CHEC Yourself

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Staying On Our Feet (Falls Prevention)

Join Leah Burkhart and Kelley Clark.

Kelley is a physical therapist, and an exceptionally knowledgeable one here, at Salem Health Hospital. And our conversation centers around the importance of reducing the risk of and recovering from falls. As in…falling down. At first glance, that may seem like a topic we could easily keep at the periphery of “wellness” talks…but in truth, it’s an incredibly important part of our health and wellbeing. Injuries that we incur when we fall can have a huge impact on the quality of our lives. We may sustain an injury that makes it difficult to walk (thus making exercise more challenging. Depending on the nature of the fall, we may even sustain a brain injury.  While older adults and young children are at highest risk for sustaining traumatic bring injury due to falls, everyone is at risk. The good news is that many falls can be prevented. In our talk, today, Kelley and I cover the kinds of things that can lead to a fall (and how to treat and/o prevent those conditions). We also talk about resources available in our health care system that many have no idea even exist. Finally, we end the discussion with an invitation to come to this year’s fall  prevention event - held on Saturday, September 25th from 8am - 11am. Should you be listening to this after September 25th, 2021… please keep an eye out for future events, as this will certainly not be the last we host in our community. You can keep abreast of all events and classes by visiting us at


In today’s episode, we meet with Kate Swarm, a long-time practitioner and teacher of yoga as well as with Dr. Thye Schuyler, the director of the Sleep Clinic at Salem Health.

Together, we talk about the subject of mindfulness.

It’s a buzzword that’s floating around in a number of circles. You’ll hear about its importance in TedTalks, medical offices, yoga studios, and even in pop culture. Suffering from burnout? Engage in a mindfulness practice. Can’t sleep? Mindfulness is the answer. Are you unhappy? Mindfulness will help you. You name the ailment, mindfulness will be given as a potential remedy.

But what exactly is mindfulness? Does anyone really know? And what counts as a mindfulness practice? If one is sitting, quietly, in prayer…is that mindfulness? If I am watching TV, I’m not, technically, thinking about my problems…but is that mindfulness? Do I have to be sitting still to be mindful? Or can I be moving while I practice? And let’s get rid of all the gobbly-gook and hooey claims. What does the science say about the benefits of mindfulness? And how might a beginner get started?

These are some of the questions we tackle in our conversation. As always, if you find this to be a helpful resource, but are looking for more…you can always visit us at

Snoring, Narcolepsy and the Power of 1 Percent Improvement

In Today's episode, sleep specialist Dr. Thye Schyler speaks to everything from the seemingly mundane or comical aspects of sleep (sooo…snoring)…as well as aspects of sleep disturbances that many people are not aware of like narcolepsy, for example. He also touches on the power of being willing to take things one step at a time. By the time people are coming to the doctor for sleep, they so often feel desperate and just want it fixed, yesterday. But as with most things, it’s a process. If there is one person well equipped to support people through that process…It’s Dr. Schuyler. 

This is Fatherhood

Join Michael Finlay as he covers the challenges and rewards of fatherhood. Michael is a trained parenting education facilitator for Boot Camp for New Dads, Mind in the Making, The Incredible Years, and READY! for Kindergarten. He is also a Blogger for the Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub.  In 2017 He formed This is Fatherhood LLC as a consulting enterprise providing parenting education to the community.  In 2019 he earned Parenting Educator 1 Status through the OPEC Recognition System and was also recognized as a Top 100 Father Blog by Feedspot.

Liberty House

In today's episode, we speak with Kelley Parosa - program director at Liberty House. Liberty House is a child abuse assessment center serving Marion and Polk counties. Liberty House offers a safe, comfortable, child-friendly environment for children and their families facing concerns of abuse, neglect, trauma, or grief. Their experienced staff members know how to help children and teens, and can provide support so children and their family members can get the help they need with fewer appointments and more coordination. 


In today's episode, Becky Ruppert speaks about resiliency. She talks about what resiliency is. Becky has a master's degree in both psychology as well as community health. She is also a registered nurse. In our conversation, she pulls from the knowledge of all three of her areas of expertise and offers us specific tools on how to cultivate more resiliency (many of which are based in the realm of positive psychology). 

A Study on Happiness

Frieda Ryan-Anzur is a registered nurse and nurse manager at Salem Health Hospital. After completing Shawn Achor's book "The Happiness Advantage" at a hospital book club, she and her colleagues got together to formally test out whether his simple positive psychology tools can, in fact, make a difference even amidst those who are on the front lines of a pandemic.

A Stroke of Insight

In today's episode, we meet Sarah Daniels. Sarah occupies the role of Stroke Navigator at Salem Health Hospital. When she is not busy tweaking workflows at the hospital to improve outcomes for those who fall prey to a stroke, she is educating the public on how to prevent a stroke, what to do when you think you may be having one, and how to recover most effectively after the fact. She has a wealth of knowledge and a clear mission to help not only her patients, but her colleagues as well. 

Sleep: The Final Frontier

Dr. Thye Schuyler is a board-certified neurologist and sleep specialist. He is the Medical Director of the Salem Hospital Sleep Center, specializing in the treatment of all sleep disorders for adults and children.

Topics covered include: sleep hygiene, sleep apnea, the importance of sleep for health, how to improve our chances of getting good sleep, and how to manage ourselves (and reduce anxiety) when sleep doesn't come. 

What Dr. Schuyler reveals to us (beyond the logistics of it) is the mystery of it. Sleep, it turns out, is a very personal experience. No two people have exactly the same challenges even when they have the same "condition." The treatment is often equally individualized. In many ways, to work on our sleep is to work on aspects of ourselves.

Putting the Fun in Functional Fitness

Discussions about exercise almost always center, specifically, on "fitness" in "how much weight can you lift?" or "How much weight have you lost?" or "How fast can you run?" While there is nothing wrong with having concrete fitness goals, in this conversation, certified physical trainer Erin Clubb goes deeper. She speaks about her own health journey. She talks about how movement is an integral part of our lives, and she emphasizes the importance of creating a practice and style of movement that allows us to maximize all that we want to do more of. Instead of making exercise an opportunity to shame ourselves, she discusses the value in simply setting goals that are in alignment with what is important to us as individuals. In short, she has a philosophy of putting the "fun" in "functional fitness."

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