Category Archives: Cancer Care

Why Organic?

8 6 15 organicWhy Organic?
Kim McCorquodale RD, CSO at North Star Lodge

A recent meta-analysis of the benefits of organic produce has just been published in a reputable nutrition journal. Are you wondering what a meta-analysis is? A meta-analysis is when researchers evaluate many studies that are looking into the same topic to determine if a conclusion can be reached. Or as Wikipedia states, it is “conducting research about previous research.”

Some of the conclusions reached after this meta-analysis include:

  • Organic plants produce more antioxidants

Without synthetic pesticides to fight their battles, organic plants tend to produce more antioxidants because they help the plant defend itself against pests and other injuries. And most of us know antioxidants help prevent oxidative damage that can lead to heart disease, stroke, and cancer. If you choose organic fruits, vegetables, and cereals, you will consume 20-40% more antioxidants each day, or the equivalent of 2 extra portions of fruits/veggies each day. So that helps deflate some of the extra cost argument against choosing organic.

  • Organic plants have 10 to 100 times fewer pesticide residues

Of course this makes sense, but many times you hear that the levels in conventional crops are so low that you don’t need to be concerned. However, this research concluded that conventional crops had approximately two times as much cadmium, a toxic heavy metal, than organic crops. This is just one example of the undesirable components found in some non-organic crops.

Use the “Dirty Dozen” list to decide what organic produce to buy. Click here to get an app for your phone so you have this information with you while shopping.

Buy organic:

  • peaches
  • strawberries
  • apples
  • domestic blueberries
  • nectarines
  • sweet bell peppers
  • spinach, kale and collard greens
  • cherries
  • potatoes
  • imported grapes
  • lettuce
  • celery

All the produce on “The Clean 15” have very little pesticide residue, and are safe to consume in non-organic form. Most have protection because of their outer layers. This list includes:

  • onions
  • avocados
  • sweet corn
  • pineapples
  • mango
  • sweet peas
  • asparagus
  • kiwi fruit
  • cabbage
  • eggplant
  • cantaloupe
  • watermelon
  • grapefruit
  • sweet potatoes
  • sweet onions

These lists were compiled after the USDA washed the produce with high-power pressure washers, not something we all have in our kitchens! Of course you still need to wash your produce, but it is a fantasy that we can wash off all pesticides.

This study has helped convince me to buy organic when possible- hope you feel the same.

10 Ways to Improve Your In-Office Eating Habits

Wellness in 10: 10 Ways to Improve Your In-Office Eating Habits

Posted By National Wellness Institute, Monday, August 03, 2015

Wellness in 10 this month is focused on our eating habits at work, which – for many people – have room for improvement. The crux of many of our at-work nutritional challenges stem from the fact that we’re working with limited resources like time, availability, and room for eating well, but we’re still taking in one third (or more) of our calories during the week at work!  Here are some ideas to improve your healthy eating habits, and the habits of your staff, coworkers, family and friends.

  1. Brown Bag It.

Eating out every day, or even most days, may prove to be convenient, but actually takes away a lot of your lunchtime choices. By bringing your own lunch to work, you’re taking control of what – and how much – you’re eating, and instead of being limited to one of the few 30-minute-or-less restaurants near your office, you have the ability to choose from anything you can fit in the refrigerator to prepare for lunch.

  1. Bring Greens.

Late summer and fall is when the harvest happens! Take advantage of the huge array of fruits and vegetables that are available to you at this time of year!  If you need ideas for how to eat veggies for lunch at work, just look up “salad in a jar,” online, and you’ll get tons of links like this one.  Your options are only limited to the selection you find at your local farmers market or grocer.

  1. Cut the sugar.

Researchers say sugar is as addictive as cocaine, so it can be hard to turn the cravings off. Taking small steps to reduce sugar intake can have a big impact on your overall health, though. Try reducing or removing the sugar from your morning coffee. You can replace the sugar with spices like cinnamon or cardamom to stave off some of the bitterness. You can also try switching over to the seemingly endless varieties of tea to keep things interesting.

  1. Daily donut? Daily do-not.

Oh boy are donuts delicious. We all know it. We also know they’re not doing us any favors health-wise. While it probably won’t kill you to indulge in a donut from time to time, a daily sweet-roll, cruller, or cinnamon bun can weigh in at a full sixth or more of your daily recommended calorie intake.  If your morning routine normally includes a donut, try switching it up with something with similar flavors, like granola with vanilla yogurt. You’ll get the sweet flavor you’re after while being able to control the portion size. Or try switching out a daily box of donuts at the office with a bunch of bananas or a bag of apples.

  1. Hydrate your hunger.

Many of us have a hard time distinguishing between hunger and thirst. That same segment of us is also probably not drinking enough water. Next time you’re feeling hungry, try drinking a big cup of water and see if it goes away.

  1. Keep your distance.

Keeping snack food in your desk drawer is convenient. That’s not a good thing. Don’t sabotage your nutrition by keeping snack food available where you can munch at it whenever you get an urge. By removing it from your immediate vicinity, you’ll make food choices mindfully.

  1. Plan a snack break.

Nutrition at work isn’t all about denying yourself the things that you want, it’s about providing the things your body needs. Sometimes what your body needs is a little something to keep you going. By planning a snack break (which could easily coincide with your walking break), you give yourself something to look forward to, you get something to munch on, and you get to add something healthy to your day!

  1. Count it out.

Many people have never really learned what a serving size is for a variety of different foods. By taking some time to familiarize yourself with the serving sizes of various foods, you’ll start to learn how much you should be eating. With a little practice, you’ll be able to ‘eyeball’ serving sizes without any extra effort!

  1. Distract yourself.

Have you ever noticed how you never seem to get hungry when you’re in the middle of an interesting project, but while you’re watching a movie the popcorn will disappear before you realize it? Working in a flow state can curb your mindless munching. By making mindful choices to work toward flow state, you’re not only improving your office nutrition, but you’ll increase your overall happiness, too!

  1. Get group support.

Being left out stinks. That’s why a lot of us go out to eat with a crew of coworkers every day instead of packing a lunch to work.  Try recruiting a few people to eat lunch with who may have similar nutrition goals as you. You may be surprised at who’s looking to make a positive change in their overall wellness!

Article courtesy of National Wellness Institute

Memorial board agrees to move forward with Virginia Mason

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 30, 2015
Contacts: Shannon Dininny, Memorial Communications, (509) 577-5051

Memorial Family of Services board agrees to move forward with Virginia Mason
Affiliation subject to completion of definitive agreement, regulatory approval

YAKIMA – The Memorial Family of Services Board of Trustees voted unanimously July 28, 2015, to move forward with an affiliation with Virginia Mason Health System, subject to completion of a definitive agreement that must then be approved by both the Memorial and Virginia Mason boards.

The two organizations anticipate successful completion of that agreement, which will outline how they will work together, in about 60 days. The final agreement may also require state and/or federal review and approval.

Memorial and Virginia Mason share similar values and cultures, as well as a commitment to innovation, and view a potential relationship as an opportunity to create a broader network of care that better serves both organizations’ communities.

Partnerships in health care are occurring across the country as a way to improve service, lower costs and respond to health care reform. Ultimately, these collaborations benefit the patients and communities they serve.

The Memorial Board of Trustees views a strategic partnership as an opportunity for Memorial – and Yakima – to maintain access to high-quality healthcare, improve access to specialty care, advance physician recruitment and expand our financial, clinical and information systems resources. Such a partnership also ensures that state-of-the-art medicine continues in this community.

About Memorial Family of Services
Memorial Family of Services is the largest employer in Central Washington’s Yakima County, with some 2,500 employees who share the organization’s core purpose: to inspire people to thrive. Memorial Family of Services includes Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital – a 226-bed, acute-care, nonprofit community hospital – as well as primary care practices and specialty care services, including high-quality cardiac care, a continuum of cancer care, nationally-recognized home health and hospice care, and advanced services for children with special health care needs. Visit Memorial online at yakimamemorial.org or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/yakimavalleymemorialhospital), Twitter (www.twitter.com/Yakima_Memorial) or Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/yvmh).

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Skin Cancer: Tips for preventing it and lowering your risk

It’s definitely summer.  We’re already seeing high temperatures, and people who work and play outside need to take precautions to stay safe in the sun and to protect themselves against skin cancer. Dr. Thomas Boyd of North Star Lodge offers tips for preventing skin cancers, including melanoma.

How many people get skin cancer?

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. About 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are diagnosed in this country each year. The American Cancer Society estimates that melanoma, a more dangerous type of skin cancer, will account for more than 73,000 cases of skin cancer in 2015.

What is melanoma?

  • Melanoma is a cancer that begins in the melanocytes – the cells that produce the skin coloring or pigment known as melanin. Melanin helps protect the deeper layers of the skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
  • Melanoma is almost always curable when it is found in its very early stages.  The five-year survival rate for people whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 98 percent.

What are the risk factors for skin cancer?

The risk for getting skin cancer is real.  The American Academy of Dermatology estimates one in five Americans will develop skin cancer.  Risk factors include:

  • Unprotected and/or excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds
  • Pale complexion (difficulty tanning, easily sunburned, natural red or blond hair color)
  • Occupational exposures to coal tar, pitch, creosote, arsenic compounds, or radium
  • You or other members of your family have had skin cancers
  • Multiple or unusual moles
  • Severe sunburns in the past

What are the signs and symptoms of skin cancer?

  • Any change on your skin, especially in the size or color of a mole, growth, or spot, or a new growth (even if it has no color)
  • Scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or change in the appearance of a bump or nodule
  • The spread of pigmentation (color) beyond its border, such as dark coloring that spreads past the edge of a mole or mark
  • A change in sensation, such as itchiness, tenderness, or pain

Can skin cancer be prevented?

You can still exercise and enjoy the outdoors while using sun safety at the same time.

  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Look for shade, especially in the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are strongest. Practice the shadow rule and teach it to children. If your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
  • Wear protective clothing when you are out in the sun. Choose comfortable clothes made of tightly woven fabrics that you cannot see through when held up to a light.
  • Use sunscreen and lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen and reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, toweling dry, or sweating. Use sunscreen even on hazy or overcast days.
  • Cover your head with a wide-brimmed hat, shading your face, ears, and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses with 99% to 100% UV absorption to provide optimal protection for the eyes and the surrounding skin.
  • Avoid other sources of UV light. Tanning beds and sun lamps are dangerous. They also damage your skin in other ways.
  • Check your skin every month for odd marks, moles, or sores that will not heal. Pay extra attention to areas that get a lot of sun, such as your hands, arms, and back. Ask your doctor to check your skin during regular physical exams or at least once a year.

How is skin cancer treated?

Treatment depends on the size, depth and location of the cancer.

  • Surgery – cancerous mole removed
  • Radiation, if surgery isn’t an option
  • Biological therapy to stimulate the immune system to kill cancer cells

 

Join Memorial at Yakima Pippins Baseball Tough Enough to Wear Pink night

Strike out cancer!

Join Memorial at Yakima Pippins Baseball Tough Enough to Wear Pink night

YAKIMA – Memorial Family of Services wants you to help strike out cancer!

Memorial is sponsoring the first Tough Enough to Wear Pink night at the Yakima Pippins game on Monday, June 15, 2015, in support of cancer programs in the Yakima community. A percentage of the proceeds from the game will go to Wellness House, which offers free support, resources, education and services to cancer patients and their families.

Brandie Valadez, a 31-year-old Zillah graduate, fourth-grade teacher and girls’ varsity basketball coach, will throw out the first pitch. Valadez, a married mother of a 5-year-old daughter, was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer and is undergoing treatment at North Star Lodge.

Memorial also will be giving away bike helmets to the first 100 children, and there will be fun activities on the field. Game time is 7:05 p.m.

About Memorial Family of Services

Memorial Family of Services is the largest employer in Central Washington’s Yakima County, with some 2,500 employees who share the organization’s core purpose: to inspire people to thrive. Memorial Family of Services includes Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital – a 226-bed, acute-care, nonprofit community hospital – as well as primary care practices and specialty care services, including high-quality cardiac care, a continuum of cancer care, nationally-recognized home health and hospice care, and advanced services for children with special health care needs. Visit Memorial online at yakimamemorial.org or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/yakimavalleymemorialhospital), Twitter (www.twitter.com/Yakima_Memorial) or Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/yvmh).

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The Memorial Foundation – Keeping Support Local

The Memorial Foundation – Keeping Support Local

We are happy to reaffirm the Attorney General’s Charitable Solicitations Program most recent report which states that The Memorial Foundation devotes 89% of donations directly to health programs. Another confirmation and reassurance that our community’s charitable dollars stay local and support community healthcare programs, patients and families.

Keeping support local means dollars are at work right here in our community…directly serving children, families, your neighbors, your loved ones…you.

Through The Memorial Foundation, our community has made hope, care, compassion and wellness possible for many thousands in our community who needed just the right health care service at just the right time. Made possible only through generous giving, for over twenty-five years The Memorial Foundation has been dedicated to improving health outcomes for a healthy community.

Memorial Offers Community Training on Advance Directives

fivewishes 2015The Washington State Medical Association and Washington State Hospital Association have identified advance directives as a key initiative in medical care and substantial time and energy is being placed on this endeavor around our state.

At Memorial, we offer general training on advance directives, and Five Wishes in particular, in one-hour sessions (45 minutes for training, plus 15 minutes Q&A).

During these sessions, you will learn about Washington state’s focus pertaining to an advance directive, what an advance directive consists of (and what makes it legal in Washington), and how to carry out—as well as complete—an advance directive using Five Wishes. You will also receive information regarding the Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form.

You have several opportunities to attend Five Wishes Advance Directive training:

Tuesday, May 26, YVMH Auditorium, 5 pm

Tuesday, June 2, North Star Lodge, 2 pm

Wednesday, June 10, YVMH Auditorium, Noon

Wednesday, July 9, YVMH Auditorium, Noon

Tuesday, August 11, YVMH Auditorium, Noon

Open to the community. No registration required.

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Auditorium (in the basement)
2800 Tieton Drive, Yakima, WA 98902 Map this address

North Star Lodge
808 N. 39th Ave., Yakima, WA 98902 Map this address

Memorial plants onsite garden to supply Cafe with fresh veggies

Fresh-Vegetables-5FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Contact: Shannon Dininny, Memorial Communications, (509) 577-5051

Entrees and salads will feature fresh ingredients from the garden

YAKIMA – Employees and volunteers at Memorial Family of Services have planted an onsite herb and vegetable garden as part of Memorial’s efforts to be more sustainable and encourage our community to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables.

Workers tilled and composted the garden in April and began planting vegetables on Tuesday, May 19. Crops planted include tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, radishes, pumpkins and herbs in a 3,200-square-foot plot off of South 29th Avenue behind Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital. These fresh ingredients are all for Memorial use in patient meals and at The Memorial Cafe.

“My hope is that the herbs and vegetables we grow will help to sustain The Cafe through summer and into early fall,” says Cindy Parkey, Memorial Director of Food Services. “Our aim is to provide healthy options for our patients, visitors and employees, while at the same time, focusing on local ingredients and sustainability. This garden is one step toward that goal.”

Parkey wishes to extend special thanks to Yakima Master Gardeners for planting guidance and to Cowiche Creek Nursery and Blueberries, where Memorial bought the plants.

The garden planting matches Memorial’s renewed focus on sustainability under the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, a national campaign to focus on sustainability in health care and improve the health of communities, reduce environmental impact and decrease overall health care costs through better public health.

Memorial joined the Healthier Hospitals Initiative in January. Under the healthier foods and beverages part of the challenge, Memorial has committed to decreasing the amount of meat purchased by 20 percent within a three-year period, increasing healthy beverage purchases and increasing the percentage of local (within 250 miles) food purchased by 20 percent annually.

About Memorial Family of Services

Memorial Family of Services is the largest employer in Central Washington’s Yakima County, with some 2,500 employees who share the organization’s core purpose: to inspire people to thrive. Memorial Family of Services includes Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital – a 226-bed, acute-care, nonprofit community hospital – as well as primary care practices and specialty care services, including high-quality cardiac care, a continuum of cancer care, nationally-recognized home health and hospice care, and advanced services for children with special health care needs. Visit Memorial online at yakimamemorial.org or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/yakimavalleymemorialhospital), Twitter (www.twitter.com/Yakima_Memorial) or Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/yvmh).

Many adults missing cancer screenings

Cancer screenings 2015May 19, 2015—Americans aren’t as up-to-date with cancer screenings as they should be, reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Regular screenings for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers can catch cancers early, when treatment is likely to work best. This lack of screening means that individuals aren’t getting tests that can save lives. The trends also point to problems in reaching the government’s Healthy People 2020 goals for cancer screening.

The report

Researchers looked at data from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey, which is used to monitor progress toward health screening goals.

The analysis showed that, in comparison to previous years, screening levels for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers either fell behind or showed no improvement. Here’s a look at the numbers:

Breast cancer:

  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women ages 50 to 74 have a mammogram every 2 years.
  • Healthy People 2020 screening goal: 81.1 percent.
  • Current screening levels: 72.6 percent.
  • Areas of concern: Mammogram rates were lower for women age 50 to 64 than age 65 to 74. They were also lower for Hispanic women, women without insurance and women without a usual source of healthcare.

Cervical cancer:

  • The USPSTF recommends that women ages 21 to 65 receive a Pap test at least every 3 years, unless they’ve had a hysterectomy.
  • Healthy People 2020 screening goal: 93 percent.
  • Current screening levels: 80.7.
  • Areas of concern: Pap test use was lower for Asian women, Hispanic women, women ages 51 to 65 and foreign-born women. Women who were uninsured or publicly insured were less likely to get the test than women with private insurance.

Colorectal cancer:

  • The USPSTF recommends that people ages 50 to 75 choose 1 of the following options:
    • Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) every year.
    • Sigmoidoscopy every 5 years and FOBT every 3 years.
    • Colonoscopy every 10 years.
  • Healthy People 2020 screening goal: 70.5 percent.
  • Current screening levels: 58.2 percent.
  • Areas of concern: Test use was lower among Asian and Hispanic people, except Puerto Ricans. Testing was also lower among people aged 50 to 64 compared to those 65 to 75. Test use was slightly lower among men. People without a usual source of care or insurance had a particularly low test rate.

Overall, the data showed no progress toward the screening goals for 2020. In order to reach these targets, researchers encouraged higher efforts to reduce barriers—such as finances and lack of insurance—that keep people from screening. They also suggested that making the public more aware of screening options could help improve these trends.

Find more details on these trends in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The take-home message
Cancer screening could save your life. Regular testing may help detect breast, cervical and colorectal cancers early. Treatment at these early stages tends to be most successful.

Make regular screening a priority. Learn about screening options and recommendations for:

Talk to your doctor about what screenings are right for you.