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
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
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.
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 • www.ftemag.com
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
“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
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.”
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 www.Brandman.edu,
email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call
1-800-632-0058 for more information.
BUILD YOUR BRAND
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.
the Lacey Campus
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
www.ftemag.com March, 2016 • FTE News Magazine 3
A ‘time-out’ experience with your vehicle is not amusing
back on a
at home or school can seem
amusing - after the fact.
Not so funny when it happens
to your car. It can be
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
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
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
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
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,”
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,
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
letter of commendation from
WCCW superintendent, Dona
“You displayed exceptional
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 a.m.to 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
SENIOR CITIZEN’S DAY:
Every Thursday Car Wash of your choice! $2 OFF
Every Tuesday Car Wash of your choice! $2 OFF
6040 Capitol Blvd., Tumwater
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
FOR A CLEARER
4 FTE News Magazine • March, 2016 www.ftemag.com
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
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
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
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
“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
“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
“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 www.results.wa.gov
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.
www.ftemag.com March, 2016 • FTE News Magazine 5
Can’t Get to Sleep? You Might Have Orexin Arousal Syndrome: Part Three
David Overton, PA-C
NATURAL MEDICINES & FAMILY
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
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
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
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 ftemag.com
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
www.natmeds.net • Follow us on Facebook and
The news magazine for
and about Washington
For advertising and copy
deadlines go to:
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.
6 FTE News Magazine • March, 2016 www.ftemag.com
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
MCE.org, 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
Creek Corrections Center’s
(MCCC) cat adoption
program to earn
their pet badges. Members
of the Girl Scouts
Beyond Bars troop
toured the “Pawsitive
which allows offenders
to take care of cats and
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.
www.ftemag.com 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
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
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
http://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org 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
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 www.ftemag.com
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
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.
www.ftemag.com March, 2016 • FTE News Magazine 9
Next: Eye-Tracking Device
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 www.ftemag.com
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
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.”
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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.