What a few patients are saying

We’re deeply committed to improving the health of those we serve with compassion and integrity. So when patients say we’ve cared for them as if they were members of our own family, we know we’ve been successful in helping them through their journey. We truly love and are thankful for our patients.

  • I know for me I can’t thank the entire staff at North Star enough, everyone working there was fantastic, and played a part in my recovery.


  • For me, my wife and family. She was a couple of weeks of giving birth to our daughter and she was with me in the hospital in Seattle for all 11 days I was there. From sunrise to well after sunset. Truly my hero. Also my sister, helped out so much when I got home. The rest of my family and friends and of course the people at North Star. Having severe claustrophobia and putting the mask on for my radiation treatments, they made it calm for me.-Joel

New Spine Technology Comes to Memorial for Improved Patient Safety and Accuracy

O-ArmThe O-Arm is an imaging device that captures 3-D images of the spine. When used alone, the O-Arm can detect misplaced implants and can immediately correct this before the patient wakes up from anesthesia and therefore avoid an additional operation.

The O-Arm is most valuable when utilized together with spine navigation technology. Images acquired with the O-Arm guide implant placement in real time and are accurate within 1 millimeter. This combination not only detects misplaced implants, but also helps eliminate misplaced implants altogether. The end result is improved accuracy of spine implant placement, patient safety and improved patient outcomes.

The O-Arm at Memorial is 1 of 500 in the United States, and the only one in Eastern Washington

Meet Local Miracle Mom Nichole Sanders – The Inspiration Behind the CMN Family Fishing Derby

fishingMy husband and I decided to host the 1st Annual Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN) Family Fishing Derby because we have been personally touched by CMN. Our son Andrew (Drew) Sanders was diagnosed in utero with Cardiomyopathy.

This being our first child, we were completely devastated and scared for his future as well as our own. We did not know what to expect and how severe his heart disease was. We were sent to the University of Washington and planned to deliver in Seattle so that our son could be transferred to Seattle Children’s Hospital for continued care. Due to some complications with my health, we had an unplanned induction a month early at the University of Washington (U of W).

On April 21, 2012 Andrew Jackson Sanders was born 6lbs 9oz. Absolutely perfect in our eyes, Drew was admitted to the NICU at U of W for 5 days and then transferred to Seattle Children’s for another seven days. Seattle Children’s provided us a private room and since the delivery was unplanned and a month early, they provided us with diapers, clothing and formula. The care and attentiveness we received was beyond words. Drew had a team of Cardiologists and underwent a wide range of tests to try and determine the extent of his condition.

Today, Drew is strong and full of life. Every two months Drew is seen at Children’s Village and every four months he is seen by the Heart Failure Team at Seattle Children’s. Drew is thriving and clinically presents no cardiac symptoms. He is followed closely locally as well as in Seattle and our fears, though still in the back of our minds, have been eased by the care and support from both facilities.

Without Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (Memorial is Central Washington’s CMN hospital) we may not have know about Drew’s condition or been able to treat it.
Every day we are reminded how blessed we are to have this resource. Our hope with the Fishing Derby is to raise money for CMN as well as bring awareness to the community. All proceeds donated through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals of Central Washington benefit local programs and services for Valley children at Memorial Hospital and Children’s Village.

Don’t miss it!

1st Annual Children’s Miracle Network Family Fishing Derby

Date: September 21st
Location: Zillah Lakes
Fishing: 10am – 2pm

$20 for adults
$15 for children 12-17
$10 for children 11 and below

Catch and Keep
No fishing licenses required
Food and drink vendors
Awards at 3pm
With a live performance by Odie Green

Lower your cancer risk with this whole grain fruit bar recipe

fruit barThis recipe was recommended by North Star’s Lena Gill, Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition. Recipe courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).





Whole-Grain Fruit Bars with the Super Crew®!


9 x 9-inch square pan or glass baking dish

1 large bowl

2 small bowls

Mixing spoon





Canola oil cooking spray

1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/3 cup canola oil

5 Tbsp. apple juice, divided

1/2 cup apricot jam or cherry jam (use all-fruit preserves, if possible)

1 package (7 oz.) dried apricots or dried tart cherries, chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray 9 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

In large bowl, mix together oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda until well combined.

In small bowl, whisk oil and 3 tablespoons juice together and pour over oat mixture, blending well until moist and crumbly. Reserve 3/4 cup for topping.

Press the remainder evenly into prepared pan.

In small bowl, blend jam with remaining 2 tablespoons apple juice.

Stir in dried fruit.

Spread evenly over crust.

Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over dried fruit, lightly pressing down with fingers.

Bake 35 minutes or until golden.

Cool in pan on wire rack.

Cut into bars.

Makes 16 bars.

Apricot option, per 1 bar serving: 162 calories, 5 g total fat ( 2 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 63 mg sodium.

Cottage As A Family Member

Last week, my mother-in-law entered the Cottage as a patient.  Her family care team includes ten of us, just counting her kids and their spouses.  We “took turns” watching over Mom and trying to keep her comfortable.  Still, we were exhausted, and we are all relieved for this wonderful hospice resource.  So is she; no mother wants her children to go through extended caretaking for her!

We hoped we would never need Cottage in the Meadow for Mom, but are we glad we have this option!   Each morning, we go in early and open the blinds to let in the sunshine.  We open a window and let in the soothing sound of running water from her very own waterfall, right beside her own patio.  She has access to a spa bathtub, which has restored her spirits tenfold.

I have been involved with the Cottage in the Meadow project since 2008, in every phase from planning to conducting tours of the building.    I can honestly say that entering the Cottage as a family member is very different from entering as a staff member.    It feels like I can just check my cares at the door and focus on visiting with Mom and our family.  No huge decisions to make and convey to the rest of the family, and I don’t have to be fully “on guard”.  The  best part is I can feel the care and concern from each staff and volunteer, not just for Mom, but for each of us in the family.

I have always been proud of Cottage in the Meadow.  Now I’m also just plain grateful.

You are what you eat

vegby Kim McCorquodale RD,CSO,CD – North Star Lodge

We have all heard this many times. But we also know “we are what are parents gave us,” meaning the genes we inherited. Well, now scientists are investigating how these 2 factors interact. The official term is “nutrigenomics.” This is the study of how our genes and what we eat interact to impact our health. In other words, specific nutrients in foods can change how our genes work. This in turn increases, or decreases, our risk for certain diseases.

This blog has already discussed the benefits of a plant-based diet, which is a diet high in fruits, veggies, and whole grains. These foods are full of antioxidants, phytochemicals and of course, vitamins and minerals. These are some of those compounds that can impact how your genes work. Let’s look at an example.

Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a phytochemical that can reduce cancer cell growth. Some people might have a certain gene that helps sulforaphane work better, so they would benefit most from eating lots of broccoli. Thus, your cancer risk goes down if you have this gene and eat lots of broccoli. Others might lack that gene, so they would benefit more by increasing intake of other healthy foods. Is broccoli not worth eating for them? Absolutely not! Scientists are just scraping the surface of this topic and will certainly discover more reasons to eat broccoli (sorry George W!).

To recap-

What your parents gave you (your genetic make-up) impacts how nutrients affect your risk for disease.

What you eat changes how your genes work, also impacting your risk for disease.

Remember- there’s no “magic bullet” food. I doubt scientists will ever know all the compounds in foods and how they interact. For now, work towards increasing those fruits, veggies, and whole grains, and you will certainly be healthier for doing so.