Grief recovery groups beginning this fall

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.
Cost is $20 for book/materials, payable on the first day of class
Tuesdays from 6 – 7 pm at the Harman Center
Beginning September 23
Contact Memorial Hospice at 574-3670 to register for this class

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 Handbook.
Cost is $20 for book/materials, payable on the first day of class
Thursdays from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm at Cottage in the Meadow
Beginning September 25
Contact Memorial Hospice at 574-3670 to register for this class

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Local Ace Hardware supports children’s health care programs

Ace Hardware presented Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) a check for $19,953 and they are not done yet! Still to come are their efforts with the CMN Golf to Give in September!  Ace raises funds for CMN through an employee giving campaign called:  Change for Kids, and special retail store sales.

All funds raised by Ace Hardware for CMN  help fund the children’s health programs right here in our community, including the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for premature babies and programs and services provided for children with special health care needs at Children’s Village.

Ace Hardware has been a national partner with Children’s Miracle Network for over 22 years.  Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is very lucky to have Ace Hardware as a Children’s Miracle Network partner in supporting special children’s healthcare programs and services in our community.

Carla Fickle, Ace CMN Contact
Scott Raphoon, Ace Warehouse Manager
Jackie McPhee, Children’s Village
Mary Lynne Brewington, Children’s Village

Ace 1 Local Ace Hardware supports childrens health care programs Ace 2 Local Ace Hardware supports childrens health care programs

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KIT News Radio this week: CEO Russ Myers on changing landscape of health care

Russ Myers assumed the CEO position at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital in January. He succeeded Rick Linneweh, who retired after 37 years at the hospital. Myers joined Memorial in 1989 as a management analyst and served as senior vice president and chief operating officer prior to being named CEO. He appeared on KIT 1280 on Aug. 19, 2014 to talk about the changes in the health care landscape and what they mean for Memorial and Yakima.

There’s a lot of change in the health care industry right now – the Affordable Care Act, health insurance exchanges, expansions to Medicaid. How do you see this affecting Memorial and the Yakima community?
It’s true. Health care is in a time of intense change. There are exciting new technologies available.  Communication between patients and providers of care is more real-time and more complete. Care is becoming better coordinated, and patient insurance options and the way care is reimbursed are changing.

But with any challenge, there lies opportunity. Memorial has always stepped up to meet challenges and serve the needs of this community, and while health care may not look the same in the future, we’re prepared to provide the high-quality care people need, when they need it, at a lower cost. Our focus at Memorial has always been – and will continue to be – a healthy Yakima. We think we achieve that going forward through something called the triple aim.

What is the triple aim?
The Triple Aim is a framework developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to optimize performance in the health care system. Imagine a triangle; at each corner of the triangle sits one of three major goals:
1.    Improving the health of populations. This is about changing the way we do business – not only sick care, but preventative care. It’s about having a healthy Yakima, and we do that by improving the health of our population.
2.     Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction). Patient satisfaction will play a role in how we are reimbursed for our services going forward, and quality and satisfaction are keys to everything we do.
3.    Reducing the per capita cost of health care. We are working to become more effective and efficient with the way we deliver health care.

Memorial will continue to play a large role in providing health care and working to improve overall health of our community. We’re going to continue to have an acute-care hospital, but that will likely be for the most critically ill. The long-term future will be more closely tied to medical homes – primary care providers – and providing outpatient care in convenient locations: Getting people the right care at the right place at the right time.

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Preventive care works, but many adults are missing out

Aug. 21, 2014—Preventive care is powerful medicine indeed. Something as simple as a routine vaccination or advice from a doctor can help people live better, longer lives. But a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report suggests that many people aren’t getting the stay-well care they need.

About the report

Researchers analyzed responses from two national health surveys conducted in 2011 and 2012. They sought to determine how adults used routine services now covered by certain health plans under the Affordable Care Act, the nation’s new health care law. While many preventive services are recommended, researchers focused on six that best fit the survey questions: HIV testing; discussing smoking cessation with a doctor; and being up-to-date on flu, tetanus, pneumonia and zoster (shingles) vaccinations. They also compared participants’ insurance and income levels.

Among the findings: People with insurance were more likely to receive preventive care than were those without it. But even many insured Americans weren’t getting their recommended routine care—suggesting that a lot of people may be missing an opportunity to safeguard their health.

For example, only 18.4 percent of people age 60 or older with insurance had ever received a shingles vaccination—and an even-lower 6.3 percent of those 60 or older without insurance had the shot. Similarly, while 44.2 percent of adults age 18 or older with insurance had a current flu vaccination, only 14.7 percent of adults without insurance got the vaccine.

The report doesn’t provide a perfect picture. But it could be a starting point for tracking the Affordable Care Act’s effects going forward. That’s because the data collection took place when many people were still uninsured and/or unaware of the preventive care covered in that law, according to the authors.

Read a summary of their findings in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report here.

The take-home message
Since many preventive services are covered by insurance, now might be a good time to make preventive care a priority. A primary care doctor can help you get what you need, but first it’s up to you to make an appointment.

After that, CDC has some suggestions for making the most of your visit:

  1. Ask about screenings and shots. Your age and other factors help determine when they’re needed.
  2. Know and share your family health history. Find out if a disease in your family raises your risk—and what you can do about it.
  3. Speak up for your body and your mind. Tell your doctor about any pain, lumps or other problems you’re experiencing, including sadness or stress.
  4. Consider your health goals. Whether that’s losing weight or quitting smoking, ask for help.

To find out more about the vaccines that you might need as an adult, click here.


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Chronic disease classes at Memorial

As rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases continue to rise in our community, we must pursue avenues of prevention and management to affect meaningful change in how these conditions impact people’s lives.

Memorial Hospital is starting its next round of classes Sept. 2 to help individuals who suffer from chronic illness. The “My Health, My Life” classes are designed to teach simple techniques for living a healthy life by managing your symptoms. The six-week program teaches key skills for improving your health, despite your illness.

Juanita Silva of Memorial’s Community Health Education appeared on KIT 1280 on Aug. 12 to talk more about the classes.

Who should take these classes?
Anyone living with a chronic illness that impacts the quality of their life can attend. We see people with any number of disorders:
•    arthritis, diabetes, asthma, depression, obesity, heart disease, cancer and debilitating, chronic pain.

You also don’t need to be ill to attend the class – caregivers and family supporters are also welcome.

What are some of the things the class teaches?
•    Healthy eating
•    Weight management
•    Getting a good night sleep
•    Preventing falls and improving balance
•    Managing your chronic disease
•    Communicating with your doctor
•    Managing your medications
•    Pain management
•    Managing difficult emotions
•    Problem solving
•    Goal setting

These classes will be held at Memorial’s Tieton House, located at 2707 Tieton Drive. They are 2-1/2 hours each, once a week for six weeks. New classes start in September.

For more information, call 225-3178 or visit

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Many cancer survivors struggle to quit smoking, study says

Aug. 20, 2014—Many cancer survivors continue to smoke. Some do so every day, and they keep smoking for years.

That’s the finding of a study published online in a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Here, researchers examined survey data collected from nearly 3,000 people who had survived one of 10 types of cancer. Study participants were selected at random from national cancer registries.

Among other things, researchers found that about nine years after cancer diagnosis:

  • More than 9 percent of all cancer survivors were current smokers.
  • Most current smokers—more than 80 percent—smoked daily, averaging over 14 cigarettes a day.
  • Those most likely to smoke were those who had survived bladder, lung or ovarian cancer.

Read the study abstract here.

The quest to quit

Overall, the study found that cancer survivors who currently smoke are younger and less educated, earn less money, and drink more alcohol. About a third said they intended to quit smoking—and about 40 percent of those wanted to do so within the next month. Those less inclined to quit were often heavier smokers, older or married.

If you see yourself reflected in these statistics, you might be motivated to pull together your own quit-smoking program. You might even be tempted to quit smoking if you don’t fit these descriptions and you have a cancer background.

Some smokers diagnosed with cancer simply think it’s too late to quit or that there’s no good reason to do so, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

If that’s true for you, remember that quitting tobacco is always beneficial, and it’s always possible, ASCO said. Benefits include:

  • Longer life
  • More energy
  • Fewer side effects from cancer treatment while treatment continues
  • Less chance of cancer recurrence
  • Lower risk of other serious diseases

Smoking is also expensive. To calculate just how much you might be spending on a smoking habit, try this calculator.

The take-home message
Quitting smoking should be part of your cancer-recovery program. With help, you can kick the habit for good.

The most successful stop-smoking plans include steps such as setting a quit date and developing strategies to deal with things that spark the urge to smoke, ASCO said. Nicotine replacement therapy, other medications and counseling can help.

To get started, talk with your doctor. He or she can help you find a plan that’s best for you, prescribe any necessary medications and point you toward support services that can help you quit smoking for good.

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Young and Pregnant – Teen Pregnancy Class – This Saturday!

This childbirth education class is designed specifically for teen moms, 19 years or younger and their support person (boyfriend, husband, sister, mom or friend) who want more information on pregnancy and labor/delivery.

Class includes:
A tour of the Family Birthplace
Labor and Delivery
Breathing and Relaxation Techniques
Comfort Measures
Medical Procedures
Cesarean Information
Post-Partum Planning

***All those who complete the class will receive a complimentary car seat for your baby.

When: August 23rd
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Where: Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital – Classrooms A & B (in the basement)
Cost: $75, includes Mother and a partner. Registration required (Medicaid Accepted). We also accept debit/credit cards and checks. Scholarships are available.

For more information and to register please contact Teresa Posada at 509-248-7322.

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Short, slow running sessions still great for your heart

Aug. 19, 2014—Who says heart-healthy exercise has to be an epic event? With just a few minutes and a good pair of running shoes, you could be on your way to reaping some potentially huge fitness benefits.

In fact, running for as little as five minutes a day might even help you avoid dying early from heart disease, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

About the study

More than 55,000 people were included in this study, and researchers examined data that was gathered between 1974 and 2002.

A physical exam was part of the initial screening for the study, and people were asked to fill out questionnaires during this visit. The answers to those questions helped the researchers identify more than 13,000 runners.

Both runners and nonrunners were tracked, and during the course of the study, there were 3,413 deaths from all causes and 1,217 from cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

After adjusting for various factors, including the participants’ other exercise activities, the researchers noticed that nonrunners died about three years earlier than runners.

When compared to nonrunners, runners were 45 percent less likely to die of CVD disease. Had every participant been a runner, 1 out of every 4 CVD deaths could have been prevented, the researchers estimated.

In terms of predicting decreased life expectancy, not running was right up there with notorious risk factors like high blood pressure and smoking, the researchers reported.

What’s more, runners didn’t have to hit the fast lane to boost their health. Running at even slow speeds (less than 6 miles per hour) and running just one to two times a week was associated with a reduced risk of dying prematurely, when compared with not running. And those who kept up their healthy habit saw the greatest benefits.

Read the study abstract here.

The take-home message
Running is a form of aerobic exercise that offers many health benefits. If you’re not exercising and want to make running part of your routine, government guidelines suggest a weekly goal of at least 75 minutes that can be done in 10-minute chunks. While that’s doable for some, the research implies that runners might sidestep some serious health risks even at levels lower than this. And that’s great news for would-be runners whose busy schedules have kept them from starting to work out.

If you want to try running, you may want to check with your doctor first, especially if you haven’t exercised in quite some time.

When you’re ready to get started, taking a few precautions from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine could help you prevent injuries that are associated with running:

  • Don’t push yourself. Up your running distance gradually, and give yourself days to rest between workouts.
  • If possible, run on a smooth surface, such as a designated jogging trail. Avoid rough roads and, at first, hills.
  • Replace your shoes about every 500 miles.

For more tips on running safely, click here.

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Today’s Magical Moment at Children’s Village

“JJ was 9 months old when we first started going to CV and his speech therapist began teaching us sign language. He was lying on a mat and the therapist and I were talking when he looked over and was signing ‘more’ because he wanted the ball that had rolled away from him. I think I started to cry . . . he could communicate with us! He learned over 100 words and spoke sign exclusively for 1 ½ years of his life . . . and now at 14, he still uses it occasionally. Without the speech therapist his world would’ve been so much smaller!”

For more information on the wonderful services at Children’s Village visit

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Report: Parents Projected to Spend $245,340 to Raise a Child Born in 2013

Data shows lowest costs are in urban South and rural regions of the U.S., costs highest in urban Northeast

Courtesy USDA Office of Communications

WASHINGTON, August 18, 2014 – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its annual report, Expenditures on Children and Families, also known as the Cost of Raising a Child. The report shows that a middle-income family with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend about $245,340 ($304,480 adjusted for projected inflation*) for food, housing, childcare and education, and other child-rearing expenses up to age 18. Costs associated with pregnancy or expenses occurred after age 18, such as higher education, are not included.

While this represents an overall 1.8 percent increase from 2012, the percentages spent on each expenditure category remain the same. As in the past, the costs by location are lower in the urban South ($230,610) and rural ($193,590) regions of the country. Families in the urban Northeast incurred the highest costs to raise a child ($282,480).
“In today’s economy, it’s important to be prepared with as much information as possible when planning for the future,” said USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Under Secretary Kevin Concannon. “In addition to giving families with children an indication of expenses they might want to be prepared for, the report is a critical resource for state governments in determining child support guidelines and foster care payments.”

The report, issued annually, is based on data from the federal government’s Consumer Expenditure Survey, the most comprehensive source of information available on household expenditures. For the year 2013, annual child-rearing expenses per child for a middle-income, two-parent family ranged from $12,800 to $14,970, depending on the age of the child.

The report, developed by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), notes that family income affects child-rearing costs. A family earning less than $61,530 per year can expect to spend a total of $176,550 (in 2013 dollars) on a child from birth up to age 18. Middle-income** parents with an income between $61,530 and $106,540 can expect to spend $245,340; and a family earning more than $106,540 can expect to spend $407,820.

“Food is among the top three expenses in raising children,” said CNPP Executive Director Angela Tagtow. “Parents have the challenge of providing food that is not only healthful and delicious, but also affordable. We have great resources such as that features tips to help families serve nutritious and affordable meals. I encourage parents to check out our Healthy Eating On a Budget resources, 10-Tips Nutrition Series, recipes, and MyPlate Kids’ Place, which features digital games for kids to get engaged themselves in healthy eating.”

For middle-income families, housing costs are the single largest expenditure on a child, averaging 30 percent of the total cost. Child care and education was the second largest expense at 18 percent, followed by food, which accounted for 16 percent of the total cost.

“Variations by geographic region are marked when we look at housing, for example,” said study author and CNPP economist Mark Lino, Ph.D. “The average cost of housing for a child up to age 18 is $87,840 for a middle-income family in the urban West, compared to $66,240 in the urban South, and $70,200 in the urban Midwest. It’s interesting to note that other studies are showing that families are increasingly moving to these areas of the country with lower housing cost.”

In 1960, the first year the report was issued, a middle-income family could have expected to spend $25,230 ($198,560 in 2013 dollars) to raise a child until the age of 18. Housing was the largest child-rearing expense both then and now. Health care expenses for a child have doubled as a percentage of total child-rearing costs during that time. In addition, some common current-day costs, such as child care, were negligible in 1960.

Expenses per child decrease as a family has more children. Families with three or more children spend 22 percent less per child than families with two children. As families have more children, the children can share bedrooms, clothing and toys can be handed down to younger children, food can be purchased in larger and more economical quantities, and private schools or child care centers may offer sibling discounts.

The full report, Expenditures on Children by Families, 2013, is available on the web at In addition, families can enter the number and ages of their children to obtain an estimate of costs with a calculator via the interactive web version of the report.
# # #
Additional Materials Available:

•    Infographic:
•    Full Report:
•    Interactive Calculator:
The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, part of USDA’s Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services mission area, works to improve the health and well-being of Americans by developing and promoting dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers.
*Projected inflationary costs are estimated to average 2.4 percent per year. This estimate is calculated by averaging the rate of inflation over the past 20 years.
**For the purposes of this report, a middle-income family is defined as the middle third of the income distribution for a two-parent family with children.

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