Mothers have a unique risks when it comes to high blood pressure.

Women with high blood pressure who become pregnant may have complications during pregnancy.  High blood pressure can harm a mother’s kidneys and other organs, as well as put baby at risk for early delivery and lower birth weight. If you have high blood pressure and are planning to become pregnant, you should take steps to lower your blood pressure before becoming pregnant.

Learn more about hypertension here.


Spring Fling into Fitness and Wellness, Yakima — April 29

Make Health Fun!

Spring Fling into Fitness and Wellness, Yakima — April 29
10am – 12pm
No charge. No registration required.

Bring the whole family and check in at the Rotary Pavilion at Franklin Park.
Parents are encouraged to participate with their children as they work together to complete the ultimate obstacle course, with over 20 obstacles of fun physical activity! Nutrition and fitness information provided. Please wear appropriate fitness clothing. (No sandals or flip-flops)

Hosted by Virginia Mason Memorial and Kohl’s Cares.

Virginia Mason Memorial recognized as among most sustainable health care facilities in America with three awards

Virginia Mason Memorial recognized as among most sustainable health care facilities in America with three awards

Practice Greenhealth Circles of Excellence Award honors Virginia Mason Memorial among top 10 in Healthy Food category

(YAKIMA, WA) – In recognition for outstanding accomplishments in sustainability, Virginia Mason Memorial has received three awards this year from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care. The awards are given each year to honor environmental achievements in the health care sector.

The Circles of Excellence Award, given to Virginia Mason Memorial for Healthy Food in Health Care, honors hospitals for outstanding performance in one specific area, such as reducing use of toxic chemicals or sourcing food sustainably. These awards highlight hospitals that are pushing the envelope and driving innovation in sustainability performance in each sustainability category. There can be up to 10 designees selected for each Circle of Excellence category.

The Healthy Food category award highlights leaders in sustainable food services, including meat and sugar-sweetened beverage reduction, healthier meat procurement, local sourcing, food waste prevention and management. Top contenders have written policies and an educational strategy that addresses the food system as a critical component in an overall sustainability plan — for human and planetary health.

The Greenhealth Emerald Award is presented to hospitals that demonstrate superior sustainability programs. The award recognizes Virginia Mason Memorial’s ongoing commitment to improving its environmental performance and maintaining a top standard of excellence in sustainability.

The Greening the Operating Room Recognition Award acknowledges hospital sustainability programs that drive environmental stewardship within the surgical suite.


“We are proud to be named one of the top 10 hospitals in the country for our work toward providing healthy food for our patients, employees and visitors, and will continue to make sustainability a top priority,” said CEO Russ Myers.

“We embarked on our environmental sustainability journey two years ago, and I’m really proud of our staff and leadership,” said Kate Gottlieb, Sustainability Program coordinator. “I know what we are capable of, and I can’t wait to see how our positive work has affected Yakima in the years to come.”

Virginia Mason Memorial strives to serve food to patients, visitors and staff that is local, organic and sustainable whenever possible. Memorial buys meat and marine-certified seafood that are free of antibiotics and hormones when possible. Last year, Virginia Mason Memorial’s garden, on the hospital campus, provided 4,200 pounds of produce that was used in the cafeteria and served to patients. Organic produce is supplied locally from Bella Terra Gardens in Zillah, WA.

In addition, Virginia Mason Memorial collected 212.65 tons of recycling on the hospital’s main campus, up 38.2 tons from the 174.45 tons collected in 2015. And energy use was reduced 3.2 percent over that same period.

In 2016, the Memorial OR diverted 14,846 pounds of medical waste from landfills  through reduction and reprocessing devices with Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions. And a sock recycling program, in which lightly used socks are washed and donated to the Union Gospel Mission, was also started.

The awards will be presented at the Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards Gala, set for May 18 in Minneapolis at the conclusion of the CleanMed Conference & Exhibition.

 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.

 About Practice Greenhealth

Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading health care community dedicated to transforming health care worldwide so that it reduces its environmental footprint, becomes a community anchor for sustainability and a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. To learn more about Practice Greenhealth visit




Attend the Mr. Capitol Pageant and support health care for Yakima Valley kids

Attend the Mr. Capitol Pageant and support health care for Yakima Valley kids

On April 18 the Capitol Theatre’s 4th Street Theater will host the first Mr. Capitol Pageant, an evening of talent and fun featuring the top talent from each of the Yakima Valley’s YouthWorks pageant schools. Proceeds from the event raise awareness and funds for children’s health care needs in our community at Virginia Mason Memorial and Children’s Village.

Earlier this year students at West Valley, Eisenhower, Naches, Sunnyside, Wapato and East Valley high schools held pageants at each of their schools, the competition and fundraising fierce – with the real winners being area children. The highly competitive YouthWorks pageants raise money to support Children’s Village and Virginia Mason Memorial’s Neo-Natal Intensive Care and Pediatric units.

The Mr. Capitol Theatre Pageant begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets, $5, are available at the door. The 4th Street Theatre is located at 14 S. 4th St., Yakima.

Since the event was established in 2001, more than $1 million has been raised for the Children’s Health Care Fund at Virginia Mason Memorial.

Find out more at or by calling 509-576-5794.

Bertha Lopez to serve as director of Children’s Village

Bertha Lopez to serve as director of Children’s Village

After 28 years with Virginia Mason Memorial, most recently as the Director of Children’s Village, Jackie McPhee has officially retired. Her last day was March 3, 2017.  Children’s Village was honored to have Jackie’s longtime commitment, leadership and support.

To assure continuity of leadership responsibilities, the Children’s Village leadership team and trustee partners have asked Bertha Lopez to assume the directorship at Children’s Village. Bertha Lopez, currently senior director of Community Health Planning and Development at Virginia Mason Memorial, has a master’s degree from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. With over 10 years of experience in health advocacy and work mitigating health disparities, Bertha enables Children’s Village to continue its mission and meet the needs of children with special health care needs and their families in the Yakima Valley.

Children’s Village is instrumental in providing supportive services to over 4,000 children every year.


Children’s Village is a regional integrated center for children with special health care needs and their families, with multiple service providers all under one roof. The comprehensive family-centered organization aims to meet each child’s need for individualized care with over 30 different kinds of specialized services. There are medical specialty clinics, developmental evaluations and collaborative diagnostic clinics, dental services, occupational, physical and speech therapy, mental health counseling, education services, behavioral intervention and nurse home visiting programs. The Village also offers a comprehensive parent and family support program called Parent to Parent, which serves families from birth through life. Find out more at

Day-long workshop on March 21 will train educators, counselors and others to help youth cope with grief

Day-long workshop on March 21 will train educators, counselors
and others to help youth cope with grief

 Children learn lots of things in school, on their computers, from television and their friends, but one topic usually is never discussed: death and the grief that goes with it. On Tuesday, March 21, Virginia Mason Memorial is sponsoring a day-long workshop open to anyone interested in learning how to best respond to the needs of children and end-of-life issues.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Understanding and supporting the needs of children and teens who are coping with the death of a loved one.
  • Tips for grieving students in the classroom and community.
  • What to do (and not do) when a student dies.
  • Special considerations following homicide or suicide.

The workshop will be led by Donna L. Schuurman, senior director of advocacy and training at The Dougy Center: The National Center for Grieving Children & Families located  in Portland, Ore. Schuurman writes and trains internationally on bereavement issues and wrote the book “Never the Same: Coming to Terms with the Death of a Parent.”

The Dougy Center, the first center in the United States to provide peer support groups for grieving children, was founded in 1982. Over the past 35 years, the center has served 40,000 children, teens and their families, and has received national and international acclaim for pioneering the peer support model for helping children cope with the death of a family member.

The no-cost workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 21, in the auditorium at Lakeview, 1470 N. 16th Ave. Lunch will be provided.

To register please call 509-574-6746 or email

Pancakes at IHOP & Virginia Mason Memorial on Tuesday, March 7, benefit local children

Pancakes at IHOP & Virginia Mason Memorial on Tuesday, March 7, benefit local children

IHOP to raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® throughout February and on National Pancake Day

YAKIMA, WA. — Today, March 7, is National Pancake Day! And area IHOP restaurants and the café at Virginia Mason Memorial hospital are offering guests a free short stack of their famous buttermilk pancakes all day. This family-friendly tradition aims to raise needed funds and awareness for Virginia Mason Memorial, the local Children’s Miracle Network hospital.
For every short stack of buttermilk pancakes served on National Pancake Day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (and until 7:30 p.m. at Virginia Mason Memorial), IHOP guests are invited to make a donation to Children’s Miracle Network. Since 2006, IHOP’s National Pancake Day has raised approximately $15 million to provide life-saving treatment, programs and medical equipment for children — including the thousands of patients treated annually at Virginia Mason Memorial.
In the weeks before National Pancake Day, participating IHOP restaurants also sold Miracle Balloons for $1 and $5 to benefit Children’s Miracle Network. The balloons are available through National Pancake Day, and all proceeds benefit local children. Guests who purchase a $5 Miracle Balloon will receive a $5 discount coupon that can be used during their next visit to IHOP.
“We are so grateful for IHOP’s continued support for Children’s Miracle Network and Virginia Mason Memorial,” said Josh Munson, Memorial’s Children’s Miracle Network program director. “Their support is vital to sustaining the programs and equipment needed for our children with health care challenges.”

Stop in at the following IHOP location on Tuesday, March 7, to benefit Children’s Miracle Network:
• Ellensburg, 2704 Triple L Loop

For more information or to make a donation to Virginia Mason Memorial, visit
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Proceeds from this event benefit the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Department at Virginia Mason Memorial, as well as programs and services at Yakima’s Children’s Village, which serves Central Washington children with special health care needs and their families.

Virginia Mason Memorial is one of 170 nonprofit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals that treat severely injured and ill children in the U.S. and Canada.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations — including all those made on IHOP National Pancake Day — stay local to fund critical treatments and health care services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $5 billion, most of it $1 at a time through the charity’s Miracle Balloon icon. Its fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit’s mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Find out why children’s hospitals need community support and learn about your member hospital at