The 2022 Camas Farmer’s Market kicks off next week with a nod to health and wellness.
Sixteen Camas-Washougal health and wellness providers will take part in the inaugural Ripple Wellness Health Fair from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, during the first Camas Farmer’s Market of the season. The market is held every Wednesday evening, from 3 to 7 p.m., on Northeast Fourth Avenue, between Everett and Franklin streets in downtown Camas.
Lindsy Palisca, the clinic director of Therapeutic Associates Physical Therapy in Camas, is one of the practitioners participating in the June 1 health fair. She said the health and wellness care community in East Clark County has grown closer in recent years, with many providers referring patients to one another and gathering for networking events.
“The providers want to see each other succeed because they know they are stronger together,” Palisca said. “The more you work together, the more you grow, both as a person and as a business. When people ask me who my competition is, I always say, ‘A lack of knowledge of physical therapy.’ I see the other providers as supporters and promoters, not competitors. When we work together, we expand the knowledge of what our wellness community can do and help even more people.”
Emily Olson, the co-owner of Ripple Wellness in Washougal, helped organize the June 1 health fair. She said the goal is to offer as much information about the local health and wellness community as possible.
“There will be demos, raffles, give-aways, that kind of thing,” Olson said. “There will be stuff for kids and plenty for adults, and I think it will be fun for people to bounce to different tables and meet the clinics and put faces to names. I had a patient pick up a flier the other day and say, ‘We’re going to have so much fun at this.’ That’s exactly how I feel, and I hope the public feels that way, too. It’s just going to be a fun afternoon.”
In addition to Ripple Wellness and Therapeutic Associates, the fair will feature Champ Camp Training and Fitness, Cloud Chiropractic, Discovery Dental, Forest Moon Yoga, Pure Wellness, Petal & Thorn Clinic, Peace Yourself Together, Natural Grocers, Clovier Podiatry, Pain Relief Partners, TreeSong Nature Awareness and Retreat Center, Washougal Sport & Spine, Camas Yoga Co., and LiveWell Camas.
“I’m excited because we can all come together and continue to put that word out into the community (of), ‘Look at the health care here,'” Olson said. “It truly is remarkable for the size of Camas and Washougal (that) we have all of these great clinics. A big part of us all doing business in these towns is getting the word out that you don’t have to go to Portland, you don’t have to drive far into Vancouver to get these kinds of services. And the fact that we have 16 of us at the market just builds that awareness. Honestly, we could’ve filled 30 booths.”
Bolstered by her fellow providers’ overwhelming interest, Olson is already thinking about turning the fair into an annual event.
“If they’ll have us, we’d love to kick off the first farmer’s market of the year with it,” she said. “Hopefully (the health fair) will increase their turnout even more, though I think people are so excited about the farmer’s market this year. I feel like we are so lucky to have such a big farmer’s market for the size of our population, so anything we can do to help spread the word about it and wellness, it’s like the perfect match.”
Shannon Anhorn, the owner of Cloud Chiropractic in Camas, said she loves the idea of a health fair: “I think it’s a great thing for the community to be able to ‘one-stop shop’ and see all of our faces and our offerings,” Anhorn said. “(People can) see what we do and meet us in person in a less-scary, less formal manner to dip their toe in. With these kinds of events, we love to see our patients out with their families and reconnect with them and watch them grow.”
Camas and Washougal have become “destinations for health care,” according to Anhorn.
“We have such incredible practitioners,” she said. “People come from all around to see our providers, and I think that speaks volumes about the quality of care that we have in these little towns.”
“The wellness community is very special and robust,” Palisca added. “People tell me all the time how amazed they are at the caliber of providers we have in this small town, and I agree. This area is a wonderful place for community and connection, so I am not surprised that it draws such skilled providers, but it is for sure unique. We love being a part of a collaborative wellness group and offering well-rounded care for our patients. No one can do it all, but when we all do what we are best at and work together, everyone wins.”
Many of the providers make a “big effort” to not only stay in touch with each other, but learn from each other, according to Olson.
“I feel like year by year, the longer we’re referring to each other, the longer we’re in these groups together, those relationships deepen,” she said. “That’s what I think is really unique. I don’t know what it is; (maybe) it’s a small-town thing. But it’s so valuable as medical practitioners to have these connections with other practitioners in the area.”
Some of the providers have joined forces with the Camas Public Library during the past year to present several “virtual wellness roundtable” virtual sessions on topics such as insomnia, anxiety, persistent pain and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
“I think we’re all really devoted and passionate about continuing to learn from each other. When we have questions, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, we always reach out to each other,” Anhorn said.
“My motto really is that all of these providers are really my community, not my competition. There are enough patients for everybody — it’s really about getting the right patient to the right provider. That really works when you have authentic relationships,” Anhorn added. “But, also, the providers are members of the community that do similar things, so there’s a lot of cross between personal life and professional life.”