Health 853 results

FOLLOWUP: What the mayor wants to do to reduce public use of illegal drugs

Almost two months after the City Council rejected a proposal to match city law with the new state law about public drug use, Mayor Bruce Harrell is out with his plan. It’s the result of the committee he formed after that vote (the members are listed here). At the heart of it is city legislation that the mayor’s announcement says would:

-Codify state law and make public consumption of illegal drugs a gross misdemeanor in the city of Seattle.

-For the first time in the City’s history, designate diversion and treatment as the preferred approach to addressing substance use issues – connecting people with care and responding to a public health crisis with evidence-based health solutions.

-Define a new threat of harm standard – differentiating between drug use that threatens others versus the individual alone, recognizing the real and perceived danger of consumption of illegal drugs in public places, and aiming to support safe and welcoming neighborhoods by reducing public use.

The aim is not to jail drug users, according to Harrell, who is quoted in the announcement as saying, “Success will not – and cannot – be measured on how many people cycle through jail; instead, our focus is on improving connections to lifesaving treatment and expanding program options to better meet the needs of those with substance use issues.” So what would the mayor’s proposal mean for law enforcement? The announcement says he’ll issue an Executive Order next week “providing guidance to Seattle Police Department officers on how the law should be applied, further detailing threat of harm standards, and defining tools to collect and analyze data to measure success.”

BIZNOTE: Lake Washington Physical Therapy-West Seattle invites you to two free rooftop workouts!

July 28, 2023 3:33 pm
|    Comments Off on BIZNOTE: Lake Washington Physical Therapy-West Seattle invites you to two free rooftop workouts!
 |   Health | West Seattle news

Want to work out with a view? Free? Lake Washington Physical Therapy-West Seattle (1309 Harbor Avenue SW; WSB sponsor) has announced two more free classes on the rooftop of the building that houses its clinic. If you’re interested, sign up fast before the spaces are all spoken for:

We want to share two FREE rooftop classes for the community happening in August at Lake Washington Physical Therapy. These are great opportunities for people to learn more about what these local fitness businesses have to offer.

Bodyweight Core Workout with HIIT Lab
Sunday, August 6th at 9:00 am
Register at the QR code in the flyer attached
Bring a yoga mat/towel and water bottle
Limit of 30 participants
Drinks and snacks provided following the class

Fit4Mom Free Preview Class
Saturday, August 26th, 9:00 am
Register here
Limit of 30 participants
Bring a yoga mat/towel and water bottle
Drinks and snacks provided following the class

AT THE LIBRARY: Southwest Branch hosts three COVID vaccination clinics in the next week

If you’re looking for a COVID vaccination/booster, the Southwest Library (9010 35th SW) is partnering with Othello Station for three free clinics in the next week. All are 2 pm-5:30 pm; the dates are Tuesday, July 18th; Saturday, July 22nd; and Tuesday, July 25th. No health insurance or appointment required. If you have questions, you can call the branch at 206-684-7455 or go to the Public Health – Seattle & King County website.

HELPING: Save a life while you’re at West Seattle Summer Fest!

Next Friday, during the first day of West Seattle Summer Fest, Verity Credit Union in The Junction (4505 California SW; WSB sponsor) is offering opportunities to give a life-saving gift via a blood drive with Bloodworks Northwest. The drive is scheduled for 10 am-4 pm Friday; checking the appointment link, it looks like some afternoon spots remain. If you can donate blood, go here to sign up!

FOLLOWUP: It’s safe to go back in the water at Lincoln Park

June 30, 2023 2:00 pm
|    Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: It’s safe to go back in the water at Lincoln Park
 |   Environment | Health | West Seattle news

After the icon showing a swimming advisory for Lincoln Park beach vanished from the state’s beach-status map, it wasn’t clear whether the advisory was still in effect. So we asked Public Health today and they confirmed the advisory was lifted Thursday – just in time for the long holiday weekend.

REMINDER: Don’t wade or swim in the Sound at Lincoln Park

3:58 PM: A reader suggested a reminder is in order that a swimming advisory is still in effect for the beach at Lincoln Park. We first reported last Friday that health authorities were warning of elevated bacteria levels and advising people to avoid contact with the water there. You can check its status via this map.

7:10 PM: As a commenter notes, Lincoln Park’s status has vanished from the state’s infomap in the hours since we published this. It has not been replaced by an “all clear” type of symbol, so we can’t assume that this means it’s OK now. We will check with state and county health/environmental authorities in the morning.

ALSO AT LINCOLN PARK: Don’t go into the non-pool water

While the pools at Lincoln Park are about to open, you’re going to want to stay out of the water at the beach until further notice. Seattle Parks notes that county and state agencies advise avoiding contact with the water at Lincoln Park because of elevated bacteria levels. This isn’t a beach closure but rather an advisory.

BIZNOTE: Lake Washington Physical Therapy celebrates 2nd West Seattle anniversary, plans rooftop fitness classes, Art Walk reception

That’s the team at Lake Washington Physical Therapy-West Seattle (WSB sponsor), which just celebrated its second anniversary at 1309 Harbor Avenue SW. Co-proprietor Mark Bouma tells WSB, “Last week was our patient appreciation week, which marked 2 years of being in business. We celebrated our wonderful community, patients, and business partners that have allowed us to thrive. There were plenty of raffles, balloons, roses for patients, and LWPT spirit all week!” Here are two big reasons to visit LWPT in the weeks ahead:

This week – West Seattle Art Walk:

We are once again participating in the West Seattle Art Walk this Summer. Barbara Fugate is our curator and has just transformed our clinic with new art from many local West Seattle artists. Here is a video produced by one of the artists which highlights the process of selecting and hanging the paintings while showcasing some of the new artists in our exhibit. We hope to see everyone at the Art Walk on Thursday, June 8th at 6:30 pm.

After that, you have four opportunities to enjoy a workout with a view during Summer Rooftop Classes:

We are bringing back our summer rooftop classes this summer!

(The view from LWPT building’s rooftop deck)

We love to support and spread the good word about other local health and wellness businesses so more of the community can experience them. All of these classes raise money to benefit local West Seattle charities, such as WestSide Baby. After each class, participants will have the opportunity to enjoy refreshments and have some time to meet the instructors, learn about our businesses, and chat with neighbors in the community!

Here is the summer rooftop class lineup:
Saturday June 17th at 9 am: StarCycle Rooftop Spin Class with live DJ
Saturday, July 8th at 9 am: StarCycle Rooftop Spin Class with live DJ
(Purchase a StarCycle credit here; reserve a StarCycle bike here)
Sunday, August 6th: HIIT Lab Rooftop Bodyweight Bootcamp
Saturday, August 26th: Fit4Mom Rooftop Class

For the caregivers: Longtime West Seattleite invites you to join ‘Cortex Vortex’

Mental illness affects more than the people struggling with it – their families, friends, co-workers are affected too. One of your West Seattle neighbors found support and wants both to let you know about it, and to invite your support. Here’s the message from Jesse:

I have experienced incredible support and care from an organization called NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. This organization offers support groups, education, and listening ears to families who have a loved one with mental illness. Their goal is to help the caregiver, so the caregiver can better help their loved one in crisis and learns ways to help themselves. Often persons in crisis have little resources for help. This means often it’s a family member or friend who steps up and dedicates part of their life and resources to help this loved one. This takes financial and mental tolls on the caregiver. The support from NAMI and the many other caregivers is an indispensable resource. NAMI helped myself when I had a loved one enter a mental health crisis. My life changed completely after I never saw my husband, home, or puppy again due to his actions. At my lowest NAMI gave me the tools and support I needed to get me to a place where I am stronger than I have ever been. I am grateful beyond words. This is why I created my fundraising team The Cortex Vortex!

Saturday, June 3rd, NAMIWalks is hosting a fundraising walk at Marina Park in Kirkland. We hope to get people out to support the cause to aid mental illness in our community. We are asking for donations to continue providing the resources to help more families in need. Please Join, Donate & Walk with your Families, Friends and Pups!

If you decide to join the walk event, it’s happening 8-11 am Saturday. If you need support, here’s how to contact NAMI’s Helpline – that page also has information about emergency resources.

FOLLOWUP: New state drug law approved; here’s how 34th District legislators voted

Three weeks ago, the State Legislature adjourned without finalizing a new drug-possession law. Today, in a brief special session, both houses approved a revised version of the same bill that failed in April, SB 5536. Here’s the final version, quickly signed by Gov. Inslee. His website explains it:

Washington state’s new drug possession statute prioritizes treatment, establishes a gross misdemeanor penalty for drug possession and public use of drugs, and offers some local control to municipalities. …

A hallmark of the new bill is the degree of flexibility afforded to courts, prosecutors, municipalities, and community service providers.

The original bill that failed in the final hour of the regular session pre-empted local control. A difference in the latest version, one critical to its bipartisan support, was the continued ability for municipalities to approve or prohibit local “harm reduction” providers. Harm reduction services include needle exchanges, safe injection sites, and other programs designed to prevent disease or overdose. The ultimate bill signed by the governor lets local governments maintain some influence over these activities.

Prosecutors and courts were also granted some discretion in the final bill. Rather than have the Legislature set a rigid course for the new pretrial diversion program, courts and prosecutors may consider other alternatives to traditional prosecution. A defendant with behavioral health issues who is also addicted to drugs may benefit most from inpatient behavioral health treatment. A veteran fighting chemical dependency may be diverted to a veteran’s court program. Conversely, a defendant that has serially rejected treatment may be sent to jail. This flexibility may help courts find the right course for each defendant.

The three West Seattle-residing legislators who represent our area and the rest of the 34th District voted the same way they did in the regular-session vote – Sen. Joe Nguyen voted yes, as did Reo, Joe Fitzgibbon (who is also House Majority Leader), while Rep. Emily Alvarado voted no. The final House roll call was 83-13; in the Senate, 43-6.

ELECTION 2023: Two more days to vote on $1.25 billion crisis-care levy

82 percent of local voters have NOT sent in their ballots yet for the April 25 special election. You’re asked to help make a $1.25 billion decision, approving or rejecting a countywide levy to fund crisis-care centers. Here’s an info-sheet. As reported in January, it’s a nine-year levy that King County says would “cost approximately $119 per year in 2024 for a median-priced home of $694,000.” Tuesday (April 25th) is the deadline to get your ballot postmarked and into USPS mail, or (by 8 pm) into a dropbox. West Seattle has three: In The Junction on the south side of SW Alaska west of California (with 5-minute parking spots next to it in the lot behind Key Bank), by High Point Library on the south side of SW Raymond just east of 35th SW, and on Puget Ridge in front of the South Seattle College [6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor] administration building. See the full countywide list, including dropboxes in White Center and South Park, here.

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: Drug Take-Back Day dropoffs

We stopped by the Southwest Precinct after the first hour of today’s Drug Take-Back Day dropoffs – one box was filled and a second well on the way. Left to right above are Betsy Cruz from the DEA, SPD Officer Taylor Vergara, and Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner. All you have to do is walk into the meeting room right off the precinct’s public parking lot (2300 SW Webster, just west of Delridge) and drop your unwanted, no-longer-needed, and/or expired medication. They have some swag too, while supplies last. As featured in our calendar and preview list, this continues until 2 pm.

P.S. If you missed it, as commenter “Auntie” notes, there are multiple West Seattle year-round dropoff spots too – you can look them up by zip code here.

ELECTION 2023: 9 more days to vote on crisis-care levy

Less than 10 percent of King County voters have sent in their ballots so far for the April 25 special election. You’re voting on just one issue: The countywide levy to fund crisis-care centers. Here’s an info-sheet about the levy. As noted here in January, this nine-year levy would raise a total of $1.25 billion to set up five new regional crisis-care centers, among other things. According to King County, “The levy would be assessed at 14.5 cents per $1,000 in assessed value, estimated to cost approximately $119 per year in 2024 for a median-priced home of $694,000.” Tuesday,April 25th is your deadline to get your ballot postmarked and into USPS mail, or (by 8 that night) into a dropbox. We have three in West Seattle: In The Junction on the south side of SW Alaska just west of California, in High Point on the south side of SW Raymond just east of 35th SW, and on Puget Ridge in front of the South Seattle College [6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor] administration building. (The full countywide list, including dropboxes in White Center and South Park, is here.)

‘These are all our kids’: Youth substance-abuse prevention gets spotlight at West Seattle town hall event

Dr. Kevin Haggerty

By Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

West Seattle neighbors, community groups, school leaders and law enforcement trainees gathered on Wednesday night at Denny International Middle School for a town hall discussion focused on prevention of underage substance abuse.

The event’s keynote speaker was expert Dr. Kevin Haggerty, Emeritus Professor for Prevention at the University of Washington, who talked about current challenges and opportunities ahead for families and community members, particularly for vaping and fentanyl.

Read More

HEALTH: West Seattle therapist starting new group for neurodiverse people

Starting tonight, West Seattle therapist Laura Bruco is offering a pay-what-you-can therapy group for neurodiverse people – here’s what it’s about:

I’m starting a new therapy group called Mindscapes, specifically designed for neurodiverse / neuroqueer adults.

For those who may not be familiar with the terms, “neurodiverse” and “neuroqueer” refer to individuals with different neurological patterns, which can include conditions such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other ways of thinking and processing information that diverge from the neurological norm.

Mindscapes is all about creating a warm, inclusive environment where neurodivergent adults can come together to discuss their challenges, successes, and perspectives. The group is inspired by the wisdom of nature and seeks to build a sustainable, creative, and reciprocal community that celebrates the uniqueness of each participant.

By participating in Mindscapes, members may gain a deeper understanding of their own neurological patterns, commune with others who get the experience of being neuroqueer in a neurotypical world, and gain strategies and support for navigating life.

The group will kick off on March 28th and will meet every Tuesday from 6-7:30 pm. Before joining, I’d like to have a quick 20-minute chat with each person to make sure it’s the right fit for them (book at The group will be hosted on Zoom, and the link will be provided after our initial conversation. The group is open so people can come and go according to their resources and needs.

The cost is “pay what you can,” with a suggested contribution of $20/session. This way, everyone has access to the group, regardless of their Financial situation.

The group will remain open to people joining even after tonight’s first meeting, so even if you don’t see this in time, if you’re interested, you can contact Laura at

West Seattle town hall set to discuss youth substance use

You’ve probably heard the warning “one pill can kill.” Here in the fentanyl era, teenage substance use is riskier than ever. What’s a parent/guardian to do? How do you talk about it with the youngest members of your household? Westside HEY (Healthy Empowered Youth) and the Southwest Seattle Youth Alliance have announced a town-hall discussion for which you might want to set your calendar: 6 pm Wednesday, April 5th, in the galleria at Denny International Middle School (2601 SW Kenyon). Speakers include UW prevention expert Dr. Kevin Haggerty. Youth Alliance coordinator Lensy Cordova says Mayor Bruce Harrell is expected too. No need to RSVP – just show up. Here’s the flyer in English, Spanish, and Somali.

Blood-donation pop-ups in West Seattle, with an extra purpose

March 14, 2023 2:50 pm
|    Comments Off on Blood-donation pop-ups in West Seattle, with an extra purpose
 |   Health | How to help | West Seattle news

Bloodworks Northwest has a long list of springtime pop-up donation dates in West Seattle – and says there is a special reason those donations will matter more than ever: The blood bank is part of BERC (Blood Emergency Readiness Corps), 30 blood centers representing 37 states. BNW explaind. “BERC was formed to better prepare for mass transfusion needs when mass-injury emergencies strike. As part of the BERC partnership, Bloodworks commits to collecting extra units on a rotating ‘on call’ schedule to create an available supply for nationwide emergency needs.” It just wrapped up a week “on call” and is up again March 27 through April 2. Your donation “could be used to help patients locally or be sent anywhere in the US if there is a catastrophe in another part of our country.” So if you can donate blood, pick a date, time, and location by going here.

CORONAVIRUS: State to end 3 mask requirements, including health care and long-term care

Just received from the state Health Department:

Effective April 3, the Washington State Department of Health will end the Secretary of Health Mask Order, which currently requires universal masking in health care, long-term care, and adult correctional facilities for people age 5 and older.

In Washington, COVID-19, RSV, and influenza disease rates and hospitalizations have continued to decline since the end of last year. The end of Washington’s universal masking requirements aligns with similar announcement made today by the state of Oregon.

“Masks have been – and will continue to be – an important tool, along with vaccinations, to keep people healthy and safe,” said Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, Secretary of Health. “We are thankful for our health and long-term care providers, staff members, patients, and all Washingtonians, for following the important public health measures put in place during the pandemic to protect one another.”

DOH infection prevention and control guidance continues to recommend masks for patients, healthcare providers, and visitors in healthcare settings. Licensed healthcare facilities are required to have infection prevention policies and programs consistent with CDC guidance.

Several worker protection requirements enforced by the state’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) remain in effect, including that employees and contractors may choose to use face masks or other personal protective equipment (PPE) on the job without employer retaliation. Additionally, under the state Health Emergency Labor Standards Act (HELSA) rules, several key worker protections remain in place until the federal pandemic response declaration ends May 11.

The current Secretary of Health Mask Order will remain in place until 11:59 pm on April 2. Local or tribal governments, facilities, and providers may choose to continue to require masks in these or other settings.

VACCINATION: Flu, COVID shot clinic in West Seattle on Sunday

January 31, 2023 11:56 pm
|    Comments Off on VACCINATION: Flu, COVID shot clinic in West Seattle on Sunday
 |   Coronavirus | Health | West Seattle news

The Community School of West Seattle (9450 22nd SW) is hosting another community vaccination clinic this Sunday – here’s the announcement:

COVID/Flu Vaccine Clinic
Community School of West Seattle
Feb 5, 2023
11 AM-4 PM

All approved COVID vaccines for 6-months+ olds! Pediatric (starting at 6 months) and adult flu vaccines, but no high-dose geriatric flu vaccines available.

Preregistration encouraged:

We just checked at that link and plenty of appointments are available. If you prefer QR codes, there’s one on this event flyer. They say walk-ins will be welcome, too.

ELECTION 2023: County Council might decide Tuesday on whether to send $1.25 billion behavioral-health levy to voters (update: they will)

ORIGINAL MONDAY REPORT: Another special election will be ahead in April if the King County Council votes Tuesday – or shortly thereafter – to send a $1.25 billion behavioral-health levy to voters. The meeting preview says the measure would create a nine-year property tax levy to fund “four key goals,” listed as follows:

*Create five new regional crisis care centers: Distributed geographically across the county, the centers would provide walk-in access and the potential for short-term stays to help people stabilize, depending on needs, with one center specifically serving youth.

*Preserve and restore the dramatic loss of residential treatment beds: In 2018, 355 beds providing community-based residential care for people with mental health residential needs existed in King County. Today, only 244 of these beds are available.

*Grow the behavioral health workforce pipeline: The proposal would create career pathways through apprenticeship programming and access to higher education, credentialing, training, and wrap-around supports. It would also invest in equitable wages for the workforce at crisis care centers.

*Provide immediate services while centers are being constructed: The proposal would also use initial proceeds to quickly create mobile or site-based crisis behavioral health services that can operate until the first crisis care centers open. This bridge strategy would complement recent state and federally-funded-mobile crisis teams.

The need for these services has expanded greatly in recent years, according to sponsors. They elaborate in the full text of the proposal going before county councilmembers at 1 pm Tuesday, which you can read here (page 50). If passed as written, the levy would cost the owner of a median-priced King County home – $694,000 in 2021 valuations – $10 a month in 2024. You can comment to the council before or during the hybrid (online and in-person downtown) meeting; the agenda explains how.

TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Per a statement from the County Executive’s Office, the county council did indeed approve sending the levy to voters in April.

ALSO TODAY: Pop-up blood drive in Highland Park

January 12, 2023 11:48 am
|    Comments Off on ALSO TODAY: Pop-up blood drive in Highland Park
 |   Health | How to help | West Seattle news

Thanks to the reader who just sent word of this – the American Red Cross has a pop-up blood drive at Bethany Community Church in Highland Park this afternoon/evening, 1-6:30 pm. Appointments required (type 98106 in the search box on that page); when we checked, openings were listed between 1:30 and 4:30 pm. The church is at 8600 9th SW; \\

Uninsured? Underinsured? Health help in Highland Park on Saturday

January 12, 2023 9:00 am
|    Comments Off on Uninsured? Underinsured? Health help in Highland Park on Saturday
 |   Health | Highland Park | West Seattle news

A health-insurance enrollment event at Highland Park Elementary 10 am-2 pm this Saturday (January 14th) is open to everyone and offering some services – health and otherwise – for people in need:

-Get enrolled into health insurance.
-Find our health insurance options.
-Apple Health Insurance (Children, Pregnant Women, & Adults).

 Women 40 & older & You must live in King County
 Uninsured or Underinsured
 Immigration status is not a factor
 Call for an appointment 800-756-5437

Treatment for URGENT dental needs: Extractions – Filings – X-Rays – Exams – Pain/Swelling
 Must be a King County resident.
 Immigration status is not a factor.
 Not eligible for Apple Health (Medicaid) due to citizenship status.
 Meet income guidelines
 Call for an appointment: 800-756-5437

-ORCA Lift Enrollment with preloaded cards. If you’re on TANF or SSI you get free fare for one year.
-City of Seattle Utility assistance Applications.
-COVID Vaccines (with gift card)
-Free lunch provided by Soul Fusion Food Truck!
-Cell phones & more

HPES is at 1012 SW Trenton.

You might be invited to participate in national health survey

Public Health – Seattle & King County says some West Seattle participants are being sought for an invitation-only, voluntary national health survey starting soon. Here’s their announcement explaining the survey:

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the most comprehensive survey of the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population, is coming to King County beginning on January 4, 2023.

All counties and cities in the United States have a chance to be selected for the NHANES and, this year, King County is one of 15 counties selected to be part of this initiative. Each year, only 5,000 residents nationwide are chosen to participate in NHANES, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

NHANES provides important national data on critical public health issues. “NHANES serves as the nation’s ‘health check-up’ by going into communities throughout the country to collect health information,” said Brian C. Moyer, PhD, Director of the NCHS. “The survey provides a wealth of important data about many of the major health and nutritional issues affecting the country.”

“I’m so pleased that our community was selected to participate in this year’s study,” said Dr. Faisal Khan, Director of Public Health — Seattle & King County. “I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to participate to do so. The information provided by our residents will help us to better inform our policy makers and provide us with important information as we make decisions on how to best use our public health resources to meet the needs of our community.”

Since 1960, NHANES has had a prominent role in improving the health of all people living in the U.S. NHANES data address critical health concerns, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Public health officials, legislators, and physicians use this information to develop evidence-based health policies, direct and design health programs and services, and expand the health knowledge of the nation. NHANES data also help produce national references and standardized growth charts used by pediatricians across the country.

NHANES collects a broad range of data that affect the lives of everyone in the country, regardless of age, addressing everything from air quality to the low-fat and “light” foods found in grocery stores.

Study participant selection and study involvement

An NHANES team of health professionals, nutritionists, and health technicians is heading to King County and urges everyone who has been selected for the survey to participate.

Residents will have an invitation-only opportunity to participate in NHANES. Addresses are randomly sampled within the county. By selecting participants this way, when combining data from all counties visited this year, NHANES data can more accurately represent the U.S. population.

Randomly selected households will be sent one or more letters inviting them to be part of NHANES by completing a brief online questionnaire to see if anyone in their home is eligible to take part. Those eligible will be contacted by an NHANES representative to set up a telephone health interview at a convenient time, followed by a health examination that takes place in the NHANES mobile examination center. While no medical care is provided directly in the mobile examination center, a report on physical findings is given to each participant, along with an explanation of those findings from survey medical staff.

Benefits of participating in NHANES, if selected:

-Participants receive a free and comprehensive health and nutrition evaluation.
-Participants help develop and evolve national health programs and policies.
-Participants receive a token of appreciation for their time.

All information collected in the survey is kept confidential and individual privacy is protected by law. NHANES is taking all precautions needed, as recommended by the CDC, to keep survey participants and staff safe by following guidelines on social distancing, use of personal protective equipment, handwashing, and sanitation of the mobile examination center and all equipment.

You can find out more about the survey, including data spanning decades, here.