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Corvallis Clinic Health Information Blog

Ways to ward off extra pounds during the holidays

Nov 24, 06:00 AM

Festive gatherings and holiday preparations often involve a bounty of tasty treats and cut into time usually spent on exercise, sleep and general relaxation.  If you’d like to make this year different, and celebrate the New Year without weight gain, consider the following tips:

Commit to moving: Keeping up with programmed activity helps other healthy habits flourish by creating a chain reaction.  Including at least 30 minutes of daily movement can improve sleep, mood and metabolism … just what you need to survive the onslaught of holiday food, activities and emotions that many experience during the season.

Commit to regular and balanced meals: Making time for meals, especially breakfast, is another keystone habit that helps everything else fall into place.  Even though you may have a smaller appetite, your body will reward your effort to meet your basic energy and protein needs.  Use your creativity and planning skills to keep it simple.

Get your rest: Recent studies have revealed what many have experienced first-hand: that sleep deprivation enhances appetite, and increases cravings for easy-to-overeat foods like sweets, chips, breads and pasta.  If that’s not enough, sleep deprivation zaps energy and enthusiasm for exercise.  (See column below)

Scan your food environment: You can limit the potential for mindless eating by keeping holiday sweets out of sight.  Rather than filling a jar with candy, use ornaments, candles or beads to spread holiday cheer.  Make an arrangement with co-workers and family to keep temptations out-of-sight. 

Avoid mindless eating: Approach meals, snacks and holiday events mindfully. Notice how your thoughts and emotions may affect your choices.  Take a few moments to organize your intentions; give yourself a time-out and a deep breath or two to stay on course.

Think your drink: Holiday beverages probably contain more calories than you realize and they don’t typically reduce one’s appetite for other foods.  In fact, alcohol may relax your resolve, so know yourself on that front. 

Be assertive: If the people around you seem to be forcing food on you or commenting on your choices, be prepared to stick up for yourself with a simple and assertive comeback such as “No thank you; it looks wonderful, but I have definitely had enough.” When you say it because you mean it and without apology, it isn’t so hard to do.

Focus on self-care and thankfulness: When you take good care of yourself, rather than over-extending and experiencing negative stress, you can be a better friend and family member to others and thankful for each new day.  

Until next time, here’s to healthy eating!

Lori Dodds, RD, LD, is a Registered Dietitian at The Corvallis Clinic Nutrition Services Department.

Follow me on Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Family Caregiver Month

Nov 21, 03:26 PM

Clinical Research Center

November is Family Caregiver Month, and I think it’s important to take a moment to think about this.  Of course, we’re all caregivers in some capacity – we care for our children, spouses and even pets on an everyday basis.  So in truth, Family Caregiver Month is about the caregiving that occurs above and beyond normal. 

I “got to” experience caregiving above and beyond normal this Fall while taking care of a family member who had  a knee replacement surgery.  Yikes.  And I have resources.  But here’s the thing: I know my life and that of my family member will eventually return to normal (maybe even better than normal since everyday knee pain had become normal).  But returning to normal is certainly not the case for the estimated 65 million Americans who take care of loved ones who have chronic illness, special needs or debilitating injuries.  

I get regular updates on caregiver support from the Alzheimer’s Association, and their resources are excellent.  I’ve witnessed the support offered locally by the excellent folks at the Alzheimer’s Network of Oregon – I can’t say enough about what a dedicated group of people they are.  However, not everyone is taking care of a patient with Alzheimer’s disease.  This is where the Caregiver Action Network (CAN) comes in.  CAN aims to improve the quality of life for caretakers from all walks of life who are managing chronic conditions, disabilities, or disease.

One of the things I like about working at the Clinical Research Center is that we provide one-on-one support for our patients and their families.   Whether the clinical study is for diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, psoriasis, etc., the Clinical Research Center is there to listen and go the extra mile to assure the best health outcome for our patients. 

If you are interested in learning more about our clinical studies contact the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163 or send an email to  Or, follow us on Facebook at

- Julie Carrico is Associate Coordinator of The Corvallis Clinic Clinical Research Center

Meet Lisa

Nov 03, 06:30 AM

Clinical Research Center

If you’ve ever heard someone described as “never having met a stranger,” they’d be talking about someone like Clinical Research Registered Nurse Lisa Buchheit.  Lisa is interested in everyone – their families, favorite sports teams, favorite foods, and so on. Not only that, Lisa is a consummate professional when it comes to taking care of her patients

Lisa, who has been with The Corvallis Clinic since 1984, graduated from Good Samaritan School of Nursing in Portland and has worked in many clinical areas, including oncology, cardiology and family medicine. Lisa joined the Clinical Research Center 11 years ago and has been involved in over 20 trials, including those in cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, oncology, sleep apnea, multiple sclerosis, asthma, allergy and immunology, and pediatric vaccine trials.

Lisa’s areas of interest are asthma, allergy and immunology, in both adult and pediatric populations. She has completed several studies with Dr. Roland Solensky, Clinic allergist and immunologist, most recently working on clinical trials for the now FDA-approved Grasstek® (grass pollen allergy treatment) and a dust mite allergy study. Lisa is currently working on a study for those patients at least 12 years of age who have uncontrolled asthma.

Lisa would tell you that her family is her greatest accomplishment.  Her priority has always been spending time with her large family, which is getting even larger as two of her daughters have recently married and a first grandchild is on the way.  In her spare time Lisa enjoys hiking, gardening, bird watching, and cooking.

If you are interested in learning more about our studies contact the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163 or send an email to  Or, follow us on Facebook at

 - Julie Carrico is Associate Coordinator of The Corvallis Clinic Clinical Research Center

Care coordination: Working together for healthier patients

Oct 29, 11:26 AM

Coordination of care has become one of ways medical organizations have attempted to improve patient care. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the main goal of care coordination "is to meet patients' needs and preferences in the delivery of high-quality, high-value health care." From the broad perspective, this involves the following:

  • Teamwork
  • Care management
  • Medication management
  • Health information technology
  • Patient-centered medical home

As a multi-specialty organization that received the highest level of Patient Centered Medical Home Recognition by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), The Corvallis Clinic places care coordination as a core value. Read Diabetes Education Part of Corvallis Clinic's Care Coordination Goals to see this in action.


Welcome to the Flu Zone

Oct 20, 02:20 PM

The Corvallis Clinic Clinical Research Center

The signs of fall are everywhere: kids are back in school; pumpkin spice lattes are being served; preparations for Halloween festivities are underway; we’ve had some rain; and … it’s time to schedule a flu shot. 

Thinking about flu shots makes me wax nostalgic about one of the more exciting studies we’ve ever done at The Corvallis Clinic Clinical Research Center.  In 2009 our site was selected to participate in the clinical study for a new “high-dose” flu vaccine intended for patients 65 and older. The clinical importance of the high-dose flu vaccine (four times the potency of a regular adult flu vaccine) relates to the fact that human immune systems become weaker with age. The objective of the clinical study was to evaluate if the high-dose flu vaccine imparted a bigger “boost” in flu protection.  The Corvallis Clinic physicians were very supportive of our research center’s participation in this study because this promising vaccine had potential to improve patient care. 

The Clinical Research Center was thrilled to participate in the study, but we faced a daunting challenge - the high-dose flu vaccine study required that we find a relatively large number of volunteers in just a few weeks. Our typical research studies usually occur over several months, if not years, so we were definitely feeling the pressure!  However, with an all-hands-on-deck-approach, we mobilized our resources and completed the clinical study on time.

At the conclusion of the clinical study, 101 volunteers in Corvallis and the surrounding area contributed to the research data. These data, along with that of an additional 9000 patients from across the country, were eventually reviewed by the FDA, which approved the vaccine in December 2009. The Corvallis Clinic physicians have been offering the high-dose flu vaccine to patients over 65 since 2010. It is highly satisfying to know that our research center and our amazing community of volunteers contributed to reducing the risk for the age group at highest risk for seasonal influenza complications.

You can read more about the high dose flu vaccine at the Centers for Disease Control website   

And speaking of flu shots …

If you still have not received your flu vaccine, you can book an appointment at The locations and times are as follows:

Asbury Building, 3680 NW Samaritan Drive, noon - 6 p.m., check in at third floor, Sleep Medicine Desk.

  • Oct. 20-24, 27-30,
  • Nov. 3-7, 10-14, 17-21, 24-26

Pediatric and Family Flu Clinic, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., check in at Pediatrics (Asbury Building, 3680 NW Samaritan Drive)

  • Saturday and Sunday - Nov. 1-2 and Nov. 15-16


- Julie Carrico is Associate Coordinator of The Corvallis Clinic Clinical Research Center