Category Archives: Cancer Care

Generosity of Spirit Multiplied

Generosity of Spirit Multiplied
By Laurie Oswalt, M.Div.
Director of Spiritual Care at Memorial
I was in the basement of Memorial Hospital one morning, walking past an area where furniture waits to be repaired. I overheard one employee tell another about an extravagant wheelchair that had been donated by a family after their loved one had died, and the employee didn’t know what to do with it. In typical fashion, I interrupted the two employees, saying, “I know EXACTLY what to do with it!” I took it and put it in my office, then I contacted my friend, Ted Cowan from the Naches Lions Club and asked if he could use it. Could he ever!!
The Naches Lions Club has a program for receiving, and loaning out, medical equipment to patients in our area. The Lions Club has a barn in Naches where all of the equipment is stored—it’s an amazing space, where everything from canes to commodes to crutches, from wheelchairs to hospital beds, from lift chairs to bath chairs is housed. People are welcome to borrow equipment, at no cost. When the equipment is no longer needed, then the equipment is returned…often with more medical equipment that has accumulated in the family garage.
This program works for two reasons: it’s an inexpensive way to meet a need in our community, and equipment is borrowed and returned…and more is donated. If you have any medical equipment that you would like to offer to the Lions Club medical equipment program, please contact Ted Cowan of the Naches Lions Club: (509) 653-2486.
Now, what about that great wheelchair that was in my office? Well, apparently the people I explained the program to (the ones who gave me the wheelchair) thought it was such a great program that they decided to add to it; I left my office to go to a meeting, and by the time I got back, my extravagant wheelchair had multiplied to TWO wheelchairs!

Nutritionist vs Dietitian – Is there a difference?

By Kim McCorquodale RDN, CSO, CD
North Star Lodge

The world of nutrition can be a confusing one. There are new studies with new results all of the time. It can be hard to decide what the right thing to eat is or who to trust. And there are many people anxious to help you with those choices. How do you know what to do? I thought it might be helpful to start with what the letters that follow a person’s name.

I listed “my letters” above and will explain them all. The first, RDN, stands for “registered dietitian nutritionist.” Many “registered dietitians” (RDs) have started to add the N at the end because the word “dietitian” can be limiting or confusing. But, if it says either RD or RDN that means the person is a health professional who has university qualifications consisting of a 4-year Bachelor Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics or a 3-year Science Degree followed by a Master Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, including a certain period of practical training in different hospital and community settings (in the U.S. 1200 hours of supervised practice are required in different areas). They must meet national standards for professional legislation which includes passing a comprehensive exam and obtaining continuing education requirements.

The CSO after my name means I am a “certified specialist in oncology.” This means I have practiced a minimum of 2000 hours in the field of oncology nutrition in the past 5 years and have passed a rigorous exam. This exam must be retaken every 5 years to ensure the CSO remains current in the ever-changing field of oncology nutrition.

The CD after my name stands for “certified dietitian.” This simply means that the state of Washington has reviewed my qualifications and found they meet current standards. This is a credential that must be annually renewed.

The term “nutritionist” is harder to pin down. A “nutritionist” is a non-accredited title that may apply to somebody who has a PhD in Nutrition or to someone who has given themselves the title and to something in between. The term “nutritionist” is not protected by law in almost all countries, so people with different levels of knowledge can call themselves a “nutritionist.” It does not necessarily mean the person is uneducated or a “quack” or they are supplying inaccurate information. It just means it is up to you to make certain the person you are consulting is a qualified health professional and has the expertise. This task is much more difficult when the person does not have an accredited title.

Of course, all the letters in the world are not a 100% guarantee of the perfect health professional for your needs. You still need to investigate them carefully and make sure you understand any advice given to you. But, I hope the above information helps you make an informed decision in the interesting world of nutrition.

Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies

Memorial Family of Services is joining with KCTS9 in Seattle to host a preview screening of the film, “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies” on Tuesday, March. 24. This three-part, six-hour television miniseries is presented by preeminent documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and directed by award-winning filmmaker Barak Goodman. The March 24 event offers a sneak peak into the film, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A.

What can you tell us about the film?

The film is based on the Pulitzer prize-winning book, “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer,” by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee. Mukherjee is an assistant professor of Medicine for Hematology and Oncology at Columbia University Medical Center. He has said in interviews that he was compelled to write the book when a patient asked, “What is it that I’m fighting?”

This book really is a history of cancer:

  • from the ancient Greeks who believed cancer was a “black bile” in the body
  • to the 1950s, when a woman couldn’t place an advertisement in The New York Times for a breast cancer survivors group because it used the words “breast” and “cancer;” instead, the newspaper suggested they refer to it as “diseases of the chest wall”
  • to the research and clinical trials that are being done today

The film shares some of that history, but also personal stories of the scientists who made cancer research their mission, as well as those of cancer survivors and caregivers. It’s the most comprehensive documentary on a single disease ever made.

We will be hosting a 40-minute preview screening of the film at The Seasons Performance Hall, 101 N. Naches Ave. in Yakima. Following the film screening, we will hold a panel discussion featuring a medical oncologist, Dr. Vicky Jones, a local cancer survivor and a local caregiver – a gentleman whose wife has cancer.

What is the goal of this event?

We view this community event as an opportunity to foster discussion about cancer. It’s an opportunity to put aside the superstitions and the myths and the fears about cancer and talk about where we are with the disease today and where we’re going.

Our goal, first and foremost, is to educate everyone about cancer. At some point in our lives, we are all likely to be touched by this disease – either to be diagnosed with it ourselves or to have someone we know and love touched by it.

This event presents a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the film, which will be airing on KCTS9 over three evenings – March 30, 31 and April 1 – as well as learn from and participate in discussion about cancer care from people who experience it firsthand.

Do I need to register for this event?

This event is free and open to the public. Space is available first come, first serve. Registration is not required, but we are asking people to RSVP on our Eventbrite page. You can reach it at

For more information about the film and to see personal stories from the filmmakers, cancer researchers, cancer survivors and caregivers for loved ones who have had the disease, visit


Kick the Can-the soda can that is-to the Curb!

Kim McCorquodale RD, CSO at North Star Lodge

Oh, why I should not drink soda, let me count the reasons. There are all those empty calories if you drink soda with sugar, or all those artificial sweeteners if you drink the diet stuff like I do. Plus a lot of other stuff we don’t need in our bodies, such as caffeine and high levels of phosphorus that can leach the calcium from our bones (not good). And think of all the money you’d save if you stopped! The expense of soda when eating out can rival the food! So, there are lots of great reasons to stop, but how do we get started?

Some tips to help you kick that habit are:

  1. Make a plan and write it down. Don’t try to quit cold-turkey if you are drinking several a day. We generally are more successful when committing to small changes, so start with cutting back to one can each day, then two cans, etc.
  2. Check out all the drink alternatives out there. If you crave that carbonation, try adding a splash of juice to sparkling water. Or add citrus fruit, mint, or cucumber slices to water to jazz it up (see a previous blog on flavored water).
  3. Keep these alternatives around so making a better choice is easier. Just a little pre-planning will really help increase your success.
  4. Adopt a no-soda at home policy, or a no-soda at work policy, or wherever you are most tempted. If it’s not there, you will have to make a bigger effort to drink it.

Please join with me as I try these tips now before the summer months arrive and drinking a cold soda is even more tempting. You, and I, will be well on our way to improving our overall health if we do.

Learn at Lunch at NSL – Healthy Habits for Life Starts February 18


NSL Nutrition Services wants to let you know of an opportunity to learn and apply lifelong habits to increase your health and fitness. We are hosting a Learn at Lunch and will discuss Healthy Habits for Life. The first in the 4-part series starts tomorrow, February 18th, from 12-1PM at NSL. The program was developed by the WA State Dairy Council and is designed to help you make gradual, but permanent, changes that will improve your overall health. Isn’t that what we all want?

Please call our department to register 509- 574-3408. There is no charge (donations always appreciated), and a light lunch will be provided.

Kohl’s, Memorial Hospital Partner on Health and Wellness Programs

YAKIMA, Wash. — Kohl’s Department Stores and Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital are partnering to bring health and wellness programs to Yakima, including fitness and cooking classes.

Beginning in February and through fall 2015, Memorial will be offering weekly yoga and Zumba classes, a fitness boot camp and cooking classes to help improve the health of the Yakima community. The program is being made possible through a $28,494 donation to Memorial by Kohl’s.

The Healthy for Life Program includes the following classes provided at no charge to participants, which have already started and are currently available unless otherwise noted:

  • Gentle Yoga

Tuesdays, 7:15 p.m.-8:15 p.m.

Yoga Collective, 2600 W. Nob Hill Blvd., Yakima

  • Bilingual Zumba

Wednesdays, 7 p.m.-8 p.m. (starting Feb. 18)

Adams Elementary School, 723 S. 8th St., Yakima

  • Bilingual Yoga

Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Yoga Collective, 2600 W. Nob Hill Blvd., Yakima

  • Boot Camp

Fridays, 5:30 p.m.-6:15 p.m.

Rock Solid Fitness, 1109 S. 22nd Ave., Unit B, Yakima

  • Cooking classes (Spanish)

April 9, April 16, April 23, April 30, 6 p.m-7 p.m.

Memorial Education Center, 2506 W. Nob Hill Blvd., Yakima


  • Cooking classes (English)

Thursday, June 18, June 25, July 2, July 9, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.

Memorial Education Center, 2506 W. Nob Hill Blvd., Yakima

The Kohl’s donation also allows once again for the purchase of 1,000 bike helmets for area children, which will be distributed at Memorial’s annual Fiesta de Salud Health Fair in July and at other community events.

Since 2012, Kohl’s has donated more than $45,000 to Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital and The Memorial Foundation. Other Memorial initiatives supported through Kohl’s include Children’s Village, YouthWorks and other child safety programs through community education

Kohl’s commitment to Memorial is made possible through the Kohl’s Cares® cause merchandise program. Through this initiative, Kohl’s sells $5 books and plush toys, where 100 percent of net profit benefits children’s health and education programs nationwide, including hospital partnerships like this one. Kohl’s has raised more than $257 million through this merchandise program. In addition to the merchandise program, Kohl’s Cares features the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program, which last year recognized more than 2,500 young volunteers with more than $400,000 in scholarships and prizes. Through the Kohl’s Associates in Action volunteer program, more than 834,000 associates have donated more than 2.7 million hours of their time since 2001, and Kohl’s has donated more than $79 million to youth-focused nonprofit organizations. Kohl’s also offers fundraising gift cards for schools and youth-serving organizations. For more information, visit

About Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is a 226-bed, acute-care, community hospital serving Central Washington’s Yakima Valley. Memorial Family of Services includes primary care practices and specialty care services, including high-quality cardiac care, a continuum of cancer care, hospice care and advanced services for children with special health care needs. Visit Memorial online at or on Facebook (, Twitter ( or Pinterest (

About Kohl’s

Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) is a leading specialty department store with 1,163 stores in 49 states. With a commitment to inspiring and empowering families to lead fulfilled lives, the company offers amazing national and exclusive brands, incredible savings and inspiring shopping experiences in-store, online at and via mobile devices. Committed to our communities, Kohl’s has raised more than $257 million for children’s initiatives nationwide through its Kohl’s Cares® cause merchandise program, which operates under Kohl’s Cares, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. For additional information about Kohl’s philanthropic and environmental initiatives, visit For a list of store locations and information, or for the added convenience of shopping online, visit


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Tips for weight loss

Kim McCorquodale RD at North Star Lodge

If you’re like me, and I think most of the US population, you overdid it during our recent holiday season and have added a few pounds. If you don’t want to be in the same place next January, make some of the changes below a part of your lifestyle. Remember, it’s not perfection but perseverance that wins the race!

•    Make small, permanent changes – they do make a big difference. Choose 1-2 small goals to start, such as writing down everything you eat or planning your dinners. After a month of success with those add in 1-2 more.

•    Weigh weekly.  Weighing more often can be discouraging, but never weighing can make it difficult to gauge the success of your changes.

•    Eat more veggies.  There are many reasons to do this that have nothing to do with weight loss, but veggies will fill you up without filling you out. Add at least 2 servings for dinner and include them in your snacks.

•    Snack wisely. Include a lean protein whenever you eat to increase satisfaction and reduce cravings. But don’t overdo portion size – your protein portion should only be about 1/4th of your plate.

•    Choose whole grain versions. Fiber, like protein, tends to increase a sense of fullness and to reduce those cravings.

•    Check restaurant menus online and plan what you’ll order before leaving home.  This will help you avoid the temptation to “live it up” when you arrive at the restaurant hungry.

•    Plan ahead. This is included in many of the suggestions above, but it can’t be encouraged enough. Start small with planning 7 dinners for the week, then make your grocery list and stick to it. Having the ingredients for a healthy dinner in the house is a huge part of success. Next plan a variety of healthy breakfasts, lunches, and snacks and have what you need for those on hand. This will make a big difference in your journey to wellness and weight loss.

I hope many of you will join me in making 2015 a healthier year!

Apple Valley Dental donates $850 to ‘Ohana

During the month of October, Apply Valley Dental donated $1 for every child who wore pink bands on their braces and $1 for every child who had a tooth sealant procedure – which means $850 was raised to help anyone in need of financial assistance with either their mammogram, breast ultrasound or biopsy at ‘Ohana.

We are so thankful for your support and so are the many women that will now have access to the services at ‘Ohana!

Do you need a mammogram or know someone who does? For more information or to schedule a screening click here.

Keep Support LocalApple Valley Dental 'Ohana

Digital mammography in Yakima

All mammograms start the same way—with an x-ray of the breast. But a newer type, called a digital mammogram, processes images differently. It records and stores images on a computer instead of on x-ray film.

Digital mammograms still require compressing the breasts to get good images. But according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), they have some advantages over film.

Viewing and sharing

After you have a mammogram, the images are analyzed by a specialist called a radiologist. With digital mammograms, the radiologist can adjust the images on the computer screen to get a better look. He or she can change the size, brightness or contrast to see certain areas more clearly. Some studies show that this reduces the number of women who need to return for extra tests.

If the radiologist wants to send the images to your doctor or show them to another specialist, this can easily be done electronically. Managing images this way is similar to how digital photos can be viewed and shared.

Both film and digital mammograms work well at finding breast cancer. However, several studies show that digital images may be more accurate in women younger than 50 and in women with dense breast tissue, reports the ACS.

Safe and effective

While all x-rays use radiation, the dose from both film and digital mammograms is very small. In fact, one mammogram delivers about the same amount of radiation as you would be exposed to flying on a commercial flight from New York to California.

If you only have access to film mammograms, don’t worry. Both types are very good at detecting breast changes early, when treatment works best.

According to the ACS, women should begin having yearly mammograms at age 40. To find out more, visit the ACS at

At ‘Ohana, Memorial’s Mammography Center, we offer a supportive and caring environment along with the most advanced digital technology available. Digital mammography allows us to provide our patients with the highest quality of care in the prevention and early detection of breast cancer.

Early detection remains a woman’s best defense in the battle against breast cancer. Like all cancers, breast cancer develops when abnormal cells in the body change and grow out of control. When problematic breast tissue cells are diagnosed early, the prognosis for cure is extremely high.

Although mammography services are the foundation of ‘Ohana, additional diagnostic and support services are offered in the same beautiful facility. ‘Ohana offers a communication linkage for women to access doctors, diagnosticians, counselors, and other health professionals.

Walk In Clinics

`Ohana offers walk-in clinic hours for screening mammograms on Fridays from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. No appointment in necessary—just bring the name of your primary care physician with you. Patients will be seen in the order of arrival. Spanish interpreters are available.

For more information or to schedule a mammogram call (509) 574-3863.

Many women missing vital step to prevent cervical cancer, says CDC

Nov. 13, 2014—Many women are not getting screened for cervical cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s concerning given the importance of the screening: It can allow doctors to detect abnormal cells before they turn into cancer and give women the opportunity to take steps to potentially prevent the disease.

About the study

CDC researchers reviewed national health data to determine the number of women who hadn’t been screened for cervical cancer in the past 5 years. They also analyzed cervical cancer cases and deaths that occurred between 2007 and 2011.

While rates of cervical cancer dropped by around 2 percent, other findings were less encouraging:

  • In 2012, nearly 8 million women ages 21 to 65 reported not being screened for cervical cancer within the past 5 years.
  • The percentage of women who had not been screened was largest among those without health insurance or a regular healthcare provider.
  • Older women and women living in the southern United States were less likely to be screened.

The numbers suggest that too many women are missing opportunities for cervical cancer screenings, which can help reduce the number of cervical cancer cases and deaths. According to CDC, more than half of all new cervical cancers occur in women who have never been screened or haven’t been screened in the last 5 years. You can read CDC’s findings here.

The take-home message
All women are at risk for cervical cancer, and getting tested can save lives. It’s essential for women to learn about their screening options and get the test that’s right for them:

  • Women ages 21 to 29, including those who have had the vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV), should have a Pap test—a way to screen for cervical cancer by testing for abnormal cells—every 3 years.
  • Women ages 30 to 65 should have either a Pap test every 3 years or a Pap test plus HPV test every 5 years.
  • Women over age 65 should ask their doctor if they need to continue screening.
  • All women should talk with their doctors and nurses to understand their screening results.

Health insurance plans that started on or after Sept. 23, 2010, are required to cover recommended cervical cancer screening tests—usually at no cost to you. If you don’t have health insurance, you can find a plan at Open enrollment starts Nov. 15, 2014.

In addition to cervical cancer screening, another good way to prevent cervical cancer is to get an HPV vaccine. Giving girls and boys ages 11 and 12 an HPV vaccine offers them the best protection against the HPV virus. Doing so can also help reduce a girl’s risk for developing cervical cancer later in life.

Read on to learn more about what you can do to identify and reduce your risk of developing cervical cancer.