A big thank you to Ginger Tyler of the Pastime Burgers, Brews & Spirits in Selah!

Ginger stopped by `Ohana, Memorial’s Mammography Center today, to drop off a really big check, $7,136 to be exact! For the past three years the Pastime has held a fundraiser in October  (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) to support `Ohana. Ginger reports that the place was packed this year to hear five great local bands and donate to a great cause: helping women beat breast cancer.

Thank you to everyone: Ginger, the bands and everybody who was there at the Pastime this year!

Children’s Village remains a unique facility 20 years on..

Since the doors at Children’s Village first opened 20 years ago, thousands of children with special needs and their families have been served in a welcoming place that unites multiple avenues of specialty care under one colorful roof. All with the goal of helping to ease the strain on families who are often overwhelmed, and serving those families right where they live – here in the Yakima Valley.

Children’s Village began as a vision among key community organizations and dedicated volunteers to meet the special health care needs of area children and their families. As a collaboration between Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, Virginia Mason Memorial, Comprehensive Healthcare and The Memorial Foundation, the Village — thanks to the commitment of the Yakima Valley community — provides medical, dental, and behavioral services to children from birth to 18 with special health care needs such as autism and Down syndrome. There are peer support groups for parents and siblings, team sports, social events, and a spring prom for the kids and teens. There’s even family swim night hosted at the therapy pool.

Through its unique blend of services, the Village has helped thousands of children live fuller, more independent lives. In 2016, the Village served nearly 5,000 children with special needs, five times as many as were served in 1998, the first full year it was open.

The Village is a welcoming place, putting anxious children at ease as soon as they enter. Walls are bright and cheerful; preserved trees dot the hallways; the elevator resembles a mine shaft; the reception desk is inside a covered wagon; and a large meeting room is contained in a barn.

The ability to continue changing lives over the next 20 years and serve even more families in need is largely dependent on community support.  And that’s where The Memorial Foundation’s work to grow and enrich Children’s Village continues. The Village has never been sustained solely by reimbursement. It depends on grants and charitable donations from the community through The Memorial Foundation.

Despite these challenges, however, Children’s Village remains a unique facility not just for a community of Yakima’s size, but anywhere.  More than anything, it is a place for children to be children first. Everyone at Children’s Village believes the same thing: Help kids be the very best kids they can be.

Erin Black, Chief Executive Officer


Flu cases already being seen in Washington

Flu activity picking up in Washington: protect yourself now

OLYMPIA –State health officials are already seeing influenza cases across the state, and they expect the number to rise in the coming weeks. People are urged to get a flu shot now as the best line of defense against flu.

“The flu can, and does, make people really sick,” said Dr. Kathy Lofy, health officer for Washington State Department of Health. “Most healthy people who get the flu don’t need urgent medical care; however, people in a high-risk group and those who are very sick should contact their health care provider as soon as possible.”

Read the full report from Washington State Department of Health here https://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/2017NewsReleases/17152FluSeasonNewsRelease

“Save Second Base”: the importance of mammograms

NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

YAKIMA, WA – Breast Cancer Awareness Month is drawing to a close. Reporter Veronica Padilla learned today about how Virginia Mason Memorial Hospital in Yakima is using a unique approach about the importance of a test that could save women’s lives.

Read the full story at http://www.nbcrightnow.com/story/36696529/save-second-base-the-importance-of-mammograms

Properly dispose of old medications in Yakima on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day: Oct. 28

YAKIMA – There often is confusion about whether old or unused medications should be thrown out in the trash, put down the sink, etc. But on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday, Oct. 28, anyone with expired or unused medications is invited to bring them to Memorial Cornerstone Medicine, 4003 Creekside Loop, so they can be properly discarded.

The medication take-back program, sponsored locally by Virginia Mason Memorial and the Yakima Police Department, is part of a national initiative to provide a venue for safe disposal of unneeded medications. This effort prevents prescription drugs from entering the local water supplies and landfills.
The drug take-back event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot at Cornerstone.
For more information on National Drug Take-Back Day go to: https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html

Why You’re NOT Losing Weight: How to Get the Scale Moving!

When the scale won’t budge, your pants aren’t fitting any differently, and your waist measurement hasn’t changed at all despite changing your diet and adding exercise, it’s time to take an honest look at the little things that may be hindering your progress. You would assume that weight loss is a numbers game. Burn more than I take in, correct? Sort of.  Here are some of the sneaky things you’re doing that have you wondering, “Why am I not losing weight?”

  • Underestimating how many calories you are consuming. – Did you know that the FDA allows for a 20 percent margin on calorie counts? Think that meal you ate has 300 calories? Well it could be up to 360. It’s a good idea to overestimate when calculating calories when dining out or eating packaged foods.
  • You stick to all “fat free” products. – You’d assume this change would help you lose weight. Wrong. Many manufacturers will remove the fat from their product, but replace it with sugar and other fillers. Instead, go for the low fat version; the little fat you will be consuming is better than sugar, dextrose, or high fructose corn syrup.
  • You are eating too much. – Get out that food scale. Weighing your portions is the best way to insure that you are not over consuming. Your protein may be the size of your hand, but how thick is it? Rely on portion sizes in grams or ounces instead of tablespoons or cups for more accurate calorie counts.
  • You’re good all week, then splurge on the weekends.- You are not alone. Weekends bring the feeling of freedom, and that lack of schedule can send our diet into a downward spiral. Allow yourself 1 to 2 treats on the weekend, but stay within your calorie count. You can undue all your hard work during the week with just one day of complete indulgence.
  • You’re under eating.- Biologically, our bodies are made to hold fat during times of famine (think back to our ancestors living through harsh winters). If you are not feeding your body enough calories, your metabolism will fall into “survival” mode and you will hold on to body fat. For weight loss, women should multiply their bodyweight by 10-12 and men by 12-14 (these numbers depend on activity level, lean body mass, and genetics). And never drop your calories below 1200 (women) and 1500 (men).
  • You are too strict and end up binging on “off plan” foods.- Deprivation doesn’t work. Go cold turkey on all of the foods you enjoy and you may end up falling completely off the wagon. Instead, don’t blacklist foods. Think of them as “all the time” and “sometimes” foods. Enjoy a small portion of what you’re craving 1-2 times per week, then get right back on track. Trying to be perfect may set you up for failure.
  • You’ve cut out an entire food group.- First it was “low fat” then “low carb”, then 500 calories a day. The truth is these strategies don’t work in the long term. In order to keep your metabolism strong and lose weight at a healthy, maintainable pace, make sure you consume a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Keep your carbohydrates in the morning and around your workouts when your body will put them to good use.
  • You keep “starting over”.- “I blew it, I’ll start again Monday”. This mentality will keep you in the “diet prison”. You’re not dieting, you’re making a lifestyle change toward a healthier, more fit you. One bad meal does not need to spell diet disaster. Admit it happened, move on, and get right back on track.
  • You are eating 2-3 large meals a day. – This will work for some, but for most, over consuming at one meal then going hours without food will be bad news for both your metabolism and your blood sugar levels. Try to consume small meals every 2.5 to 3.5 hours, each with a small amount of protein. This will keep your blood sugar and energy levels even and make you less likely to eat more than you need because you are famished.
  • You expect results overnight. – How long did it take you to gain weight? Probably years. Why do we expect it to come off overnight? Be realistic and give yourself credit for all the positive things you are doing. The scale is NOT the only gauge of your success. Celebrate small victories and know that maintainable, healthy, safe weight loss takes time.
  • You are “Biting, Licking and Tasting” (BLT) yourself to death. – I’m talking about the calories we don’t register. The lick of the knife after making your child’s sandwich, the one peanut M&M at the office, or that handful of nuts as you pass the pantry. These items add up and can halt your weight loss progress. Commit to no “BLTs” this week and see how differently you feel!

Can you relate to some of these items? Devote to making small changes. Finally see the scale move, your pants get looser, and your outlook on weight loss turning positive. This summer will be your healthiest, most fit yet!

Health Tips for Men

Cardiovascular disease and cancer are the leading causes of death among men. How we take care of ourselves today contributes to our health in the long run. Obesity and diabetes are contributing factors to many other diseases.

What are the keys to preventing these diseases?

Take control of your health and reduce your health risk.

  • Stay away from tobacco
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Get moving with regular physical activity
  • Eat healthy with plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink (if you drink at all)
  • Protect your skin from the sun
  • Know your family history, and your risks
  • Have regular check-ups and screening tests

What kinds of screening tests?

  • Everyone should know their blood pressure and cholesterol and take steps to control both, whether it’s through diet, fitness or medication.
  • Men should also know more about testosterone. Testosterone is response for development body and facial hair, muscle growth and strength and a deep voice. It also influences the production of sperm, promotes sexual function and promotes sex drive.

We now know that some men’s bodies do not make enough testosterone.

  • Symptoms of low testosterone include: low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, increased irritability or depression, fatigue, reduced muscle mass and strength and decreased bone density.

What causes low testosterone levels?

Men produce less testosterone as they age. There also are certain medications that can cause low testosterone. Men should consider adding regular screening for testosterone levels to their regular screenings as part of their checkup.

How do you treat low testosterone levels?

There are gels that can be applied to the skin, as well as injections and skin patches and mouth patches. Talk to your doctor about which option might be best for you.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among men. According to the American Heart Association, 1 in 3 American men suffer from cardiovascular disease, and many don’t even know it.

It’s true. Taking steps to maintain your overall health, such as through diet and exercise, can help prevent cardiovascular disease, as do controlling blood pressure and cholesterol.

The cancers that most frequently affect men are prostate, lung and colorectal cancers. How important is early detection?

Early detection — finding a cancer early before it has spread — gives you the best chance to do something about it. It improves your chances of preventing a cancer and potentially saving your life. That’s why it’s important to get screened.

Lung Cancer- More men in the U.S. die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer.

  • Nearly 9 out of every 10 lung cancer deaths in men in this country are due to smoking.
  • The most important thing you can do to prevent lung cancer is to not start smoking, or to quit if you smoke.

Prostate Cancer-The second leading cause of cancer death in men

  • The chance of getting prostate cancer goes up as a man gets older. Roughly two-thirds of prostate cancers are found in men over the age of 65.
  • Talk to your doctor about getting tested and decide when the right time is for you to get screened. Prostate screenings involve a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a PSA blood test. How often you are tested will depend on your PSA level.
  • Roughly 2 million men in the U.S. are prostate cancer survivors.

Colon Cancer-The third leading cause of cancer related deaths in men

  • Screenings for colon cancer should begin regularly at age 50 or younger for people with a family history of colon cancer or other potential disorders.
  • There are many different screenings that look for colon cancer–the most common and effective is a colonoscopy.
  • Nine out of 10 people whose colon cancer is discovered early will be alive five years later. Many will live a normal life span.


Five Tips for lifelong breast health

There is no guaranteed way to prevent breast cancer. There are some risk factors such as family history and aging that are unavoidable. But! Good news! There are some risk factors that you can control and they will improve your overall health in the process. Ask yourself these questions:

1. Am I at a healthy weight? Obesity or being overweight can increase your breast cancer risk and losing just 7 % of your body weight can dramatically change your health for the better. If your weight is healthy, keep up the good work!

2. Do I exercise regularly? Studies show that brisk walking just 2 hours per week can reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer up to 18%. Start a new habit, step out with your friends to explore your neighborhood parks and walking paths.
3. Can I minimize or avoid my alcohol consumption? Women who have 2 to 5 alcoholic drinks daily have a higher risk of breast cancer. This is especially important for women who have breast cancer in their families.
4. Do I smoke? -even on occasion? The risk of many cancers and other health problems increases if you smoke. Research shows that long-term smoking is specifically associated with increased risk of breast cancer.
5. Do I eat enough veggies? Eating a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables is your best defense for fighting and preventing cancer. Examples are cauliflower, bok choy, garden cress, brussel sprouts cabbage, broccoli, and other green leafy vegetables.
There are resources in your community to help with lifestyle changes and learning healthy habits. Learn more here

Make your appointment today!

Patients of Virginia Mason Memorial family medicine clinics* are invited to Family Medicine of Yakima at 504 N. 40th Avenue, on Saturday, November 4th, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. for a flu shot clinic. Call to pre-register for faster service, 509-966-9480 and bring your insurance card! We bill Medicare, DSHS, & most insurance.
*Apple Valley Family Medicine, Family Medicine of Yakima, Memorial Cornerstone Medicine, Pacific Crest Family Medicine, Selah Family Medicine, Yakima Internal Medicine, and our newest clinic; Zillah Family Medicine.