Memorial Dietician Receives National Certification

Memorial registered dietician, Katie Wolff, recently received certification as a Certified Nutrition Support Clinician by the National Board of Nutrition Support Certification (NBNSC). The certification process requires a comprehensive written examination on nutrition support.

The NBNSC was established by the American Society for Parenteral & Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) in 1984 to administer certification programs in specialized nutrition support. A.S.P.E.N. is a multidisciplinary professional organization dedicated to improving nutrition support practice through education, research, and clinical excellence.

Medical-based nutrition can be provided either through a feeding tube (enteral nutrition) or, when the digestive tract cannot be used, through an intravenous tube called a catheter that is inserted directly into the veins (parenteral nutrition). The amount, type, and route of nutrition are tailored specifically to each patient with the goal being to improve patient outcomes, minimize infections, and allow patients to live their lives as normally as possible.

The development of standards of practice, clinical guidelines and the establishment of the NBNSC are efforts A.S.P.E.N has made to enhance delivery of safe and effective nutrition support for the protection of the public.

Memorial Hospital named in circulating scam letter

YAKIMA, WA– A fraudulent letter claiming to be from a patient at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital asking for help getting funds from a safety deposit box overseas is circulating throughout the community. Returned letters also show the communication may have been sent nationwide. Recipients are urged to disregard the letter and contact Memorial with any questions. If they have responded to the request, they are urged to contact the local police.
The letter is said to be written by a woman claiming to be a patient of Memorial Hospital with just months to live. The letter urges recipients to contact her lawyer to help her with a charitable donation, and that all donors will later be financially rewarded for their efforts.
This letter appear to be a scam. At this time it is unknown where the letter originated from, only that it contains false information.
If you have any questions please contact Memorial at 575-8000.

North Star Lodge Cancer Center and partners recruit 1000 patients into Phase I Clinical Trials

North Star Lodge Cancer Center is one of ten nationwide oncology centers participating in U.S. Oncology Research Network’s Phase I Clinical Trials program. The Research Network recently recruited the 1,000th patient into a Phase I clinical trial. North Star Lodge’s involvement reflects their commitment to bring innovative and comprehensive cancer care to Central Washington.

Phase I trials are the beginning of clinical trial work – testing ideas and theories that could go on to save lives or improve the quality of life for patients. Research conducted during the trials can play a crucial roll in the development of cancer therapies. In pharmaceutical trials, Phase I helps investigators understand how a drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized and eliminated in the body so toxicity can be closely monitored. The information is used to help bring the trial into Phase II, the next step in proving a new therapy’s value in cancer care. There are four stages in clinical trials. The FDA must approve a drug or treatment for it to enter Stage 4, and become an option in standardized care.

Phase I clinical trials present special challenges, including increased safety concerns, higher variability of patient disease, more complex trial designs, and some first-in-human trials. But they also offer patients a number of benefits.

“Clinical trials allow patients to take a more active role in their health care choices, gain earlier access to new drugs and treatments, obtain additional expert medical care, and help others by contributing to advancing medical knowledge and cancer research,” say Thomas Boyd, MD, board-certified oncologist on the medical staff at Memorial’s North Star Lodge Cancer Center. “They can offer oncology patients additional opportunities for therapy in these difficult diseases.”

Each oncology center dedicates specially trained Phase I certified research nurses (CRN) and pharmacists (CRP) to participate in the trial. The sites are required to have all necessary equipment and staff to conduct specialized Phase I trials. Data is reported to the Translational Oncology Program Committee at US Oncology Inc. for weekly discussions of new findings, dosing, patient safety and other topics to maintain trial quality and improve efficacy to move the trial to Phase II.

For more information about clinical trials at North Star Lodge Cancer Center visit

Memorial Offers Screenings to Prevent Vascular Disease

The Memorial Institute for Heart and Vascular Heath and Futura Health Screening are offering low-cost, painless, and accurate ultrasound screenings to check for blockages in the arteries and aneurysms. Early detection is the first line of defense against stroke and vascular disease.

Screenings offered include carotid artery ultrasound to detect stroke-causing plaque, abdominal aortic ultrasound to detect an aneurysm, and ankle brachial index (ABI) to detect peripheral arterial disease in the legs. Screenings are $45 each or $125 for all three.

An estimated 20 to 30 million Americans are at risk for various vascular diseases, including peripheral arterial disease (PAD), carotid artery disease, and aortic aneurysms. Most of these conditions have few, if any noticeable symptoms.
PAD occurs from atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque made up of fatty deposits and cholesterol builds along the walls of the arteries and blocks circulation to the arms and legs. According to the American Heart Association, about eight million people have PAD and these individuals are four to five times more likely to die of heart attacks and strokes as those without the disease.

Carotid artery disease occurs when atherosclerosis occurs along the walls of the carotid arteries. The carotid arteries run along either side of the neck and deliver blood from the heart to the brain and head. The buildup of plaques in these arteries blocks the blood supply to the brain and increases risk of stroke.
An aortic aneurysm is a swelling or bulge that weakens the walls of the aorta. A rupture to the aorta has an 80 percent fatality rate and the vast majority of people with aneurysms are never diagnosed until they experience a fatal rupture. If an aneurysm is detected and treated electively the risk of its fatality is much lower.

Screenings for these health risks allow for effective treatment and reduce the risk of fatality if detected early enough. It is an important health investment to screen for agents that cause stroke and vascular disease.

To schedule your screening, call (509) 249-5333 or (866) 486-4882. You can also take a personal risk assessment at

Memorial recognized for educating families on the importance of breastfeeding

Washington’s WithinReach program, together with the state Department of Health, recently recognized Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital’s Project Improvement Committee for it’s work in educating new mothers on the benefits of breastfeeding to improve both the child’s and mother’s health. All Committee members received a Certificate of Achievement Award for their “significant achievements to improve maternity care practices”.
The Committee worked throughout the last year in helping new mothers to be successful in breastfeeding by analyzing data from the hospital and implementing evidence-based maternity care practices. These practices include educating parents and staff on everything from how to hold a newborn while feeding to why breastfeeding is the healthiest and most cost effective choice.
Memorial’s Project Improvement Committee, which is comprised of 13 members, was formed last year after Memorial was chosen as the first hospital in the state to serve as a pilot project for implementing these new maternity care practices.
“Our low rates of breastfeeding and high rates of childhood obesity and our regional perinatal center status were some of the reasons why we were chosen,” says Karin Carlson, a Memorial registered nurse and committee member.
The Committee formed with the belief that breastfeeding is vital to the health and development of children in the community and plans to continue its work and generate more involvement in the project throughout the next year.
WithinReach is a private nonprofit organization that promotes improvements in maternal, child and family health through public education and awareness. The Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington is a program of WithinReach that works to protect and support breastfeeding as a vital part of the health and development of children and families.

Memorial trustee to serve on both state and national healthcare boards

Duane Rossman, past chairman and current member of the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees (BoT’s), has been appointed to the BoT’s for the Washington State Hospital Association. In addition, he was recently asked to serve as the regional representative for the American Hospital Association’s Committee on Governance.

The Washington State Hospital Association is a membership organization representing community hospitals and several health-related organizations. The association provides issues management and analysis, information surrounding health, advocacy and other services. The AHA’s Committee on Governance is one of four specialty committees of the AHA Board of Trustees. The COG, whose membership includes national hospital and health system leaders, is responsible for leading effective trustee involvement in grassroots advocacy and providing input into AHA’s policy development. Additionally the COG works to enhance communication with and involvement of trustees in the AHA and to provide advice on AHA’s trustee initiatives.

Rossman retired as the area General Manager of the Yakima/Moses Lake plants for the Weyerhaeuser Company in 2005. He is also currently a board member for Yakima Valley Imaging and Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences.

Safeway raises money for new equipment at ‘Ohana

On Friday, January 21 at 11:00 a.m., employees at the Nob Hill Safeway, 2204 W. Nob Hill Blvd, in Yakima, will present a check from all Safeway’s throughout the Yakima Valley, to The Memorial Foundation for the purchase of new breast ultrasound equipment at ‘Ohana, Memorial’s Mammography Center. The funds come from members of the community that added a small donation when tallying their grocery purchase as well as from employee payroll deductions and contributions. These combined contributions added up to $69,000 this year.

“We are so appreciative to Safeway for this generous gift and for ensuring that the money they raise stays right here to benefit our local community,” says Anne Caffery, President and CEO of The Memorial Foundation.

WHO: Safeway employees
WHAT: Presenting Check for $69,000 to ‘Ohana for new breast imaging equipment
WHEN: 11 a.m., Friday, January 21, 2011
WHERE: Nob Hill Safeway, 2204 W. Nob Hill Blvd, Yakima

The new equipment will allow much clearer imaging of the breast tissue, allowing physicians to better diagnose and treat breast cancers in denser breast tissue. This will allow for cancers to be found earlier, when there are more treatment options available.

Safeway has been a significant supporter of Breast Cancer awareness, prevention and treatment both at ‘Ohana and Memorial’s North Star Lodge Cancer Center. Support includes funding for equipment, Lymphedema garments, biopsies and follow-up treatment. In addition, Safeway has been a community partner and supporter of programs and services at Hospice, Cottage in the Meadow, the new hospice care facility to be built, Children’s Village and Children’s Miracle Network®. Since 2003, Safeway and its employees and customers, have contributed almost $575,000 to health programs and services in our community.