeply ingrained Read More>>
Heading for Home |
CHECK IN What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than with a footrace, some baseball and fireworks? For the second year in a row, the Spokane Indians are opening up their home field to hundreds of runners. The Pennant Run features 1K and 5K courses that wind through the Spokane Fairgrounds, with both races ending in a victorious lap around the bases at Avista Stadium. The finish line is, of course, home plate. There’s also a Little Slugger’s Dash for kids. Participants get a technical T-shirt, while winners receive an engraved bat saluting their efforts. Everyone gets a ticket to the baseball game that evening, and fireworks will cap off the day. Read More>>
Story by JOHN R. WHITE
CHECK IN The search for the “holy grail” of insomnia continues. Every few years a new medication for insomnia is brought to market with claims of little or no side-effects. Typically within a year or two we realize that side-effects are a problem. This is the story of many different sleeping pills over the years, including some that we later determined to be quite dangerous and actually removed from the market. Read More>>