Fill your cup with good expectations for 2016

12 31 15 New Year FireworksDec. 31, 2015—New Year’s Eve doesn’t have to be synonymous with drinking. You can toast the new year and have a great time without alcohol.

Staying away from alcohol at holiday celebrations can be a smart move. You’ll remember the night—and all the fun you have. Your thinking and decisions won’t be impaired. You’ll avoid unpleasant side effects that can bring down your New Year’s, such as dizziness, queasiness and that dreaded hangover.

Whether you’re a party goer or the host with the most, you have lots of options to start 2016 off right.

Fill your cup with good expectations

Alcohol is often seen as the key to a good time. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people drink alcohol in social situations because it:

  • Makes them feel more outgoing.
  • Loosens them up.
  • Makes them have more fun.

However, research shows that these expectations impact a person’s experience more than the actual alcohol. Basically, these partygoers have more fun because they expect to have more fun. If you expect to feel social and outgoing, you’re likely to feel that way—whether you drink alcohol or not.

When alcohol is present

If you attend a party with alcohol, there are ways to ensure a fun and safe time without drinking. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and other experts offer many tips for those looking to dial down the drinking. For instance:

  • Make it a well-balanced event. Don’t focus on the bar. Entertain yourself and others with music, games, food and lively conversation.
  • Take advantage of non-alcoholic drink choices. A fun, fruity drink always feels like a treat. And coffee and bottled water are always popular choices.
The take-home message
Problems with alcohol don’t take a holiday. If you’re unsure if you have a drinking problem, this quick quiz can help you figure it out.

If you’re ready to take steps to leading an alcohol-free life, talk to a doctor. He or she may be able to discuss possible treatment options.

In addition, you can get free information and treatment referrals over the phone. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a toll-free number. Call 800.622.HELP (800.622.4357) for help in English or Spanish. You can talk to a representative, request information or get a referral for treatment near you.


Poll: Many adults recognize being overweight but aren’t taking action

12 30 15 tape measureDec. 30, 2015—Many adults who think they’re overweight say they’d like to drop the pounds, according to a recent Gallup poll. But the results also showed that most are not making real efforts to lose weight.

Packing extra pounds carries some pretty serious health consequences. Among other problems, it brings an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

About the poll

Between 2011 and 2015, Gallup gathered information from nearly 5,000 adults from across the U.S. with a telephone survey.

According to the 2015 poll results:

  • On average, adults weighed more than they wanted to. Adults shared what they thought their ideal weight to be: on average, 183 pounds for men and 139 for women. In reality, the average self-reported actual weight was 196 pounds for men and 155 pounds for women.
  • 31 percent of adults thought they weighed at least 20 pounds too much. Of these, 90 percent said they want to lose weight. But just 48 percent said they are seriously trying to lose weight.

Combining averages from all years:

  • Less than a fifth of adults were at their ideal weight. Only 18 percent of adults reported being at their ideal weight. But overall, 48 percent said they were at or within 10 pounds of their perceived ideal.

Based on the last 5 years of the survey, many adults think they are overweight. But the number of people who are doing something about it has not been increasing during this time period, the pollsters reported.

No recommendations or medical observations came from the poll. However, it does suggest that many Americans aren’t managing their weight the way they’d like to.

The take-home message
Obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And more than a third of American adults are now obese.

For those who need to lose pounds, a loss of just 5 to 10 percent of their starting weight can be a big health boost, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Reaching a healthy weight lowers the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

Are you overweight—or obese? There’s no time like the present to begin a healthy journey toward weight management. Work with a healthcare provider to set small, specific goals that can add up to big benefits over time. For example, an attainable goal might be “walk 30 minutes a day on 5 days each week.”

Check out our Weight Management health topic center to learn more about reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.


The top health stories of 2015

Dec. 29, 2015—From hot dogs to high heels, 2015 delivered a lot of interesting health news.

While there were many leading headlines in health, here are a few that got some of the most attention from our readers in 2015. If you missed any of them, take the time to check them out—soon they’ll be last year’s news!

1. Eating certain meats causes cancer, report finds. Is that hot dog going to make you sick? Find out what kinds of meat the World Health Organization tagged as cancerous.

2. Anxiety affects millions of careers. Do you feel stressed on the job? This story reveals just how common that feeling may be.

3. Melanoma cases double in 30 years. Find out what steps you can take to protect yourself against the most deadly form of skin cancer.

4. Your kitchen towel may be a comfy home for germs. You dry your dishes with it. You wipe your hands on it. But what might be living on it?

5. Not so sweet: Sugary drinks kill 184,000 a year. You may want to reach for a big glass of water after reading about the global health effects of sugar-sweetened beverages.

6. Sleeping in car seats can be deadly. Learn how to provide a safe sleeping environment for your baby—and why a car seat can be a napping no-no.

7. High heels, higher injury risk. Dressing up feet may be pretty, but sometimes it’s dangerous. A report shows how a number of injuries related to wearing high heels has increased.


Cruisin Coffee raising money for The Memorial Foundation on Dec. 17

Hot Coffee and Kickin’ Country benefit a Great Cause

Grab a coffee and donate to The Memorial Foundation tomorrow morning (THURSDAY) at the Cruisin Coffee at 32nd and West Nob Hill Blvd.

Coastal Farm & Ranch of Yakima will match public donations up to $1,000, and all proceeds go to The Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Memorial Family of Services.

You can’t miss Cruisin Coffee. They’ll be the ones with DJ’s from 92.9 The Bull out front broadcasting the morning show.


Allan Bros. employees have big hearts for Children’s Village

Staff at Children’s Village were overwhelmed with gratitude in December!  The generous employees of Allan Bros. held a toy drive for Parent to Parent’s annual holiday festival at Children’s Village.  A literal ‘truck load’ of stuffed animals, cars, trucks, tractors, dolls, books (and so much more!), completely filled Parent to Parent office! Staff at Children’s Village were in tears and were moved by the amount of toys donated for the kids.  On behalf of families  served at Children’s Village, we are appreciative for the employees at Allan Bros. and their giving spirit!

The toys were given as gifts to the little Villagers, many specifically chosen to complement individual therapy tools, enabling therapy practice between visits to the Village!


Yakima Hip Replacement

When hip pain limits your ability to do what you want to, it’s time to consider hip replacement. Over the past 40 years, total hip replacement surgery has been proven to relieve severe hip pain and restore function in the vast majority of patients. By replacing your diseased or injured hip with an artificial joint, replacement surgery can relieve your discomfort and help you get back to enjoying normal, everyday activities.

Learn More >>

Exceptional Cancer Treatment in Yakima

Traveling away from your own community for cancer treatment can be expensive, exhausting and complicated.  Accommodations and appointments are difficult to organize and many patients are feeling their most vulnerable during this time and need to focus on their health. Being in familiar surroundings near family is an important part of emotional well-being and improves one’s ability to cope with the stress of cancer. 

At North Star Lodge, our goal is to make every patient’s journey with cancer as stress free as possible.  Our medical specialists, support services, radiation and chemotherapy treatment equipment, laboratory and pharmacy services, are located under one roof.  North Star Lodge is one of the only outpatient cancer treatment facilities in Central Washington with this unique and all-encompassing approach.   Nobody should have to leave their community for exceptional cancer treatment, its right here, in Yakima.

Memorial hosts screening of the documentary film “PlantPure Nation,” Dec. 9

Memorial hosts screening of the documentary film “PlantPure Nation,” Dec. 9

A new grass-roots movement has a goal nothing short of a world filled with healthy people and strong communities by promoting the importance of plant-based nutrition.

The new film “PlantPure Nation” tells the story of three people on a quest to spread the message of one of the most important health breakthroughs of all time. And Memorial Family of Services, the Yakima Food Cooperative and Vegetarians of Yakima would like to share that message with the public at a free screening of the movie on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

A movement toward a vegetarian diet must grow from the grass-roots, the food documentary says.

“PlantPure Nation” makes a case for not relying on the medical establishment or the government to spread the word about the evidence that eating whole, plant-based food is the key to good health. Instead it’s up to those of us who know the benefits of vegetarian food to start a nationwide health revolution.

The film stars renowned Cornell University biochemist T. Colin Campbell and his oldest son, Nelson Campbell.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. There will be two showings, 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., at the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital auditorium, 2811 Tieton Drive.

For more information on the screening, contact Kate Gottlieb at 509-225-3179. Find out more about the film at


Yakima Infusion

Memorial’s Infusion Care Team provides skilled expertise and education in the areas of IV, pharmacy and nutrition to maximize a patient’s quality of life in Yakima.

Infusion therapies include:

  • Total parenteral (e.g., intravenous) nutrition.
  • Enteral nutrition therapy (e.g. oral or tube feedings).
  • Hydration therapy.
  • IV antibiotics.
  • Pain management.
  • Heparin.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Other medications.

The Holidays and Cancer Treatment

Family celebrations are often based on tradition, however cancer treatment may change the way your family chooses to enjoy the holidays.  Take time to discuss your plans in advance and be prepared to make changes for a stress-free season.

  • Be realistic about your abilities. Doctor appointments, side effects from medications and fatigue may change the activities you would normally participate in.  Choose a few meaningful occasions to attend rather than use your energy to go to every event.
  • Change tradition. Talk to your family about switching hosting roles or locations to ease the burden of planning and organizing.  Consider catering a meal or eating at a restaurant rather than preparing a large holiday meal.
  • Talk about your expectations and what the holidays mean to you. Simply spending time together may be more meaningful than elaborate activities and decorations.
  • Look to the future rather than thinking about the way things used to be. Create opportunities for extended family to share their traditions with you and celebrate in new ways.

North Star Lodge offers a wide range of programs and support services to make sure all patients and families have the resources they need to continue normal life and routine as much as possible.   Learn more at