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Be Well - Kerrie Steffan Employee Profile

It’s more important than ever for our communities to be proactive in finding a partner in wellness. Here at Skagit Regional Health, we have the people, resources and expertise to be that partner in your life. 

There are many ways to incorporate healthy changes into your life. Thank you to Kerrie Steffan, PT, DPT, Interim Regional Director of Rehabilitation at Skagit Regional Health for sharing her health journey. 

What does a day in your life look like? I recently started a new position and now work 5 days a week. I previously had Thursdays off, so that has taken some getting used to! I’m fortunate to have a retired husband who has dinner ready for me when I get home. Most days after work I work out before I go home. By “work-out” I mean go for a walk, ride my bike, do resistance exercises, etc. I’ve attempted to work out in the morning, but it just doesn’t work for me. 

Kerrie Steffan hiking

Why is health a priority for you? Working in Physical Therapy for 30+ years sure has given me a great perspective on what happens when your health isn’t a priority. I’ve seen so many people where changes to their lifestyle could make a huge impact. I gave up caffeine many years ago and started exercising more regularly due to migraines. I see exercise as a prescription for my health and make it a priority. I’ve seen the results and know if I exercise consistently, eat regularly, sleep at least 8 hours and drink plenty of water I don’t get migraines. 

What are ways that you weave healthy activities into your daily life?  If the weather is good enough, I usually go for a 20-30-minute walk at lunch. Many of our staff members go as well. I find this helps me keep from being so tired in the afternoon and I’m less likely to eat something sweet. Recently I got a sit-to-stand desk at work. With my new role, I’m sitting much more, which is bothering my head/neck. Having the ability to stand part of the day has helped. In addition, I try to walk to coworkers’ offices to discuss something, instead of calling. It’s more personal and I get to move around. 

Is there a health-related goal you have recently completed? If I don’t have a goal, I’m not that motivated! Overall I enjoy setting goals as it gives me a target to work towards. I’ve signed up for running races, decided to run 1,000 miles in a year, etc. My current goal is to exercise for at least 5 hours a week.       

What tips do you have for others trying to accomplish their goals? Don’t beat yourself up if you fall short. When I was running more frequently, I was often disappointed when I had to walk or when I thought I was running so slowly! I’ve reframed my thinking; that any movement is better than nothing. It doesn’t really matter how fast I go or how far I walk! Lately, I’ve been walking, instead of running and I’m ok with that. 

Thank you, Kerrie, for sharing your Be Well story. We’re cheering you on as you keep up the great work on your journey!

Skagit Regional Health is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The ideas, opinions and stories shared by the Be Well Staff Profile participants are their own and do not constitute endorsement by Skagit Regional Health. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, disability or any other protected characteristic as outlined by organizational policy and federal, state or local laws.