Children's Village Awards

Children’s Village & the Yakima Community was recognized this past week by Champions For Inclusive Communities (ChampionsInC). ChampionsInCis a national center designed to support communities in organizing services for families of children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN). Yakima & Children’s Village were identified as exemplar models of community based service systems.

Here is the full article from Champions For Inclusive Communities

Community members across Yakima County, Washington are passionate, to say the least, about providing services to children with special needs in their community. This is best demonstrated by their integrated, family-centered services.

Located in central Washington, Yakima County’s children are more likely than the average child to live in poverty, have a mother without a high school diploma, and speak a language other than English. The area is large geographically, and much of it is agricultural, serving migrant families. The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation are also located in the area. These particular demographics have only increased the need for coordinated, culturally competent services for children with special health care needs. Yakima’s Children’s Village is the “door” families use to access these services.

The Children’s Village is a family-centered organization that strives to meet the needs of every individual family. Not only does the Village provide family support, it also provides clinical and educational services for both parents and children and serves as a resource to the entire community. It does all this with the assistance of a variety of partners throughout the community. Best of all, the Children’s Village has sustained their efforts for a very successful 11 years and, even now, is growing, changing, and expanding.

Family-Led and Family-Driven

It all started with families. The Children’s Village began over a decade ago when families of children with special health care needs decided they wanted a better system of care. This trend of family input is still in effect today. Beyond the Children’s Village is the family-driven Yakima County Interagency Coordinating Council. The council is led by family leaders, with family representatives planning the agendas. In addition to families, there is broad representation from service providers across the county. As Jackie McPhee, a program director from the Children’s Village says, the council is “family-led and family-driven.”

Gloria, a member of the Parent to Parent Advisory Board and the Yakima County Interagency Coordinating Council, and a parent of a child with special health care needs herself, says, “The Children’s Village is a shoulder to lean on.” Children’s Village and the surrounding community provides a learning environment that allows parents to educate themselves about issues involving their child and become aware of other supporting agencies in our community. Not only that, they are also key in providing emotional support to families who may feel isolated and overwhelmed. Gloria says, “When I look to those parents whose child has now become an adult, I can look toward the future and what I can expect [for my own child].”

Communicating with Medical Homes

Assuring every child seen at Children’s Village has a medical home was a focus of the Yakima community in planning Children’s Village and was endorsed by the Medical Advisory Committee. Community providers communicate regularly with the child’s medical home regarding the outcome of referrals as well as treatment plans. There is a successful focus on co-management between specialists and the child’s primary care provider.

Recently, the Village conducted a survey of primary care physicians to gather opinions and suggestions regarding communication with the medical home. The physicians’ response was tremendous, and their suggestions were taken very seriously. This is just one of the many ways the community works to ensure that primary care providers are working with all the other facets of care through every step of a family’s journey.

Family Leaders Promote Cultural Competence

A Children’s Village’s priority is to increase cultural and linguistic competency and outreach to non-English speaking families. A key program in this effort is the Yakima County Parent to Parent program.

Maria, one of the Parent to Parent staff members, serves as the Hispanic outreach coordinator. In this role, she provides emotional support to a large number of Hispanic families, coordinates support groups, and acts as a cultural broker between families and providers. For example, Maria provided support to a Spanish-speaking mother of a young girl with seizures. The mother was concerned with the changes she was seeing in her daughter after a change in medication, but was unsure about her ability to communicate with the primary care doctor and specialist. Maria coached this mother through the process of connecting with the physicians and gave her the confidence she needed in order to trust herself and her expertise about her own daughter, despite the language and cultural barriers.

A Vision for Developmental Screening

Another important partner in the Yakima community is the Enterprise for Progress in the Community (EPIC). EPIC’s Early Childhood Development Division provides early childhood education programs such as Head Start and Early Head Start. Children who qualify for these programs are screened for developmental delays and, if necessary, a smooth referral process is in place for full developmental evaluations at Children’s Village. The relationships between staff and a mutual commitment to coordinate services for families have been enriched by the partnership and program co-location at Children’s Village.

Transition: Providing a Link to the Future

Transition to adult life is something the community is becoming more aware of as time passes. Parents of younger children with special health care needs in the community are looking to those youth who have successfully transitioned to adult life for guidance. Meeting other youth who have graduated from high school and have moved on to find work in the community is a “light at the end of the tunnel” for parents like Gloria. And meeting those youth and their parents is easy to do through family events sponsored by Parent to Parent.

A number of programs throughout the community are working together to provide a resource for youth with disabilities to successfully transition to adult life. At the high school level, employment training opportunities are being implemented through community-supported employment providers such as the Provident Horizon Group. These opportunities occur in partnership with local school districts.

In addition, Project Search provides high school students with disabilities the opportunity to participate in workforce training in a hospital or business setting. A partnership between Memorial Hospital and Provident Horizon Group allows Project Search to provide a one-year educational program for students with disabilities in their last year of high school. This program is very successful at helping the youth identify the strengths and abilities they can bring to the workforce.

Children’s Village has also compiled a transition manual for families that better prepares them for situations they may face as their child transitions to adulthood.

Creating a Vision

Yakima is known for being a strong community committed to its youth. Supported by Children’s Village and its partnerships, children with special health care needs in Yakima have been thriving for over a decade. When asked what guidance they have for other communities that are hoping to have the same success in sustainability, Diane Patterson, director of the Children’s Village says, “The key is creating a vision that inspires your community to commit their time, resources, and energy. Once a community experiences success in supporting children with special needs, the effect is exponentially positive.” It goes without saying that a significant amount of passion and dedication must also back that vision. And that is exactly what this community has: Passion. Dedication. And a vision.

Thank you Yakima Top Food and Drug!

North Star Lodge to receive proceeds of second annual Hot Dog Sale for Charity.

Yakima Top Food and Drug employees and North Star lodge volunteers worked together to serve up hot dogs, chips and pop over three Saturdays in June. Shoppers and community members eagerly paid the $2.00 asking price, and often donated more. “One gentleman paid $50 for his hot dog”, said Darla Niblett, organizer of the event, “I told him we were close to reaching our goal, and he generously gave extra”. Proceeds from the annual sale resulted in an $1,124.84 donation for North Star Lodge.
topfoods (98K)
Darla Niblett, Top Food & Drug event organizer, presents a donation to North Star Lodge representative, Debbie Rich.

North Star Lodge: Certificate of Appreciation

nslpicEarlier this month, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army, Leo G. Pullar presented NSL with a Department of the Army Certificate of Appreciation Award. Colonel Pullar is the Commander at the Yakima Training Center and a patient of Dr. Tony Ha.  Colonel Pullar and his family are leaving the Yakima Command for another assignment and he wanted to express his heartfelt appreciation for the “Team” and all the wonderful care he received while here.  The certificate and plaque is hanging in the front lobby with the other awards for NSL if you would like to read it personally. It says:

Certificate of Appreciation

presented to


For outstanding performance in support of Military Service Members, Retirees, Department of Defense Civilians and their Families. The care provided by the entire North Star Lodge team to those stricken by this horrible disease is absolutely incomparable.  the skills, knowledge, and attitude possessed and exhibited by each and every member of the NSL team is inspiring and reflects great credit upon you, your team of teams, and the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.

Thank You!

June 30, 2009

Colonel Puller was very complimentary of the care and respect he received from every staff person he encountered at NSL. He said “the ARMY does a great job of creating teams, but your team is one of the best I have ever seen”.

What a tremendous compliment to you all.

Online Childbirth Education

Online Childbirth Education

online childbirth classes

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is proud to announce a new online childbirth class. It is the perfect alternative for those who cannot attend a conventional childbirth class.

The program is web-based and divided into 8 convenient lessons covering the key topics relating to childbirth. Each class is interactive and includes illustrations, videos and games that you can enjoy at your convenience.

Here are our childbirth classes by topic:

  • Class One: Choosing care for you and your baby
  • Class Two: Childbirth Education and Labor Support
  • Class Three: Discomforts of Pregnancy
  • Class Four: Understanding Labor and Delivery
  • Class Five: Labor Guide: Early, Active and Transition
  • Class Six: Postpartum
  • Class Seven: Feeding the Newborn
  • Class Eight: Caring for the Newborn

For more information please call (509)388-6440.

Register For Online Childbirth Education Classes

Login to our online Childbirth Education Classes.
Please note pre-registration is required.

Click here to view a demo of our online Childbirth Education Classes.

Memorial Hospital Opens the Doors to its Critical Care Unit (CCU)

The days of pressing a buzzer and waiting for a nurse to usher in one family member at a time to visit a critically ill family member are days of the past.  On Monday, June 22, Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is unlocking the doors to the CCU and encouraging family members to play a more active role in the care of their loved ones.

“Studies have shown that patients actually recover more quickly and respond better to treatments when surrounded by their families,” says Lynda Boggess, Nurse Manager for Memorial’s CCU.  “Now we’re asking patients to work with us to provide the best possible care for their loved ones.”

The new model of care is called “Family Centered Care.”  Following the model set by Virginia Mason in Seattle, Memorial has been working toward involving families in patient care for the past year.  Staff members are being trained in helping families understand how to monitor their own visitation.  Doctors in the CCU are scheduling regular meetings with family members to explain the status and care of patients. Starting Monday, a family member will also be invited to join the morning, multi-disciplinary “rounds” as physicians involved in the patient’s care discuss treatment options.

“If families are aware of the status and goals for the patient, they can actually help the patient reach those goals,” says Boggess.  “This approach to patient care bridges the communication gap and helps families understand what the patient needs.”

Boggess says that the CCU will still have the option of locking the doors for security purposes, but the goal is to have the CCU doors unlocked so family members can come and go as they need to support their loved one’s recovery.

Personal Flotation Devices Available to Community on Loan

Three area fire stations to host “Kids Don’t Float” campaign

Yakima, WA – According to the Washington State Department of Health, drowning is the second leading cause of injury and death for Washington children ages 17 and under.  To help combat this problem, Memorial Hospital’s Community Education is hosting the “Kids Don’t Float” campaign.

Three local fire stations (1) Englewood, 511 N. 40th Ave, Fire Station #93 (2) East Valley Terrace Heights, 4007 Common Wealth Drive, Station 42 (3) West Valley, 7707 Tieton Drive Station #1 , will put up loaner boards with free lifejackets in a variety of sizes.  The jackets are lent out and returned on the honors code, so there is no registration or sign out required.

On Tuesday, June 23rd at 10:30 AM a news conference will be held to celebrate the seasonal launch of the loaner boards at Fire Station #93, 511 N. 40th Ave. (the corner of 40th Avenue and Englewood).

WHAT: The seasonal launch of “Kid’s Don’t Float”

WHERE: Fire Station #93, 511 N. 40th Ave. (the corner of 40th Avenue and Englewood)

WHEN: Tuesday, June 23rd at 10:30 AM

About Community Education:

Community Education is part of Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital’s family of services.  They offer classes and programs geared towards helping people in the Yakima Valley stay safe, educated, and healthy.  Classes are offered in both English and Spanish.  They range from programs teaching kids to be responsible babysitters, to classes to help people stop smoking.

Breast Cancer Prevention

Woman’s group raises money for breast cancer prevention

What started as a support group has now become an advocate group for breast cancer prevention. This past week, the group, primarily made up of teachers and staff from the Highland School District, raised over $1000 for ‘Ohana, Memorial’s Mammography Center. The funds will go toward providing mammograms to women who can’t afford to pay for their own.

“I was really surprised,” said Janet Glenn the unofficial leader of the group. “That wasn’t even including all of our members participating. I told them to be ready next year, because we’re going to raise even more.”

Although this was the first year the group added fund raising to their annual event, the group started getting annual screening mammograms together 14 years ago. At that time, a woman at Highland High School needed to go in for a mammogram and was frightened to go alone. Four friends made their appointments at the same time so they could all be together. Now over 30 members of the group come to ‘Ohana together every year on the last day of school. They also plan an event to celebrate the process. This year was a spring shopping spree. In the past, the “gathering” has included an amazing race, wine tasting and miniature golf. But breast cancer survivor Kathy Pucket says it’s more about the camaraderie surrounding the mammograms.

“We sit in the waiting room and tell jokes and have a great time. It just helps you get through the whole process,” says Puckett, one of the original members of the group. “And when someone has to come back, or has to have surgery, the support of the group is unbelievable.”

This year was Kathy’s third year cancer-free. She compiled her portion of the donations and provided a check made out for $333.33 to commemorate her three years without cancer.

Online Childbirth Classes

Family Birth Center

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is proud to announce a new online childbirth class.  It is the perfect alternative for those who cannot attend a conventional childbirth class. The program is web-based, interactive and includes illustrations, videos and games that you can do from the comfort of your home computer. For more information please call (509)388-6440.

Register For Online Childbirth Education Classes

Click here to view a demo of our online Childbirth Education Classes.

Capital Campaign Giving!

Two Great Campaign Gifts in Today!

The Florence Wight Guild from Memorial Hospital just brought us a check for $13,000 for the expansion campaign.  They worked very hard staging their annual Field Day event to raise this.  Thank you SO MUCH!

The Washington Dental Service Foundation has granted $166,000 to expand the children’s dental clinic at Children’s Village.  We have recently solicited our dental community for matching funds, and are eagerly waiting for our local dentists to make their gifts in next week’s mail.

This brings our campaign gifts and pledges to (drum roll, please…. $4,395,339).

If you send us your pledge today, perhaps we’ll reach $4.5 million by July 1.