Category Archives: Cancer Care

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 www.practicegreenhealth.org.

 

 

 

Generations OB/GYN joins Virginia Mason Memorial

Generations OB/GYN joins Virginia Mason Memorial

YAKIMA — Generations OB/GYN is now part of the Virginia Mason Memorial family. The addition of the Yakima specialty-care practice aims to improve access to care for our community and assures the long-term stability of this physician practice.
“The whole focus for all of us in the coming years is about access to care,” said Virginia Mason Memorial CEO Russ Myers. “And to assure access, we need to partner with our physicians in ways that allow for the long-term stability of practices. Often it is very difficult to recruit physicians for specialty practices. We want to make sure we provide the best opportunity to recruit and retain physicians. Bringing Generations on as part of the family is a step in that direction.”
Generations OB/GYN has long been serving the health care needs of women in the Yakima Valley, providing attentive, compassionate and skillful care, and improving the quality of local obstetric and gynecologic care. Generations is also committed to educating and training new physicians with the goal of attracting more high-quality health care providers to the Yakima Valley.
“Our physicians, providers and staff are excited to be associated with Virginia Mason Memorial because we share the same philosophies of patient-centered medical care and continued efforts to bring the best possible care to the Yakima Valley,” said Dr. Kevin Harrington, a founding partner of Generations.

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Virginia Mason Memorial, part of the Virginia Mason Health System, 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 (www.memfound.org).

Visit Virginia Mason Memorial online at www.yakimamemorial.org or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/yakimavalleymemorialhospital), Twitter (www.twitter.com/Yakima_Memorial) or Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/yvmh).

Virginia Mason Memorial consolidates services for patients into one convenient downtown location

Virginia Mason Memorial consolidates services for patients into one convenient downtown location

 

 

 

 

 

YAKIMA (Dec. 22, 2016) – Virginia Mason Memorial is relocating three departments serving patients to one centralized location at the hospital’s downtown building, located at 15 W. Yakima Ave. The move will also bring about 200 employees to the downtown core.

Previously, the nonclinical services and business offices – Medical Records, Hospital Business Services and Memorial Physicians Business Services – were housed separately throughout the community.

“After a year of planning and preparation, we are excited to bring our business office and other support service operations to our downtown location,” said Jim Aberle, Virginia Mason Memorial’s chief operating officer. “This new location provides us the opportunity to consolidate services and allows for future growth.  The move will help free up space and parking at the hospital and at our Memorial Physicians administrative building at 3800 Summitview Ave.  We also believe this move is good for both Virginia Mason Memorial and the vitality of downtown Yakima.”

Virginia Mason Memorial purchased the 85,000-square-foot building, once a fruit-packing facility, earlier this year and has been working since then to update and renovate the space.

The services and opening dates, which are staggered, are:

  • Business Services, where patients can pay hospital bills, will open at the new location
    on Jan. 4.

    • The office is moving from 3803 W. Nob Hill Blvd.
    • The phone number remains: 509-575-8255.
    • Patients can also pay hospital bills online at org/payyourbill.
  • Memorial Physicians Business Services, billing for outpatient, most primary care clinics and specialty clinics, opens Jan. 10.
    • The office is moving from 3800 Summitview Ave.
    • The phone number remains 509-972-1140.
    • Patients can also pay these bills at yakimamp.com.
  • Medical Records, where patients can get copies of their medical records, opens Jan. 16.
    • The office is moving from the hospital’s main campus at 2811 Tieton Drive.
    • The phone number remains 509-575-8082.

Hours of operation at 15 W. Yakima Ave. will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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Tips for walking around on icy/snowy surfaces

Tips for walking around on icy/snowy surfaces

Snow is one thing, but streets, sidewalks and parking lots coated in sheets of ice are another, as we experienced earlier this week! One hospital employee carries kitty litter in her car, not just for tire traction if needed, but to scatter on icy pathways for walking.

That’s just one way to walk safely on slick surfaces. Below are some tips for walking in icy conditions from the Snow & Ice Management Association, a nonprofit group representing the snow removal industry.

  • Wear proper footwear. Wear shoes with heavy treading and a flat bottom that place the entire foot on the surface of the ground.
    Also, you can attach a pair of Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats to the bottom of any flat shoe or boot. The slip-on cleats, with steel coils, greatly reduce the risk of falls. Find them online for less than $20.
  • Wear things that help you see and be seen. Wear sunglasses so you can see. Also, bright and reflective clothing help you be seen by drivers.
  • Plan ahead. Walk consciously on icy sidewalks and parking lots. Look up to see where the next icy spots are and be aware of any vehicles near you.
  • Listen. Avoid listening to music or talking on the phone while walking in icy or snowy conditions. Pedestrians need to be able to hear approaching traffic or other noises.
  • Anticipate ice. What appears to be wet pavement may be black ice, so approach it with caution. Ice will often appear in the mornings, so be more aware in the early hours.
  • Take steps slowly. When walking down steps, take them slowly and deliberately. Plant your feet in a wide-legged stance securely on each step and be sure to have a firm grip on the handrail.
  • Enter buildings slowly. The floors of buildings may be covered in melted snow and ice, so check the entrance and try to step on any rugs in the doorways.
  • Avoid shortcuts. A shortcut path may be dangerous because it is less likely that snow and ice removal occurred.

Memorial Hospital rebrands to reflect affiliation with Virginia Mason Health System

November 2, 2016

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Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital rebrands to reflect affiliation with Virginia Mason Health System

YAKIMA — After more than 60 years of serving the Yakima Valley community as Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, the hospital and its primary and specialty care clinics have become Virginia Mason Memorial. This new name and brand reflect Memorial’s affiliation with innovative health-care leader Virginia Mason Health System
in Seattle.
Memorial and Virginia Mason affiliated on Jan. 1, 2016. Ever since, teams from both sides of the mountains have been working to combine and streamline care and services. In choosing the new name it was vital that Memorial continue to have a strong identity as the trusted health-care provider and also a prominent economic engine for the Yakima Valley community and in the Central Washington region.

The creation of a health-care system with a local presence in each community — where patients receive the same high-quality, coordinated care at Memorial in Yakima or Virginia Mason in Seattle — was a primary focus for the integration. Also, the affiliation is bringing more resources (physicians, nursing education, best practices in care, expansion of surgical and specialty care) eastward. Virginia Mason Memorial is also working to adopt the Virginia Mason Production system, the internationally recognized method of quality and service improvement that focuses on patients.

About Virginia Mason Memorial
Virginia Mason Memorial, part of the Virginia Mason Health System, 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 (www.memfound.org).
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Visit Memorial online at www.yakimamemorial.org or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/yakimavalleymemorialhospital), Twitter (www.twitter.com/Yakima_Memorial) or Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/yvmh).

Seattle-based Virginia Mason Health System is a nonprofit regional health care system that includes 336-bed Virginia Mason Hospital; Virginia Mason Memorial in Yakima; medical centers in Seattle, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Federal Way, Kirkland, Issaquah and Lynnwood; Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the U.S. designed for people with HIV/AIDS; Benaroya Research Institute, which is internationally recognized for autoimmune disease research; and the Virginia Mason Institute, which trains health care professionals and others from around the world in the Virginia Mason Production System, an innovative management methodology for continually improving quality, safety and efficiency. Virginia Mason online: www.VirginiaMason.org

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Alzheimer’s Association Hosts Central Washington Memory Loss Conference on Nov. 2

Alzheimer’s Association Hosts Central Washington Memory Loss Conference on Nov. 2

YAKIMA – Alzheimer’s is the third leading cause of death in Washington state. It is expected to be a major health issue in the years to come as baby boomers retire. But there is help and support available for those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

A day-long educational conference Nov. 2 at the Yakima Convention Center will provide tools and encouragement to family caregivers and health-care professionals caring for those with dementia.

Family caregivers will have sessions tailored to their needs, offering helpful tips to address the challenges of caring for a loved one with dementia. Those include relationship changes, communication, keeping them safe and managing difficult behaviors.

The sessions, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be offered concurrently in both English and Spanish, and are free for family caregivers caring for loved ones. A special track for health-care professionals is $50. It offers basic and advanced sessions to address the progression of dementia-related diseases. A complimentary box lunch is provided.

There is also a separate, education program in the evening, which focuses on frontotemporal dementia, for continuing education credits for medical providers. This no-cost program will be held at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences.

The conference is sponsored by The Memorial Foundation, The Peggy Schaake Charitable Fund, Highgate Senior Living, Southeast Washington Aging & Long Term Care.

For more information or to register, visit alzwa.org, email MemoryLossConf@alz.org or call 800-848-7097 ext. 8170.

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Learn more about the upcoming Alzheimer’s Walk & Memory Loss Conference

Getting the word out about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s AND the Central Washington Memory Loss Conference.

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Claire Fallat, left, and Debbie Hunter, right, met KIMA-TV reporter Jackie DelPilar in Franklin Park today for a story about Yakima’s Alzheimer’s Walk on Saturday, Sept. 17, AND to talk about the Central Washington Memory Loss Conference on Nov. 2.

Claire is the Yakima Alzheimer’s Walk coordinator and Debbie is a devoted advocate for Alzheimer’s research and support. Her husband, Chris, got Alzheimer’s disease at age 48 and now is in hospice care. The disease changed their family’s life forever.

Find out more about the walk at alz.org/walk or 206-529-3878.

For more information on the day-long conference (FREE for family caregivers): alzwa.org or call 206-363-5000, ext. 8170.

Summer get-togethers – Make them fun and healthy

Summer get-togethers – Make them fun and healthy

Ah, summer! It’s time to kick back and get together-at backyard bashes, picnics in the park and parades on the Fourth of July. Here are some tips on how to keep those celebrations as healthy as they are fun..

Get everybody moving. Organize gatherings around activities that get guests on their feet. Explore a local trail together or, if kids are attending, head out on a neighborhood scavenger hunt. Play active games–maybe soccer in a nearby field or croquet or volleyball in your backyard.

Serve thirst-quenching, crowd-pleasing drinks. Beat summer heat by rethinking drinks. Skip sugary sodas and offer pitchers of ice-cold water instead. Add thinly sliced lemons, limes, watermelon or strawberries for flavor.

Pile on fresh produce. Serve family and friends just-picked summer fruits and vegetables. Fresh, in-season produce is at its peak in flavor and nutrition, so be ready for requests for seconds. Think veggie kebabs, leafy green salads and big bowls of cut-up fruit.

Keep uninvited guests away. Don’t let disease-causing bacteria contaminate your food at outdoor gatherings. Place perishable foods–such as burgers, deviled eggs and potato salad–in a well-insulated cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs. And keep the cooler in the shade. Bacteria multiply rapidly in warm temperatures.

Dish up a patriotic ending. Serve a red, white and blue dessert: a no-bake watermelon cake. It’s topped with white, yogurt-based frosting and mouth-watering blueberries. This sweet treat is packed with nutrients and low in calories. For the recipe, go to www.morehealth.org/watermeloncake.

Finally, be a cheerleader for healthy habits. Keep in mind that children of all ages copy what adults around them do-whether that’s eating well or moving more, even at parties.

Sources: American Institute for Cancer Research; U.S. Department of Agriculture

Thank you, Legends Casino!

Owned and operated by the Yakama Nation, each year Legends Casino gives a percentage of its profits to area emergency services and nonprofit agencies.

On Wednesday, the casino handed out nearly $900,000, with $464,307 given to emergency agencies and $434,027 to nonprofits. Cottage in the Meadow, North Star Lodge and Children’s Village were three (3) of nearly 200 nonprofits awarded funds in amounts ranging from $1,000 to more than $10,000.

Cottage in the Meadow Hospice Care Center and Memorial Hospital’s Hospice Program, Compass Care,  received $10,844 to serve patients and families who are struggling significantly with their day to day financial existence, and the illness and impending death of their loved one magnifies these struggles. The hospice emergency fund provides support and assistance to assure quality of life in the final stages of life’s journey.

North Star Lodge Cancer Center received $7,500 to support its cancer care fund which provides hardship assistance for patients who are forced to leave their employment during treatments, and for those who are uninsured, underinsured, or lack caregiver support. This fund helps cancer patients who need transportation to and from appointments, prescription assistance, nutritional supplements, counseling and stress reduction programs.

Children’s Village received $5,000 for its emergency fund to assist families who face significant needs, unexpected obstacles, and extraordinary expenses associated with the medical costs of having a child with special needs. This fund was established to fill in the gaps when no other options are available.

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Aaron Whitefoot from Legends presents a check to Carol Vanevenhoven, Oncology Service Line Director at North Star Lodge.

We are truly grateful to the Yakama Nation Legends Casino for their generosity! These grants allow us to help those patients who have the greatest need while confronting extremely difficult medical challenges.