Tag Archives: connection

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Vantage Point: Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

We always hear how we need to spend more time with our loved ones. But it’s hard to find common ground with others. We might not like the same music or have the same hobbies and interests.

In March, many schools celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday (March 2, 1904). This is a great opportunity for kids to learn the legend of these children’s books. It’s always nice to hear kids get back home and tell us how they now know about “Green Eggs and Ham.” We have all grown up hearing these stories and catchy rhymes. Now we don’t have to worry about what we are going to talk about with our children or grandchildren.

Dr. Seuss has been such an icon for so many years. His books bring together so many families and generations. When we were children, we loved the funny characters in these stories and how much fun they had in their adventures. Dr. Seuss taught us that there is so much more to do on a rainy day than just looking out the window. That silly cat had so many tricks up his sleeve (or should I say his hat?).

These stories help with more than just letting your imagination loose. They teach us valuable lessons. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” really shows us that this holiday is not about material possessions but about being surrounded by the people you love the most.

“The Lorax” has a character that only thinks about himself and his success but doesn’t think about how his actions could affect the environment. This teaches us to think of the long-term effects of our actions.

Now when we spend time with our children or grandchildren, we can read them a Dr. Seuss book. Enjoy watching them take in all of the colors, characters, and rhymes. We can teach them the meaning of each story and share the stories we grew up with. We don’t have to struggle to find something we both like. Instead, we can really enjoy our time together. And why not get a couple of laughs in as well?   

 

Jessica Arroyo, born and raised in the Wenatchee Valley, is a Medicare community liaison for Health Alliance Northwest, serving Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties in Washington. During her time off, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son.

You're Not Alone

Vantage Point: Choosing Hope

The surrounding orchards could not have been more green and vibrant as they readied to grow fruit. The river ran brilliant blue, reflecting a sky filled with puffy, white clouds. The sun shone brightly, arousing hope as only a perfect NCW spring day can. But it took a tragic turn for the worse as I received the call. A dear family member, known for his gentle heart, had tragically committed suicide.      

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death that could be prevented in the United States across groups, including seniors. Locally, rates have steadily risen in Chelan and Douglas counties since 2012, and Okanogan County has one of the highest rates in the state.

Washington state has recently declared that suicide prevention is a statewide public safety issue and is requiring MDs, DOs, APCs, nurses, and rehab staff to complete 6 hours of suicide prevention training as part of their licensure. This will help them gain the tools and knowledge to recognize at-risk patients, communicate with them, and take the appropriate steps for follow-through.

Reaching out to Carolina Venn-Padilla, MSW, LASW, of the Catholic Family and Child Service’s Suicide Prevention Coalition of North Central Washington, I shared my lack of knowledge and understanding.

Carolina was truly sorry to hear of my loss. She said it’s important to promote hope, connection, social support, treatment, and recovery to help with suicide prevention.

The public seems to think that suicide is a response to stressful situations and that suicidal thoughts may lead to death. It is important to combat this view with positive messaging that shows actions people can take to prevent suicide and stories that show prevention works, that recovery is possible, and that programs, services, and help exist.

This does not mean we should minimize the very real stories of struggle. For my family, that beautiful spring day changed our lives and saddened us to depths we may never recover from. I’m not close to having the answers to what we could have done differently, but I have chosen not to dwell on the negative. Instead, I will honor our loved one by calling attention to suicide and encouraging other families struggling to choose hope.

Help is never far away:

Shannon Sims is a Medicare community liaison for Health Alliance, serving Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties in Washington. During her time off she enjoys spending time with her family and riding horses.        

Make a Difference for Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness

Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month

July is National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month. We had more info each day on these issues and how you can help!

Each year, about 4,400 infants in the U.S. are born with a cleft lip or palate. Donate now.

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Clefts are a hole or notch in the lip, palate, or ridge, and they can happen together. They vary in seriousness and treatments. Learn more from the CDC.

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The National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS) helps learn about prevention for cleft lips and palates. They have found that diabetes, smoking, thyroid disease, and certain medications during pregnancy can increase chances.

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Books like Wonder can help teach your kids about facial differences, which helps with awareness and acceptance of cleft lips and palates.

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Some who adopt get kids dealing with cleft lips or palates, but this Q&A can help you learn more about the issues.

A young baby with a cleft palate looking over the shoulder of her mother

 

Learn how you can make a difference and do cleft lip and palate community outreach with Pathfinder.

Join a family-to-family connection from cleftAdvocate to get help with questions anytime.

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