FREE OSPI FTE 2015 Capstone of the Year Award Recipient



Since 1994

A publication for and about State Employees FREE March 2016 | Vol. 21 | No. 5

From the Publisher:

Kudos to the 2015 CFD Campaign


Twelve 12 consecutive years of

$5 million or more in contribution

pledges annually by compassionate

state employees, and over 900 volunteers

statewide made this happen

to sustain the “Legacy of Giving.”

Washington state maintains fourth

place among state workplace giving

campaigns nationally!

Kudos to the LCB Licensing Team

Great idea to eliminate pages of

rules and regulations for licensing

requirements for LCB customers by

transferring steps to video to save

time and money plus create a tool

for better customer service. Results

Washington is a process we champion

to make state government user

friendly and reduce costs of delivering


Recommend Gallup Book

‘Strengths Based Parenting’

“The problem that parents and

children face, just like employees,

teachers and others, is that too often,

society wants to focus on what’s

wrong with them -- to fix their weaknesses.

For example, a Gallup survey

showed that 52% of Americans

believe that knowing and trying to

improve on your weaknesses will

help you be more successful in your

life than knowing and building on

your strengths.”

SW WA BBBS Bowl for Kid’s Sake

begins April 23

Reminder: reserve Saturday, April

23, at Noon for the State Employees

BIG’s Bowl for Kid’s Sake.

All of the bowling events will be

held the weekends of April 23 and

April 30 at Westside Lanes in Olympia.

Look for more details in the April

2016 FTE News Issue and at FTE’s

Twitter and Facebook pages.

Play Ball

Olympia State Agency Softball

Leagues (SASL) are now forming.

See Publisher page 7

OSPI FTE 2015 Capstone of the Year Award Recipient

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform

at the Georgetown University

McCourt School of Public Policy is

proud to announce Kathleen Sande

of Washington State as the recipient

of the 2015 Capstone of the Year

Award. Kathleen’s Capstone Project,

a case-management model, focuses

on providing one-on-one support

services in schools for youth at risk

of entering or involved in the juvenile

justice system. As the Title I,

Part D, Coordinator, Superintendent

of Public Instruction (OSPI),

Kathleen seeks to address the needs

of both incarcerated juveniles as

well as at-risk youth in Washington

State. Since her participation in the

CJJR Multi-System Integration Certificate

Program in 2008, she has

successfully supported the implementation

of Education Advocate

(EA) positions throughout Washington

utilizing Federal U.S. Department

of Education Title I, Part D No

Child Left Behind funding.

The EA Program is a school-based

transition program designed to assist

incarcerated youth to return to

school during the community reentry

process and remain in school

following that process. In 2008,

Washington State received an increased

allocation of Federal Title 1

Neglected-Delinquent funds. Kathleen

learned that while the Title I

Part D funding was providing transition

coordinators inside detention

facility schools, youth were not

receiving sufficient services to keep

them in school after leaving the facility.

In response to this need, Kathleen

approached the 9 Educational

Services Districts (ESDs) to collaborate

on developing an Education

Advocate Manual and broadening

services to youth released from detention

centers and long-term facilities

all across Washington. Later,

the EA Program was expanded to

middle schools as a prevention service.

Over the past 7 years, Kathleen

has made significant progress in

facilitating interagency collaboration,

enhancing and expanding the

EA Program, reducing system barriers

for youth returning to schools,

and improving education outcomes

for youth involved in the justice

system. Youth who participated in

the EA Program were also shown

Kathleen Sande-OSPI, is the recipient

of the Georgetown University McCourt

School of Public Policy 2015 Capstone

of the Year Award. Kathleen seeks to

address the needs of both incarcerated

juveniles as well as at-risk youth.

to have lower rates of recidivism,

thereby contributing to improved

public safety. Ultimately, Kathleen’s

Capstone Project has bolstered

Washington State’s ability to meet

the individual needs of school-aged


Project AWARE Better Mental Health for Washington Students

In Washington State, Project AWARE helps bridge the

gap between Washington students and mental health

supports. Project AWARE is a 5-year grant awarded in

2014 to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

(OSPI) through Substance Abuse and Mental Health

Services Administration (SAMHSA). Mandy Paradise,

project lead, has the opportunity to work with staff from

DSHS, HCA, and DOH to build capacity and policy at

the state level to support in schools statewide.

“Project AWARE is changing lives. Every week I hear

stories from partners and community members. Some

stories highlight the relief of being able to provide behavioral

health supports for students; other stories sing

the praises of Project AWARE training on mental health.

These stories, combined with our agency partners, are

proof the Project is on the right track. At the state-level,

we are connecting education, health transformation,

and access to services. We see improving mental health

supports as a big, and essential, opportunity.”

Project AWARE focuses on reducing stigma about

mental health care, and promotes substance use prevention.

The project works with three school districts:

Battle Ground, Shelton, and Marysville. Each district

Project AWARE’s first cohort of Trainers (2015). Trainers

present 8-hour community sessions on Youth Mental Health

First Aid across the state. The next training of trainers is

scheduled for March 2016.

partners with their local Educational Service District

(ESD) to connect youth and families with accessible,

high-quality behavioral health care. Through Project

AWARE, schools are able to offer school-based supports

See AWARE page 7


FTE News Magazine • March, 2016 •

From corrections to the classroom:

Brandman Doctoral Graduate

Forges New Career

By Margo Myers

Margo Myers Communications

A chance conversation at church

led Dr. Rowlanda Cawthon to her

newest position at Northwest University

as a professor in the College of


“I’d just participated in commencement

and earned my doctorate

from Brandman University, and

a woman at church asked if I had

applied to Northwest University,”

said Cawthon. “I got the contact information

from someone she knew

and that led to me meeting Dr. Teresa

Gillespie who offered me a full-time

position as a visiting assistant professor.”

That was last summer. And

by November, Cawthon received approval

for a tenure track position at

the private Christian university in

Kirkland, Washington.

“I am thrilled to be teaching here,

and working with these students,”

said Cawthon. “I have a strong, charismatic

personality and sometimes

need to dial it back. But, I was told

to bring that part of me to the classroom,

to be an authentic leader, and

the response from students has been


Cawthon’s road to university professor

has been somewhat unconventional.

She worked for the state

of Washington Department of Corrections

(DOC) for 11 years as a corrections

unit supervisor, communications

consultant and in other

positions. While at the DOC, her supervisor

encouraged her to go back

to school.

Cawthon earned her master’s degree

in organizational leadership at

Chapman University College, now

known as Brandman University, and

that led to new opportunities, including

teaching part time at Brandman

as an adjunct professor, a role in

which she continues today.

When one of her mentors, Brandman’s

Dr. Glenn Worthington encouraged

Cawthon to pursue her

doctorate degree, she entered the Ed.

D. program at Brandman’s Roseville,

California campus. Now, Cawthon is

bringing her varied work and educational

experience to teach Organization

and Management Theory,

a graduate level class – Operations

Management – and International

Human Resources Management at


“In fact, I’m co-leading a trip this

spring to Prague, Budapest and Vienna

for undergraduate students in the

international class,” said Cawthon.

“They’ll have the opportunity to visit

specific businesses and gain exposure

to global leadership practices.”

Rowlanda Cawthon

Brandman Graduate

It’s not just students on whom

Cawthon is making an impression.

It’s also Northwest’s leadership team.

“Dr. Cawthon is setting the woods

on fire at Northwest University with

her intelligence, charisma and spirituality,”

said Dr. Joseph Castleberry,

president of Northwest University.

“We are committed to giving her the

opportunities and formative experiences

to make the most of her leadership

potential. I think she’s in a room

without a roof here!”

The dean of the Business College

sees Cawthon as a role model and

mentor for students. “Dr. Cawthon’s

persistence, strong work ethic and

faith is a great illustration for our students

that their dreams and desire for

greater influence are also possible,”

said Dean Teresa Gillespie, Northwest’s

College of Business. “I know

that she will have a long-lasting positive

impact on students at Northwest


Cawthon looks at her life and is

amazed at where she is. “If anyone

would have asked me if I would be

here, I would have said no,” Cawthon

commented. “Everything has worked

together, from the mentors in my life

to my career experiences, to get me

to this place.”

For state employees who are interested

in continuing their education,

please visit,

email, or call

1-800-632-0058 for more information.







Offering convenient evening and online classes

Professors who are practitioners in their field

Career centric degree programs that directly apply

in the workplace

One on one academic advising & executive success

Brandman University offers Bachelor’s and Master’s degree

programs in Business & Professional Studies and Arts & Sciences. Financial

aid, military and VA benefits are also available to those who qualify.

For More



the Lacey Campus

(360) 493-6392

1445 Galaxy Drive NE, Lacey

Brandman University, a part of the Chapman University System, is a private, non-profit institution accredited by the Western

Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) with programs offered both online and at 26 campuses in California and Washington.


3073-0210-2016 Print AD- FTE.indd 1 2/10/16 4:20 PM March, 2016 • FTE News Magazine 3

A ‘time-out’ experience with your vehicle is not amusing






back on a

“time out”


at home or school can seem

amusing - after the fact.

Not so funny when it happens

to your car. It can be

very expensive.

Timing belts need to be replaced

at the recommended

intervals to avoid problems.

What kind of problems?

Worst case is that you are

stranded beside the road

with a destroyed engine. The

best case is you are stranded

beside the road and need a

tow but not necessarily a new

engine. The second instance

could change to the worst

case if you are out in a lonely

place with no one around.

The best way to prevent this

kind of a problem is to have

your timing belt replaced at

the recommended time. How

will you know what the recommended

time or interval is?

Take a look in your owner’s

manual or ask the Service

Advisor at your favorite automotive

shop. Sometimes a

good shop may recommend

replacement earlier than

the owner’s manual recommends.

It’s best to err on the

safe side in your best interest.

The OEM (Original Equipment

Manufacturer) recommendation

is the longest

period you should go before

you replace your timing belt.

There may be a good reason

to replace it sooner. But,

whatever you decide, get it

replaced on time to avoid

problems. Let us know if we

can help. We would be happy

to look up the recommended

mileage intervals for the timing

belt replacement on your


Remember, not all engines

use timing belts. Some use

timing chains. And, they are

another subject altogether.

We are prepared to help


1. We will alert you to needed

maintenance and repairs.

2. We will listen to you and

your car, using our trained

knowledge, searching for the

little things that soon grow to

be big problems.

3. We have the equipment

to service today’s sophisticated


4. We have the years of experience,

training and access

to the information to avoid

the inconveniences along the


Just give us a call and trust

us to treat you and your vehicle

as part of the Tumwater

Automotive family - a legacy

of caring for others. We pick

you up and take you back

to work or home five days a

week. And, we’re nice people


Feel free to call us for advice.

Many of your co-workers

already do!

Brett and Denise Hardcastle

are the owners of Tumwater

Automotive and the Tumwater

Auto Spa at 6020 Capitol

Blvd. SE. Brett and his staff

DOC Corrections Officer Assists With Baby Delivery

Submitted By

Melissa Johnson

Public Information Officer,


A correctional officer at

Washington Corrections Center

for Women (WCCW) recently

assisted medical professionals

with the delivery of

a baby of an offender who had

gone into labor.

Corrections Officer Rickae

Tyler, was pulled from her

regular post as a response and

movement officer to assist an

offender who had gone into

labor. Tyler, along with a clinic

officer, placed the offender

into a transport car and made

the 20 minute drive to St. Joseph’s

Medical Center in Tacoma.

During this time, Tyler

kept track of the offender’s

contractions, which were just

minutes apart and coming

closer together.

It was apparent the offender

would give birth in moments,

Tyler recalls. She says she accompanied

her own children

to the hospital when each of

her three grandchildren were

born, and helped deliver pigs

and calves years ago on her

family’s dairy farm in Wisconsin,

but had never assisted

with the birth of a child.

“This was way out of my

scope of practice and I was

more than concerned that the

baby may come in the car,”

Tyler said.

At 4:07 p.m., just seven minutes

after exiting the transport

car and being rushed straight

to the emergency room, Bella,

weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces,

was born.

Superintendent Dona Zavislan

presented Tyler with a

letter of commendation

“I held the offender in

a sitting position and she

squeezed my other hand

and with one push, we had

a baby,” Tyler said. “I was so

happy to get her to the hospital

with medical staff, without

having to pull over and try to

figure out my next move.”

WCCW staff report mother

and baby are healthy and doing


Tyler also prevented the offender

from injury while getting

out of the transport car.

Tyler put the offender’s arms

around her own neck, while

using her own arms to support

the offender as hospital

staff hurried to the offender’s


Tyler’s actions earned her a

DOC Corrections Officer

Rickae Tyler

letter of commendation from

WCCW superintendent, Dona


“You displayed exceptional

professionalism, attentiveness,

presence of mind and

compassion during this emergency

medical trip and you

are deserving of our thanks

and special recognition,” Zavislan

said. “I am pleased you

are part of the WCCW team.”

can be reached at (360) 943-

9097, Mon-Fri - 7 5: 30

p.m. with a free shuttle from

home or work. Keep your car

finish like new at the Tumwater

Auto Spa Car Wash, next

door. Keep your vehicle looking

good and running - inside

and out. Plus, take advantage

of the prepaid reduced wash

cards for friends, family and

co-workers. They make a

Complete Surface Protectant


Every Thursday Car Wash of your choice! $2 OFF


Every Tuesday Car Wash of your choice! $2 OFF

(360) 943-9096

6040 Capitol Blvd., Tumwater


Mon-Sat 8AM-6PM

Sunday 9AM-5PM

great “green gift” for St. Patrick’s


Speaking of Saving the

Green, March is the month to

take advantage of the Tumwater

Auto Spa savings of

adding Rain-X for only $2.00

for a clearer, rain and stain

repellent windshield surface.

Also learn more about

our Customer Loyalty Program

with all the Extras!


FOR ONLY $2.00







Expires 03/31/2016

4 FTE News Magazine • March, 2016

Blintzapalooza to benefit

three local charities

The Blintzapalooza Committee has designated

three charitable organizations to benefit

from this year’s bagel, blintz and book sales

when the annual event is held March 20, 2016

in downtown Olympia. The event also will feature

a community bake-off in search of the region’s

best cheesecake.

Throughout its 30-year history, the event is

a fundraiser for local charities and does not

benefit Temple Beth Hatfiloh, the synagogue

that hosts the sales and cooking competition.

This year’s beneficiaries were selected in

mid-February by the Blintzapalooza Committee,

which designated them as either a major

or minor benefit. Exact distribution depends

on the proceeds. The three include:

1. ROOF Community Services: ROOF provides

resources ad children for children, youth

and families in the Rochester area, including a

food bank, after-school programs, emergency

services, and seasonal projects. Money from

Blintzapalooza will benefit the food bank.

2. Emergency Overnight Shelter: This group

of volunteers focuses on sheltering, providing

mental health and emergency services,

as well as warming centers on a daily basis in

cold weather. This winter, the group is serving

an average of 92 people at its warming centers

and up to 150 a night at its overnight shelters.

3. South Sound Parent to Parent: This organization

provides a network of support, information,

resources and referrals for children

and adults with special needs, including educational

workshops for parents and caregivers.

Blintzapalooza funds will directly benefit

the workshops.

Blintzapalooza blintz and bagel sales 2016

Temple members and community volunteers

will serve blintzes and bagels with lox

and cream cheese in the synagogue’s social

hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with South Sound’s

most popular used book sale in the synagogue’s

second floor classrooms from 9:30

a.m. to 2 p.m.

The fundraiser at the synagogue, 201 8th

Avenue between Washington and Franklin

streets in downtown Olympia, donates

the proceeds from the event to worthy local

charities and public services. Since the event

began in 1988, more than $140,000 has been

distributed to more than 50 non-profit community


The Cheesecake competition

The event also features a cooking/baking

competition for the region’s tastiest cheesecakes,

a dessert that stretches back to the

first Olympic games in ancient Greece and

flowered in both Roman times and medieval

England. Cheesecake is also a delicacy that

has roots in both Jewish and Muslim communities,

and judges for this year’s competition

will include representative bakers from both.

The judges for this year’s cooking competition

are Congressman Denny Heck, local baker

Mohammed El-Sokkary, and Olympia City

Councilwoman Jessica Bateman. The competition

is open to everyone. Bring your cheesecake

to Temple Beth Hatfiloh between 10 and

11 a.m. the day of the event. More information

for contestants is available by email at

Results Washington case study:

Faster, simpler licensing Liquor and Cannabis Board

streamlines process for businesses seeking liquor licenses

A screenshot from one of the new videos. To make things

easier for the agency’s customers, a team from the Liquor

and Cannabis Board developed two short videos that replaced

more than a dozen online slide presentations.

By Rich Roesler

Results Washington

Photo credit: Results Washington

In Washington, everyone who applies for a liquor

license – such as restaurants, grocery stores, taverns

and convenience stores -- must complete a briefing

before getting the license. It’s the final step in the process.

The briefing covers things like checking ID cards,

record keeping and how to work with the state Liquor

and Cannabis Board (LCB).

Until recently, these briefings consisted of lengthy

online slide presentations.

“These PowerPoints could be anywhere from 20 to

80 pages,” said Leticia Mendez, program manager for

the Enforcement Division.

There were also 13 different versions, depending

on the type of license requested. It would take 30-90

minutes to watch one, which was often precious time

for small business owners. Applicants also kept complaining

that the online presentations would freeze

halfway through.

“Our customer service desk received a lot of phone

calls, sometimes more than 150 a month,” said Monika

Taylor, administrative assistant.

After watching the briefings online, applicants

would then have to print out a form. Then they’d

sign it,followed by faxing, scanning or mailing it to

the board. It was a cumbersome step that applicants

often forgot or thought they’d done online already.

Missing this step delayed their licenses, sometimes

by weeks.

“Since this is the last step in the process, the customer

really wants to go by then,” said Taylor. “We

were getting hit on the public feedback as well as the

internal staff being frustrated.”


A team of subject matter experts, comprised of Sergeants

Robert Knowles, Jackie Eliason and Steve Telstad,

Officer Kevin Russom, Lieutenants Kandra Tinnerstet,

Joshua Bolender and Kate Miyasato, Grant

Bulski and Katie Boyce went to work streamlining


They pulled in key stakeholders, including enforcement

officers and customer service-, licensing- and

information technology staff to “plain talk” the briefings

and condense them down to key information.

(Gone, for example, are the multiple links to full-text

state laws.)

“It was an eye-opener, going through this process,”

said Taylor. “We were putting so much information

out there that we were losing the customer.”

The team also surveyed applicants.

“It was everything we expected: the presentations

were too lengthy and too cumbersome,” said Taylor.

With Chief Justin Nordhorn’s approval, the group

pared the information in the 13 briefings down to

just two YouTube-style videos. Applicants only have

to watch one. Each is about nine minutes long. The

agency started using them in January 2015.

The team also automated the signature process, so

that applicants’ can electronically sign and submit

the form online right after they watch the video. The

process works so well that the agency’s considering

expanding it to other agency business.


Calls from customers frustrated with the process

have dropped from about 150 a month to virtually

none. That’s freed up a staffer to help out with additional

work related to the agency’s regulation of marijuana.

“It’s a year later, and we don’t get calls about our

process,” said Mendez. “Prior to this, we were getting

150-175 calls a month about the form, the information

or what to do. Any one of those queries would be

3-5 minutes, or more if the customer was irate.”

The videos have also helped with the relationship

between licensees and officers in the field, said Tony

Masias, a Liquor and Cannabis enforcement officer

(and one of the key “actors” in the videos.)

“Getting the license is often the start of a long-term

work relationship, and enforcement officers are an

ongoing resource that can help licensees get training,”

he said. “With these videos, they see the person

as a resource, not just as enforcement.”

Results Washington is a state initiative to use Lean

management principles to make government more

effective. Lean emphasizes staff-driven, customerfocused

improvements. For many more examples,

please see

Several members of the LCB team that worked on the

improvement effort: From left: Monika Taylor, Officer Tony

Masias, Leticia “Letty” Mendez and James Goodman.

Some of the slide presentations that the team replaced

with two short YouTube-style videos. March, 2016 • FTE News Magazine 5

Can’t Get to Sleep? You Might Have Orexin Arousal Syndrome: Part Three

David Overton, PA-C



Weaning people off of sleep

disrupting drugs to improve

sleep, is difficult but necessary.

Minimizing the damage

to sleep from opiate pain meds, is difficult but necessary.

There are two categories of benzodiazepines: the

“pam” drugs and “z” drugs. They make people sleepy

by sedating and possibly impairing the brain and

nervous system, potentially causing many side effects,

sooner or later: dependence, addiction, tolerance,

depression, disruption of sleep, anxiety, fatigue,

disruption of REM sleep, falling at night when getting

up or impaired ability for people to care for children

or family members at night. These are best used for

short periods only and in low doses because they

may suppress or impair the frontal cortex, amygdala

and hippocampus (the areas for memory, processing,

brain speed, alertness and mood).

Flurazepam, lorazepam, temazepam and other

“pam drugs” inhibit, suppress or sedate brain functions,

commonly causing daytime fatigue, impaired

thinking, functioning, anxiety, depression or memory


Eszopiclone (Sonata), zaleplon (Lunesta) and zolpidem

(Ambien) are the “z” drugs that work quickly

to sedate the brain, causing drowsiness, but can

cause the same problems as “pam” drugs and sleepwalking,

sleep-eating, sleep-driving, sleep-sex,

sleep-phoning and sleep-computer shopping. It’s

recommended to hide the car keys, disconnect the

phone and computer and use birth control when

using these drugs.

How quickly these drugs work and how long they

remain in your system varies a lot. Zaleplon helps

one get to sleep, but is cleared out fast, so does not

stop early morning awakenings. Flurazepam is still

in one’s system 100 hours after being taken, so helps

with night time awakenings but causes daytime


Suvorexant (Belsomna) does not cause these

problems and no addiction or tolerance has developed

in studied patients. It does not sedate or depress

brain functions; it just decreases orexin, the

arousal neurotransmitter, which promotes sleep.

About 5% of people stop suvorexant due to various

side effects.

Unfortunately, most people do not work with their

doctors to figure out the right medication, dose and

times to take sleep medications so there

are a lot of treatment failures. Most insurance

companies will not pay for suvorexant

until you have tried the other sleep

drugs and they failed to work or cause

intolerable side effects. It may take some

time to go through the other drugs until

you get suvorexant paid for by insurance,

but it may be worth the wait to get a good

night’s sleep.

In addition, many drugs are cleared

out (or metabolized) by genetically related

systems we can test with a simple oral

swab. At least half of all Americans have

problems clearing out (or metabolizing)


Slow metabolizers accumulate drugs

leading to side effects and treatment failures.

Fast metabolizers quickly clear out

drugs leading to treatment failures.

Intermittent metabolizers can slowly

or quickly clear out, depending upon

other drugs taken.

SW WA BBBS Bowl for Kid’s Sake begins April 23

Reminder: reserve Saturday, April 23, at

Noon for the State Employees BIG’s Bowl for

Kid’s Sake.

All of our bowling events will be held the

weekends of April 23 and April 30 at Westside

Lanes in Olympia.

More details in the April 2016 issue of the

FTE News Magazine at

Revenue’s ERM program earns national praise

The Department of Revenue’s Enterprise Risk

Management (ERM) program is the recipient

of the 2016 Federation of Tax Administrators’

Award for Management and Organization.

“We are honored by the Federation’s recognition

of our program,” said Vikki Smith, Revenue’s

director. “The private financial sector

has been using ERM for over a decade, and we

think it has broad value for the public sector,


A three-judge panel with members from

KPMG, the Internal Revenue Service and Multistate

Tax Commission selected Washington’s

Revenue department for the honor.

In recent years, Revenue built the program

from the ground up to increase awareness of

business risks faced by the agency, including a

repeatable methodology of identifying and prioritizing

risks and a decision process for selecting

strategies to manage or mitigate identified

risks. Revenue is believed to be a pioneer in using

these strategies in a state tax agency.

Revenue has been asked to present the details

of its program to other tax administrators

during the Federation’s annual conference in

June. Wisconsin’s Revenue agency earned an

honorable mention for its employee engagement


NAMI Special CIT Training March 21- 25

For the first time in several years CIT Training

will be introduced to the local community.

The first of three trainings will be available

for local law enforcement March 21-25, 2016.

NAMI Thurston-Mason will once again support

this valuable training with peer’s in the discussion

panel with officers. Other members will be

available to talk to officers about NAMI educational

services for families. Two other trainings

are scheduled for later this year, one in Thurston

County and one in Mason County. If you or your

family would like to participate in a CIT home

visit contact the NAMI Thurston-Mason Office

at (360) 493-6021 or email at

By working together with patients, I can figure

out if you have problems with drug metabolism and

make adjustments to avoid treatment failures and

side effects. You can also get an oral swab test done

at Rite Aid stores to tell us if you have problems metabolizing


More next month in Part 4.

David Overton, PA-C works at Natural Medicines

& Family Practice combining conventional and natural

approaches under the supervision of Dr. Richard

Faiola, MD, ABFM. He is located at 1315 Ruddell

Rd SE in Lacey, WA 98503; He can be reached at 360-

357-8054 or • Follow us on Facebook and


Since 1994

The news magazine for

and about Washington

State employees

For advertising and copy

deadlines go to:


Phone: 360-349-6926


Publisher, advertising and circulation ................Art Mead

Design & copy editor ................................ Darlene Kemery

The FTE News Magazine is pleased to accept all positive articles

concerning recognition, honors and significant efforts

of all state employees, their offices, and agencies. You may

submit your article by e-mail by the last Wednesday of the

preceding month. All articles and photos must have a contact

name, address, and phone number. The FTE News Magazine

does not accept political, religious alcohol/tobacco or nonfamily

oriented articles and advertising. We reserve the right

to edit all materials. The FTE News Magazine is not responsible

for the accuracy and contents of submitted materials.


(360) 438-9458

6 FTE News Magazine • March, 2016

Masterworks Choral Ensemble Presents:

Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival

State employees pledged more

that $5 million through CFD’s

Annual Giving Campaign in 2015

How did this happen you ask?

A Legacy of Giving: Twelve 12 consecutive years of

$5 million or more annually by compassionate state


Choices of Local, National and International

Charities: More than 1,700 local, national and global

charities received funding from CFD donors (60% of

the funds stayed local)

Sustainable Giving: Washington state ranks fourth

among ALL public payroll giving programs in the

country, behind only Texas, New York and California.

Volunteers: The efforts of more than 900 volunteers

throughout the state.

Agency support: Here is a link to a blog post

that the Secretary of State’s Office constructed:


Accountability: Here is a link to the Campaign

Tracker page, which highlights all sorts of numbers:,

and finally, our Annual Campaign Report:


Reminder, the Thurston County Recognition

Event is scheduled for: Thursday, March 17, from

5:30 PM – 7:30 PM at the Lacey Community Center.

Harmony Sweepstakes is back! The Pacific

Northwest Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella

Festival returns to Olympia’s Washington Center

March 12, 2016. As fans of Harmony Sweepstakes

can attest, audience members will be treated to

terrific entertainment and the excitement of a

fierce musical competition.

Twelve groups applied this year, and ultimately

eight of the finest a cappella groups from Washington,

Oregon and British Columbia were chosen

to take the stage with styles ranging from classical,

close harmony, mixed gospel, traditional Barbershop

and the contemporary a cappella sound inspired

by the Grammy award-winning Pentatonix

as well as The Barden Bellas from the Pitch Perfect

movies. The winner of the PNW Harmony Sweepstakes

will go on to the National Harmony Sweepstakes

finals in May.

Straighter Road, last year’s PNW winners who

went on to become National Champions, will kick

off the evening with their unique and contemporary

gospel sound. And local radio host Smilin Jay

of Live 95, returns as the show’s acclaimed emcee.

New this year is a “Spotlight” on MashUP, an allgirl

group from Orting. Before the competition begins,

these 15- and 16-year old girls will have an

opportunity to show us their stuff.

Each of the competing groups can be counted

on to try and wow the judges and audience with

their tight harmonies, clever arrangements and

often astonishing vocal percussion. The eight very

talented groups include 20/20, Four Get Me Nots,

Over Time, Restless Vocal Band, Rezonate, SeaNote,

Shot in the Dark and VITA Quartet. Four of

the groups have previous Harmony Sweepstakes

experience including SeaNote and Rezonate,

both prior 1st place winners in the Pacific Northwest

and finalists at the National event; 20/20 was

voted at last year’s show as Audience Favorite and

Shot in the Dark who received the Best Arrangement

Award. Over Time and Four Get Me Nots

come from the world of barbershop; Restless Vocal

Band performs both classic favorites and current

hits; and VITA Quartet are members of Sweet Adelines


Masterworks Choral Ensemble has been hosting

the Pacific Northwest Harmony Sweepstakes

for over 20 years, and has seen 5 of its winners go

on to take top honors at the National Sweepstakes

competition, the premier American showcase for

vocal harmony music, sponsored by the national

organization, Primarily A Cappella. The annual

national competition draws from vocal groups

from around the country who have won a regional

competition in one of eight regions from coast-tocoast.

Fans of the Pitch Perfect movies and shows like

Glee, the The Sing Off, and the new Pitch-Slapped,

about competing high school a cappella teams,

can expect to see even more a cappella in the spotlight.

Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival

has announced that an Emmy-Award-winning TV

production company is developing a new TV series

based around the 2016 National Sweepstakes

event. The producers are interested in creating a

reality television series focusing on the groups as

they rehearse, prepare and perform in the competition.

So prepare yourself for one of the most entertaining,

energizing musical showdowns you’re every

likely to witness - on the evening of March 12

at the Washington Center.

The concert begins at 7:30pm. Tickets for the

concert are $26 for adults, $21 for Seniors, and $14

for Students, and are on sale now. You may purchase

tickets online at Masterworks secure website, as well as at the Washington Center

Box Office, 512 Washington Street SE, Olympia,

-360-753-8586, or online via the Washington Center’s


Girl Scouts Visit Cat

Program at MCCC

Submitted By: Angela Hosking

Correctional Unit Supervisor, MCCCW

A Girl Scout troop recently

visited Mission

Creek Corrections Center’s

(MCCC) cat adoption

program to earn

their pet badges. Members

of the Girl Scouts

Beyond Bars troop

toured the “Pawsitive

Prison Program,”

which allows offenders

to take care of cats and

Chloe Kitty

kittens inside their cells. The cats, from the Kitsap

Humane Society, live with the offenders at the prison

until they are ready for adoption.

Offenders who are cat handlers in the program

talked to the girls about basic pet care and showed

them how to handle a cat. Offenders also taught the

girls how to make observations about a cat’s wellness

based on its body language. The girls also practiced

pet care by cleaning a mock cat box.

Members of the troop also made blankets and

toys for each cat in the program and wrote letters of

thanks for the program staff.

Girl Scouts Beyond Bars is part of the national Girl

Scouts of the United States organization. It started

as a National Institute of Justice Project in 1992 to

build confidence and resilience among girls with incarcerated

parents and has dozens of troops across

the country. The Pawsitive Prison Program was

launched at Mission Creek Corrections Center for

Women in October, 2015. Since its launch last fall,

offender cat handlers have fostered 30 cats and kittens,

16 of which have been adopted. March, 2016 • FTE News Magazine 7

publisher from page 1

Dues will be due on April 15 for all teams.

League schedule will begin Monday, May 9, 2016.

More at: https://sasl.shutterfly.



Save the Date: Homes First! St. Patrick’s Day


Homes First! St. Patrick’s Day Party, March 17

from 7 – 10:00 p.m; a good time to get your green

on. Tugboat Annie’s on the water is hosting the

event at 2100 W. Bay Dr NW, in west Olympia. Everyone

is invited.

Thurston County Relay for Life June 4 & 5

The Thurston County Relay for Life is scheduled

from noon June 4 through noon June 5

at Timberline High School. For more information




Daylight Saving Time Begins, March 13

Our friends at Van Dorm Realty reminded us

to, “Turn your clocks forward on Sunday, March

13 at 2:00 am, and check your smoke and carbon

monoxide detector batteries!

They also want you to Spring Ahead into a New


Maryhill Museum of

Art opens March 15

When Maryhill Museum of Art opens for the

season on March 15, 2016, visitors will be able to

enjoy a special exhibition featuring large-scale

paintings from the museum’s collection, an intimate

show of American Art Pottery, and nearly

100 new objects in the Native American gallery.

A significant change at the museum in 2016 is

the reinstallation of the George E. Muehleck, Jr.

International Chess Sets Gallery, which has been

relocated with new interpretation and better accessibility,

giving visitors a fresh perspective on

this popular exhibit. The museum’s chess set exhibition

features 80 sets and numerous gaming

pieces drawn from the museum’s extensive collection.

A Season-Opening Celebration on Saturday,

March 19, 2016 will spotlight the museum’s collections

with informal gallery talks highlighting

new acquisitions, as well as behind-the-scenes

tours of the collections storage rooms in the Brim

Family Research Center. An evening reception

for members will feature refreshments and live


AWARE from page 1

such as student assistant professionals and mental

health services. This all contributes to improving

school climate and safety. Each district will also utilize

Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS).

PBIS is an evidence-based framework and a set of

strategies used to increase quality of life and decrease

problem behavior by teaching new skills and

making changes in a person’s environment.

Although the focus is on school-based initiatives,

Project AWARE goes far beyond the classroom.

Project AWARE makes community-based training

available across the state. Project AWARE sponsors

The National Association of Professional Mortgage

Women invites EVERYONE to enjoy an evening

of fun and giving as we support affordable

rental housing in Thurston County, and Homes


The event will be held on St. Patrick’s Day,

March 17 from 7 – 10:00 p.m; a good time to get

your green on. Tugboat Annie’s on the water is

hosting the event at 2100 W. Bay Dr NW, in west


Heavy hors d’oeuvres, one drink ticket, music

with DJ Nicole from Pints Barn, 50/50 draw and

Silent Auction, all for only $25 per ticket or $45

per couple.

Proceeds to benefit Homes First!

Get your tickets now by calling Kristin at

360.753.5626 or by calling Becca at 360.280.9690.

Thurston and Mason counties are some of the

last counties in Washington to join the Stepping Up

Initiative Program. Please take a moment this week

contact your Thurston/Mason County Commissioners

and ask them if they are participating! To find out

more information contact The Stepping Up Initiative

About The Stepping Up Initiative:

Each year, there are an estimated 2 million people

with serious mental illnesses admitted to jails across

the nation. That’s equivalent to the populations of

Vermont and New Hampshire—combined. Almost

three-quarters of these adults also have drug and alcohol

use problems. Once incarcerated, individuals

with mental illnesses tend to stay longer in jail and

upon release are at a higher risk of returning to incarceration

than those without these illnesses.

The human toll of this problem—and its cost to

taxpayers—is staggering. Jails spend two to three

times more money on adults with mental illnesses

that require intervention than on those without

Youth Mental Health First Aid. Youth Mental Health

First Aid training is an 8-hour community education

program. It introduces adults to the warning

signs of mental health issues that affect youth. All

adults who raise or work with youth are encouraged

to attend. Project AWARE has trained hundreds of

district and community staff. Will you join us? Go to to find a free

or low-cost class near you.

For more information on Project AWARE, please

contact Mandy Paradise, OSPI Program Supervisor

for AWARE, at 360-725-6248 or mandy.paradise@

Save the date: Join our St. Patrick’s Day Party

NAMI TM needs your help!

The Thurston County Relay for Life is scheduled

from noon June 4 through noon June 5 at Timberline

High School. For more information visit: http://


The “Relay for Life” movement unites communities

across the globe to celebrate people who have

battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take

action to finish the fight once and for all. Relay For

Life events are community gatherings where teams

and individuals camp out at a school, park, or fairground

and take turns walking or running around a

those needs, yet often do not see improvements to

public safety or these individuals’ health. Although

counties have made tremendous efforts to address

this problem, they are often thwarted by significant

obstacles, including operating with minimal resources

and needing better coordination between

criminal justice, mental health, substance use treatment,

and other agencies.

Without change, large numbers of people with

mental illnesses will continue to cycle through the

criminal justice system, often resulting in tragic

outcomes for these individuals and their families,

missed opportunities for connections to treatment,

inefficient use of funding, and a failure to improve

public safety.

Urge your county officials to “Step Up” and join

the following counties that have passed resolutions

in support of the initiative. Contact your Thurston/

Mason County Commissioners and ask them if they

are participating! To find out more information contact:

The Stepping Up Initiative

Thurston County Relay for Life June 4 & 5

track or path for 24 hours straight. Individuals and

teams raise funds and awareness to help the American

Cancer Society save more lives from cancer.

The Relay For Life movement is the world’s largest

fundraising event to fight every cancer in every

community, with four million participants in 6,000

events worldwide in 2015.

Dollars raised help the American Cancer Society

save lives by funding groundbreaking cancer research,

providing free information and critical services

for people with cancer, and supporting education

and prevention programs.

8 FTE News Magazine • March, 2016

Zinc: Next Best Thing to a

Cure for Common Cold?

By: Sylvia Booth Hubbard

As the cold and flu season gets into full swing,

seniors are more vulnerable to infections than

younger people because their immune systems

weaken with age. But a new study found that zinc

supplements can boost blood levels of zinc in older

people and strengthen their immune systems.

The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involved

nursing home residents 65 years and older who were

moderately to severely deficient in zinc. Participants

were given a daily multivitamin containing 5 milligrams

of zinc as well as a 30 milligram zinc supplement,

or only the multivitamin for three months.

The study, which was published in The American Journal

of Clinical Nutrition, found that the concentration of

zinc in blood serum rose 16 percent in those taking zinc

supplements, while levels in the control group only rose

0.7 percent. In addition, zinc supplementation also improved

the numbers and function of T-cells, a type of white

blood cell that’s a key component of the immune system.

“Our previous work showed that 30 percent of nursing

home residents have low serum zinc levels

and those with low serum zinc levels had a significantly

higher incidence of pneumonia and morbidity

from it,” said the study’s lead author Simin

Nikbin Meydani, D.V.M., Ph.D. of Tufts University.

“Our new finding that serum zinc levels can be improved

in older adults with zinc supplementation,

and that this is associated with enhancement of T-cell

numbers and function, strongly suggests that ensuring

adequate zinc consumption by older adults could

have a significant impact on reducing the incidence of

and morbidity from infection, which is a major public

health problem in older adults,” Meydani said.

Although too much zinc can be harmful — the government

sets 40 mg as the upper daily limit for adults —

some researchers suspect that aging bodies don’t absorb

or use zinc as effectively as younger ones. In addition,

while serum zinc levels are a commonly used measure to

evaluate zinc deficiency, they might not accurately reflect

the amount of zinc found on a cellular basis, and may

be deficient even when serum zinc levels are normal.

The following four supplements can also

boost your immunity against colds and flu:

Garlic: A British study found that people taking a

daily garlic supplement containing allicin for 12

weeks reduced their chances of catching a cold by

more than half when compared to those taking a

placebo. In addition, those who caught colds recovered

more quickly, and their chances of an infection

following the cold were significantly reduced.

Probiotics: Probiotics, which are healthy bacteria

found in yogurt, help the body fight viruses.

An analysis of 10 studies found that people who

took probiotic supplements reduced their chances

of catching the common cold by 42 percent.

Vitamin D: Although vitamin D is vital for a wellfunctioning

immune system, health experts estimate

that about 75 percent of teens and adults are deficient.

One randomized, double-blind study found

that children who took 1,200 IU’s of vitamin D every

day lowered their risk of flu by 42 percent when compared

to children who took a placebo. Some scientists

speculate that higher doses might yield even better

results. One German study found that adequate vitamin

D increases immune function as much as fivefold.

Vitamin E: A placebo-controlled study from Tufts University

found that people who took a 200 IU capsule of vitamin

E each day had a significant reduction in upper respiratory

infections over the course of the year-long study.

© 2016 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

Is Your Diet Making You Depressed?

By: Frances Chamberlain

If you are what you eat, then does your diet

also determine your mood? More importantly,

can you manipulate your diet to ward off depression

or even rescue yourself from a big

slump? The answer to both questions: Yes!

Research shows that something as simple

as a can of soda or a glass of orange

juice can raise blood sugar levels – something

many of us know – but that one thing

can also cause depression and irritability.

Simply put, high glycemic foods – those with

lots of sugar, white rice, pasta and bread – cause

spikes in the blood sugar levels, while low glycemic

level foods leave you feeling full longer

and they don’t cause these blood sugar spikes.

Some little exchanges – drinking sparkling

water instead of a soda, eating quinoa instead

of white potatoes, or fresh fruit instead

of a sugary dessert – can make you feel better

in all sorts of ways. You are satiated and

don’t keep coming back for more food, and

not only do you feel better physically, but

you avoid the tendency toward depression.

So, how does this translate into how you

feel after you eat your favorite meal?

According to Julie Connors, a registered dietitian

and functional medical practitioner,

there is a tremendous, complex link between

food and the brain. Eating right, she says,

can help people to reduce depression and

anxiety. There is a direct correlation between

what you eat and how happy you may be.

For instance, dehydration, a common condition,

is linked to mental acuity, fatigue and

energy. The custom of drinking too much

coffee, or other caffeinated drinks, contributes

to dehydration and affects people who

probably don’t even realize what is going on.

People come to Connors’ practice, Healthy

Weighs in Brookfield, Conn., feeling out of sorts,

tired of anti-depressants, perhaps seeing six different

doctors for assorted problems, and she

researches their backgrounds including their

level of stress, diet, exercise, and relationships.

“The gut is the foundation of the body and directly

affects mental health,” she says. People often

don’t realize how specific foods contribute to

not only how they feel physically, but mentally.

For instance, a vitamin D deficiency, something

which is fairly common, has a direct link to

joint pain and depression. Not getting enough

antioxidants or fiber also contributes to mental

health, Connors says. People with food sensitivities,

like allergies and gluten intolerance are

often affected by accompanying depression.

You can change your diet and feel better. And

if there are certain things you just can’t stomach,

say Brussels sprouts or other cruciferous

vegetables, there are supplements available

to correct deficiencies. In other words, there

is no need to let your diet rule your emotions.

Key changes can make you feel happier.

Although you may understand which foods

are good for you – and which aren’t – keeping

a food diary may be evidence that you

aren’t eating quite as well as you thought.

Connors notes that many people, when they begin

to keep a food diary, are astounded as how

badly they eat. “You may say you like healthy

foods, but are you really eating them?” she asked.

If you want to start feeling better now, what can

you do?

No. 1: Eat a nutrient-rich diet. That means get

all the colors of the rainbow in your food daily

by eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

No 2: Make sure you get lots of hydration. Reduce

caffeinated drinks and sodas. These drinks

dehydrate you – water is always better – and often

are a source of unwanted sugar.

No 3: Keep a food diary. That means be really

honest. Don’t write down what you know you

should eat, but what you really eat and when.

No 4: Get moving. Get some physical activity.

If you are just sitting all day it impacts you both

physically and mentally.

No 5: Visit a registered dietitian. Such consultations,

to design a diet that’s right for you, are

usually covered by insurance, something many

people don’t realize. March, 2016 • FTE News Magazine 9

Next: Eye-Tracking Device

For Alzheimer’s

Green Tea Could Fight Rheumatoid Arthritis

By: Nick Tate

A compound in green tea, known to

have potent anti-inflammatory properties,

has been found to be an effective potential

treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

In a new study published in the journal Arthritis

and Rheumatology, researchers from

Washington State University (WSU) in Spokane

revealed the compound — called

epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) — reduced

ankle swelling in mice with a rodent

form of RA, Medical News Today reports.

RA affects the joints of the body — most commonly

the joints of the hands, feet, wrists,

elbows knees, and ankles — when the immune

system mistakenly attacks the synovial

tissues surrounding the joints, causing

inflammation, swelling and pain.

About 1.5 million Americans have RA, and

conventional treatments — such as non-steroidal

anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS),

corticosteroids and JAK inhibitors — all carry

significant side effects and can leave patients

vulnerable to life-threatening infections.

Last month, the death of Eagles founder

Glen Frey — a long-time RA sufferer — was

partly attributed to health problems tied

to the arthritis drugs he was taking, according

the singer’s manager, Irving Azof.

Salah-uddin Ahmed, of the WSU College

of Pharmacy, who led the new study, said

the compound EGCG may be a promising

alternative to current treatments for RA.

EGCG is a chemical compound that belongs

to a class of flavanols known

as catechins, found in green tea.

After giving EGCG to withRA for 10 days, the

team noticed that treatment with the compound

led to a significant reduction in ankle swelling.

The researchers found that EGCG reduces the

activity of TAK1 — a protein that triggers the

inflammation and tissue damage found in RA.

“Our findings provide a rationale

for targeting TAK1 for the treatment

of RA with EGCG,” said Ahmed.

© 2016 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

Gastric Reflux Drugs Increase Dementia Risk

Repeated use of a certain class of drugs

for gastric reflux or peptic ulcers was linked

with a higher risk for dementia among patients

in Germany, researchers say.

The drugs, known as proton pump inhibitors

(PPIs), include lansoprazole (Prevacid),

esomeprazole (Nexium), and omeprazole (Prilosec),

all manufactured by AstraZeneca.

The current study can only provide a statistical

association between PPI prescriptions and occurrence

of dementia in the elderly. It can’t prove

that PPIs actually cause dementia, said senior author

Britta Haenisch of the German Center for

Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn, Germany.

“In our analysis we focused on long-term regular

PPI prescription for at least 18 months,”

Haenisch told Reuters Health by email.

The researchers examined medical records

from 2004 through 2011 from more than 73,000

patients age 75 and older, mostly women.

They classified 2,950 of those patients as regular

PPI users, meaning they had at least one

prescription for one of the drugs every four

or five months over an 18-month period.

During the study period, 29,510

people developed dementia.

Regular PPI users were 44 percent more likely to develop

dementia than those who were not receiving

the drugs, the authors reported in JAMA Neurology.

The researchers couldn’t know whether some

of the people in the study were at increased

risk for dementia to start with, Haenisch said.

PPI use and dementia may both be influenced

by similar risk factors, Dr. Lewis H.

Kuller of the University of Pittsburgh wrote

in an editorial accompanying the results.

In the Women’s Health Initiative, for example,

women who took PPIs were more often obese, had

arthritis, and had poorer health generally than others,

which may increase dementia risk, Kuller wrote.

The drugs do carry an increased risk of kidney disease,

fracture, low magnesium levels, gastrointestinal

infections, Clostridium difficile infection and

pneumonia, Kuller told Reuters Health by email.

An eye-tracking test has been developed for Alzheimer’s

disease via webcam and may soon be available.

California-based digital health company Neurotrack says its

new Imprint webcam-based test is aimed to help those with

diseases like Alzheimer’s before behavioral symptoms show

up — and it only takes five minutes, MedCity News reports.

The test, which uses eye-tracking technology

to detect brain impairments, will be available

to be administered by select physicians this year.

Neurotrack co-founder and CEO Elli Kaplan explained

that we are all born with a preference for novelty for

survival reasons — to seek out new things in our environment,

whether consciously or subconsciously.

Neurotrack uses this natural preference to track recognition

memory. With the test, users will see pairs of carefully

developed images, some identical to each other,

some clearly not. The eye-tracking technology monitors

how preference for novelty recognition occurs visually,

essentially identifying what stands out as interesting

and what doesn’t and how that differs for individuals.

Neurotrack’s technology has been used in Alzheimer’s

studies and pharmaceutical trials at various institutes,

including Brown University, Harvard University,

Emory University’s Alzheimer’s Disease

Research Center, Stanford University, Weill Cornell

Medical Center and NYU Langone Medical Center.

© 2016 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

Some PPIs are available without a prescription, but

prescriptions are needed for long-term use, he said.

“PPIs used for the treatment of gastroesophageal

reflux disease and peptic ulcers work by reduction

of gastric acid production,” Haenisch said.

“The underlying mechanism by which PPIs might

influence cognition is yet to be determined.”

Some of the drugs may cross the blood-brain barrier

and interact with brain enzymes, or they may

be associated with vitamin B12 deficiency, which

may promote neurological damage, she said.

“Patients should take the drugs according to their

doctor’s instructions,” Haenisch said. “To evaluate

cause and effect relationships between long-term PPI

use and possible effects on cognition in the elderly

randomized, prospective clinical trials are needed.”

Doctors should take care not to overprescribe PPIs,

which is reported frequently, she said. One study

found that up to 70 percent of the drugs prescriptions

were inappropriate for the patient, she said.

© 2016 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

10 FTE News Magazine • March, 2016

A healthy sex life in old age may help

keep the brain healthy as well, though

this connection may not work the same

way for both sexes, a U.K. study suggests.

After adjusting for other factors that might explain

the link between brain function and

sexual habits – age, relationship status, living

arrangements, education, wealth, exercise

routines, depression, loneliness and quality of

life – older men’s sexual activity levels were still

tied to how well they did on both word-recall

and number sequencing tests, the study found.

But in women, only word recall was associated

with sex.

Number sequencing broadly relates to

thinking skills known as executive function,

while word recall is tied specifically to memory,

the study authors note in Age and Aging.

“Whilst our research is not concerned with how

men and women `think’ about sex in a conscious

sense, it is possible that our results may be related to

hormones which affect the brain – and hence cognitive

functions – in men and women differently, at

a subconscious level,” co-author Hayley Wright of

Coventry University told Reuters Health by email.

To explore the connection between an active

sex life and a healthy brain, Wright and co-author

Rebecca Jenks, also of Coventry University,

reviewed survey data and cognitive tests results

for about 6,800 adults aged 50 to 89 years.

Among other things, the survey asked if respondents

had any sexual activity during the previous year.

Men and women who answered in the affirmative

were likely to be more educated,

wealthier, younger, more physically

active, not depressed and less lonely.

Even after factoring in these aspects of the men’s

lives, sexual activity was associated with higher

scores on the cognitive tests, although the magnitude

of difference in test results was small.

This type of study based on conditions at a single

point in time when the participants took the

survey cannot prove cause and effect, the authors

acknowledge. Future studies that follow

people over time will have to explore whether

sex improves brain function, or, for that matter,

whether the opposite is true and a sharper

mind contributes to a better sex life, they note.

The researchers also arrived at the study population

after excluding more than 3,000 people

who didn’t answer the survey question

about sex from an original sample of 10,000,

which means the results could be biased.

“Bias related to differential participation in the

sexuality questionnaire - either by gender or by

cognitive function - could explain the gender

differences reported here,” noted Dr. Stacy Tessler

Lindau, director of the Program in Integrative

Sexual Medicine at the University of Chicago.

More research is needed to understand how executive

functions in the brain govern human

sexuality and whether an active sex life might

help ward off age-related mental decline, Lindau,

who wasn’t involved in the study, added by email.

“However, there is ample evidence to suggest

that loving, kind and supportive relationships

are very important for both a satisfying sex life

and for mental well-being throughout the life

course,” Lindau said. “Whatever patients and

societies can do to promote kindness and love

is likely to benefit mental wellness as we age.”

© 2016 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Fit and Fat? Here Are 3 Obesity Tests Better Than BMI

By: Nick Tate

The once-vaunted BMI — used for decades as

a measure of healthy weight — is about to go the

way of the 8-track tape player and VHS recorder.

New research out of the University of California-Santa

Barbara suggests if your weight is above average

for your height, based on your BMI, it doesn’t necessarily

mean you’re overweight, obese, or unhealthy.

In what many experts regard as the death knell for the

BMI (body mass index), UCSB psychologist Jeffrey

Hunger and colleagues argue that you can be fit and

still be considered overweight by BMI guidelines.

In fact, the UCSB research, published in the International

Journal of Obesity this month, indicates nearly

35 million Americans labeled overweight or obese

based on their BMI are, in fact, “perfectly healthy”

— as are 19.8 million others considered obese.

“In the overweight BMI category, 47 percent are

perfectly healthy,” said Hunger, a doctoral student

in UCSB’s Department of Psychological &

Brain Sciences, arguing that BMI is a deeply flawed

measure of health and should be abandoned.

“So to be using BMI as a health proxy — particularly

for everyone within that category

— is simply incorrect. Our study should

be the final nail in the coffin for BMI.”

The BMI — calculated by dividing a person’s

weight in kilograms by the square of the person’s

height in meters — was developed by Adolphe

Quetelet, a Belgian mathematician and scientist

born in 1796. Quetelet studied population

groups globally, designing BMI to aid his research.

But the tool was originally designed to

measure and compare societies, not individuals.

A growing number of researchers, including

Hunger, have suggested in recent years that basing

on weight and height only isn’t a good way

to measure obesity or a person’s overall health.

For one thing, the index doesn’t accurately measure

body fat content to highlight critical health

factors such as fat distribution and proportion of

muscle to fat. Nor does the BMI take into account

gender and racial differences in body composition.

Health experts also note that where fat occurs

on a person’s body is every bit as important to

health as how much they weigh. Abdominal

fat is closely linked with a greater risk for diabetes

and heart disease than other types of fat.

In addition, the BMI treats body weight the same, no

matter what it’s comprised of — fat, muscle, bone,

or other tissues. In fact, many people who are very

muscular can be falsely labeled overweight or obese

by the BMI, while those who fall within BMI’s weight

parameters may have high levels of body fat content.

Declaring a person obese based only on BMI,

“is old-fashioned and not terribly useful,” said

Dr. Scott Kahan, M.D., director of the National

Center for Weight and Wellness in Washington,

D.C. He sees patients who are deemed overweight

by the BMI, but are healthy and well.

“They’re heavy,” he noted. “BMI puts them

in the obesity range. And yet on every level

their health is actually good. Cholesterol

and blood pressure are excellent. Blood sugar

is excellent. They don’t seem to have any

health effects associated with excess weight.”

Healthy Brain Tied to Active Sex Life in Old Age

So what alternatives can be used in place

of BMI to more accurately measure health

and obesity? Here’s are a few health markers

that experts recommend that provide a

broader picture of a person’s health than BMI:

Body-fat content tests. Instruments such as DEXA

(dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scanners — becoming

more widely available at health clubs and

clinics — provide a highly accurate measurement of

body fat and lean mass distribution. They can also

reveal important information about bone health.

Waist measurements. Simply taking a tape measure

to check your waist size can provide a clue to

whether you need to lose weight. Generally, a waist

size over 35 inches in women and 40 inches in men

indicates that weight loss is warranted, with the

exception of only the most muscular individuals.

Vital signs and health numbers. Health experts

say blood tests to check for cholesterol levels,

blood glucose, and hypertension are more reliable

ways to gauge your overall health than the

BMI, along with measures of your heart rate and

pulse. For some individuals other tests can also

be helpful — such as measurements of hormone

levels, heart function, and cardiovascular fitness.

Hunger argued that the idea of using a single

measurement, such as the BMI, as a gauge overall

health is outmoded and should be abandoned.

“We need to move away from trying to find a single

metric on which to penalize or incentivize people

and instead focus on finding effective ways to improve

behaviors known to have positive outcomes

over time,” he said.

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