July is UV awareness month.

Central Washington is known for an abundance of sunshine that lifts the spirit and encourages outdoor activity.  Research shows that daily exposure to sunlight is important for proper absorption of vitamin D. However, overexposure to damaging Ultra Violet rays from the sun can put you at risk for multiple health concerns from skin damage in the form of dryness, sun spots and wrinkles, to melanoma; the deadliest form of skin cancer.

How much do you know about UV safety?  Take the “Fact or Fiction?” quiz below.

  1. There is no risk free way to get a tan (unless you use a self-tanning product).
  • FACT:  In the past, society associated health and vibrancy with tanned skin, however a tan is a form of damage to the skin and a risk to your health.  If you are outside for more than a few minutes, you should take steps to protect your skin.  Remember, tanning bed lights are just as damaging as UV rays from the sun.
  1. I don’t need to worry about skin cancer because I don’t get sunburned.
  • FICTION:  Even occasional over-exposure to UV rays will increase your risk of melanoma cancer. The sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., you should limit your sun exposure during these hours.
  1. Sunscreen should be applied to babies as soon as they are born.
  • FICTION:  Most pediatricians recommend waiting to apply sunscreen until babies are at least six months old because the chemicals used may be too harsh for baby’s sensitive skin.  Keep baby safely in the shade or dressed in protective clothing including a face shading hat.
  1. You only have to worry about sun damage in the summer.
  • FICTION:  Ultra violet rays are the same year round and can cause the same damage.  It is more likely to have exposed skin when the temperature is warmer.
  1. Red haired people with freckles and blue eyes are most likely to develop skin cancer.
  • Fact: In general, fair-skinned people with freckles, those with light colored hair and those with light colored eyes burn the easiest.  The damage from burning puts them most at risk for developing skin cancer or other long-term effects of UV exposure.
  1. Using a higher Sun Protection Factor (SPF) sunscreen offers more protection from the sun.
  • FACT:  However, SPF is an approximate way to measure a sunscreens ability to prevent UVB damage.  For example SPF 15 will block 93% of UVB rays and SPF of 50 will block 98% so a significantly higher SPF doesn’t equate to significantly higher protection.  It is best to use water-resistant broad spectrum sunscreen to protect against both UVA and UVB rays.  All sunscreens should be reapplied every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
  1. You must have exposure to the sun in order to get Vitamin D.
  • FICTION:  You don’t need to increase your risk of sun cancer to get Vitamin D.  Most of the required amounts of Vitamin D can be found in fortified milk, cheeses and yogurt, fortified cereal, and oily fish like salmon and tuna. Small amounts of sun exposure in your daily life will make up the rest of the need.
  1. Certain medications can increase your sensitivity to the sun.
  • FACT:  Some common medications are photosensitive, causing an allergic reaction such as rashes and other unpleasant skin conditions. Photosensitivity can also make you more prone to sunburn and a reaction may not be evident until several hours after exposure.  Talk to your physician or pharmacist to see if your medications may put you at risk and enjoy the sunlight from a shaded viewpoint.
  1. The only reason people wear sunglasses is to look cool.
  • FICTION:   Strong sunlight and UV rays can damage your eyes and the sensitive skin surrounding them. Check to see if your favorite shades block both glare and UV rays.  Consider wearing wraparound sunglasses as they offer the most protection as well as look cool.
  1. The best way to protect your skin outside is wearing long sleeved shirt and pants, a broad brimmed hat, wraparound sunglasses and SPF 15 (or more) broad spectrum sunscreen on any exposed areas.
  • FACT!


Virginia Mason Memorial hosts Baldrige Examiner Training Class in 2017

YAKIMA— In partnership with local leaders, Performance Excellence Northwest (PENW) offers Examiner Training in communities across the Pacific Northwest to bring information, resources, knowledge, and best practices to organizations, communities and the region. Participants in this training class will experience a one-of-a-kind professional development and networking opportunity, and the chance to make a meaningful contribution to their organization’s improvement.

When: July 25-26
Where: Virginia Mason Memorial’s 16th Avenue Campus, 1470 N 16th Ave, Yakima, WA 98902
Cost: $300

Join us and become leader in service to your organization, your community and your country.

For information on the 2017 Examiner Training Schedule and to register visit performanceexcellencenw.org

About Performance Excellence NW
PENW educates organizations in performance excellence management and administers the only state awards and recognition program for performance excellence in the Pacific Northwest (WA, OR, ID). We partner with Pacific Northwest organizations dedicated to improving their performance. Our main areas of focus are:

• Helping organizations achieve best-in-class levels of performance,
• Identifying and recognizing role-model organizations, and,
• Identifying and sharing best management practices, principles, and strategies.

PENW recognizes and awards organizations that have demonstrated exceptional performance excellence. These organizations are seen as models for organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest and the nation who seek outstanding results.

About the Baldrige Program
The Baldrige Program is the nation’s public-private partnership dedicated to performance excellence.

The Baldrige Program
• Raises awareness about the importance of performance excellence in driving the U.S. and global economy
• Provides organizational assessment tools and criteria
• Educates leaders in businesses, schools, health care organizations, and government and nonprofit agencies about the practices of best-in-class organizations
• Recognizes national role models and honors them with the only Presidential Award for performance excellence

Learn more at nist.gov/Baldrige


Are you struggling to cope with breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery?

Are you struggling to cope with breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery?  Do you wish you could talk to experts about your challenges and share with others who may feel the same way?  The June 14th Breast Cancer Support Group meeting will focus on options and successful strategies that may help you learn to find ways you can cope better.  You are invited to join Betsy Medrano RN-C, nurse navigator at ‘Ohana Mammography Center and guest Douglas T. Gray MSW, LICSW for discussion from 5:30-6:30pm.

This support group meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month from and is free of charge.

Orthopedics Northwest affiliates with Virginia Mason Memorial

Orthopedics Northwest affiliates with Virginia Mason Memorial

YAKIMA – Orthopedics Northwest (ONW), which provides adult and pediatric orthopedic and sports medicine care, is aligning with Virginia Mason Memorial (VMM) through a service agreement aimed at streamlining patient care and supporting the long-term availability of orthopedic services in the Yakima Valley.

Under the new alignment, Orthopedics Northwest will continue to staff and operate the clinic as an independent organization, while Virginia Mason Memorial will have other strategic responsibilities. Patients at Orthopedics Northwest will see no change to the process for making appointments and receiving care. The same staff will provide care in the same location, 1211 N. 16th Ave.

“The alignment is an affirmation of our relationship and signifies the investment both organizations make to provide high quality orthopedic care for our community,” said Todd Orvald, president of Orthopedics Northwest. “This new relationship also confirms our efforts to ensure the local long-term sustainability of these services in the Yakima Valley.”

“Health care affiliations are becoming more commonplace as providers work to maintain high-quality services, improve access to specialty care, advance physician recruitment and expand financial, clinical and information systems resources,” said Virginia Mason Memorial President and CEO Russ Myers. “Ultimately, these collaborations benefit patients and communities they serve.”

All Orthopedics Northwest physicians are board certified specialists who provide the highest level of expert care. A team approach allows ONW to provide a broad spectrum of specialty care including state-of-the-art diagnostic services, general orthopedics, spine care, wrist/hand care, sports medicine, arthroscopy, ankle/foot care, and joint replacement and reconstruction.

Orthopedics Northwest encourages anyone with questions to contact the office at (509) 454-8888.

About Virginia Mason Memorial
Part of the Virginia Mason Health System, Virginia Mason Memorial is a 226-bed, acute-care, nonprofit, community hospital serving Central Washington’s Yakima Valley. Virginia Mason Memorial includes primary care practices and specialty care services including high-quality cardiac care; cancer care through North Star Lodge; breast health at `Ohana Mammography Center; acute hospice and respite care at Cottage in the Meadow, winner of the Circle of Life Award from the American Hospital Association for innovative palliative and end-of-life care; pain management at Water’s Edge; an advanced NICU unit, the only place in Central Washington that offers specialty care for at-risk infants; advanced services for children with special health care needs at Children’s Village; and The Memorial Foundation, a separate 501c(3) organization that raises funds for innovative health care programs in the Yakima Valley.