KLIPSAN — After 16 years at Family Health Center’s Klipsan clinic, acupuncturist Tom Geha is shutting down, packing up and moving to his home state of New Mexico, to be closer to his aging parents. His last day for treatments will be Nov. 2.
Last week, from one of the treatment rooms, Geha said this decision, “has kind of been a long time coming. I always felt like I’d eventually migrate back.” But, he didn’t think it would be this soon, until he weighed the advantages of being near his parents in their final years and being able to help them.
And there’s another person he wants to be close to — his 104-year-old grandfather. Geha’s face lit up when he spoke of this man. “He’s still kicking and I want to be there for his last years. But, I always joke that he’s probably going to outlive us all.”
It was 1984 when Geha first moved to the northwest from New Mexico. It was to attend college in Olympia. He said it was quite a change. “It was huge. I loved it.”
Before setting up his business at Klipsan, he said he “bounced around some,” starting off in Astoria. He also had a clinic, briefly, in Ocean Park. But the Klipsan location anchored him on the Peninsula for that 16 years.
What will he miss most about this area? He commented, in his own naturally soft-spoken, soothing way, “The easy-going, relaxed environment and the friendliness of the people. And the ocean, of course.”
Since he’s been here, his patients have ranged in age from about 8 to 99, though he said he began treatments on his own son at age 4.
He doesn’t currently have anyone in mind to refer his patients to, because basically, he’s been the area’s only acupuncturist. But, he said, “I’m trying really hard to find somebody to replace me, to just take it over.”
Geha said he won’t move immediately. The preparation might take a few months. This prep includes trying to rehome two adult male felines, a tuxedo cat and an orange one. They like being “outdoor kitties,” he said, explaining that relocating them to the risks of a desert environment “might be too traumatic for them.”
He will more than likely be settling in a rural part of the Albuquerque area, near where his family resides.
He’s not sure if or when he’ll “pick up acupuncture again.” His license doesn’t transfer to New Mexico and a lot will be determined by the situation with his parents. He will cross that bridge when he comes to it.
To make an appointment with Geha for his final days at the clinic, call 360-665-3000 or make it in person at the Family Health Center clinic’s front desk.