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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Avoid raw oysters from Seattle area

Heading to the West Side? Don’t eat the (raw) oysters.

At least 60 Washington residents, nearly all in the Seattle area, have been sickened by a bacteria found in raw oysters. That’s about three times the number of cases normally seen in a year, according to state Department of Health officials.

People in Eastern Washington planning to travel to the West Side should avoid eating raw oysters, said Richard Lillie, a spokesman for the office of Food Safety and Shellfish Programs.

Lillie said no one from the Spokane area is among those confirmed with vibriosis, a bacterial illness that causes diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever and chills.

State officials closed several oyster-growing areas in the Hood Canal, including a zone that extends from Sunset Beach in the eastern arm of the lower canal to Point Whitney in the north. Annas Bay is not included in the closure.

Some commercial growers are still allowed to harvest oysters, but those oysters can be sold only after they are shucked, packed and labeled “for cooking only.”

Thorough cooking will kill the bacteria and render the shellfish safe to eat. Food-safety specialists recommend that oysters be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

For more information, visit the agency’s Web site at or call (800) 562-5632.

Pharmacy students’ business plan excels

A team of Washington State University pharmacy students is one of three finalists in a national business plan competition sponsored by a national industry association

The team of four students will head to Las Vegas in October for the final round of competition, which includes presenting their plans in person to a panel of judges.

In their 89-page plan, the WSU students are proposing to create the fictitious Apple-A-Day Pharmacy in Pullman. Their plan calls for them to buy an existing business, Sid’s Professional Pharmacy.

The students’ research included help from several working pharmacists, including the owner of Sid’s, who shared real figures with them, said Linda Garrelts MacLean, the team’s faculty adviser.

The competition has grown since its first year in 2004, when a WSU team placed second among 16 teams. This year, judges reviewed 30 plans from schools all over the country. The finalists were announced in July.

The other two finalists are teams from the University of Kentucky and the University of Houston. A team from the University of Washington placed eighth.

Students on WSU’s team include Daniela Beilic, Jason Doss, Joshua Fancher and Corinne Gavrun.

Winners of the competition will receive $3,000 for college, $3,000 for their student organization and an expenses-paid trip to a National Community Pharmacists Association conference for team members, their adviser and their college dean.

KMC wins ‘most wired’ award again

Coeur d’Alene’s Kootenai Medical Center has been named a leader in innovative health care technology for the seventh straight year by a national “most wired” study.

KMC was recognized as one of the country’s Top 100 Most Wired hospitals and also as one of the Top 25 Most Wireless hospitals as well.

The results were released in the 2006 Most Wired and Benchmarking Study in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.

The survey focuses on how the nation’s hospitals use technologies to enhance quality, customer service, public health and safety, business processes and workforce issues.

Only 12 of the top 100 organizations have made the list seven out of the eight years it has been compiled. This marks the third year that KMC has ranked in the Top 25 most wireless category.

“KMC’s investment in information technology is not about receiving awards but is focused on improving clinical care and providing safer patient care,” said Joe Morris, the hospital’s chief executive.

LCSC names new outreach director

Marti D. Stow is the new outreach director in nursing at Lewis-Clark State College’s campus in Coeur d’Alene, a school official announced.

Stow, who also has been named an assistant professor, recently accepted the 12-month, tenure-track position. She replaces Maxine Martin, who recently retired.

Stow brings 11 years of nursing experience to the post. She is a certified family nurse practitioner and a certified operating room nurse. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from LCSC and is working toward a doctorate in adult education at the University of Idaho.

Stow’s professional interests include research on latex allergy. She completed a study on the issue and implemented latex-safe carts for hospital patient care.

Her appointment was announced by Mary Ruth Hassett, chair of the LCSC Nursing and Health Science Division.

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