Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, Virginia Mason Health System Enter Formal Affiliation Discussions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 29, 2014
Contacts: Shannon Dininny, Memorial Communications, (509) 577-5051
Gale Robinette, Virginia Mason Media Relations, (206) 341-1509

YAKIMA – Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital and Virginia Mason Health System announced their intent Wednesday to pursue a formal affiliation that would transform health care in the Yakima Valley, increase access to health care and improve the patient experience and value of care.

The boards of both hospitals have voted to sign a letter of intent, which is the next step in the affiliation process. The signing of the letter of intent enables the two organizations to conduct detailed discussions and perform necessary due diligence on the specific details of an affiliation whereby Memorial would become a part of the Virginia Mason Health System.

Memorial and Virginia Mason share similar values and cultures, as well as a commitment to innovation, and view a potential relationship as an opportunity to create a broader network of care that better serves both organizations’ communities.

“We are excited to work with Virginia Mason and look forward to continuing our discussions to build a partnership that serves our community,” Memorial CEO Russ Myers said. “Virginia Mason is a distinguished organization with strong leadership and excellent physicians.”

“In Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital we have found an organization with a shared vision for health care, focused on innovation, high quality and appropriate patient care at the lowest cost possible,” Virginia Mason Health System Chairman and CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD, said.

Partnerships in health care are occurring across the country as a way to improve service, lower costs and respond to health care reform. Ultimately, these collaborations benefit the patients and communities they serve.

The Memorial Board of Trustees views a strategic partnership as an opportunity for Memorial – and Yakima – to maintain access to high-quality healthcare, improve access to specialty care, advance physician recruitment and expand our financial, clinical and information systems resources. Such a partnership also ensures that state-of-the-art medicine continues in this community.

Memorial and Virginia Mason, both not-for-profit health care providers, share a commitment to maintaining comprehensive health care in Yakima. Due diligence, a legal step in the affiliation process, is expected to take four to six months.

About Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is a 226-bed, acute-care, not-for-profit, community hospital serving Central Washington’s Yakima Valley. Memorial Family of Services includes primary care practices and specialty care services, including high-quality cardiac care, a continuum of cancer care, hospice care and advanced services for children with special health care needs. Visit Memorial online at www.yakimamemorial.org or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/yakimavalleymemorialhospital), Twitter (www.twitter.com/Yakima_Memorial) or Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/yvmh). In addition, The Memorial Foundation has raised and distributed $45 million toward innovative health care programs in the Yakima Valley (www.memfound.org).
About Virginia Mason

Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. Virginia Mason employs 6,000 people and includes a 336-bed acute-care hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 460 physicians; regional medical centers throughout the Puget Sound area; and Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the U.S. designed and built specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS. Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is internationally recognized for its breakthrough autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason was the first health system to apply lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery to eliminate waste, lower cost, and improve quality and patient safety. Virginia Mason website: www.VirginiaMason.org.

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Recall Alert: Baby wipes recalled due to bacteria

Oct. 29, 2014—Parents, check the label on any baby wipes you have in the house: A variety of brands have been recalled due to the presence of potentially infectious bacteria .

Nutek Disposables is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on a voluntary recall of all lots of the affected baby wipes shipped to stores before Oct. 21.

The wipes were sold under the following brand names:

  • Cuties
  • Diapers.com
  • Femtex
  • Fred’s
  • Kidgets
  • Member’s Mark
  • Simply Right
  • Sunny Smiles
  • Tender Touch
  • Well Beginnings (Recall applies only to lots made by Nutek, not by other manufacturers. You can see a list of those lot numbers here.)

Stores that sold the wipes include Walgreens, Sam’s Club, Family Dollar, Fred’s and Diapers.com.

Why the wipes are being recalled

Some of the packages may be contaminated with the bacteria Burkholderia cepacia.

The bacteria aren’t likely to harm healthy people, according to FDA.

However, people with weakened immune systems or who have cystic fibrosis or other chronic lung diseases could become more vulnerable to infections if they come into contact with B. cepacia.

If you have any of those conditions and handled a product listed above, FDA recommends that you call your doctor as soon as possible.

The contamination was discovered after Nutek received complaints that some baby wipes were discolored and had an odd smell. One person reported the wipes had caused irritation.

The wipes tested positive for the bacteria, and Nutek recalled those lots earlier this month. The recall was expanded after more products tested positive for B. cepacia.

What you should do

If you have baby wipes affected by this recall, take them back to the store where you bought them. You’ll be given a full refund.

Anyone with questions about the recall can call Nutek at 855.646.4351 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday.

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Diabetes screening offered on November 8th

Diabetes Screening
Nov. 8, 2013

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital will be offering diabetes screening at no charge on Saturday, Nov. 8.

One in 11 people in Yakima has been diagnosed with diabetes, and 1 in 3 has pre-diabetes, which means they have higher than normal blood sugar levels. Signs of diabetes include frequent urination, thirst, hunger and fatigue. Stop by Memorial’s screening if you are experiencing those symptoms or believe you may be at risk for diabetes.

There also will be educational programs about nutrition and a diabetes walk.

This event is offered from 8 a.m. and noon at Memorial’s community education center at 2506 W. Nob Hill Blvd. in Yakima.

For more information, call (509) 249-5317. Or visit our website, at www.yakimamemorial.org.

 
Exámenes de Diabetes sin costo
Nov. 8, 2013

El Hospital Memorial del Valle de Yakima estará ofreciendo exámenes de diabetes sin costo el sábado 8 de noviembre.

1 de cada 11 personas en Yakima han sido diagnosticadas con diabetes y 1 de cada 3 tiene prediabetes, esto quiere decir que tiene niveles más altos que los niveles normales de azúcar en la sangre. Algunos signos y síntomas de diabetes incluyen frecuencia urinaria, sed, hambre y fatiga, aunque no siempre se manifiestan.
Hágase sus exámenes de diabetes en este evento, especialmente si tiene algunos de estos signos y síntomas.

También habrá programas educativos sobre nutrición y una caminata.

Este evento será ofrecido de las 8 a.m a las 12:00 del mediodía en el centro de educación del Hospital Memorial localizado en el 2506 al oeste de la avenida Nob Hill. En Yakima.

Para más información llame al (509) 574-5956 o visítenos en línea en www.yakimamemorial.org.

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Classes and Events This Week

New and Updated Events
10/27, 5:30pm Grupo de Apoyo d…
11/3, 5pm Grupo de Apoyo de Pa…
Events for October 26 – November 1
Mon
Oct 27
9:00 am Blood Pressure Control (am)
Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness
Ends @
10:00
Blood Pressure Control – Explore the risk factors of high blood pressure, otherwise known as the “silent killer”.Classes are one hour each, offered at 9 and 11 am and 3 pm at Memorial Cardiac…
10:00 am Mom and Baby Group
Memorial’s Community Education Center
Ends @
12:00
Bring your baby (up to 12 months old) and join other moms to discuss
parenting topics, postpartum health and safety and early intervention.
11:00 am Blood Pressure Control (Mid day class)
Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness
Ends @
12:00
Blood Pressure Control – Explore the risk factors of high blood pressure, otherwise known as the “silent killer”.Classes are one hour each, offered at 9 and 11 am and 3 pm at Memorial Cardiac…
1:30 pm LifeBio 101
North Star Lodge
Ends @
3:30
LifeBio 101This class teaches you how to use the writing process to address the emotions that accompany the life-altering experience of a cancer diagnosis. LifeBio Guide, Sue Karstetter, Psy.D., wil…
3:00 pm Blood Pressure Control (PM class)
Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness
Ends @
4:00
Blood Pressure Control – Explore the risk factors of high blood pressure, otherwise known as the “silent killer”.Classes are one hour each, offered at 9 and 11 am and 3 pm at Memorial Cardiac…
4:00 pm Diabetes Prevention Program orientation
Memorial’s Community Education Center
Ends @
4:30
This 30 minute information session about Memorial’s Diabetes Prevention program will explain the research behind this evidence based program and why it is proven to slow the progression to type 2 diab…
Evento Del Dia Mundial de La Diabetes
Memorial’s Community Education Center
Ends @
5:00
  • Caminata de Diabetes -8-10:30 am – Venga y camine con nosotros en el lugar del evento, ejercítese y muestre su apoyo
  • Examen es de azscar en la sangr y recorsos de diabetes   -para un mejor resultado…
5:30 pm Grupo de Apoyo de Padre a Padre en Español Updated!
Children’s Village
Ends @
7:00
Lunes, 27 de Octubre, 2014El Programa de Padre a Padre ofrece apoyo emocional e información a familias criando a niños con necesidades especiales de salud o atrasos en el desarrollo. Los Eventos y l…
6:00 pm Pre-natal Yoga
Memorial’s Community Education Center
Ends @
7:00
Pre-natal Yoga helps decrease tension, improve flexibility and
strength, prepare for the birthing process, and cultivate a connection
between mother and child. No Yoga experience necessary!  If you…
6:30 pm Valley Parents -Sunnyside support group Ends @
8:00
The Parent to Parent program offers emotional support and information to families raising children with special health or developmental needs. Events and classes hosted by Parent to Parent are free bu…
Tue
Oct 28
8:00 am Diabetes Blood Sugar Screenings
Memorial Diabetes Prevention and Wellness
Ends @
10:00
Diabetes Blood Sugar and Foot Screenings-For most accurate blood sugar screening results, do not eat or drink anything 8-12 hours prior to screening.
Screens are held at the Center for Diabetes…
9:00 am Hospice Volunteer Training (Day 1 of 2)
North Star Lodge
Ends @
5:00
Volunteering in hospice and transitions care can be very rewarding. Many families refer to the volunteers who helped them as “angels.”   Assistance to patients, families and caregivers is delivered in…
12:00 pm North Star Knitters
North Star Lodge
Ends @
2:00
Cast on to this active, fun-loving group of knitters (many survivors) and learn to knit, crochet and teach others. All the yarn is provided and the laughs are free. Ask your oncologist or nurse about…
4:30 pm Aprendiendo a Vivir con su Diabetes-Clase de diabetes en español
Memorial’s Community Education Center
Ends @
7:30
Aprendiendo a Vivir con su Diabetes-Clase de diabetes en españolLas clases son ofrecidas cada cuarto jueves del mes en En el Centro de Educación del Hospital Memorial Ubicado en el 2506 al Oeste de…
6:00 pm Living with loss -8 week discussion based course
Harman Center
Ends @
7:00
Living with Loss:  An 8-week discussion-based course working through the book, Understanding Your Grief: Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart.
6:30 pm Childbirth Education 4-Week Series (Tuesdays, 1 of 4)
Memorial’s Community Education Center
Ends @
8:30
Class covers: what to expect during late pregnancy, labor delivery and postpartum. Learn relaxation and breathing techniques, comfort measures and discuss medication options for delivery. Please note:…
Wed
Oct 29
9:00 am Sleep Management (am class)
Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness
Ends @
10:00
Sleep Management – Sleep is one of the elements to a healthy, balanced lifestyle.  Learn about the role sleep plays in the maintenance and repair of the physical body, as well as the functioning of th…
11:00 am Sleep Management (mid day class)
Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness
Ends @
12:00
Sleep Management – Sleep is one of the elements to a healthy, balanced lifestyle.  Learn about the role sleep plays in the maintenance and repair of the physical body, as well as the functioning of th…
3:00 pm Sleep Management (pm class)
Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness
Ends @
4:00
Sleep Management – Sleep is one of the elements to a healthy, balanced lifestyle.  Learn about the role sleep plays in the maintenance and repair of the physical body, as well as the functioning of th…
6:30 pm Boot Camp For New Dads
Memorial’s Community Education Center
Ends @
8:30
This is a program where veteran dads (experienced fathers who bring in their babies) orient rookies (fathers to be) on the realities of fatherhood. Topics covered: caring for new moms, importance of t…
Thu
Oct 30
9:00 am Hospice Volunteer Training (Day 2 of 2)
North Star Lodge
Ends @
5:00
Volunteering in hospice and transitions care can be very rewarding. Many families refer to the volunteers who helped them as “angels.”   Assistance to patients, families and caregivers is delivered in…
12:00 pm Sound Sleep-Sound Rest -Intro and Full Session
North Star Lodge
Ends @
2:00
A cancer diagnosis can cause anxiety, stress and sometimes
depression for patients and their caregivers. There are natural
ways to combat these side effects and it’s something anyone
can learn.
An…
1:00 pm Grief Recovery 8 week workshop
Cottage in the Meadow
Ends @
2:00
Grief Recovery Workshop:  An 8-week course centered around personal discovery and homework-style exercises designed to help you focus on grief recovery. This class utilizes the book The Grief Recovery…
Fri
Oct 31
9:00 am Our Toxic Environment (am class)
Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness
Ends @
10:00
Our Toxic Environment – In the United States, we allow over 10,000 food and chemical additives into our food supply. Learn how to use diet to combat the effects of environmental toxins.Classes are…
11:00 am Our Toxic Environment (Mid day class)
Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness
Ends @
12:00
Our Toxic Environment – In the United States, we allow over 10,000 food and chemical additives into our food supply. Learn how to use diet to combat the effects of environmental toxins.Classes are…
2:30 pm Solo para mamografías—rayos X de senos.
‘Ohana Mammography Center
Ends @
4:30
Cuide de lo que verdaderamente es importante – su Salud.¿No tiene cobertura médica?
‘Ohana tiene información de programas que ayudan a cubrir el costo de este importante examen.
Llame para más…
Walk-in Clinic for Screening Mammograms
‘Ohana Mammography Center
Ends @
5:30
`Ohana, Memorials Mammography center, offers a walk-in clinic for screening mammograms, Fridays, 2:30–5:30 p.m.  No appointment is necessary and interpreters are available. The name of the doctor who…
3:00 pm Our Toxic Environment (pm class)
Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness
Ends @
4:00
Our Toxic Environment – In the United States, we allow over 10,000 food and chemical additives into our food supply. Learn how to use diet to combat the effects of environmental toxins.Classes are…
Sat
Nov 1
9:00 am Spanish Childbirth Education-Clases de Preparación para el Parto en Español
Memorial’s Community Education Center
Ends @
5:00
Class covers: what to expect during late pregnancy labor delivery and postpartum. Learn relaxation and breathing techniques comfort measures and discuss medication options for delivery. Please note: Y…

Tip: Click  to add an event to your Yahoo!, Microsoft Outlook, MSN Hotmail, Apple iCal, or Google calendar.

Upcoming Events for November 2 – 7
Mon Nov 3 10:00 am Mom and Baby Group (Memorial’s Community Education Center)
11:30 am Lamplight Bible Study/support group (North Star Lodge)
1:30 pm LifeBio 101 (North Star Lodge)
2:00 pm Cancer Support Group (co-ed) (North Star Lodge)
4:00 pm Water’s Edge Chronic Pain Support Group (Lakeview)
5:00 pm Grupo de Apoyo de Padre a Padre en Español -Sunnyside Updated!
6:00 pm Pre-natal Yoga (Memorial’s Community Education Center)
Tomando Control de su Salud/”My Health, My Life” (6 classes) (South East Community Center)
Tue Nov 4 Yakima Alzheimer’s Community Conference (Yakima Convention Center)
8:00 am Diabetes Blood Sugar Screenings (Memorial Diabetes Prevention and Wellness)
12:00 pm North Star Knitters (North Star Lodge)
2:00 pm My Health, My Life (Orientation and 6 Classes) (Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness)
6:00 pm Living with loss -8 week discussion based course (Harman Center)
6:30 pm Childbirth Education 4-Week Series (Tuesdays, 2 of 4) (Memorial’s Community Education Center)
Valley Parents -Children’s Village (Children’s Village)
7:00 pm Diabetes Support Group (evening, June, July, August – no meetings) (Memorial’s Community Education Center)
Wed Nov 5 6:30 pm Successful Breastfeeding (Memorial’s Community Education Center)
Thu Nov 6 9:00 am Diabetes Wellness – Class 11 (am) (Memorial’s Community Education Center)
12:00 pm Sound Sleep-Sound Rest -Intro and Full Session (North Star Lodge)
1:00 pm Grief Recovery 8 week workshop (Cottage in the Meadow)
3:00 pm Cottage in the Meadow tours (Cottage in the Meadow)
5:30 pm Celebration of Life (Harman Center)
6:00 pm Spanish Baby Basics/Breastfeeding-Clase de dar Pecho y Cuidado Básico del Bebé (Memorial’s Community Education Center)
Fri Nov 7 2:30 pm Solo para mamografías—rayos X de senos. (‘Ohana Mammography Center)
Walk-in Clinic for Screening Mammograms (‘Ohana Mammography Center)

View the entire calendar online

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Trying to eat better? Close access to a grocery store may help

Oct. 26, 2014—Simply being motivated to eat healthier may not be enough to help you take control of your weight and overall wellness. Close access to healthy foods may also be important.

That’s the finding of a study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. It’s believed to be the first study to isolate proximity to grocery stores as a limiting factor in the ability of motivated people to make positive changes in their eating habits.

About the study

The study was done in Massachusetts and involved 204 adults who were obese—most of them were women, and most of them white. All were motivated to lose weight after getting a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome. This condition is characterized by a large waist size and abnormalities in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It increases a person’s risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

The participants were asked to follow dietary recommendations that emphasized healthier eating, including increased intake of fruits, vegetables and dietary fiber.

During periodic phone interviews, participants reported what they had eaten. And when researchers looked at how far the participants had to travel from their homes to reach a grocery store that sold healthy foods, they found that the shorter that distance, the greater the gains in the participants’ consumption of fruits, vegetables and dietary fiber.

In other words, living in areas without close access to nutritious foods—called food deserts—made it harder to make the lifestyle changes that promote weight loss and healthy living.

To learn more, you can read the full study.

The take-home message
Easy access to healthy food may be as important as personal motivation and guidance from health care professionals when it comes to eating healthy. And, since previous research showed that improved access alone does not lead to healthier eating, it’s likely that a combination of motivation, education and access will produce the best results.

Eliminating food deserts

The U.S. government’s “Let’s Move” initiative is helping to finance solutions to eliminate food deserts that affect more than 23 million Americans.

A food desert is essentially an area without easy access to fresh, healthy, affordable food. A food desert may lack grocery stores or be served only by fast food and convenience stores. You can determine if you live in a food desert here.

If you live in a food desert, you can help your community gain access to more nutritious foods. Let’s Move urges residents to start conversations toward establishing healthy food resources. With support from local elected officials, it is possible to designate a community as a Let’s Move City or Town and begin taking steps to improve access to healthy foods.

Eating healthier

If you’re motivated to eat better, you can try these tips from Let’s Move and the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

  • Plan your meals for the week before grocery shopping. You can try making a large batch of food and freezing servings to eat throughout the week
  • Choose canned or frozen fruits and vegetables you can buy in bulk and that don’t have added sugars, syrup or cream sauces
  • Visit local farmers markets
  • Start a garden

The important thing is to focus on choosing small dietary and lifestyle changes that can make weight loss easier to reach.

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Memorial is honored with patient safety award

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Receives Statewide Recognition for Improving Patient Safety

Washington State Hospital Association’s “Achieving Best Care” award
goes only to top-performing hospitals

SEATTLE — Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital was recognized for outstanding achievement in improving patient safety at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) in Seattle.

Memorial earned the 2014 “Washington State Hospital Association Achieving Best Care” award for its efforts to decrease patient harm through their participation in the Partnership for Patients national initiative – a nationwide collaborative effort to reduce the number of hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and hospital readmissions by 20 percent by the end of 2014.

Memorial is one of 14 WSHA hospitals to receive this award.

“Patient safety is central to care at Memorial, and our employees have made these efforts a top priority,” Memorial CEO Russ Myers says. “Teamwork has enabled us to make strides in these patient safety areas, and we are pleased to have been recognized by our peers.”

The initiative focuses on reducing harm in 10 key areas:
1.    Adverse drug events
2.    Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
3.    Central line-associated blood stream infections
4.    Injuries from falls and immobility
5.    Obstetrical adverse events
6.    Pressure ulcers
7.    Surgical site infections
8.    Venous thromboembolism
9.    Ventilator-associated pneumonia
10.    Preventable readmissions

The “Achieving Best Care” award was presented to hospitals that achieved the highest scores on harm reduction in the key areas. The scoring was based on the size of the hospital, the key strategies in which they were participating, and if they were in the top one fourth of high performing hospitals in the state. All of the top performers reached the Partnership for Patients goal of reducing harm by 40% and readmissions by 20% and many also reached a goal of zero harm over a sustained period.

“The Partnership for Patients contract has enabled us to make impressive improvements in patient safety in all the participating hospitals,” said WSHA Senior Vice President for Patient Safety Carol Wagner. “Through extensive education, best-practice implementation, and rapid response to problems, the hospitals doing this work are helping to test and model the best ways to keep patients safe in the hospital. It benefits their patients, but it also benefits all patients.”
PARTNERSHIP FOR PATIENTS BACKGROUND
The Partnership for Patients initiative is being lead locally by the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) and nationally by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Washington State Hospital Association was one of 26 health care organizations in the U.S. to be awarded a Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) contract by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2011.

As a Partnership for Patients HEN, WSHA and the Washington State Medical Association have partnered to support hospitals and medical practices in Washington and Oregon in their efforts to reduce patient harm. By joining this initiative, hospitals and health care providers across the nation pledged to make health care safer, more reliable and less costly – ultimately saving thousands of lives and millions of dollars. WSHA provides member hospitals with trainings, data, tools and other resources to help them reach these patient safety goals. More information on the WSHA Partnership for Patients can be found at www.wsha.org/partnershipforpatients.cfm.

About Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital
Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is a 226-bed, acute-care, not-for-profit, community hospital serving Central Washington’s Yakima Valley. Memorial Family of Services includes primary care practices and specialty care services, including high-quality cardiac care, a continuum of cancer care, hospice care and advanced services for children with special health care needs. Visit Memorial online at www.yakimamemorial.org or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/yakimavalleymemorialhospital), Twitter (www.twitter.com/Yakima_Memorial) or Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/yvmh). The Memorial Foundation has raised and distributed $45 million toward innovative health care programs in the Yakima Valley (www.memfound.org).

About the Washington State Hospital Association
The Washington State Hospital Association is a membership organization representing 99 community hospitals and several other health-related organizations. The association provides issues management and analysis, information, advocacy and other services.

In 2005, WSHA launched the Patient Safety program to help hospitals improve patient safety by supporting the wide-spread adoption of evidence-based clinical practices. WSHA works to improve the health of the people of the state by becoming involved in all matters affecting the delivery, quality, accessibility, affordability and continuity of health care.

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Register now for our upcoming Diabetes Prevention classes

Diabetes Prevention Classes

* There is room in our weekly Monday (1-2pm) and Tuesday (10-11am) classes beginning on October 27th and October 28th. Registration is required by calling 249-5317. Read below to find out more about this program.*

Prediabetes is a condition where the blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Memorial’s prevention program helps people lower their risk of type 2 diabetes. Participants meet in groups with a trained lifestyle coach for 16 weekly, one-hour sessions and seven monthly follow up sessions. If you would like to learn more about this program, you can attend an orientation on the last Monday of each month from 4-4:30 p.m. at Memorial’s Community Education Center at 2506 W. Nob Hill Blvd. No registration is necessary for the orientation.

How do I know this program is for me?

• Are you an overweight adult?

• Do you have family members with diabetes?

• Have you had gestational diabetes during pregnancy or did any of your babies weigh 9 lbs or more at birth?

• Have you ever been told you have high blood sugar, prediabetes, or borderline diabetes?

If you answered yes to any of these, you may be at risk for type 2 diabetes.

 

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Open enrollment for health insurance begins November 15, 2014

Open enrollment for health insurance through the state begins November 15, 2014, for coverage beginning January 1, 2015. The open enrollment period ends February 15, 2015.

In Washington State, Medicaid eligibility has expanded to include more adults.  The state’s Health Benefit Exchange, called Washington Healthplanfinder, allows individuals and families who do not have employer-sponsored health insurance to enroll in a health plan and receive financial help.  Health coverage offered through Washington Healthplanfinder includes Classic Medicaid, an expanded Medicaid program for Washington State called “Apple Health,” and various qualified health insurance plans.

How to enroll:
Online: www.wahealthplanfinder.org

Call 1-855-WAFINDER (1-855-923-4633) or TTY/TTD 1-855-627-9604

Online application tips can be found at here.

Other Resources:

Memorial is offering certified application counselors at the hospital and Emergency Room.

•    ynhs.org/Healthplanfinder/ or call (509) 454-4243
•    wahbexchange.org
•    whitehouse.gov/healthreform
•    healthcare.gov

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Expected bump in enterovirus cases not a cause for alarm, CDC says

Oct. 22, 2014—Health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed a new, faster lab test for diagnosing enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), a respiratory illness that has sickened children since August and has now spread throughout the country.

Spread of the virus

As of mid-October, CDC had tested more than 1,100 specimens sent in by hospitals that treated people suspected of having the virus. The agency prioritized testing of those with severe symptoms but said there are likely many more people with milder forms of the illness.

Early on, EV-D68 seemed to be concentrated in the Midwest. But now, CDC and state health agencies have confirmed more than 922 cases in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Most of these occurred among children.

What better testing means

With the old test, it took several weeks to get results. But the new test can confirm a diagnosis in just days. It has greatly sped up testing of the roughly 1,000 specimens that were still awaiting CDC evaluation as of last week. Previously they averaged 40 per day; with the new test, it’s 180. CDC has now tested over 1,400 specimens total.

Test results don’t help determine treatment plans for specific patients—such as the use of oxygen as a form of supportive therapy. Instead, they’re intended to help health officials track cases of the virus and target their response.

Because of the accelerated testing, it may appear that there has been a sudden increase in new infections. That is not the case. CDC expects that, as with other enteroviruses, EV-D68 infections will likely begin to decline by late fall.

In fact, informal reports from some hospitals and states suggest the infections may already be decreasing.

The take-home message
The United States is currently experiencing a nationwide outbreak of EV-D68. It’s one of several enteroviruses and rhinoviruses that cause respiratory symptoms in millions of American kids each year. Although EV-D68 is not new, it has been diagnosed more frequently this year than in years past and has been most severe in children with asthma.

Infants, children and teenagers are at greater risk for getting the virus because they may not have been exposed to it in the past. As a result, they don’t have the immunity that many older people do. This means they’re less able to fight off the disease.

Symptoms of EV-D68 include:

  • Fever
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Body and muscle aches

More severe symptoms include wheezing and difficulty breathing.

6 steps to prevent infection

You can help protect your children by encouraging your family to follow some basic prevention tips from CDC:

  1. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  2. Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  3. Avoid close contact—such as kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils—with people who are sick.
  4. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or shirt sleeve, not your hands.
  5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
  6. Stay home when you’re sick, and keep sick children out of school.

If your child has asthma

It’s a good time to review a child’s asthma action plan with his or her doctor. Go over all aspects of self-care with your child. It’s important to talk with the child’s teachers or caregivers as well.

Be sure to notify your child’s doctor immediately if he or she seems to develop new or worsening symptoms that do not improve by following the asthma action plan.

Call your child’s doctor if he or she is having trouble breathing or is experiencing worsening symptoms that are hard to control. Hospital care may be needed.

 

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Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s? Attend this conference on Nov. 4

The Alzheimer’s Association of Western and Central Washington is hosting an educational conference Nov. 4 in Yakima to provide tools and encouragement to family caregivers and health care professionals in Central Washington who are caring for people with dementia. Executive Director Bob Le Roy appeared on KIT 1280 on Oct. 21, 2014, to talk more about the upcoming conference.

Why do health care providers and the general public need more information about Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is the third leading cause of death in Washington state, and it’s expected to be a major health issue in the years to come as baby boomers retire. State officials are working to develop an Alzheimer’s Disease Plan to map out the needs of the thousands of Washington residents who are and will be affected by this progressive, fatal disease.

In Central Washington, the need for more information about this progressive, fatal disease is great. The Alzheimer’s Association sponsors support groups for caregivers in both English and Spanish – the Spanish groups started this past summer – but there is a true need for tips and tools to help families cope with the disease.

What can people who attend the conference expect?
Family caregivers will have sessions devoted specifically to them, offering helpful strategies to provide safe, effective and comfortable care for loved ones. These sessions will address challenges to caring for a loved one with dementia, including relationship changes, communication, maximizing safety and difficult behaviors.

The family caregiver sessions will be offered concurrently in both English and Spanish and are being offered at no charge to participants, made possible in part by a generous grant from The Memorial Foundation.

Is there an education program for health care providers as well?
Yes. A second track of the conference offers sessions to address the progression of dementia-related diseases for health care professionals, including nurses, physicians, medical assistants and medical students who are or will be caring for people with dementia. The registration fee is $50.

In addition, we are offering a separate, education program in the evening for continuing education credits for physicians and medical professionals.

When is the conference?
The conference is Tuesday, Nov. 4. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. The conference begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 3:45 p.m.

A complimentary box lunch is provided.

Preregistration is required. Visit alzwa.org/cms/yacc/ or call (206) 529-3894 to register.

For more information, visit alzwa.org or yakimamemorial.org.

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