Ballard Naturopathic Blog | Naturopathy

Stone Turtle HealthNaturopathic Medicine and Massage Therapy for the Whole Family

6204B 8th Ave NW Seattle, WA 98107 Work (206) 355-4309

Stone Turtle Health Blog

Another reason to stay active

April 8, 2015

According to the U.S. census, over 25% of our population will be over 65 by 2030. There are many reasons for adults to stay active throughout their life, and the NY Times has another: staying active protects brain cells from dying, preventing brain shrinkage. And a common outcome of brain shrinkage is a chronic subdural hematoma (SDH), or bruise in the space surrounding the brain, which puts pressure on the brain and interferes with its function. The Times' article discusses the increasing incidence of chronic SDH in older populations, even without a head injury or fall, and how it mimics other neurological conditions. Symptoms such as sudden and severe headache, weakness on one side of the body, personality or cognition changes, and confusion or difficulty speaking are a sign of immediate need for medical care to rule out SDH or other serious concerns, such as TIA, stroke, dementia, Parkinson's disease, migraine, epilepsy or psychiatric condition. In many cases, chronic SDH can resolve on its own or with medication but about 1/3 of patients require surgery.

So, in addition to cardiovascular and respiratory health and prevention of weight-gain related diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, staying active works to protect brain function and cognition and to prevent chronic SDH. Don't know where to start? Try adding an after-dinner stroll to your daily routine, check out some yoga or dance classes at your neighborhood community or senior center, or visit one of Seattle's beautiful parks for a walk along the beach or a forest path. Wear proper footwear to support your ankles and prevent injuries. Now is the season to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Your brain will thank you for it later!

Alternatives to Antibiotics?

March 29, 2015

The White House has just released a 63-page report that sets 1-, 3-, and 5-year goals for adderssing antibiotic resistance and overuse. The report focuses on slowing resistance, having a single point of integration for multiple health information networks, to accelerate research, testing, and treatments for current bacterial infections to stay a step ahead of the resistant bugs. By 2020, the report goals include a 50% reduction in inappropriate antibiotic use in outpatient settings, including family practices like ours. 

Where do antibiotics fit into naturopathic medicine and how does this plan affect naturopathic doctors? Any treatment, including antibiotics, vaccines, and surgery can be done "naturopathically" if it is utilized within our Hierarchy of Interventions (lowest to highest, as appropriate) and if it is performed in accordance with the tenets of our profession. These pillars, discussed in earlier posts, include "treating the cause" (something antibiotics do well) and "prevention" (vaccines, check!) as well as "first, do no harm", "treating the whole person", "doctor as teacher", "wellness" and the "healing power of nature". Naturopathic medicine is not a proscribed set of herbs or nature therapies to the exclusion of advances in medicine, it is a philosophy that takes these tenets into account when treating each patient as an individual. Sometimes, antibiotics are the right choice. Sometimes, an herbal remedy with antimicrobial properties would be a better, lower-level intervention for a less serious bacterial illness. NDs (naturopathic doctors) work to support the patient's own immune system in addition to appropriate interventions to address the cause of the illness, whether it is lifestyle-related, genetic, bacterial, viral, fungal, or environmental.

As a parent, it is difficult to take a sick child into the doctor and NOT come out with something tangible, like a prescription for antibiotics. Many doctors feel pressured to "do something" by the parents, aside from recommending rest and hydration. However, antibiotics do not address causes that are not bacterial, such as viruses, and should not be given unless there is a strong indication for need. In addition, there are a number of antimicrobial or antibacterial herbs that can be used in place of antibiotics in milder illnesses. Many viral illnesses are self-limiting and sometimes the best thing we can do is to support the immune system with natural antivirals (like elderberry and licorice) and help to relieve symptoms that are the body's way of attacking the virus (cough suppressants like cherry bark for example). Common hygiene practices, such as proper hand-washing technique, can slow or stop the spread of viruses and bacteria in many cases. Naturopathic medicine has multiple treatment choices that can help minimize our reliance on antibiotics, allowing them to be reserved for more serious bacterial infections and slowing the progression of antibiotic resistance. It is my hope that some of that research money will be used to replicate earlier studies on antimicrobial herbs as an alternative to antibiotics for resistant bugs. 

OPPOSE HB 2149

February 28, 2014
Below is my letter to the Washington State Senate Ways & Means Committee, regarding HB 2149, which guts the current medical cannabis law in favor of profit through recreational cannabis. The bill can be found here. 

Dear Senator,

My name is Dr. Katie Baker. I am a naturopathic physician, born, raised,educated and licensed in the state of WA. I serve communities in Seattle and Bellevue as a family practice doctor, but my patients come to me from all over the state. I am writing about HB 2149, which will be coming up for review in your committee on Monday. We were told it had died in the Healthcare Committee, but a loophole allowed it to move forward without a public hearing. Unfortunately, due to the late notice, I already have patients scheduled during the hearing and will be unable to attend in person. 

I understand the difficulty of differentiating between the protection of rights for medical cannabis patients and the I-502 mandates. Here are my particular concerns with, and reasons why I oppose, HB 2149:

1- Throughout the bill, the scientific term "cannabis" has been reverted back to "marijuana". This is an unnecessary switch back to a more inflammatory term. Since this bill, if part or all of it becomes law, is the basis for legal action, the proper scientific terms should be used. Anything else is specious.

2- Section 2.12.b. As the members of the committee with healthcare backgrounds who sponsored the bill know, there are currently NO objective measures of pain.Pain is, by its very nature, a subjective complaint. Internet research shows a single preliminary study from the Neurology department of the University of Boulder, using nMRI technology to map neuronal response to pain, but there have been no confirmatory studies to date and to ask all pain patients seeking cannabis authorizations to submit to nMRI, especially when many of them are living off of disability checks or are working poor, based on a single study is unconscionable.

Requiring that the severity of the pain significantly interfere with ADLs is an unnecessary phrase, given the current terminology of intractable pain and does not allow for relief for current patients who have relapsing or intermittent pain issues that are intractable; debilitating migraines would be a good example. They do not affect patients on a daily basis, but when they happen, patients can be sidelined for 1-4 days, unable to work, keep food down, or tolerate light, sounds, or smells.

Requiring referrals from principal care providers (as the recent amendment states) does not take into account the fact that some doctors do not believe in the use of medical cannabis and would deny their patients' requests for a referral. In many cases, such as with the VA or with larger medical groups, like UW Physicians, the PolyClinic, or MultiCare facilities, doctors are forbidden to write authorizations by their employers or their malpractice providers, on penalty of losing their jobs or their insurance coverage.

3- Section 2.12.g- Eliminating the panel of physicians who accept or deny petitions for new conditions as more research becomes available would put undue strain on patients and advocates in terms of time and money. The current panel is relatively conservative, in my opinion, but is surely a better way than requiring legislative amendments or disallowing new conditions.

4-My strong opposition to the sections creating a registry come in light of recent court findings in Mendocino County, Ca and in OR, where the DEA was allowed access to the cannabis registry.Other states with registries have been compromised and patient information has been unlawfully exposed. My concerns about patient privacy and HIPAA regulations have been voiced by many during the public comment period. A patient has an authorization on tamper-proof paper, etc in compliance with state law, and that should be all the "verification" that a state-licensed outlet should require. Currently, when a patient of mine goes to a dispensary, I am called to verify the authenticity of the authorization, including its expiration date (typically one year, in some instances 6 months). There are standard HIPAA procedures for releases of information to other healthcare providers in place now. If two providers are concurrently working with a patient, releases are not even required to discuss patient care. The issue lies in patients' discomfort in disclosing to some providers, not in the lack of access to available information. 

5- Section 5.2 - Limitations are too low. Severe epilepsy patients may use more than 8 ounces in a week or so. Requiring a physician to attest to being the primary care professional treating the patient- Many patients come to me as part of their healthcare team. I encourage them to tell their primary care doctor, their oncologist, their rheumatologist, or any other specialists about their cannabis authorization. At the present date, there are 3 major drug interactions indicated for cannabis (theoretical, according to Rxlist.com). While I do a medication and supplement review at each visit and discuss potential interactions with patients, many other primary care providers (PCPs) don't do this because they do not have the time or training. 

For many of these patients, they would be candidates for the higher levels of possession proposed but their primary care professionals will not write authorizations. For others, their PCP is not the one handling the opiate. chemotherapeutic or other medications, it is a specialist such as an oncologist or pain doctor. Where is the burden of proof that cannabis requires more stringent oversight than these medications?

Home growing- Many of my patients come from rural parts of the state, where patient access points are few and of poorer quality than seen in the cities. Other patients live on a severely fixed income, often times less than $1000/month. These patients typically qualify for my sliding fee scale at the $20/visit level because their income is so low. They need the ability to grow their own plants because it is cost-prohibitive for them to afford their medication through dispensaries at today's prices, not to mention the proposed increases in costs via state-run recreational outlets.By lowering the plants from 15 to 3, it is ensured that any trouble with the growing process will wipe out a patient's medication supply easily. 

6- Section 11- While I approve of the idea of a working group to create standards of care for physician guidance, particularly one that includes professionals with actual botanical medicine training (naturopathic physicians),what we currently know about cannabis is that different people react to different amounts, preparations, and strains of the plant so a standard dosing schedule would be very difficult to determine. My typical recommendation for patients in this area is to begin dosing in the evening, or when there will be no chance for them to be impaired behind the wheel, in order to find an effective dose for them, while minimizing any impact on their lives during the process.

Thank you for reading my concerns. I am happy to answer any questions by you in person, or via phone or email. I strongly believe that feedback from physicians is sorely lacking in HB 2149 and oppose its passage.

About me: I am a 4th generation Washingtonian, in the second generation to make a career in healthcare. I have family who have served in the armed forces and  those who currently serve in law enforcement. I have over 25 years' experience working with children and families, studied botanical medicine for five years as part of my naturopathic doctorate studies, and have extra training in drug-herb interactions. My volunteer activities include working with the Sea-King County Public Health Reserve Corps, the Red Cross, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, my local Rotary and Chamber of Commerce chapters, and serving on the board of the Ballard Boys & Girls Club. In short, I believe that I am fulfilling my calling to serve families in my community and to practice responsible medicine. Part of my family practice includes writing cannabis authorizations for eligible patients of all ages, in accordance with state law.

Affordable Care?

November 20, 2013

With the new year fast approaching, the Affordable Care Act is on everyone's minds. The Washington state website and the federal website have both been prone to errors and delays because of the overwhelming amount of traffic, making researching and enrolling in new plans a pain in the neck. It's also difficult to tell if your plan costs are going to be slashed because you are eligible for a premium subsidy, stay the same (as for those with employer coverage) or increase ridiculously (as some older patients are seeing). The first time I logged on, I was told that my demographic (36 year old non-smoking female) had no plans available (we are, after all, quite a rarity!). The second time, I was told that of course there was a plan for me, as a 25 year old male smoker..

With all this confusion. surrounding the ACA and the state benefits exchange, I find it helpful to enlist the aid of my healthcare broker, who previously spent time discussing my options for individual v. group coverage as a business owner as well as comparing and contrasting my plan options. Personally, I work with and highly recommend Kathy Miller of The Miller Connection in Everett. She takes the time to find out your unique situation to provide you with the best tailored advice. In the case of the healthcare exchange, she knows tips and tricks for getting the best possible quote, which takes a more nuanced approach than just filling in the blanks on the website. 

For my patients, I want to reiterate our commitment to providing affordable care. We will continue to offer cash discounts and a cap on our office visit charges for those who are eligible. As our sliding fee scales are only offered to uninsured patients, we hope to phase this out as more Washington state residents become enrolled in insurance plans. We will continue to offer payment plans to all of our patients. Our biggest news is that Stone Turtle Health is in the process of becoming a Medicaid provider with the state of Washington. This means we will be able to provide services to patients on various Medicaid-funded state health plans who were previously not offering naturopathic coverage. 

Families will continue to be able to schedule group appointments to cut down on costs, as well. Please consider bringing in your children in the months of November and December for a free 30-minute consultation to see if naturopathic medicine is a good fit for your family. 

As we move into the new era in medical reimbursement, I look forward to being able to provide care for more families in the community and to showing patients from all walks of life how affordable and sustainable naturopathic medicine really can be! Stone Turtle Health is committed to providing safe, effective, and financially-conscious care for your family!

 

Fakin' it!

February 26, 2013

Dr. Ted Kaptchuk of Harvard, who has his doctorate in Chinese medicine, is at the forefront of studying the placebo effect and its place in medicine. For many folks, the term "placebo effect" has a negative connotation, used to describe why many people get better with treatment, in the absence of any measurable therapeutic chemical interaction (as in homeopathy or in drug studies where the control group is given sugar pills). However, an article released in the latest Harvard Magazine discusses how doctors can use the placebo effect to positively affect patient outcomes. Whether it's a sugar pill or sham acupuncture (as in this study), who wouldn't feel some symptomatic improvement just from feeling respected and listened to by their practitioner, rather than dealing with a curt professional who dismisses your concerns abruptly or who doesn't seem to have enough time for you? There is a very interesting and, to me, exciting field of research surrounding patient-doctor interactions and the effects that they have on care outcomes and I look forward to reading more about how I can improve my patients' health by taking the time to listen and care for them. It also inspires me to ask the following questions (please post your responses below): what makes a doctor effective? Why do you return or choose another doctor?

60% of the time, they're right 100% of the time..

July 10, 2012

A friend of mine posted a screenshot of Fox News' latest propaganda attempt. Across the screen was the large print shocker: 83% DOCTORS CONSIDER QUITTING OVER OBAMACARE it screamed out. What? First of all, 83% of doctors can't even agree on basic healthcare screening guidelines like when to get a mammogram or how frequently your cholesterol should be checked, much less something as "controversial" as national health care. There was a survey done by DPMA, a conservative lobbyist group that is trying to raise funds to overturn the National Healthcare Act. 83% of their survey respondents were "considering quitting", but it wasn't linked directly to the passage of the bill. This sort of bogus "reporting" is part of what created the political divide today between states, neighbors, and even families. When all anyone hears is vitriol spewed about members of the opposing political party, other countries, our own government, and about people who earn more or less than us, it's bound to overthrow our reason and our critical thinking skills. 

That being said, I'm for "Obamacare". As a physician, I try to avoid getting too political for fear of alienating any of my patients. But coverage and healthcare for everyone does have a nice ring to it. I want to see more patients. I want to provide patients with preventive care and early interventions that keep them from seeking care at the emergency room for non-emergent medical problems. I want to be covered by Medicare and Medicaid- I would take more Medicare and Medicaid patients if I could. Right now, I choose to see them on my sliding fee scale because Medicaid and Medicare do not cover naturopathic physicians. I have committed myself to improving the lives of people in my community and that means seeing sick people who need care, not just sick people with insurance.

But, it would be easier to do that if I could get paid better. 

Part of what "Obamacare" does is to require insurance companies to use more of their member's premiums to pay doctors instead of their own CEOs. Yet Cigna's CEO made over $19 million last year. Last month, I got $37 from them for a patient visit that lasted 30 minutes. And the patient had a $40 copay on top of that. Any complaints about the unfairness of this to the patient or to the provider are met with cries of "free market economy" and "who are we to prevent businesses from making money" and "socialism".  And I am free to do as many of my colleagues do and not accept insurance or be an out-of-network provider. But I rely on insurance directories for some of my referrals and to allow more people to take care of themselves and to see a naturopathic doctor than might otherwise be able to. Yet there is a sharp divide between how much insurance companies are making and how much they are reimbursing doctors and patients are stuck in the middle (see my blog article on "The Insurance Secret" for more). 

Obamacare also provides subsidies for patients who can't afford policies on their own. Covering more of our vulnerable populations will keep them out of emergency rooms. Covering naturopathy would aid this and shift their burden of care to doctors who are willing and able to provide preventive and primary care medicine to reduce the numbers of people suffering from chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and allergies, etc that are a huge percentage of healthcare costs. A small study in Vermont showed that members of a professional association that joined a preventive healthcare program run by an ND were able to lower their direct healthcare costs by $21 for every $1 spent. This is phenomenal and, at the very least, should provide impetus for studies on a larger scale about the potential impacts by naturopathic medicine on the national healthcare debate.

The time for rational and intelligent merit-based and well-thought out discussions about where our country and our planet is going is rapidly dwindling as news outlets push their ratings up at the expense of the common good. Turn them off. Think for yourself. Teach your children (as my parents taught me) the power of emotional appeals and the importance of critically parsing statements to discover verifiable facts and how to make decisions based on those facts and how they impact our families, communities and our world.

Flu Season

October 4, 2011

With predictions of wet and windy La Nina months ahead, now is the time to prepare your immune system for the onslaught of viruses that cause colds and flu. At Stone Turtle Health, we have a wide variety of conventional and alternative options for cold and flu prevention.

Kids can get flu shots at our office, true, but we also offer an array of choices for natural immune support and safe, alcohol-free choices for dealing with nasty coughs, runny noses, and fevers if your child already has one. Common ingredients include kitchen spices that are known to have antibacterial and antiviral effects, like thyme, hyssop, garlic, and oregano, vitamins and minerals like vitamin B, C and zinc, as well as botanical medicines like astragulus, echinacea, and elderberry, all extracted in glycerine for alcohol-free formulations that are safe for children and pregnant women. 

If you can't make it in to the office, or it's the middle of the night, we've got a handy Handout on Home Remedies on this website that can earn you some relief from common symptoms, such as earaches, nausea and vomiting, cough and cold, fevers, and headaches. Perfect for getting a few more hours of sleep for you and your child. 

We're open until 7 at night on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as Friday and Saturday mornings to keep kids in school as much as possible. Please contact us today to schedule your child's flu shot, your immune wellness appointment, or your acute care appointment to keep your family healthy all through the year!

 

Jamie Oliver is my hero

June 7, 2011

"Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. " This quote from Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine is one of my favorites. The Hippocratic Oath, "First Do No Harm" is commonly used in medical and naturopathic oaths taken by doctors and is the first tenet of naturopathic medicine. Personally, I just love food so much- the tast, the texture, the smell, the sight and sound of cooking and eating freshly prepared meals, the joy of sharing food, drink, and laughter with those closest to me- that it's a natural part of treatment plans that my patients and I create together.

That's why this blog post is a plug for Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Whether you watch the show on ABC or go to the Jamie Oliver Foundation website to see what the Food Revolution is all about: check it out one way or another. See, Jamie's a chef from the UK who decided he was disgusted by what local kids were getting in their school lunches. He launched a program that changed the way school lunches were made in the UK and now he's come across the pond to help US schoolchildren and their families get educated about what goes into their bodies, how they can make healthier choices, and how they can make changes happen locally and nationally surrounding the food that we grow, process, distribute, and ultimately buy and feed to our families. The TV show is incredibly touching and enlightening in many ways as it shows kids the difference between real vegetables and what they're being served, empowers families to start cooking for themselves, and addresses institutional problems inherent in the school lunch and fast-food systems.

When I was in school, I worked on a project with a grandiose vision: in-school public health clinics (naturopathic, of course) that provided health care, vaccinations, exercise and weight-loss programs, nutrition education, school gardens, worked with the cafeterias on improving school lunch options, and served as hubs for family and community health. Although we would have been the only clinical provider in the city, we met roadblock after roadblock- parents concerned that their children might receive healthcare without their knowledge, shrinking budgets and fewer opportunities (plus stiffer competition) for grants, and other issues. Eventually, the project went on hiatus, but not before our collaborators, who were simultaneously working on a similar project elsewhere offered me a job as the lead physician. Three weeks after graduation, that project folded due to lack of funds. Maybe we were reaching too far, too fast, but a large part of my dream of becoming a naturopathic physician was to work with kids to introduce healthy lifestyle options and prevent many of the chronic illnesses that are epidemic in American culture, like obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and ADHD. To teach them the joy of healthy, fresh food.

If the thought of what we put in our kids' bodies concerns you at all, if you worry that your child doesn't know what vegetables look like, if you just want to know how, what, or IF anything can be done to stop this downward spiral into poor health at a younger and younger age, please do yourself 2 favors: 1) Don't buy it if you don't know what's in it (tetrasodium phosphate? YUMMY!), and 2) Check out what other people (including some in your community) are doing to make a difference at Jamie Oliver's website. Many hands make light work.

Can marijuana be used to treat cancer?

April 11, 2011

Last summer, the state of Washington amended our medical marijuana laws to include naturopathic physicians and nurse practitioners as providers who are legally permitted to write "authorizations" for medical marijuana use for patients suffering from a few very specific conditions. Since that time, I have worked with a number of patients who have had qualifying conditions and turned away even more folks who may have been suffering from pain but who just did not qualify or did not have the documentation to back up their claims of having qualifying conditions. Authorizations basically state that the doctor has advised the patient on the risks and benefits of medical marijuana and it is the doctor's opinion that the patient could benefit from using it. The law explicitly states that doctors cannot help patients obtain medical marijuana. Oddly, it's not illegal for the patient to possess medical marijuana, but it is illegal federally for anyone to buy or sell it. There are dispensaries, etc out there, but I can't tell my patients where to go. It's just a "Here you go, now you are allowed to treat yourself. Good luck finding some medication!" kind of thing.

One of my patients from last fall showed up in my waiting room last week. When I last saw her, my patient was recovering from brain surgery to remove a prolactinoma with associated pituitary apoplexy. In English, she had a prolactin-secreting tumor in her brain that had been causing bleeding in her pituitary gland, a tiny gland that sits behind the eyes and regulates most of the hormonal signals in the body. She was maybe 100 pounds, soaking wet, appeared very dizzy and disoriented, and was relying on her family to take care of her. She was only 28 and after I saw her, I went into my office and cried. I didn't think I had been able to do anything for her and she looked like she didn't have much longer to live. I wrote her an authorization, thinking that I would have written someone who was suffering like that as many authorizations as there are days in the week if I thought it would have done her any good.

Cut to 6 months later. She had been in to her oncologist's office to get fitted for a radiation crown, to begin irradiating the tumor that they couldn't remove surgically. A few weeks ago, in preparation, she had completed some imaging. When she got to the doctor's office, with a plan to see him every 3-6 months for the foreseeable future, she was told that he couldn't do anything for her. They had checked and re-checked, sent out for a second opinion and finally determined that there were no errors- there was simply no tumor visible in any of her scans. She was told by her oncologist that she no longer had to worry about radiation, about coming in every 3 months to poison her body in an attempt to gain a few more months. He said to come back in a year for a re-evaluation.

When she walked into my office last week, I hardly recognized her. There was no disorientation, no dizziness. She had put on enough weight and had such a healthy glow about her that she now looks like any other young woman walking down the street on a sunny afternoon. My patient told me that the only change she had made to her medication regimen had been to start creating and consuming capsules of hemp oil and hash oil mixed with powdered marijuana leaf. She told me of her oncology visits, that her doctors had told her they were going to launch studies searching for a link between tumor regression and medical marijuana. Most importantly, she told me that she is determined to enjoy life, to live each day in awe of the beauty that surrounds her, that she can find in little, everyday joys. We cried together a bit, and she promised me that she will be doing everything she can to get her story told, to bring more research money to help other cancer patients. Before she left, I was the one thanking her.

The good news is, she's not alone. Norml's blog entry talks about other research, dating all the way back to the 70's.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

March 9, 2011

Today, I had a great day. I got to do something small that I hope will make a big difference for someone in my community.

Back in January, I decided to donate $10 to the Ballard Food Bank for every new patient that month. I met the Food Bank's Executive Director, Nancy McKinney, at a Ballard Chamber of Commerce  After-Hours event last year and have been looking for an opportunity to help her organization as it continues to support members of the Ballard community, including some of my own patients.  I felt like it would be a great way to show my gratitude for my expanding business while helping a worthy community cause at the same time. The Ballard Food Bank distributed over 10.2 million pounds of food in 2010; over 27% of their recipients are elderly and over 14% are children. They do good work.

And they've recently moved. They're now in a beautiful and LARGE space on Leary Way, south of Market Street, in Ballard. The warehouse has been divided into an office/reception area, staff offices, a delivery area and a "shopping" area where clients can pick their food as if they were shopping in a grocery store. Clients are allotted a certain amount of groceries, depending upon the size of their family, and can shop once/week for fresh fruits and veggies, unlimited bread, canned goods, and even flowers (on occasion). This new design allows clients to have more control over the food they are given (instead of just getting a basket that someone else has prepared).

The core volunteers are friendly and helpful and the food bank is always in need of more. Peggy Bailey is the Volunteer Coordinator. She works with groups and individuals who want to help, in order to fill gaps in the schedule and support the core folks who are there on a regular basis. On our visit, we met a volunteer who is there 3 days a week! Now THAT'S dedication to your community!

After a quick tour and some photos, we were on our way back to the office. I'm so glad we got a chance to visit and I look forward to finding more opportunities to help this GREAT organization.

 Times are tight for a lot of folks right now, but if you've got some spare cans, spare time, or a little bit extra in your paycheck that you want to put to good use- please consider the Ballard Food Bank- Neighbors Helping Neighbors.

Food bank with Nancy McKinney.jpg (866.71 kb)