The care and feeding of your teenager – a family doctor’s perspective

I am the mother of two amazing boys, ages 15 and 12. Well…sometimes I want to sell them to the gypsies and would offer a very reasonable price. But, mostly they’re amazing. I am also a family doctor. That means I take care of people through all ages and stages of life, including adolescence. So, … Read more

Keeping Measles from “Going Viral”

The Clark County measles outbreak (in and around Vancouver, WA) is still going! The most recent case was confirmed on Tuesday, March 13. This brings the grand total thus far to 72 infected individuals. Of these, the majority are under 10 years of age with only 4 cases being over the age of 18. 63 … Read more

Social Media’s Anti-Vaccine Crackdown – and Why It’s Necessary

If you have been paying attention to the news of late, you may have noticed headlines like… How Pinterest Jumped Into the Fight Against Health Misinformation – NPR, Audie Cornish, Feb. 22, 2019 Amid measles outbreaks, Facebook considering how to reduce spread of anti-vaccine content – CNN, Jacqueline Howard, Feb. 15, 2019 YouTube pulls ads … Read more

Vote “yes” for the health of our children

Dear Legislators, My name is Gretchen LaSalle and I am a family physician in Spokane, Washington. I am unable to attend the hearing on House Bill 1638 in person but wanted to express my strong support. While you may not see as many white coats outside of your chambers as you do people gathering to … Read more

Measles 101

We’ve had Flu 101 and HPV 101 and it seems we now desperately need Measles 101. Despite the fact that we have one of the safest and most effective vaccination programs in the world, we are beginning to see return of vaccine-preventable disease. And measles is the mother of all vaccine-preventable diseases. And let’s just … Read more

Making Dr. Google Work For You!

Just ask any doctor. You’d be hard pressed to find one who hasn’t had a patient bring in a Google search to discuss their potential diagnoses. Got a rash? Check Google images. Weird dizziness? You might just have vertigo, anemia, pregnancy, a brain tumor, or a bite from a Guatemalan rain spider (okay, I made … Read more

HPV Vaccine 101

I think we can all agree that cancer is bad. If there is any possible way to prevent cancer, we want to do it. Now, thank God and thank science, we have a vaccine that does that! So why is the HPV vaccine so apparently “controversial”? The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) causes tens of thousands of … Read more

Herd Immunity: It’s all up to you and it’s the right thing to do

Anyone who is able to save a life, but fails to do so, violates ‘You shall not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor’. ~ Maimonides (Jewish physician and philosopher, born 1135) Maimonides implored us, as do religious and philosophical leaders of most of the world’s religions, to care for each other. We are … Read more

An Open Letter to Parents Considering Not Vaccinating Their Children

Dear Parents, First, let me say that I care about you and your children deeply. It is my life’s work to help you be happy and healthy and to be able to live your life to its fullest potential. As a family physician, prevention of disease is my passion. I would much rather educate and … Read more

A Natural Immunity

One could arguably say that I grew up in a more “natural” household than most. In the days before eating organic became popular, my parents were making everything from scratch, getting groceries from the health food store, keeping me away from preservatives and sugar (the only candy we had in the house had to be … Read more