Stress less this holiday season

With the holidays right around the corner, here are some tips to reduce your holiday stress and focus on what’s really important—spending time with your family and friends. After all, this is supposed to be a season of peace, not pressure.

Carving out some downtime—whether it’s to recharge with a nap, take a walk or even play a game with your family—can make your holidays less stressful.

What else can you do to feel less tense this holiday season? Try these tips:

Prune your to-do list.
You don’t need to accept every invitation that comes your way or try to squeeze every holiday tradition into one or two days. Too many tasks or commitments can make the holidays seem like a marathon. Reserve time for what matters most. Lower your expectations a bit. A lot of us imagine picture-perfect holiday celebrations.
That’s a fantasy—and one that is almost certain to stress you out if you buy into it. It’s really OK if this year’s tree is a little lopsided. Focus on what truly gives the holidays their meaning: time spent with loved ones.

Don’t expect family tensions to magically disappear.
Be realistic about any strained relationship you might have with a family member. If the two of you haven’t gotten along for the rest of the year, chances are you won’t click now. One way to cope may be to limit the time you’re together.

Finally, resist overspending.
Make a budget, stick to it and think more about giving meaningful gifts rather than the price tag.

Sources: American Psychological Association; Mental Health Americ

Thank you Yakima…

The Memorial Family of Services relies on community support for many of its programs. Anne Caffery, president of The Memorial Foundation, appeared on KIT 1280 on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, to thank the Yakima community for its generous support and to highlight the Foundation’s philanthropic accomplishments and highlights in the past year and the year ahead.

In 2014, generous contributions to the Foundation enabled Memorial to:

  • Expand the Diabetes Initiative with diabetes prevention and diabetes education classes, offered both in English and Spanish.
  • Buy a new incubator for the NICU
  • Serve hundreds of families through our Transitions Program, offering palliative care for anyone with a life-limiting illness, and through our Hospice programs, including Cottage in the Meadow hospice home.
  • Continue to provide critical care for children with special needs at Children’s Village.

Last year, we took guidance from our Community Health Initiative – and from past patterns of requests – to determine areas of greatest need in our community. We are focusing our efforts on four major initiatives going forward.

The following shows the total dollar figure awarded by the Foundation for 2015 in each of those four major initiatives and a couple of highlights for each:

  • Improving Children’s Health – $716,873
    • Continued support for critical Children’s Village programs
    • Creation of a Pediatrics simulation lab and training center
  • Advancing Cancer Care – $242,400
    • North Star Lodge services, including support and education programs, pharmacy, dietary, rehabilitation services
    • Mammography scholarships for women in need
    • Creation of a survivorship program
  • Supporting End of Life – $233,000
    • Continued support for Cottage in the Meadow hospice home and the Transitions palliative care program, which we intend to grow in the future
    • Improved efforts for Hispanic/Latino outreach
  • Healthy Yakima – $769,538
    • Support for Alzheimer’s and dementia conference to better educate our community about this disease – both physicians and caregivers – and to provide vital support
    • Continued support of our ACT! program to address childhood obesity
  • General, Fundraising, Grants – $238,324

TOTAL = $2,200,135 – Total money allocated by The Memorial Foundation for 2015.

Thank you, Yakima!


Drink coffee, support Children’s Village

Dutch Bros. Coffee in Yakima is getting in the holiday spirit for children with special needs!

Dutch Bros. is sponsoring a toy drive on Friday, Dec. 5 for the Parent to Parent annual holiday festival at Children’s Village. For every toy you donate on Dec. 5, Dutch Bros. will give you a card good for a free coffee on your next visit.

Dutch Bros. also will be hosting “buck for kids day” on Dec. 5. For every drink sold that day, Dutch Bros. will donate $1 to Children’s Village.

Support the kids and visit Dutch Bros. Coffee at 6520 W. Nob Hill Blvd. in Yakima.

Children’s Village provides specialty services for children with special health care needs and their families. The toys are for the holiday festival for registered children and siblings. So swing by and donate a toy for the kids!

For more information, visit

Vein therapy in Yakima

Yakima Vascular Associates offers comprehensive, state-of-the-art care for vascular diseases and conditions.

The vascular system, or circulatory system, consists of the arteries and veins that carry blood throughout your body. At Yakima Vascular Associates, our mission is to provide comprehensive vascular care combined with the latest surgical procedures, advanced technology and personal service. We tailor treatment options to meet a patient’s individual needs. We offer screenings, educational seminars and minimally invasive endovascular care and open surgical treatments.

Our office is set up with you in mind — a convenient location in Yakima with a patient-friendly and comfortable environment. Our staff of knowledgeable professionals is available to make your surgical experience go as smoothly as possible.

Vascular disease can happen to anyone; however, research has identified factors that may increase your risk. These risk factors include:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • High cholesterol and lipid levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Older than age 50
  • Inherited genetic trait
  • Obesity
  • Elevated blood levels of homocysteine (an amino acid)
  • Heart disease
  • High-stress lifestyle

Our physicians are board-certified in vascular and general surgery and are specifically trained to treat diseases of the arteries and veins. Click here to meet our surgeons.

For more information on the services we provide click here or call 509-453-4614.

Thanksgiving travel: Drive smart, stay safe

Nov. 25, 2014—Whether you’re driving 5 minutes or 5 hours to Thanksgiving dinner this year, keep safety in mind.

The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel periods of the year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA). And more vehicles on the roads can mean more crashes. In fact, the National Safety Council estimates that 418 traffic fatalities and nearly 45,000 injuries will occur from car accidents between 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 26, and 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 30.

The No. 1 holiday travel safety tip? Buckle up

The NHSTA reports that 6 out of 10 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in crashes were not wearing their seat belts during the 2012 Thanksgiving weekend. Male drivers, younger drivers and those driving at night were less likely than others to buckle up.

Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to reduce the likelihood of getting seriously injured or killed during a car crash. According to the NHSTA, proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent and cuts the risk of moderate to serious injury in half.

This Thanksgiving, make it a policy for everyone to buckle up as soon as they get in the car. No matter what, don’t pull onto the road until you and your loved ones are all wearing your seat belts.

More ways to drive safely during the holiday

Buckling up is the most effective way to stay safe during the busy holiday travel period, but it’s not the only thing you should do. The American Red Cross provides tips for driving—and arriving—safely this Thanksgiving:

  • Check your vehicle before heading out. Fill up your gas tank and check the tire pressure and windshield wiper fluid. Clean your headlights, tail lights, signal lights and windows.
  • Be well-rested and alert. Make frequent stops to rest and avoid zoning out. If possible, rotate drivers.
  • Stick to the speed limit. Driving too fast or too slowly can increase your risk for a collision.
  • Be a defensive driver. Be respectful of others on the road, use caution when driving through work zones and don’t follow other vehicles too closely.
  • Ditch distractions. Avoid texting and driving.
  • Never drink and drive. Don’t drive impaired—ever. Designate a driver who won’t drink.

By taking simple precautions on the road, you can help make Thanksgiving safer—and happier—for the people you love and the drivers around you.


Digital mammography in Yakima

All mammograms start the same way—with an x-ray of the breast. But a newer type, called a digital mammogram, processes images differently. It records and stores images on a computer instead of on x-ray film.

Digital mammograms still require compressing the breasts to get good images. But according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), they have some advantages over film.

Viewing and sharing

After you have a mammogram, the images are analyzed by a specialist called a radiologist. With digital mammograms, the radiologist can adjust the images on the computer screen to get a better look. He or she can change the size, brightness or contrast to see certain areas more clearly. Some studies show that this reduces the number of women who need to return for extra tests.

If the radiologist wants to send the images to your doctor or show them to another specialist, this can easily be done electronically. Managing images this way is similar to how digital photos can be viewed and shared.

Both film and digital mammograms work well at finding breast cancer. However, several studies show that digital images may be more accurate in women younger than 50 and in women with dense breast tissue, reports the ACS.

Safe and effective

While all x-rays use radiation, the dose from both film and digital mammograms is very small. In fact, one mammogram delivers about the same amount of radiation as you would be exposed to flying on a commercial flight from New York to California.

If you only have access to film mammograms, don’t worry. Both types are very good at detecting breast changes early, when treatment works best.

According to the ACS, women should begin having yearly mammograms at age 40. To find out more, visit the ACS at

At ‘Ohana, Memorial’s Mammography Center, we offer a supportive and caring environment along with the most advanced digital technology available. Digital mammography allows us to provide our patients with the highest quality of care in the prevention and early detection of breast cancer.

Early detection remains a woman’s best defense in the battle against breast cancer. Like all cancers, breast cancer develops when abnormal cells in the body change and grow out of control. When problematic breast tissue cells are diagnosed early, the prognosis for cure is extremely high.

Although mammography services are the foundation of ‘Ohana, additional diagnostic and support services are offered in the same beautiful facility. ‘Ohana offers a communication linkage for women to access doctors, diagnosticians, counselors, and other health professionals.

Walk In Clinics

`Ohana offers walk-in clinic hours for screening mammograms on Fridays from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. No appointment in necessary—just bring the name of your primary care physician with you. Patients will be seen in the order of arrival. Spanish interpreters are available.

For more information or to schedule a mammogram call (509) 574-3863.

Vet to Vet

One of our  volunteer veterans made weekly home  visits to his assigned Transitions client (also a veteran) and continued to support him through  hospice care.  After the patient passed, he remained supportive to the family by following up  with military honors.  He even picked up the special military flag from the post office and hand delivered it to the family, assuring that the family received the folded remembrance flag from the military.

5 tips for shielding your skin from a dry winter

Nov. 24, 2014—Snowflakes. Hot chocolate. Holidays. There are many things to like about wintery days.

Itchy, dry skin is not one of them.

No wonder November has been designated Healthy Skin Month. The month before winter officially begins is a great time to start giving your skin the TLC it needs to get through the season.

Why does skin become dry in the winter? The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), gives some reasons:

  • Turning up the heat. That dries the air in your house, which in turn dries your skin. Dry skin is irritated skin.
  • Harsh winter winds. Wintry weather conditions can irritate your skin.
  • Wool and other warm fabrics. Rough fabrics, like wool, in your favorite mittens or blankets can just add to your skin’s irritation.

Winterize wisely

The AAD’s tips below can help you prevent—or relieve—the drying effects of winter:

  1. Moisturize. Choose an oil-based moisturizer. Ointments and creams are better choices than lotions. And the best time to moisturize is right after you’re done bathing.
  2. Say no to long, hot baths. Use warm water in the bath or shower. Excessive bathing can dry skin, so try to keep bathing time between 5 and 10 minutes.
  3. Be gentle. Avoid deodorant soaps and skin care products that contain fragrances or are alcohol-based. These can irritate dry, sensitive skin. Also, don’t scrub: Gently wash your skin. Softly pat yourself dry with a towel.
  4. Use a humidifier. For a large house, buy 2 or more. They don’t need to be expensive—they only need to add some indoor moisture.
  5. Wear sunscreen. The sun doesn’t disappear in winter. In fact, reflection from the snow can double the intensity of the sun’s rays. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher.

Get more tips to help your skin survive the winter and stay healthy from the AAD here.