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If you’re a woman, perhaps one of the most important things you need to know about heart disease is this: You don’t need gray hair to get it—or die from it.
It’s true that a woman’s risk of heart disease increases with age. In fact, heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for American women 65 and older.
However, the disease is also the second leading cause of death among women 45 to 64 years old and the third among women 35 to 44 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
That’s why it’s crucial to protect your heart no matter how many birthdays you’ve celebrated. CDC and the American Heart Association recommend that you:
Choose a heart-healthy diet. Eat mostly fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and whole-grain foods, such as brown rice and whole-grain breads. Heart-smart protein options include lean meats, fish and beans.
Try to limit the overall amount of fat in your foods and replace saturated and trans fats (like butter or partially hydrogenated oils) with healthy oils, like olive and canola. Also, pay attention to portion size.
Move more. Most adults need to do at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) every week, along with strengthening exercises that work all the major muscle groups two or more days a week.
Make it personal. Talk with your doctor about specific risk factors—such as having diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol—that can raise your risk of developing heart disease and what you can do to lower your risk.
Keep track of your heart health and learn what your test results mean by clicking on the link to our free booklet, Know Your Numbers.
Did you know?In Yakima County:
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the United States. More people die of sudden cardiac death in the U.S. than of breast cancer, prostate cancer, homicides and traffic deaths combined.
The Yakima Heart Center and Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital are working together to address cardiovascular disease in our community through education, prevention, early diagnosis and cardiac rehabilitation.
Nov. 16, 2014—From the grocery store to your kitchen table, what you eat is a major player in diabetes control and prevention. November is National Diabetes Month, so it’s a great time to dish up some nutrition know-how.
If you have type 2 diabetes, choosing the right foods in the right amounts may help you manage the disease and protect against related complications, such as heart disease and stroke. And even if you don’t have diabetes, eating right to manage your weight may help reduce your risk of developing the disease.
Boost control with superfoods
If you’re rethinking your nutrition, check out this infographic to find an assortment of power-packed foods to rev up your healthy eating plan. These diabetes-friendly foods contain key nutrients and sport a low glycemic index, which helps with blood sugar control.
|The Memorial Calendar
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Nov. 14, 2014—Want to know if your children will have weight problems in high school? Their weight in 5th grade could offer a good clue, according to a study in the journal Pediatrics. Researchers found that kids who were overweight or obese in 5th grade tended to be overweight or obese in 10th grade as well.
About the study
Researchers measured the body mass indexes (BMIs) of nearly 4,000 children when they were in 5th grade and again in 10th grade. They also measured the BMI of one parent per child at the same time. They found that:
Researchers also interviewed children and their parents to determine factors that could potentially play a role in obesity. They found that 5th graders who were overweight were more likely to become obese if they watched too much television or had an obese parent.
Researchers noted that these findings reinforce the idea that childhood obesity should be addressed early, since younger children tend to be more receptive to healthy interventions than older ones.
To learn more, read the study at the journal’s website.
|The take-home message|
|Childhood obesity is the top health concern among U.S. parents, and for good reason. The American Heart Association says overweight kids have an 80 percent chance of staying overweight for their entire lives, putting them at risk for negative long-term health problems like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer and osteoarthritis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a BMI calculator specifically designed to measure the BMIs of children ages 2 through 19. If your child is overweight or obese, there are several ways you can help him or her achieve a healthier weight:
Accreditation honors Memorial for quality care in 4 areas:
heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care
YAKIMA — Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital has been recognized as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® for 2013 by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditation entity of health care organizations in the United States.
The announcement recognizes Memorial as a top performer in four areas: heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care.
“It is a testament to our exemplary physicians and staff at Memorial to be recognized as a Top Performer by The Joint Commission,” Memorial CEO Russ Myers says. “To be specifically recognized in the areas of heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care speaks to the dedication that each and every employee places on ensuring safe, high-quality care for our patients and visitors.”
The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 20,500 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including hospitals and health care organizations that provide ambulatory and office-based surgery, behavioral health, home care, laboratory and nursing home services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.
The Top Performer program supports health care organizations in their quest to improve programs and service to patients. The program is based on data reported in the previous year about evidence-based clinical processes that are shown to be the best treatments for certain conditions, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care, children’s asthma, inpatient psychiatric services, stroke and immunization.
The results, released Thursday in The Joint Commission’s 2014 annual report, “America’s Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety,” are based on data reported by more than 3,300 Joint Commission accredited hospitals in 2013. Overall, the Joint Commission recognized 1,224 hospitals across the country with the 2013 Top Performer distinction. Memorial is one of 17 Washington state hospitals so recognized, and one of just nine in the state recognized in more than three clinical areas.
The full report can be found here: jointcommission.new-media-release.com/2014_annualreport/.
Nov. 13, 2014—Many women are not getting screened for cervical cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s concerning given the importance of the screening: It can allow doctors to detect abnormal cells before they turn into cancer and give women the opportunity to take steps to potentially prevent the disease.
About the study
CDC researchers reviewed national health data to determine the number of women who hadn’t been screened for cervical cancer in the past 5 years. They also analyzed cervical cancer cases and deaths that occurred between 2007 and 2011.
While rates of cervical cancer dropped by around 2 percent, other findings were less encouraging:
The numbers suggest that too many women are missing opportunities for cervical cancer screenings, which can help reduce the number of cervical cancer cases and deaths. According to CDC, more than half of all new cervical cancers occur in women who have never been screened or haven’t been screened in the last 5 years. You can read CDC’s findings here.
|The take-home message|
|All women are at risk for cervical cancer, and getting tested can save lives. It’s essential for women to learn about their screening options and get the test that’s right for them:
Health insurance plans that started on or after Sept. 23, 2010, are required to cover recommended cervical cancer screening tests—usually at no cost to you. If you don’t have health insurance, you can find a plan at www.healthcare.gov. Open enrollment starts Nov. 15, 2014.
In addition to cervical cancer screening, another good way to prevent cervical cancer is to get an HPV vaccine. Giving girls and boys ages 11 and 12 an HPV vaccine offers them the best protection against the HPV virus. Doing so can also help reduce a girl’s risk for developing cervical cancer later in life.
Read on to learn more about what you can do to identify and reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer.
Nov. 12, 2014—This November, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is recognizing National Diabetes Month and urging Americans to take steps to reduce their risk of developing the disease. It’s also a time for those who have the disease to guard against related complications.
People with diabetes are nearly 2 times more likely than those without it to die from heart disease, according to the NIH. They are also more vulnerable to serious kidney, eye and nerve diseases.
More than 29 million Americans have diabetes. And another 86 million or more are on the verge of getting it: Their blood sugar levels are abnormally high but not yet elevated enough for an actual diagnosis of diabetes. This condition is known as prediabetes.
There are 3 types of diabetes:
If you have diabetes
If you’ve already been diagnosed with diabetes, the National Diabetes Education Program encourages following the diabetes ABCs—steps to reduce your risk of diabetes complications. The ABCs stand for:
Ask your doctor what your ABC goals should be and how to reach them.
If you have prediabetes
The number of Americans living with type 2 diabetes is growing, along with rates of obesity nationwide, according to the NIH. Still, there’s good news: This disease can be prevented. According to the director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, research funded by them shows people with prediabetes who lose just a modest amount of weight—about 15 pounds—may reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 58 percent.
If you don’t have diabetes
Even if you don’t have diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends doing your best to stay at a healthy weight, eat well and be active—3 safeguards that can prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes. It is also beneficial to understand your risk factors for developing the disease. This assessment can help you determine if you are at risk of type 2 diabetes.
Currently, Memorial Hospice cares for fifteen veterans. Staff delivered special service pins and “Welcome Home Vietnam” pins yesterday to all of our veterans. Cali Hunn, a social worker, said her veteran was overwhelmed and thrilled. He pinned it on his pajamas and said “I’ve never seen anything like this – thank you so much – it means so much to me – I won’t ever take it off.”
Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital and Virginia Mason Health System announced that their respective governing boards have signed a Letter of Intent to pursue a formal affiliation. The announcement signals that the two organizations will work exclusively to determine how and if a partnership might benefit both communities. Memorial CEO Russ Myers appeared on KIT 1280 on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, to talk more about that agreement and what it means for the Yakima Valley.
Why is Memorial considering a partnership with a larger health care organization?
Partnerships in health care are occurring across the country as a way to improve service, lower costs and respond to health care reform. Our purpose is to provide the best care for our community – to inspire people to thrive. That means we need to consider options that allow us to improve the health of our population, improve the patient experience of care – including quality and satisfaction – and reduce the per capita cost of health care.
We view a partnership as an opportunity for Memorial Family of Services and Virginia Mason Health System to transform health care in the Yakima Valley and create a broader network of care that better serves both organizations’ communities.
Why Virginia Mason?
Memorial and Virginia Mason, both not-for-profit health care providers, share similar values and cultures and a commitment to innovation that can improve quality, safety and the total patient experience.
How might a partnership change how health care is delivered here?
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 and advance physician recruitment. Such a partnership also ensures that state-of-the-art medicine continues in this community.
There are some areas – for instance, rheumatology – where specialists are in high demand and we have difficulty recruiting them to Yakima. This may present an opportunity to bring VM specialists here to provide these services. A partnership also could streamline the process for patients who simply must go to the west side for certain services.
How much local control will Memorial retain in a partnership?
The Letter of Intent identifies two potential boards. Memorial will retain a local governing board to carry out governance responsibilities at Memorial, with a majority of members appointed locally and some representatives appointed by Virginia Mason Health System. There also will be a Virginia Mason Health System board, with a limited number of board members who reside in the greater Yakima area.
It’s important to note, also, that The Memorial Foundation will retain its board and remain a separate non-profit entity. Money raised by the Foundation will remain in this local community, for local services and programs.
What’s the next step?
Memorial and Virginia Mason now enter a period of due diligence – basically, a deeper dive into the operations of each system to see how they might best align. We expect that process to take 4-6 months.
In the meantime, our focus does not change: delivering the best care to patients and families.