Lifestyle - Health & Wellness Articles

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Getting healthy on the mats

By Greg Ruland

To serious martial arts experts, Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” may be among the most influential works, quickly followed by “Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method,” or perhaps “Modern Army Combatives,” by Matt Larsen, according to But for ninja novices, such pop icons as “Kung Fu Panda,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “The Karate Kid” are far more influential, said Bill Brasette, founder of Seibo-Kan ...


One doctor’s cutting-edge payment plan could cost him

By Greg Ruland

Dr. Craig Gustafson loves his patients and wants to continue treating their health care needs, but he’s quitting health insurance. Gustafson regrets the inconvenience, but the change in business practice he proposes may force some patients to choose between their health insurance and a continuing doctor-
patient relationship with the well-established Grand Junction physician. Gustafson and an associate, Alex Chaffetz, told an overflow crowd of about 250 patients in two ...

Health Briefs, June 10, 2014

By Staff

HopeWest expands services to Meeker HopeWest, a comprehensive hospice and palliative care organization serving western Colorado, recently expanded palliative care services to Meeker. Recognizing the need to provide services to the Meeker area, HopeWest created HopeWest Meeker through a partnership with Pioneers Medical Center.  HopeWest Meeker is governed by a local advisory board under the guidance of the HopeWest board of directors. The organization is made up of more than ...

Health Briefs, June 3, 2014

By Staff

Ex-St. Mary’s CEO retires after 25 years Longtime senior executive Robert W. Ladenburger, executive vice president of hospital operations for SCL Health System and President and CEO of Exempla Healthcare, has retired. No successor has been chosen, SCL Health announced. Ladenburger, a well-known figure in Colorado health care, joined SCL Health in 1999 as president and CEO of St. Mary’s Hospital, where he served until 2010. During this time, St. Mary’s became ...


Ancient remedies provide modern therapies

By Greg Ruland

People who seek treatment from experts in Chinese medicine are finding it easier to locate the specialists they need, according to one of Grand Junction’s leading complementary health care providers. The reason is large, nationally respected hospitals like the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio are relying more frequently on the ancient teachings to treat their patients, said April Schulte-Barclay, founder of Healing Horizons Integrated Health Solutions, 2139 North 12th St. Schulte-Barclay ...


Natural birthing center provides a choice for expectant mothers

By Greg Ruland

Fathers brave enough to help birth their children inevitably concede mothers are the stronger sex. The painful birth process that mothers often endure proves it, said the owners of a new, independent birthing center in Grand Junction. The experience presents medical hazards for mother and child, risks some believe are too great to bring a child into the world any place but at a hospital. That is a valid and reasonable choice, they said. But other mothers want options. They believe the ...


Testing the water

By Greg Ruland

The cloudy, amber liquid in a clear, plastic bottle looked more like urine than potable water, but it was drawn from a private well used by somebody’s family for bathing and drinking. The well, situated in an undisclosed location, is just one of the thousands of water sources in 18 counties routinely tested by the Mesa County Health Department Regional Lab, health officials said last week. Water may come from as far away as Utah to be tested at the Mesa County lab, officials ...

Health Briefs, May 25, 2014

By Staff

Reporting elder abuse to be mandatory As of July 1 of this year, reporting elder abuse will be required by Colorado state law. Before July, Coloradans will need to know who is a mandatory reporter and how to report suspected abuse, Mesa County officials said. Mesa County Department of Human Services is offering training on mandatory reporting of at-risk elder abuse, neglect and exploitation on from 11 a.m. 1 p.m. Thursday in Conference Room 1060 in the Department of Human Services ...


Healthy school foods pass inspection

By Greg Ruland

All 37 School District 51 kitchens sailed through a rigorous state inspection last month certifying the district’s made-from-scratch menu meets all health and nutrition standards required by law, school officials said. The inspection was part of the state’s stepped-up enforcement of school nutrition and food safety guidelines outlined in the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. With a menu created by district nutritionists and a local dietician, the food produced at the ...


There is no fast track to good health, doctor says

By Greg Ruland

There is no secret key that suddenly unlocks the pathway to a healthy life, according to Dr. Scott Rollins, a Grand Junction doctor who specializes in anti-aging and regenerative medicine. “We can’t have instant success, instant loyalty or trust, instant weight loss, or instant health,” Rollins said. “Success starts with a desire, a vision, and a plan.” The medical doctor, who is certified by the American Board of Family Practice and the American Board of ...

Health Briefs, May 6, 2014

By Staff

New imager is state of the art Family Health West is one of the first hospitals in western Colorado to offer three-dimensional mammography to its patients, the hospital announced last week. Known as tomosynthesis mammography, the tool incorporates state-of-the-art imaging technology that provides incredibly sharp breast tissue images, the hospital said. “This not only improves the ability to detect breast cancer, but also decreases the need for additional examinations so often ...


Fashion show raises money for free clinic

By Greg Ruland

Locally owned Pollux Clothing Co. staged a fashion show at the Elks Lodge on Saturday to raise money for a nonprofit group that provides free health care to the Grand Valley’s uninsured and under-insured population. Forty percent of ticket sales from the show were donated to the clinic, said Brittany Watson, Pollux general manager. Receipts from the event were still being tallied Monday, Watson said. It was the store’s first fashion show fundraiser, Pollux founder and owner ...

Health Briefs, April 29, 2014

By Staff

New surgical practice opens There is a new option for surgical and aesthetics care in western Colorado. Longtime Grand Junction general surgeon Dr. Brad Case opened Valley Surgical Care & Aesthetics on April 22.  The medical office is located at 2478 Patterson Road, Suite 4. The practice specializes in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of a wide range of conditions, including minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery and state-of-the-art cosmetic procedures.  Case ...


High schools play blood sports for donor trophies

By Greg Ruland

Fruita Monument Wildcats drew blood Monday in the home stretch of an annual competition that pits area high schools against each other for trophies in a race to save lives. It was the second round of blood draws for the Wildcats, who tallied 82 donors during the first round in the fall, said Vanessa Hayward, a Fruita Monument teacher who helps sponsor the drive. Hayward said she has no trouble recruiting students old enough to donate. Students 16 years of age and older can take part so ...

Health Briefs, April 15, 2014

By Staff

Health care costs disturb Coloradans Coloradans fear the costs of medical care more than they fear illness or injury, according to new research commissioned by Colorado HealthOP, Colorado’s first statewide nonprofit health insurance cooperative. The CO-OP commissioned the survey to better understand the beliefs and behaviors of Colorado health care consumers. In the survey, 625 Coloradans were interviewed about their health care experiences, beliefs and behaviors. According to ...


Smartphone addict? Use it to kick habit

By Greg Ruland

Luddites who savor every particle of tar or nicotine that billows from their delivery device should read no farther. This story is directed at tech-savvy smokers who actually want to quit. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment last week announced a free smartphone app that helps smokers break their addiction to cigarettes. Now people addicted to using smartphones will be able to use them to fight another, more dangerous addiction — the addiction to ...

Health Briefs, April 8, 2014

By Staff

Dr. Pramenko to speak on state of health care Dr. Michael Pramenko will present an update on health care reform at 7 p.m. Monday in the community room at the central branch of Mesa County Libraries, 443 N. Sixth St. Pramenko is the executive director of Primary Care Partners, the largest primary care practice in western Colorado. As an outspoken proponent of Grand Junction’s unique health care system, he has appeared on PBS’s “News Hour” and NPR’s ...

Overdose deaths jump with epidemic abuse in Colorado

By Greg Ruland

Colorado ranked second-worst in the nation when it comes to abuse of prescription medication, with more than 255,000 abusers at last count, state officials said. These addicts and abusers contributed to the quadrupling of the state’s overdose death rate between 2000 and 2011, according to the September 2013 “Colorado Plan to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse.”  Between 200 and 500 Coloradans die from such overdoses each year, officials said. The high numbers are being ...

Deep Brain Stimulation St. Mary’s

Deep Brain Stimulation

By Greg Ruland

“Deep brain stimulation is a way to turn off parts of the brain without purposefully destroying those parts like more radical surgery does.” DR. BRIAN WITWER, Grand Junction neurosurgeon Deep brain stimulation Electrical impulses steady tremors in patients with Parkinson’s, other movement disorders By GREG RULAND .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) //= 0; i=i-1){ if (l[i].substring(0, 1) == ' ') output += "&#"+unescape(l[i].substring(1))+";"; ...

Health Briefs: March 24, 2014

By Staff

Preparing for end of life April 16 is National Health Care Decisions Day, a national grassroots initiative to encourage individuals to express their health care wishes through conversations and the completion of advance directives. Learn how to prepare for and make end-of-life decisions at a symposium April 16 at the St. Mary’s Hospital Saccomanno Education Center, 2635 N. Seventh St., fifth floor. Two sessions are scheduled for that date,  8:30 to 11 a.m. and 5 to 7:30 ...

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