Children’s Village receives $900,000 federal grant

Children’s Village, a partnership of Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, The Memorial Foundation, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic and Comprehensive, has received a $900,000 federal grant – one of just 14 in the nation – to provide services to rural children with special health care needs and their families.

The Office of Rural Health Policy awarded the Rural Health Network Development grant under a program established to expand access to and improve coordination and delivery of essential health care services in rural areas. The grant, worth $300,000 per year for three years, was awarded in a competitive bid process.

The grant money will help Children’s Village build upon several innovative best practices, including family resource coordination to ensure children with special health care needs who live in rural areas are being represented and cared for under their health plans.

“This grant will help to ensure Children’s Village meets the needs of rural families across the Yakima Valley,” Children’s Village Executive Director Jackie McPhee said. “From improving the availability of developmental screening to boosting the number of skilled health care professionals, this money will go a long way to help provide needed services to children with special health care needs and their families.”

The grant will enable Children’s Village to continue efforts to provide universal developmental screening training to medical providers and child care centers and early intervention consultation to child care and early learning centers. Children’s Village also will provide training for allied health professionals, including student internships in occupational, speech and physical therapy, as well as counseling and nutrition. “These are areas where we lack skilled professionals, and these jobs are often harder to fill,” said Linda Sellsted, Children’s Village clinic manager. “We’ve learned from dental and medical residency programs that the students who do their training here, who see a snippet of the Yakima Valley, are more likely to stay here.”

Children’s Village is the only regional neurodevelopmental center in Central Washington, providing more than 30 different specialized services to children with special health care needs each year. Services offered include medical specialty clinics, developmental evaluations and collaborative diagnostic clinics, dental services, occupational, physical and speech therapy, mental health counseling, educational services, behavioral intervention and nurse home visiting programs. Children’s Village also offers a comprehensive parent and family support group called Parent to Parent.

In 2012, Children’s Village partners worked with some 40 other local, regional and state organizations to provide integrated care for more than 6,130 children with special health care needs in Central Washington.

Children’s Village will partner with health plans, Central Washington University, Heritage University, University of Washington, medical clinics, child care and early learning centers, Seattle Children’s Hospital and SignalHealth to implement the grant.

Bereavement Workshop

Kristi Messer and Shannon Dininny of Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital appeared on KIT 1280 on May 6, 2014, to discuss a new children’s bereavement workshop. As a young child, Kristi lost her own mother, and she has made helping other children through the death of a loved one a lifelong goal.

Do you know a child who is grieving the loss of a parent or other close loved one? Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is offering a hands-on workshop to help guide children ages 4-17 and their parents or guardians through the grief associated with death.

The workshop will provide an opportunity for children to express their feelings and thoughts through creative activities and meet others who have experienced a similar loss. While children are participating in activities to assist their recovery, parents and guardians will be involved in their own grief recovery program geared for adults.

Key points about grieving children:

  • Every kid grieves differently. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.
  • Can be feelings of anger, sadness, worry, relief, fear or numbness.

How a child or teen grieves varies depending on a number of factors:

  • what social support systems are available – family or friends
  • the circumstances of the death – how, when and where the person died
  • the nature of the relationship with the person who died – harmonious or conflicted
  • the child or teen’s involvement in the dying process
  • previous experiences with death

This workshop is intended to help children and teens work through these feelings and safely share them in a safe environment. Activities include writing, drawing, team-building and art.

This workshop will be held:

Sunday, May 18, 2014

12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Children’s Village, 3801 Kern Road, Yakima

Lunch will be provided for every family, and parents are encouraged to enjoy lunch with the children before the activities begin. This workshop is provided at no charge to participants.

For more information or to register, contact Jill Stewart at or 509-574-3669. Registrations will be accepted until May 16, 2014.

Antibiotics losing fight against common infections

Antibiotic resistance is not a threat of the future but a clear and present danger, according to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO).

As bacteria become resistant to once-effective medicines, common illnesses such as diarrhea, pneumonia and urinary tract infections become more difficult to treat—and potentially more deadly.

“Without urgent, coordinated action, the world is headed for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill,” said Keiji Fukuda, MD, MPH, assistant director-general for Health Security at WHO. “Effective antibiotics have been one of the pillars allowing us to live longer, live healthier and benefit from modern medicine.

“Unless we take significant actions to improve efforts to prevent infections and also change how we produce, prescribe and use antibiotics, the world will lose more and more of these global health goods and the implications will be devastating.”

According to WHO, resistance to common bacteria in many parts of the world has reached frightening levels. In some regions, few or no treatment options are available anymore for common infections.

The problem is rampant worldwide. In just the Americas, the two most important types of antibiotics used to treat E. coli—third-generation cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones—are not nearly as effective against that infection as they once were.

Third-generation cephalosporins also are losing effectiveness for treatment of a bacteria called Klebsiella pneumoniae that is well known in health care settings. The bacteria can cause pneumonia, infections of the bloodstream, wound or surgical site infections, and meningitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Klebsiella bacteria are normally found in human intestines and in human stool. Those most at risk for infections are ill patients on breathing machines (ventilators) or using intravenous catheters, and people who are on long-term antibiotic treatment, according to CDC.

Also in the Americas, as many as 90 percent of Staphylococcus aureus (staph) infections are resistant to treatment with methicillin. Staph have also become resistant to the antibiotic vancomycin.

Like Klebsiella, staph infections can be fatal when they occur in health care settings, according to CDC.

Coordinated efforts could help curb the problem, according to WHO. The general public can help by:

  • Preventing the spread of infections by practicing good hygiene
  • Getting recommended vaccinations
  • Using antibiotics only when, and exactly as, prescribed by a doctor
  • Never sharing antibiotics with other people or saving antibiotics for later use

Why are antibiotics losing their effectiveness? Find answers here.

The Benefits of Moving Throughout the Day

• Standing burns 1.5 more calories than sitting;

walking burns 3 to 5 times more calories

• Helps bring blood sugar (glucose) into the cells

• Prevents HDL cholesterol from dropping

• Lowers triglycerides

• Reduces stiffness

• Increases circulation (in the bloodstream

and the digestive tract)

• Keeps you alert and productive

• Longer life!

“Avocado People are Party People”

Kim McCorquodale RD, CSO

The quote above made me smile and caught my attention. It is from the Avocado Central web site that is full of an amazing amount of inspiration for using avocados. There are tabs for recipes, party tips, nutrition, and how to use them.  I have to admit, that growing up I did not like avocados. But my palette has learned to greatly enjoy them, and this may be partially sparked by the many nutrition benefits they provide.

Some things I learned include that 1/5th of an avocado provides 3 grams of monounsaturated fats, 2 grams of fiber, and  about 20 different vitamins and minerals in only 50 calories. They are what you’d call a “nutrient dense” food, meaning they give you lots of nutrients without extra “empty” calories. Avocados also help your body absorb fat soluble nutrients in foods that are eaten with them. We all know they are great in savory foods, such as guacamole, but have you tried adding them to desserts or smoothies? And with grilling season almost upon us try adding them to potato salad, mashing them and using as a condiment, or just plain grilling them. I have only skimmed the surface of the many ideas and recipes available on this web site. Visit there soon and start boosting your nutrition with avocados.

The Health Risks of Sitting all Day

(Courtesy of Health Management Administrators)

• People with sitting jobs have twice the rate of heart disease as those with standing jobs

• A person who sits 6+ hours per day is 40% likelier to die within 15 years than someone who sits less than 3, even if they exercise.

• Decreases levels of good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol)

• More fat is floating around the bloodstream (in the form of triglycerides)

• Increases weight gain and waistline

• Loss of muscle tone

• Increases risk of diabetes

• Higher levels of fatigue and depression

Manage Your Health

Dr. Ankur Rana and Dr. Anne Teerink of Pacific Crest Family Medicine appeared on KIT 1280 on April 29, 2014 to discuss health management. As rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases continue to be high in the Yakima Valley, we must pursue avenues of prevention and management to affect meaningful change in how these conditions impact people’s lives.

It’s about improving our health – and then maintaining it. But there are a few things we have to do first to be on the right path.

We need to take the initial steps to prevent a disease in the first place. We all know we need to be healthier, but these tips bear repeating:

  • Nutrition – Healthy eating means a diet rich with fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Your plate should be colorful.
  • Exercise – The average adult should get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, whether it’s a jog, playing tennis, or a walk around the neighborhood. If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll need more than that.
  • Quit smoking!
  • Get enough sleep – and remember that children and teens require more sleep than adults.

We also need to treat an existing illness or disease before it causes a significant problem.

  • Prevention of something more serious means taking medication you may need – an example would be taking a blood pressure pill to avoid a stroke.

o   You should be working with your physician to try to reduce your blood pressure, but in the meantime, take medication you need to prevent a more serious illness.


That being said, there may also be ways you can modify your lifestyle in place of medication.

  • Most often, this circles back to exercise!

o   People who are pre-diabetic with high blood sugar levels but no diagnosis of diabetes often take medication to prevent the onset of diabetes. Exercise can be just as effective.

o   People with heart disease who may have had bypass surgery or a stent – and don’t want to suffer a heart attack – often take drugs to lower their cholesterol. Exercise can be just as effective.

Staying healthy also means choosing the right primary care physician for you and your family.

  • The best way to make sure you’re getting excellent health care is to have a primary care physician with whom you can build a long-term relationship.
  • Different doctors specialize in different areas. It’s important to have a physician who can treat your specific needs. That means you may have a different doctor than your children do, or than your wife or husband.
  • Get regular checkups!


For more information, visit