Our Staff

Our Staff

Jeanna Duryee, DPT
Jeanna is the owner/operator of East Side PT. She has been practicing in Ak since 2002.
She received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2001 from the University of Southern California. USC is consistantly ranked the best PT school in the nation. Prior to PT school she was active duty Army for 4 years. She grew up on the southern Oregon coast. 
When she is not working to help improve the lives of her patients, she stays busy with her family and hobbies. She is a published writer, and is experimenting with fiber art. She spends her time outdoors harvesting local plants to put up as food or traditional medicines.  
Sophia Pearl

Sophia can be seen here at work and play. She is here a few hours after school, and sometimes on days off from school. She helps with the laundry, cleaning, and visiting with patients. 

Michael Zinsli, PTA 

Michael has lived in Alaska for 20 years fishing, hunting, camping, and roofing. He has acquired many injuries along the way. He can help you learn what not to do.

He built the clinic space and spent almost 2 years as a tech and office staff member prior to being accepted into UAA's new Physical Therapy Assistant program. He graduated in 2015, and has been working with us here, and at Providence Hospital since then. 

Charlene Lingenfelter, PTA

Charlene is our newest team member.

She has a broad range of experience, and she really excels at outpatient orthopedic interventions. What our patients really appreciate is how much she cares about them. Her Southern charm even makes the hard parts pleasant. 

We are so thankful to have her on our team.

 

How to Stay Healthy this Winter

Here we are, neck deep in another Alaskan winter. For some of us this is the best part of living in the state. From many, I hear grumbling about the cold, the dark, the aches, and the pains that come with winter. Those complaints, plus depression, are a real part of the season we experience. As our environment changes we become deconditioned, get dehydrated, and most Alaskans become deficient in Vitamin D.

 

Vitamin D deficiency is a common winter problem everywhere, but much more of a problem for us in the far north.  Symptoms can be aches, pains, fatigue, frequent infection, and depression. To combat this many local researchers and physicians recommend that all Alaskans take a supplement with 5X the recommended daily allowance. I thought that sounded extreme, until I started to research why.

 

Due to our latitude, we only get Ultraviolet B/UVB rays May through August. We cannot produce Vitamin D without UVB rays. That leaves us with eight months out of the year that we cannot create Vitamin D at all.

Most experts feel it’s almost impossible to get enough Vitamin D in food. No plants contain it, and few animal products do. We are fortunate because oily fish, like salmon, are one of the best sources. I like salmon, but don’t think I could eat it the 5-7 days per week it would take to get enough. That is why we have fortified foods, like milk, orange juice, and cereals. You would still need to eat 5-8 servings of the fortified foods to get your recommended daily allowance. So it is possible, but I am just taking the supplement; One tiny little capsule, with 5x the recommended daily allowance.

 

Our long cold winters lead to dehydration as well. Our cold outdoor air holds less moisture than warm air.  All the heating we do indoors dries the air out even more. Our sinuses and our skin are where we notice the most problems, but it affects all of the systems of the body, to include our immune system. So we are more prone to getting sick.

We need to get more fluid in our air and in our food. The tendency to make more soups, cocoa, and tea in the winter helps more than just warming us up. Using a humidifier or a pot of water on the fireplace helps reduce the dryness of the inside air. This will help manage bloody noses and allergy problems for many. Some more sensitive people need to resort to saline rinses for their sinuses. For the skin I recommend buying lotions that are low in water content. Coconut oil is an amazing natural product for healing, soothing, and protecting skin. It is expensive as a cooking product, but cheap compared to other skin products.

Please don’t let the news about the lack of UVB in the winter give you an excuse for not getting outside. We still get benefit from the sunlight. When it hits our eyes it stimulates the production of dopamine, our body’s natural “happy drug.” We need all the happiness we can get in the winter time.

Whether this is your first Alaskan winter or your 50th, you will get through it better if you stay active, get your Vitamin D, and stay hydrated. This could be your best winter yet.

What’s your plan to stay healthy?

 

J. Duryee, DPT

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