WASHINGTON—The Washington Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership class dove into Health and Wellness on December 8, 2021. Leaders Casey Peck, Kelly Grout, Megan Hangartner, and
Amy Kleese coordinated the group’s activities for the day.
The class started the day with a delicious breakfast catered by Dodici’s at the UP home while Dr. Megan Hangartner discussed the many facets of eye care. There’s a lot more to the eyes than just
glasses and contacts!
Then the group participated in a give thanks activity to boost morale at the various health facilities they toured through the day. As UP Home Executive Director Erin Drahota discussed some of the
ongoing issues they face during this ongoing pandemic, rolls of Lifesaver candies were labeled with a quick note to remind staff that they are “lifesavers”.
The class then toured the activity areas of the UP home and got to see inside one of the apartment style spaces they offer. Amy Kleese also led the group in a modified yoga class to get us moving!
The next stop on the tour was the YMCA, where Megan Jorgenson from the Washington County Conservation discussed Marr Park and the turtles that live there. Seeing the turtles in person is
After a session of sitting, it was time to get moving again! YMCA Marketing Director Angie Goodwin gave the class a tour of the new Y facility, and Jolleen Cerka put the class through a fun
interval training session.
Nick Pacha, the City of Washington Parks and Rec Director also discussed the new wellness park to the north of the YMCA and then next phases yet to come. It’s exciting that Washington was able to
host several tournaments in 2021 with the new facilities. Nick reported that nearly every weekend in the spring and first half of the 2022 summer are already booked!
The class then traveled to Washington County Hospitals and Clinics, where they provided a delicious lunch. Todd Patterson, CEO, filled everyone in on the current events at the hospital,
including newly added providers and what they are looking into for the future. Due to COVID visitor restrictions, we weren’t able to physically tour the hospital, but Amy Vetter gave a virtual
tour to show how they are using the space now that more specialists have been added and McCreedy home closed.
In a year where mental health issues have really come to light, Director Lisa Miller and BHIS Coordinator April Donelson from the Grace C Mae Advocacy Center educated the class about the
services they are able to offer the community at all ages and stages of life. End of life care is never something that people want to think about, but Executive Director Katrina
Altenhofen of Hospice of Washington County highlighted how important communicating those wishes ahead of time allows for the most comfortable transition in those final days. They are very
excited to move into their new facility, projected to happen mid-January!
Susan Wellington at the Halcyon House gave a tour of their community facilities, including a tour of an apartment on campus, which actually belongs to one of the class members. Halcyon House
also provided a delicious snack to the class while Alyssa Rich took us through a virtual tour of the areas of Halcyon we are not able to physically visit.
The final stop of the day was at JET physical therapy, where Eric Turner, Brandi Hemsley, and Andrew Timmer discussed how “movement is our medicine”. Physical therapy can be an excellent
tool to solve a variety of health issues effectively while reducing our reliance on pharmaceutical medications and treatments that may not address the root of the problem.