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Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - AUTOMOTIVE INSIDER -

BERNARD'S GARAGE - John SciarraSummer's imminent arrival means your vehicle's air conditioning system will soon be under serious strain.

If your A/C isn't as frosty as it used to be, but it's still blowing cold, the system may need to be recharged.

Manufacturers used to use a type of refrigerant known as R-12, or Freon, until researchers found it caused ozone depletion. As such, it's illegal to use Freon in vehicles built after 1994. Now, manufacturers use R-134a to keep things cold in the cabin.

Working on an air conditioning system is about as much fun as sticking your hand in a blender. Twice.

Unless you are skilled in vehicle maintenance, it’s safest to take the job to a professional.

An AC compressor is usually driven by your vehicle's serpentine belt, and as it spins, it pressurizes the system's refrigerant. It's this change in pressure that cools the air coming into your cabin. The best way to keep your compressor from failing is to have your A/C system serviced once a year.

If your compressor needs replacement, most responsible shops will recommend swapping out a number of periphery components at the same time.

Why? The easy answer is working on an air conditioning system is about as fun as sticking your hand in a blender. Twice.

To avoid draining your refrigerant, removing your compressor, installing a new unit and refilling the system with new cool stuff — only to have you come back in a week and say it's still not cold enough — it makes sense to replace the necessary components.

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie



Brought to you by Mike Nielsen of Snap Fitness - FITNESS INSIDER -

SNAP FITNESS - Mike NielsenAs the inspirational saying goes, “Live less out of habit and more out of intent.”

While it’s true that starting a fitness routine can be difficult, I offer the following tips to get you in the gym door and on the road to good health.

Assessment — New SNAP Fitness clients receive a free jump-start session, including consultation with a trainer. The assessment determines the client’s baseline, helps us guide their first steps, and is an opportunity to discuss adding personal training.

Cardio — The national recommendation for exercise for all ages and fitness levels is to get to the gym at least three days per week, and to do a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio per visit. Working out with a friend will make it more fun, help you feel more accountable, help you stay at the gym for more months and achieve a higher level of success.

Strength training is key to replacing fat with muscle, becoming leaner, stronger and improving balance. Do two to three sessions of strength training per week.

Nutritional guidelines — Instead of eating three large meals per day, eat five to six small meals. This will fuel your energy throughout the day and avoid post-meal sluggishness. Also drink 96 ounces of water daily.

Online help — SNAP has a complete online nutritional program and training center. Free with membership, it provides a personalized workout plan, sample menus and a complete library of instruction videos.

Snap Fitness

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.



Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170



Brought to you by Mike Nielsen - Snap Fitness - Fitness INSIDER

Mike Nielsen, Snap FitnessStrength training is an essential part of an exercise program, even for someone who hasn’t been active in a while.

Lifting weights, using weight machines and doing core work increases muscle mass and bone density.

As we age, our muscles deteriorate (called sarcopenia) and bone density decreases.

Research shows that seniors are more susceptible to bone breakage that younger adults. As people age, their metabolism slows down. We are seeing more and more seniors joining gyms.

If we take the average adult between the ages of 40 and 50 and do basic strength-training three to four times per week for 90 days, the outcome can be life-changing.

Here’s a myth-buster: Muscle does NOT weigh more than fat! A pound is a pound. 

Muscle is, however, more dense than body fat and takes up less area than fat. If you were to start an exercise program complete with strength training, you would increase your lean body mass and decrease body fat.

The body takes up less space and metabolism speeds up, resulting in a higher BMR (base metabolic rate, the amount of daily caloric intake needed to maintain LBM and weight.) This reverses sarcopenia and increases bone density.   

Not everyone walks into a gym and knows exactly what to do. Snap gives new members an opportunity to meet with a Certified Personal Trainer, who assesses their body and their goals. 

Let’s get started.

Snap Fitness

Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.



Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170



Brought to you by John Sciarra, Bernard's Garage - AUTO MAINTENANCE INSIDER

John Sciarra, Bernard's GarageRegular maintenance on your car is, quite simply, a good investment.

For example, when you bring your car in for a timing belt — typically needed at 90,000 to 100,000 miles— it costs in the range of $400 to $500. But if it breaks, it might be $1,800 to $2,000.

At our shop, when we do it, we do it right. With the timing belt, we also replace the timing belt tensioner, idler pulleys, camshaft seals, water pump and coolant.

Mileage interval maintenance, which is only done by shops, should be done at 30,000, 60,000 and 90,000 miles.

The ideal scenario is to get the car into the shop about three times per year for inspections, which will find things like rodent damage, which is more common than you might think. It’s mainly squirrels in this area.

An inspection will also uncover leaking coolant or oil, as well as plugged-up air filters. Once a year, you should get a brake inspection.

We do complete automotive repair, including pre-purchase inspections for $150. That’s a comprehensive inspection, which can detect unforeseen problems and save you from buying a compromised vehicle.

Our average cost for an oil change is $38; $58 for a brake inspection.

It’s a small investment. We do it properly and can save you a lot of trouble and expense down the road.

Bernard’s Garage

2036 SE Washington St., Milwaukie



Mike Nielsen - Snap Fitness - Fitness INSIDER

SNAP FITNESS - Mike Nielsen“We are a friendly, success-oriented fitness center,” says Mike Nielsen, vice president and co-owner of Snap Fitness locations in Oregon City, Milwaukie and Canby. “We’re like the ‘Cheers’ of the gym world, where everybody knows your name.”

Nielsen has been a certified fitness coach for 13 years and has been with Snap for eight years. He says being a fitness coach is all about helping individuals achieve the best version of themselves.

“It’s not just something that’s done at the gym, but it’s a lifestyle change,” he said of Snap. “We focus on not only the physical but also the mental and emotional aspects of everyday life, to make sure we are able to achieve long-term success.”

He says Snap gyms have a family feel and a personal touch.

The gyms are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with monitored access for safety. Snap has more than 1,500 locations nationwide.

The fitness centers offer cardio, personal training, weight-loss programs, a health center, strength training and Olympic lifting. An online web page for members offers nutrition counseling and an online training center.

“Our members are our greatest assets,” Nielsen added. “We do all we can to make sure they have not only the best facility and equipment, but a wonderful experience.”

Snap Fitness


Milwaukie: 4200 SE King Rd.


Oregon City: 19703 S. Hwy. 213, Ste. 170


Canby: 1109 SW 1st Ave.


Brought to you by John Sciarra - Bernard's Garage - AUTOMOTIVE INSIDER -

BERNARD'S GARAGE - John SciarraAfter nearly 100 years of providing excellent full-service automotive repair and maintenance, Bernard’s Garage is a classic Milwaukie institution trusted by generations of customers.

Founded in 1925, old timers and area residents still remember Joe Bernard Sr., who would design and build custom car parts when his customers’ vehicles needed it. Joe Bernard Jr., a former Milwaukie mayor, helped modernize Bernard’s and continued his father’s tradition of excellent customer service.

The current owner, Jim Bernard, another Milwaukie mayor and current Clackamas County commissioner, has computerized Bernard’s—turning his father’s mechanics into today’s technicians.

Besides providing free pickup and delivery, Bernard’s offers DEQ repair and adjustments, check-engine light diagnosis, manufacturer-scheduled maintenance, brakes, steering and suspension repair, timing belt tune-ups, radiator and water pump work, as well as engine, transmission and air conditioning service.

“We are straight shooters and will let you know what the problem is and what the cost is upfront,” Operations Manager John Sciarra says.

Sciarra, an 18 year veteran of Bernard’s, has attained numerous specialty vehicle class certifications. With 26 years in the industry overall, Sciarra is our INSIDER for automotive excellence.

Bernard’s Garage is a 17-year-long supporter of the Milwaukie Farmers Market, a Milwaukie First Friday participant and frequently donates to the Annie Ross House, Milwaukie Senior Center and other local schools and events.

A member of the Clackamas County Chamber of Commerce since 1955, Bernard’s has been named Business of the Year twice since 2000, and has received the BRAG award from the county for practicing responsible recycling and waste management.

Bernard's Garage 

2036 SE Washington St, Milwaukie, OR.

(503) 659-7722


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Wide smiles greet new dental clinic


If smiles in Milwaukie seem to be a little brighter, it could be because the new Joseph Bernard Jr. Dental Clinic opened on July 9, in a building near the west entrance to Providence Milwaukie Hospital.

The clinic is operated by Neighborhood Health Center, a federally qualified health center providing medical, mental, dental and other health services for low-income and insured patients.

It is named for Bernard, who was mayor of Milwaukie in the early 1960s, and who had been an active Providence Milwaukie Foundation Board member since 1989; he died June 18, 2012.

“Joe was involved with the planning for the clinic at the time of his passing, and the project was very dear to him,” said Lesley Townsend, Providence Milwaukie Hospital Foundation executive director. After he died, Shirley, Bernard’s wife, proposed that all the remembrances in his name be applied to the dental clinic, but it was foundation board member Mike Richardson, founder of Dark Horse Comics, who proposed that the clinic be named after Bernard, Townsend said.

by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Dr. James Strohschein, left, and lead dental assistant Mundee Whitaker, work on patient Syndi Helms.

Redirecting from ER

The Community Assets and Needs Assessment, a comprehensive community survey administered by Providence Health & Services every three years, identified access to oral health care as a primary need and concern for the Milwaukie area and Clackamas County, said Renée Boutin King, manager, Public Affairs in Clackamas County for Providence Health & Services.

She said the survey indicated that more than 1,600 patients with dental needs visit Providence Milwaukie Hospital’s emergency department each year, primarily for dental pain and abscess. About 45 percent of these patients return to the emergency department several times, and approximately 80 percent of the patients are on Medicaid or uninsured.

The emergency room is “not the best place to come for dental pain, since it is just a short fix,” said Rebecca Perin, Providence Health & Services Emergency Services patient guide. As a member of the Emergency Department staff, it is her job to work with patients to connect them with the best care for their needs.

“When an individual who is uninsured or uneducated about dental insurance is in dental pain, they go to the ER. But that is a kind of Band-Aid if they don’t take care of their roots or dental decay, and it is terribly expensive as well,” Perin added.

With the clinic up and running, she can now walk patients over to the new facility and most can be seen that same day.

“Then they have a sustained dentist, someone they can see over and over again,” she said, noting that the clinic also provides education about preventive care, like screenings and cleanings.

Patients can make an appointment with the clinic — most insurances are covered — and a sliding scale is offered for patients who qualify.

One of the major advantages of the clinic is its proximity to Providence Milwaukie Hospital, and thus is on a few bus lines, Perin said. “It serves the Milwaukie demographic who are limited in their resources for medical needs. It fills the gap; dental health is part of good health.”

Getting established

The Joseph Bernard Jr. Dental Clinic has two dentists, Dr. James Strohschein, dental director, and Dr. Mike Plunkett, dental director for CareOregon, a nonprofit health services organization providing support to a variety of health care organizations.

“The Neighborhood Health Center is an off-shoot of CareOregon, with the intention of providing direct dental care. The first clinic in this area was established in Oregon City in October of 2011,” Strohschein said. He spends three days at the clinic. Plunkett is there one day, and there are always two dental assistants at all times, plus an office receptionist, who speaks Spanish, Strohschein said. Ultimately, the clinic will be staffed at 1.75 full-time employees, he said.

Advantages of the clinic include easy patient access to the location, proximity to so many patients, and a relationship with the hospital’s referral service, called the re-direct program.

When patients come to the ER with dental pain, they will be re-directed to the dental clinic, and that “alleviates the burden of repeated ER visits,” he said. Patients still pay the standard ER fee, but their visit to the dental clinic at that time is free, under a grant program, Strohschein said.

When patients visit the ER during hours the clinic is not open, they see a medical professional, and are offered two options: They can get pain medication and/or antibiotics, or they can get a referral to the dental clinic the next day.

“But they can’t have both. They can’t have repetitive requests for medications. They need definite dental treatment, and the majority of the patients can be provided for on the day of their visit,” Strohschein said.

The dental clinic is a “public-health oriented clinic, not a cosmetic practice. We do preventive, restorative and surgery, and for patients we can’t manage, we refer them to specialists within the Oregon Health Plan program,” he said.

Community comes together

Although the clinic has only been open a short time, “reactions from patients have been phenomenal. They are happy to see us here, and I have had a full schedule, seeing 12 patients a day,” Strohschein said, adding that patients of all ages are welcome at the clinic.

To help with staffing, dental hygiene students from Pacific University will be doing hygiene and education rotations at the clinic, and eventually fourth-year dental students from Oregon Health & Science University will do externships at the Milwaukie clinic.

“This is the perfect place for them to come and practice public-health dentistry,” Strohschein said, noting that both he and Plunkett are adjunct faculty at OHSU.

The partnership between Providence Milwaukie Hospital and Neighborhood Health Center “provides a window into the possibilities of hospitals and large medical groups partnering with community-health clinics and dental practices willing to treat lower-income patients,” Plunkett said.Noting that he has always seen patients in a community-health environment, he added that he has taken pride in the community coming together to “solve a significant need, that of access to dental care.”

Another example of community building is the fact that the Joseph Bernard Jr. Dental Clinic will begin working with Milwaukie High School students in the fall. A dental hygienist will go to the campus clinic two days a month, and if students meet eligibility requirements, they also be can seen at the clinic, Strohschein said.

Syndi Helms, a Molalla resident, said she thinks the world of Strohschein, noting that he fixed her front teeth “to perfection.”

She added, “I think the world of that man; what is special about him is his demeanor and the heart he gives his patients.”

She has experienced anxiety during visits to other dentists in the past, Helms said, but noted that she trusts Strohschein so much and is so relaxed during an appointment with him that she doesn’t even require Novocain.

Filling a big need

“Dental care is often an overlooked part of community health, and this partnership is a great example of how successful this can be. Medical and dental providers have a common goal and an underlying mission to improve the health and well-being of all members of the community,” Plunkett said.

Because that is the same goal as the Providence Milwaukie Hospital Foundation Board, the group started discussing how it could get the ball rolling for the clinic in the spring 2012, Townsend said.

It turned out that the Neighborhood Health Center had established a model of a dental clinic in Oregon City on South Beavercreek Road, and the foundation board decided to replicate it in Milwaukie, she said.

The board’s goal was to raise $447,000 to remodel the space near Providence Milwaukie Hospital, and to purchase equipment. More than half the funds were raised from donations in Bernard’s memory, and with a donation of $50,000 from CareOregon, the clinic was able to open. A bit less than $100,000 is still needed to bring the clinic up to its full staffing component, and donations are more than welcome, Townsend said.

“I am so impressed by how this project has flourished with community partnerships and community leaders and organizations,” Townsend added.

by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Dr. James Strohschein demonstrates the workings of a machine which lubricates and cleans drills to Lesley Townsend, left, and Rebecca Perin.

Bernard Clinic

What: Joseph Bernard Jr. Dental Clinic

Where: 3300 S.E. Dwyer Drive, Milwaukie

Details: Call 503-850-4479 for an appointment.

More: For more information about the clinic or to make a donation, contact Lesley Townsend, Providence Milwaukie Hospital Foundation executive director, at 503-513-8625, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit the foundation website at providencefoundations.org/Milwaukie.

Open house: Neighborhood Health Center will host an open house on Friday, Aug. 16, in honor of National Health Center Week. The clinic will provide tours and gift bags to visitors attending the reception that begins at 12:30 p.m. and concludes at 1:30 after remarks by Director of Quality Ela Rasmussen and Dr. James Strohschein.