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The Observer 02/08/16

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Health care boost

Dr. Eli Mayes, left, and Tim Gray of Patterson Dental Company of Boise, discuss a supply of dental instruments and the state-of-the-art NomadPro — a handheld X-ray machine that will be used at the dental clinic in Elgin. (Trish Yerges/For WesCom News Service)

Full-spectrum dental clinic up and running in Elgin 

ELGIN — A new dental clinic, operated by Dr. Eli Mayes, opened its doors  July 1 at the Elgin Health Clinic, 1400 Division St.

Hip bone’s connected to the knee bone . . .

A new approach to total hip-replacement surgery comes at the right time, as surgeons expect an increased demand for both hip- and knee-replacement procedures

LA GRANDE — The Grande Ronde Hospital Orthopedic Clinic welcomes Dr. Ben Olson this September, who will introduce the most current surgical technique to total hip-replacement surgery — the anterior approach.

At a recent DocTalk meeting at the Grande Ronde Hospital (GRH), orthopedic surgeon Dr. Chad Burgoyne introduced his new clinic associate, Olson, as they both spoke about knee and hip replacements and serving an aging population of baby boomers throughout Northeastern Oregon. 

Philanthropic giving shot in arm for GRH

Foundation Manager Will Simons demonstrates how the new vein viewer helps nurses like Sue McCarthy at Grande Ronde Hospital find those deep veins in some patients. The GRH Foundation purchased two vein viewers during this year. (Grande Ronde Hospital photo)

The Grande Ronde Hospital Foundation has spent more than $1.6 million in contributions since 1995 for patient care equipment, thanks to generous donors, annual fundraising events and responsible management of its financial assets.

Bringing health care to the home

Wallowa County at first glance may seem a world apart from mainstream America, but it has a lot of the same challenges as bigger cities: people are concerned about adequate school funding, clean drinking water, and increasingly, care for the elderly.

Medical coding system expanded

Susan Nason displays the new medical coding book that coders will learn from. Nason is in charge of the Health Information Department at Grande Ronde Hospital where she will help train personnel in the federally mandated ICD-10 medical coding system.

Old system is being upgraded nationwide to one that has 115,000 alpha-numeric codes, each 5 to 7 digits long 

LA GRANDE — Medical coders throughout the United States are under a federally mandated deadline to learn and utilize an entirely new set of medical codes by Oct. 1, 2014.

The current International Classification of Diseases Ninth Revision or ICD-9 was developed by the World Health Organization, and it has been in use by coders since 1979. This system with its 24,500 codes seems simplistic now compared to the highly specific ICD-10 system, which has 115,000 alpha-numeric codes, each five to seven digits long. 

Kids spring into fitness

To the beat of the music, Jeanette Smith, center, leads a group of La Grande Middle School students in an energetic workout session. Fifty sixth-graders from the La Grande School District have been working out each Friday morning in May, for two hours, at the Grande Ronde Fitness Club as part of the National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

May is “National Physical Fitness and Sports Month” — a good opportunity to promote activity that will carry over for the rest of the year, especially among school children. 

The Grande Ronde Fitness Club in La Grande and the Baker County YMCA in Baker City are doing just that as they invite school children to their clubs to enjoy a fun workout.

“We have had about 50 sixth-graders from the La Grande School District here each Friday this month to work out on the different stations. It’s part of the ‘Adopt a School’ program for kids’ fitness this month,” Club Manager Cory Sudbrock said.  

Wellness: ‘Well, There’s No Harm in Laughing’

Humorist Frank Sullivan had a collection of his columns published under the title “Well, There’s No Harm in Laughing” back in the 1970s.

It’s a great title and a great sentiment, certainly preferable to the oft-repeated “Laughter is the best medicine,” which is an overstatement.

REAL PEOPLE: Virginia McLaughlin - Enjoying dancing, gardening at 90

ISLAND CITY — Virginia McLaughlin of Island City is as good at waltzing through the noon hour as she is at staying a two step ahead of Father Time.

At age 90 McLaughlin enjoys few things more than doing the waltz during midday dance sessions at the Union County Senior Center.

“I like the rhythm of the dance. I feel like a swan gliding over water,’’ McLaughlin said.

A swan who moves better than people many years her junior.

Zion Lutheran Church marks 120th anniversary

Read more...It was a bold stroke.

A step that likely was controversial — one taken in 1912 by Rev. T.A. Schoenberg, then the new pastor of the Zion Lutheran Church in La Grande.

It was a move that revealed Schoenberg’s foresight and is one of many steps taken by La Grande Zion Lutheran church leaders and congregation members that will be commemorated this weekend as the church celebrates its 120th anniversary beginning Friday.

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