The American Medical Association recently classified obesity as a disease

The American Medical Association recently classified obesity as a disease—meaning it requires medical treatment and prevention. In Yakima County, 31% of adults are considered obese compared to the state average of 26%. According to Dr. Michael Joyner, an exercise physiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, “One third of Americans are obese – and that’s on top of the one-third who are overweight. Obesity is more than just a matter of carrying around too much fat. The fat cells themselves we thought of for a long time as just warehouses for energy, but they also secrete chemicals, including chemicals that can cause inflammation, raise blood pressure and that down the road help harden the arteries.”
To read more about the AMA’s decision click here:

Dog Days or Crazy Summer Schedules — Your Health Matters!

I’ve heard it more this year than ever before, “We don’t have a free weekend until after Labor Day!”

Summer breaks serve a purpose: Time to refresh, relax and prepare our minds and bodies for what lies ahead. Between kids’ sports, weddings, family vacations and summer camps we are left with little time to sit back, put our feet up, and enjoy a cold beverage “on the rocks” (preferably water but we will save that article for later). Are we defeating the purpose? Can we have so much “fun” on our plates that we are increase our stress rather than reducing it? And how, with little to no free time, are we expected to fit in workouts and meal preparation?

First, don’t be afraid to say no. I realize this is a case where it is “easier said than done” but keep in mind, you will be a better (wife, father, daughter, friend, etc.) if you take time for yourself and do not stretch your time too thin. You do not have to attend every barbeque. If your kids don’t go to five summer camps, it is okay. On vacation, don’t fill each day with activities; instead, leave some “lounge time.” Children experience burnout just like adults. Limit their activities to the two or three they really enjoy and ensure there is some off-time in their schedules. All of this should be fun, not stressful.

When it comes to workouts, think short and intense vs. long and slow. Instead of running for an hour, do sprints for twenty minutes. When weight training, work in supersets or circuits by moving quickly between exercises with minimal rest periods. Do some “double duty” by working in plyometrics (think jump squats, burpees, and jumping jacks) while at the park with your kids or watching their sport practices. Make exercising a family activity by letting your kids bike beside you while you run, or ride on your back while hiking. Older children will love joining in your fitness routine as well. It’s never too early to teach them all the benefits exercise has to offer.

Nutrition is both tougher and easier during summer. Vacations, travel and outings with family and friends may be nutritionally challenging, but warmer weather also means lighter fare and busy schedules mean less boredom eating. This however is only true if you make sure to prep your food ahead of time. Have some free time on the weekend? Cook your proteins and carbohydrates, chop your vegetables, and portion your servings of healthy fats. This might include cooking chicken breasts, browning lean ground turkey breast, preparing brown rice and yams, chopping salad greens and celery sticks, bagging up almonds and measuring out your peanut butter. This way there are no excuses. When you leave the house, always pack one more meal than you think you will need, and on long car trips, take along items that do not need refrigeration (e.g., tuna cups, nuts, plain rice cakes, fruit, protein powders).

Will you have an ice cream cone? Probably! Will there be pizza nights or smores over the fire? I hope so! Just make sure these are “sometimes” events and not “all the time” events. Perfection is no fun, and it’s not worth having the body of your dreams if you cannot live in it. Just be mindful, enjoy in moderation, be active, and focus more on the company than the food.

I want you to live a little this summer, sit back and take time to breathe. Don’t let the summer go by and then ask yourself “where did that go?” You don’t need to spend hours in the gym, overload
your planner, or enroll your children in every activity under the sun. Sometimes the best summer days are spent together, with no plans, just enjoying each other and Mother Nature.

Lindsey Woodkey of Ellensburg is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor with
bachelors’ degrees in exercise science and nutrition from Central Washington University.

Comprehensive Drug Therapy Management

Our guests are Pharmacy residents Tara Kamprath and Angie Soken. They’ll be discussing their residency project that created a collaborative way to better manage the medications people with diabetes take. Here’s the blurb:

Memorial is constantly exploring creative ways to deliver quality, cost effective health care. A great example of this innovation is a project two of our pharmacy residents, Angie Soken and Tara Kamprath, have worked on the past six months.

Explain more about your project
• The Comprehensive Drug Therapy Management service provides pharmacists a unique opportunity to help patients through transitions of care, whether that be after discharge from the hospital with new medications or when a patient is newly diagnosed with a disease that requires extensive medication management. The goal of CDTM services is to integrate pharmacists into the primary care clinic setting which allows for a more collaborative team approach to optimize patient care goals.
• In order to prove the benefit of these services a small pilot, quality improvement study was needed, so we focused a particular group of patients initially.
• We worked with providers at Family Medicine of Yakima and identified their Medicare patients with type 2 diabetes who could benefit from this additional counseling.
• Our hope was that we would see improvements in disease management with this resource.

How did it work and how many patients did you see?
• We met with patients to review their medications and made follow up calls to them as needed.
• We met with 20 patients from the end of January to the beginning of April.

What services did you provide?
• Comprehensive drug therapy management services or CDTM included the following:
• Diabetes knowledge assessment
• Disease and medication focused education
• Medication therapy review
• Completion of personal medication records
• Development of medication-related self-management action plans or MAPs which empower patients to manage their own problems.
• I was able to provide medication assistance for patients who were having drug cost issues and helped patients utilize the resources available to them, such as obtaining nutrition education referrals.

What feedback did you get from patients and their doctors?
• Initial feedback within the clinic during project implementation was positive. Several providers heard positive reviews from their patients and this helped peak their interest in continuing the services.
• At the end of the pilot, the provider reviews were also positive and they hoped we will continue the service development and extend this to other patients.

How will you judge the success of the program?
Study outcomes initially focused on the efficacy of CDTM program implementation and efficacy of pharmacist intervention by describing the following:
• Patient and prescriber participation
• Actual and potential adverse drug events
• Patient and prescriber satisfaction
• Number and type of pharmacist-directed interventions implemented
• Medication compliance
• Differences in patient and provider medication lists

For more information go to

What Is Hospice? Part 1

Time and time again, as I work with family members of patients, I hear a similar sentiment: “I wish I would have known that hospice offered this or that benefit . . . we would have signed on sooner!”
It’s a statement that reminds me that not everyone knows about the many things hospice offers . . . or what we actually do.
In an effort to provide a better picture of what hospice is all about, the next few blogs will cover basic hospice information that you may find helpful—and hopeful.
What is Hospice?
Hospice is a program of care and support for patients and families who are faced with a terminal illness. Hospice helps terminally ill people live their best lives, as comfortably as possible. The focus is on comfort, not on curing an illness.
Who provides care?
A multi-disciplinary team of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, home health aides, bereavement specialists, and volunteers work together to address the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of each patient and family.
Where is Hospice?
Hospice is not a place or a location; it’s a healthcare option. The best “place” for hospice is the place that the patient calls “home.” Care can be delivered in private residences, nursing homes, assisted living and retirement communities and in hospitals.
What’s the Cottage in the Meadow?
Cottage in the Meadow is a wonderful, Medicare-approved hospice-care facility that addresses particular needs for the hospice patient.  It is not where a hospice patient typically moves to once admitted to hospice (because the best place for hospice is the place the patient calls “home”).
Hospice patients are usually admitted to the Cottage for one of these reasons:
a)      Symptom Management
The patient’s symptoms can’t be managed well at home and the patient needs to be admitted to this hospice-care facility until symptoms are managed.
b)      Respite
You can receive respite care if your usual caregiver (such as a family member) needs a rest. You can stay up to 5 days each time you receive respite care.

Car seats for young and pregnant moms

Memorial Hospital’s Childbirth Education program would like to thank Coordinated Care for their sponsorship of the car seats that are given out to our Young and Pregnant moms who complete their childbirth education classes. Yakima has the 3rd highest teen pregnancy rate in the state and it is important we reach as many pregnant teens as possible – and the car seats serve as an incentive for these teens to complete the class. Part of their education in the class is to have them watch a video on car seat safety and how to keep their baby riding safely in the car.

How can you help improve men’s health?

June is Men’s Health Month and the goal is to increase awareness of preventable health problems and promote early detection of treatable diseases in men. Did you know that in the last 10 years, 7 million men have not seen a doctor? And two thirds of men will not seek medical help when they are experiencing chest pain or shortness of breath—two early warning signs of a heart attack.

Did you know . . .
• Men live shorter lives with a lower average quality of life than women
• 50% of men will develop cancer in their lifetime
• 450,000 men will die of heart disease each year
• More than half of all premature deaths in men are preventable

This infographic from Nursing@Georgetown aims to highlight important health issues affecting men and provides a chart for when and how often doctors suggest that men take preventative tests that could save their lives.

Men's Health Infographic

Cancer Ride America Achieves Stardom

This morning I was interviewed by WEAR TV, Pensacola. I want to publicly thank Kyle Brinkman and Randy Wood for sending photographer John Finley and his lovely assistant D’atra out. And of course our friend Bob Gibbs again for arranging the interview. – See more at: More >>

Donate To Help Cancer Care in Yakima >>

Starting the end of May 2013 I will be riding around our great nation to raise funds for cancer research and treatment. Join me in supporting our cause… ALL donated funds go directly to The Memorial Foundation. My wife and I are funding the ride expenses.”

Yakima Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint Replacement surgery is one of the most common and successful operations in modern orthopaedic surgery. It involves replacing a destroyed or diseased joint with an artificial joint. In knee or hip replacement surgery, the artificial joint is made out of metal and plastic. Joint replacement in the hand usually uses silicone rubber or the patient’s own tissues,such as a portion of the tendon, to form the new joint.

Learn more about Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital’s Joint Advantage program >>

Cancer Ride America Pilots Ferry….Makes It To Florida!

Dateline Pensacola, Florida. Today was pretty mundane compared to the last couple of days. Your Intrepid Cancer Cure Rider took off for Florida. Yours Truly found it almost ironic, how I could finish going through Louisiana, cross Mississippi and Alabama, and end up in Florida, all in one day. And yet it took me a lifetime to get across Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas! I still maintain that you can see Seattle’s Space Needle from Texas.

More >>

Donate To Help Cancer Care in Yakima >>

Starting the end of May 2013 I will be riding around our great nation to raise funds for cancer research and treatment. Join me in supporting our cause… ALL donated funds go directly to The Memorial Foundation. My wife and I are funding the ride expenses.”