Health Clinic program recognized for excellence

\Veronica Leahy (Diabetes Program Coordinator), Monica Hauser (Diabetes Nurse Educator) and Natasha LeVee (Clinical Pharmacist) accept a Recognition of Excellence award on behalf of the Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention Program.
Photo/Tulalip News

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

The Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for providing federal health services to 2.2 million Native Americans belonging to 567 federally recognized Tribes. IHS is the principal federal health care provider and health advocate for Native people, and its mission is to raise their physical, mental, social, and spiritual health to the highest possible level.

On the Tulalip Reservation, the Karen I. Fryberg Tulalip Health Clinic is an extension of IHS. The Health Clinic makes it possible to ensure comprehensive, culturally acceptable personal and public health services are available and accessible to tribal members living on or around the reservation.

On Friday, May 12, the IHS Portland Director’s Recognition of Excellence Ceremony was held in downtown Portland, Oregon. Among the very deserving awardees in attendance were familiar faces from the Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic. They were there to be recognized for excellence and to accept a Portland Area Director’s Award on behalf of the Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention Program.

The IHS Portland Area covers all federal and tribal health clinics servicing Native Americans within the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Among all those health clinics and programs therein, only fifteen groups were recognized and given a Director’s Award.

“Personally, I feel very humbled and honored to receive this award and am grateful to [Director of Clinical Services] Dr. Cooper for taking the time to nominate our team,” said Monica Hauser, RN, CDE, and Certified Diabetes Educator. “I am extremely proud of our diabetes prevention team and am so happy this team has been recognized for everyone’s hard work and dedication to the people of this community.”

“I thought of all of the people who worked in this program before us. I felt their presence in this ceremony and I thank them for their efforts,” added Veronica Leahy, Diabetes Program Coordinator. “My hope is more of our people will come and receive the care and teachings from these truly caring and knowledgeable providers.”

The Tulalip Diabetes Care and Prevention Program is a culturally-grounded, comprehensive program for the treatment of diabetes, and promotion of long-term holistic health. Increasing community participating in health promotion activities has been a staple of the program. Components including individualized case management by certified diabetes educators, continuing education provider-led classes, support groups, Diabetes Day events, and Wellness Trail activities have all achieved the goal of increasing community awareness and engagement in healthy activities.

The Wisdom Warrior program tailored to local community needs has become a major hit. Wisdom Warriors includes a 6-week Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Plan as well as monthly Provider Classes on holistic health related and medical topics. Activities include field trips to the mountains for low-impact day hikes, Medicine Wheel garden classes, support of six tribal department gardens, cooking demonstrations and classes for all ages.

Upcoming Diabetes Prevention Program events include:

  • Garden Day – June 3rd (at Youth Services)
  • Monthly Wisdom Warrior Provider Class – June 8th
  • Diabetes Day – June 15th
  • Medicine Wheel Garden Day – June 21st

For more information about the Diabetes Care and Prevention Program please contact Monica Hauser, (360) 716-5725, or Veronica Leahy, (360) 716-5642,

Flu Season 2014-2015 – Public Service Announcement from the Karen I. Fryberg Tulalip Health Clinic

Bryan Kent Cooper, ARNP, FNP-CFamily Practice Provider and Clinical Leader of Family Practice Physicians
What is the flu shot?
The flu shot is a vaccine given with a needle, usually in the arm. The seasonal flu shot protects against the three or four influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season.  Flu viruses are constantly changing so it’s not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each year.  Getting an annual flu vaccine does not guarantee that you will not get some type of influenza, however, if you do, the symptoms will be much less severe.  
What are the risks from getting a flu shot?
You cannot get the flu from a flu shot. The risk of a flu shot causing serious harm is extremely small. However, a vaccine, like any medicine, may rarely cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. Almost all people who get influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it at all. Typical side effects (which last no more than a few days) that may occur include:
·         Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
·         Fever (low grade, meaning less than 102)
·         Mild body aches
When will flu activity begin and when will it peak?
The timing of flu is very unpredictable and can vary from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. between December and February. However, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May.
What should I do to prepare for this flu season?
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the main flu viruses that research suggests will cause the most illness during the upcoming flu season. People should begin getting vaccinated soon after flu vaccine becomes available, ideally by October, to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins.
In addition to getting vaccinated, you can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people, frequently cleaning commonly used surfaces, and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.
What should I do to protect my loved ones from flu this season?
Encourage your loved ones to get vaccinated as soon as vaccine becomes available in their communities, preferably by October. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for serious flu complications, and their close contacts.
Children between 6 months and 8 years of age may need two doses of flu vaccine to be fully protected from flu. Your child’s doctor or other health care professional can tell you whether your child needs two doses.
Children younger than 6 months are at higher risk of serious flu complications, but are too young to get a flu vaccine. Because of this, safeguarding them from flu is especially important. If you live with or care for an infant younger than 6 months of age, you should get a flu vaccine to help protect them from flu.
In addition to getting vaccinated, you and your loved ones can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people, frequently cleaning commonly used surfaces, and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and stay home from work or school to prevent spreading influenza to others.
Flu vaccines are currently available at:
Karen I. Fryberg Tulalip Health Clinic – 360-716-4511 ext 2
Tulalip Pharmacy – 360-716-2660

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

By Brandi N. Montreuil, Tulalip News

TULALIP -August marks a national health campaign to raise awareness on the importance of immunizations. All throughout this month health professionals along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases are reaching out to communities to educate and promote vaccines.

According to CDC the use of vaccinations could mean the difference between life and death. Some diseases have become rare or have been eradicated through vaccination use, such as smallpox. However the choice to vaccinate is still optional due to no vaccination law enacted by the federal government, other than the requirement in all 50 states that children receive certain vaccinations before entering public schools. Children are required by most states to receive diphtheria, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and tetanus vaccines before entering public school, however, medical exemptions can be given if the child has had an adverse reaction to a prior vaccine or is allergic to a vaccine component

During the August awareness campaign the CDC is seeking to decrease the number of people opting out of vaccination by reaching out to communities through education outreach.

“Vaccines have reduced many diseases to very low levels in the United States. For example, we no longer see polio, a virus that causes paralysis, in our country. Not only do vaccines help the patient, they also protect people who come in contact with the patient. Infants and the elderly have decreased immune systems. Being vaccinated helps protect these populations,” said Dr. Jason McKerry with the Tulalip Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic on the Tulalip Indian Reservation.

This year, Washington State was among 17 other states that experienced a high percentage of measles cases, a first in 20 years. As of July 30, 585 confirmed cases of measles have been reported throughout the nation, 27 of them in Washington. Similarly, cases involving pertussis, or whooping cough, have been on the rise. As of July 26, Washington State Department of Health reported 219 cases of whooping cough, 6 of those reported in Snohomish County, while Grant, King and Pierce Counties each reported 30 or more.

Through the use of vaccinations the risk of infection is reduced. Vaccinations, explains the CDC website, work “with the body’s natural defenses to help it safely develop immunity to disease.” This means vaccinations aid the development of immunity through imitating infection so when the body does encounter the disease, the body will recognize it and fight the infection with antibodies it has created.

“Serious infections like pneumonia, bacteremia, a bacteria infection that gets in the blood and spreads to the whole body, and meningitis, an infection of the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, can occur with lack of vaccinations. Most of these diseases can be treated with medicine, if caught early enough, but serious negative outcomes can occur if the infection spreads rapidly. These include brain damage, hearing loss, chronic lung disease and even death. It is best to be safe and vaccinate early, before you have a chance to contract a life-threatening disease,” said Dr. McKerry about the risks associated with not vaccinating.

Vaccinations can be administered at private doctor offices, public community health clinics and community locations, such as schools and pharmacies for a reduced price, however most insurance plans do provide coverage cost for vaccinations.

“I always encourage a patient to obtain vaccines from a primary care provider who knows them best and can offer the most current advice on vaccines,” Dr. McKerry said, who went onto to explain that children should be vaccinated before the age of two. “Your child should be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, rotavirus, a virus that causes severe vomiting and diarrhea. Diptheria, tetanus and whooping cough, haemophilus influenza B, a virus that causes pneumonia and ear infections, among other infections, pneumococcus, a bacteria that causes pneumonia and ear infections, among other infections, and polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), varicella (chicken pox) and a yearly flu vaccine.”

For more information about immunizations or immunization schedules, please visit the website Or please contact the Tulalip Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic at 360-716-4511.


Brandi N. Montreuil: 360-913-5402;


Record attendance at annual health fair

Wait lines for health screens and denials at the blood bus


Amanda Shelton explores the differences between traditional tobacco use and cigarettes.Photo: Andrew Gobin
Amanda Shelton explores the differences between traditional tobacco use and cigarettes.
Photo: Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

By Andrew Gobin, Tulalip News

The Tulalip Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic hosted their annual health fair July 28, with participants lining up at health screening stations, a fair first in 31 years,.

“I think this is the biggest health fair that we’ve ever had, there have been lines all day,” said Jennie Fryberg, front desk supervisor at the clinic. “More than 280 participants signed in, 200 of which were here before lunch.”

Every year, the clinic holds a blood drive simultaneously with the health fair. This year, more than 20 people had scheduled donor times with the Puget Sound Blood Center’s Blood Bus. Walk-ins are always welcomed at the Blood Bus, but there were so many walk-in donors this year, in addition to those with scheduled times, that for the first time at Tulalip, donors were being turned away due to lack of space. Of the 33 people who tried to give blood, 29 were able to.

Puget Sound Blood Centers Blood BusPhoto: Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News
Puget Sound Blood Centers Blood Bus
Photo: Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

With a record 35 booths, 8 screening stations, and a fun run, there seemed to be more interest in this year’s health fair than in previous years.

“People were here at 8:30 a.m. waiting for booths to open,” said Sonia Sohappy, a bowen therapist for the clinic’s complimentary medicine program.

The day started out busy, and really stayed comfortably crowded throughout the day. People stopped at screening stations, checking blood sugar, vision, blood pressure, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and more.

The annual health fair is one of many open house events at the Tulalip Karen I. Fryberg Clinic throughout the year. Watch for event announcements in the See-Yaht-Sub, on the Tulalip News Facebook page, or contact the clinic by phone at (360) 716-4511 for more information.

Calendula harvested from the Tulalip Health Clinic's Diabetes garden.Photo: Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News
Calendula harvested from the Tulalip Health Clinic’s Diabetes garden.
Photo: Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News
Rainbow Radishes harvested from the Tulalip Health Clinic's Diabetes garden.Photo: Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News
Rainbow Radishes harvested from the Tulalip Health Clinic’s Diabetes garden.
Photo: Andrew Gobin/Tulalip News

Andrew Gobin is a staff reporter with the Tulalip News See-Yaht-Sub, a publication of the Tulalip Tribes Communications Department.
Phone: (360) 716.4188



When is it more than old age?

The truth about dementia


Photo: Alzeheimer disease, you and I.
Photo: Alzeheimer disease, you and I.

By Andrew Gobin

I will forever remember the night 12 years ago when my family was plunged into the world of dementia. It was late one night when my father, sister, and I arrived at Providence Colby Campus hospital in Everett. My grandma had just had back surgery and was out for recovery. At 12 years old, I was fairly familiar with the hospital hallways, not at all afraid or uneasy about visiting people in the hospital, having been there many times to see family friends and relatives. I thought this was just another routine visit. Even so, I was not prepared for what I was about to see.

My Uncle Joe had arrived shortly before we did. Grandma was upset and confused. She did not know me or my sister, she barely knew her sons. She had been given Vicodin for the pain as part of routine recovery. Grandma didn’t have a drug tolerance, never taking anything much stronger than Tylenol. Anyone who has experienced the effects of Vicodin can tell you, it messes with the mind in inexplicable ways. As grandma’s pain management drugs were changed, trying to bring her out of her delusion, the hard reality was that grandma had changed overnight, permanently.

After a few years trying many different care options, including a detox and psychiatric analysis, we were told that grandma suffered from dementia. And so began my family’s journey through territory none of us knew anything about, having to learn how to navigate the tumultuous seas of grandma’s mind.

Many families in the Tulalip community face dementia in one form or another. The condition affects people in different ways, often leaving the families caring for their grandparents and parents, feeling left with nowhere to turn for advice and support. On Thursday, August 19, Tulalip Behavioral Health, along with the Tulalip Karen I. Fryberg Health Clinic and Tulalip Family Services, will be hosting an event for people to come and hear what medical professionals have to say about dementia, what assistance programs are available at Tulalip, and to share their stories and concerns in a quest to better understand the condition. I know for me, I had many questions, and still do today.

Family Services psychiatrist Dr. Grosskopf will discuss what exactly dementia is and how it is different from normal aging, in addition to general symptoms, how dementia is treated, and how patients and their families can cope.

For grandma, the change came literally overnight. She went to the hospital as her same old self, and woke up an entirely different person. It’s hard to comprehend how such a drastic permanent change can happen so quickly. We had to adjust suddenly, learning how to care for grandma, how to interact with her and live in her world. I was not me, at least not in her world. I was my father or my brother, or sometimes no one at all. But every once in a while, I was myself.

Rosemary Hill, mental health therapist at Family Services, has some insight on this, as dementia has touched people in her life.

“I’m not comfortable lying to them,” she began, “but trying to understand the world and the time that they are living in, sometimes playing along or deflecting is best. My husband has dementia. He never really has been able to grieve the loss of his son. He asks where he is. Or he will say he knows something is wrong with his son, but he doesn’t quite know what it is. How many times can you really tell someone their son died?”

The same was true for grandma. My Auntie Cherie was developmentally challenged, and lived with my grandparents for much of her life. She passed away the year after grandma’s dementia developed. Grandma would ask about her, where she was, who was watching her, and we had to respond as if she was in her room watching TV, or out on a drive with one of her brothers.

Hill will present on how she helps patients to manage their lives. Symptoms are so different and individual. There are those, like grandma, who change at the flip of a switch. For some, the diagnosis seems to have no effect until a rapid decline near the end, and yet others see a steady regression. Hill helps people to learn how to care for all of these, regardless of a diagnosis. With grandma, we cared for her for a while before she was diagnosed with dementia, and there were times when she was so upset she would fight everyday tasks.

Hill said, “How do you care for someone refusing to eat, bath, or clothe themselves? These are the behaviors I help people manage.”

Sometimes, it’s not about the loss of function at all, it’s about feeling insulted or embarrassed. Grandma refused to eat, unless we were all eating. And, she would refuse to eat if what was on her plate was different than everyone else, or if her food was all pre-cut into bites. But she could still feed herself, often stealing food from my plate when she thought I wasn’t looking.

There is a point where people do need help. As the condition progresses and people lose memory, they also lose their ability function normally. It seems that too often dementia goes undiagnosed, untreated, and denied or ignored out of embarrassment. Alison Brunner, who manages the caregiver program, explains many people’s attitude towards admitting that they need help. Admitting they can no longer live alone and need someone available for 24-hour assistance is a loss of independence.

“People don’t want to talk about it. They don’t want to admit that their memory is slipping. The Tulalip people are a strong people, a proud people,” she said.

Even today, now four years after grandma’s passing, it is still difficult to write about. My grandma was General Manager of the Tulalip Tribes, asked to return from retirement twice to help keep the tribal government operations on track. Growing up, I knew her to be a strong woman, sharp, and high-functioning. She cared for my aunt, my grandfather, and anyone that needed help. To lose her to dementia so quickly was devastating, and though we lived through it, I don’t remember ever really talking about it.

The seminar that will be on August 19 at the Tulalip Administration building is intended to inform, but also to share in experiences and gather support and strength. There is so much to understand about dementia, but even a simple understanding can bring reassurance with such an uncertain and inconsistent disorder. I know for my family, working to understand dementia seemed to make caring for her easier. Hopefully, families that attend the seminar will have the same realization.


Andrew Gobin is a staff reporter with the Tulalip News See-Yaht-Sub, a publication of the Tulalip Tribes Communications Department.
Phone: (360) 716.4188

Diabetes garden plant give away

Didi Garlow, Master Gardener helps fill planters to take home.Photo by Monica Brown
Didi Garlow, Master Gardener  at the Diabetes Garden helps fill planters to take home.
Photo by Monica Brown

By Monica Brown, Tulalip News Writer
TULALIP, WA – The Diabetes Garden at the Karen I Fryberg Health clinic gave away, to their attendees, planter boxes with plants. The Diabetes Garden is a place where patients and community members can come to learn more about plant and garden care for a healthier future.

Community members and patients were invited to come out and fill a planter box to bring home so they can start a small garden. The planter boxes were filled with an assortment of vegetable, herb and flower plants and each person was given a fresh bag of soil to bring home.

This garden event will run until 1:00 pm Tuesday, July 16. But will continue during future, to be announced, garden and health clinic events.

Roni Leahy on right, sorts out plants to take homePhoto by Monica Brown
Master Gardener, Roni Leahy on right, sorts out plants to take home
Photo by Monica Brown
Planter boxes, plants and soil were given to each person.Photo by Monica Brown
Planter boxes, plants and soil were given to each person.
Photo by Monica Brown


Fourth flu death of Snohomish County confirmed

By Monica Brown, Tulalip News writer

Snohomish County has had its fourth confirmed death from the flu. A Stanwood man in his 90’s passed away Jan. 8 of influenza. In December there were 3 deaths from the flu, a Bothell woman in her 40’s and an Everett and an Edmonds woman both in their 80’s.

There have been 66 people hospitalized with influenza in the Snohomish County. Those who should be vaccinated are at people with a high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu; people who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease, pregnant women, people 65 years and older.

The Tulalip Health Clinic is offering free flu shots

Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri from 9:00 – 11:30 and from 1:15 – 4:00

Also on Weds, 10:00 – 11:30 and from 1:15 – 4:00 pm


Symptoms of the flu are characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, headache, runny nose, sore joints, fatigue, muscle ache, cough, and sore throat. These flu symptoms often show up with 2-3 days after coming in contact with the disease, and can last somewhere between 5 to 14 days, all depending on the strain of the virus and the patients’ ability to fight it off.


WebMD suggests 8 Natural Tips to Help Prevent a Cold and Flu

  1. Wash your hands, often.
  2. Use a tissue to cover your sneezes and coughs and not your hands.
  3. Don’t touch your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth.
  4. Do aerobic exercises regularly, exercise helps to increase the body’s natural virus-killing cells.
  5. Eat foods containing Phytochemicals, so put away the vitamin pill, and eat dark green, red, and yellow vegetables and fruits.
  6. Don’t smoke.
  7. Cut Alcohol Consumption.
  8. Relax.



If you would like to know more about the influenza and the vaccine please visit

The center for disease control



WebMD cold and flu tips



Diabetes Day today at Tulalip Health Clinic from 9:30 – 3:30

By Monica Brown Tulalip News writer

Janurary 16, 2013


The event began today with and opening prayer and is scheduled to run until 3:30 p.m. Breakfast was served with the intention to inform about healthy options for people either with diabetes or wanting to ward off diabetes.  Tribal member Hank Gobin gave a informative speech about diabetic care.

Lunch will be served from noon to 1:30pm. Clinic staff will be offering comprehensive Diabetic Services for all Tulalip Tribal members and authorized patients of the Karen I Fryberg Tulalip Health Clinic.

Hank Gobin speaks at Diabetes Day.
Hank Gobin speaks at Diabetes Day.
Breakfast for Diabetes Day, fresh fruit, oatmeal, greek yogurt, eggs and tea.
Breakfast for Diabetes Day, fresh fruit, otameal, greek yogurt, eggs and tea.
Diabetes Day at Tulalip Health Clinic today
Diabetes Day at Tulalip Health Clinic today

Tulalip Health Clinic offering flu mist through Jan 14

The Karen I. Fryberg Tulalip Health Clinic has the flu mist, a type of a influenza vaccine in the form of a nasal spray available for tribal children ages 2 to 18.  This is not an injection but a mist in the nostrils.

The Clinic will have the mist available until January 14th, 2013.  No appointment necessary, walk-ins are welcome.