Compassionate care at North Star Lodge

Occasionally we receive letters of appreciation from our patients and family members here at North Star Lodge.  While recovery rates have improved dramatically over the past century we are still reminded that not all survive this insidious disease.  It can be devastating for the family and staff who treat these patients.  There is no doubt, that this work is not for the faint of heart but instead, very bold, dedicated and compassionate professionals.   Special thanks to Vicki Maling who took the time to share this touching letter with us regarding her husband’s care here at North Star Lodge.   We share this letter with Vicki’s full consent.

August 9, 2011


To:                  North Star Lodge Staff

Regarding:    Garry R. Maling


Even though his time with North Star Lodge was short, the amount and quality of care he received was tremendous.  His first appointment was on May 31, 2011 and he passed away on July 29, 2011. 

From his very first contact with the staff, he felt he was in the care of people who truly cared about him and his treatment.  He was always treated with care, respect and especially compassion.

Please thank everyone on staff as he was seen and cared for by many people with tremendous compassion.  Enclosed are some donations in his name.

Thank you for providing such a wonderful cancer treatment center as North Star Lodge.  Even though it was during a very difficult time, I will never forget our time spent there and the wonderful staff.  They all made the difficult time easier to cope with for Garry and myself


Vicki Maling

Memorial Hospital street closures

Memorial Hospital poised to start street closures
By Mark Morey
Yakima Herald-Republic

YAKIMA, Wash. — Street closures tied to the future expansion of Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital are expected to take effect by late this year, changing the traffic pattern in one of the city’s central neighborhoods.

The closures are part of a 30-year development plan for Memorial that the City Council approved in January, although construction of new buildings isn’t expected to start for another five to 10 years.


If you’re a teen mom you can make it!

Dear Reader,
My goal for one year is to prove my family wrong. My parents thought that since I got pregnant and had a child I wouldn’t be able to accomplish school and go to college. I hope to pass all my classes and have better attendance. I will try to do all my work and come to school every day. If you are pregnant or have kids, and if your family tells you, “you won’t make it,” don’t believe them. You can do it! Keep trying and don’t give up!
Sincerely, Elizabeth

Actively Promoting Wellness

By Carli Hill RD, CSO, CD

Diet and nutrition play important roles in cancer prevention and survivorship, but physical activity shouldn’t be forgotten. There is strong evidence that physical activity can reduce the risk of colon and breast cancers. Additional links have been found between physical activity and the reduction of prostate, lung, and endometrial cancers.

Physical activity actually does quite a bit to put our bodies on the right track. Here are some of the ways physical activity helps reduce the risk of cancer:

  • It helps lower estrogen levels, reducing breast cancer risk
  • It changes digestive acids and other substances, leading to lowered colon cancer risk
  • It helps lower body fat, insulin, and other growth factors
  • It helps reduce inflammation
  • It may even improve DNA repair

Not only does physical activity help prevent cancer, but it also can improve quality of life, reduce fatigue, relieve anxiety, improve sleep quality, lessen the side effects of cancer treatment, and reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.  The AICR recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate activity each day. They define moderate activity as “anything that gets your heart beating a bit faster and makes you breathe more deeply – like brisk walking.” (AICR) But don’t fret if you don’t feel that you have 30 minutes at a time to spare. You will reap the benefits of physical activity whether you exercise all at once or get in three, 10 minute sessions throughout the day.  As you become more accustomed to physical activity try increasing the intensity of your activity, or spend more time being active each day to get the most benefit.

Some ideas for incorporating moderate activity into your day are:

  • Hiking
  • Dancing
  • Light gardening
  • Stretching
  • Bicycling

What are some activities you enjoy?

Yakima Part-Time Jobs

Parent to Parent Position Opening!


Would you like to become a member of the Parent to Parent team!?


Parent to Parent is currently hiring for a part time staff person that would assist with program activities.

Parent to Parent plans activities for kids with special needs and their families including:


  • Social and recreational activities through the one 2 one program
  • Sibling support through Sibshops
  • Parent support group meetings like Valley Parents, Autism support, and Holland
  • Family social events such as Eggstravaganza and the Holiday Festival


If you are passionate about supporting, including, and celebrating kids with special needs and their families,

I encourage you to apply!

Helping Yakima Families

Facilitator Training

Comprehensive Mental Health will be hosting a 5-day Facilitator Training this fall for individuals interested in becoming a facilitator for our Strong Families – Familias Fuertes program. We are particularly interested in recruiting new male and bi-lingual facilitators, but all applications will be accepted. The training will be held at Comprehensive’s Yakima Center on October 10-14, 2011. See attached application for more details.

If you are not interested, but know someone who may be, please feel free to forward this information to them. If you have any questions about the Strong Families program or the facilitator training, please contact Jim Pinnell at 573-3607 or or click here for an application.

Contact Comprehensive Mental Health on 509-576-4319 to register.