Category Archives: Cancer Care

Prediabetes affects 1 in 3 Americans – Know your risk factors

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Feb. 2, 2016—Here’s a shocking stat: More than 1 in 3 Americans have prediabetes—a serious condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than they should be. Untreated prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes and other health problems over time.

And out of those who have prediabetes, almost 9 out of 10 of them don’t know it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s why CDC and other health organizations have launched a first-of-its-kind campaign to encourage people to learn more about their prediabetes risk.

What to know about prediabetes

Here’s what you should know about prediabetes—and how you can protect your health:

Prediabetes raises your risk for type 2 diabetes. Up to 30 percent of people with prediabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years, says CDC. Prediabetes can also cause other serious health problems like heart attack or stroke.

Anyone can get prediabetes—but some people are at higher risk. You could be more likely to get prediabetes if you:

  • Are overweight
  • Are 45 or older
  • Have a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes
  • Exercise less than 3 times per week
  • Ever had diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes) or gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
  • Are African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Pacific Islander or Asian American

You can learn more about your prediabetes risk by taking a quick test at

You can have prediabetes and feel perfectly fine. Often prediabetes doesn’t have any symptoms. That’s why so many people with the condition don’t realize they have it. But some people with prediabetes can have some symptoms of diabetes, such as blurry vision, thirst, tiredness or frequent urination.

You should talk to a healthcare provider if you’re at risk. A doctor can test your blood sugar to tell if you have prediabetes. If you’re diagnosed, he or she can also help you take steps to improve your health and lower your risk for type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes can be reversed or managed with healthy lifestyle changes. But it’s important to move fast. The sooner you act, the better chance you have of preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes. Here are some things that can help:

Memorial offers a prediabetes class where participants meet in groups with a trained lifestyle coach for 16 weekly, one-hour sessions and seven monthly follow up sessions. If you would like to learn more about this program, you can attend an orientation on the last Monday of each month from 4-4:30 p.m. at Memorial’s Community Education Center at 2506 W. Nob Hill Blvd. No registration is necessary for the orientation.


Eat at Zesta Cucina and support West Valley and The Memorial Foundation

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Diners at Zesta Cucina might notice something a little different about the wait staff at the restaurant, 5110 W. Tieton Drive, on Saturday, February 6. Servers will include high school students vying to be named Mr. West Valley, a competition about area kids helping area kids. And a portion of the restaurant’s proceeds that evening will go toward helping the students raise money for children’s health care.

West Valley is one of five area schools participating in this year’s Children’s Miracle Network/YouthWorks pageants to raise money for the Children’s Health Care Fund, benefitting children’s health care at Memorial Family of Services: Children’s Village, Memorial’s Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit and Memorial’s Pediatric Unit.

In the months before their school’s pageant, contestants hold a variety of fundraising events to raise money for the local Children’s Miracle Network hospital. Efforts culminate on pageant night, when a winner will be named based on money raised, talent and other events that evening, which for West Valley will be 7 p.m., February 24 in the school’s auditorium.

Since the event was established in 2001, more than $800,000 has been raised for the Children’s Health Care Fund at Memorial.

Yakima Valley Credit Unions Collaborate to Contribute to Memorial

SeaTac, WA. — Continuing a rich tradition of fundraising for hospitalized children, the credit unions of the Yakima Valley will make a special contribution to Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, January 13.

Working in partnership, the credit unions will present a check for $29,264.90 and a plaque commemorating their years-long commitment to Yakima Valley Memorial and its young patients. The money was raised last fall during the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Roaring 20’s gala and auction to benefit Credit Unions for Kids. The funds presented by the Yakima area credit unions will support the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Pediatrics and Children’s Village.

“Every single dollar raised by any credit union or group of credit unions directly benefits the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in their region,” said Jamie Dedmon, Managing Director of the Northwest Credit Union Foundation. “That allows the hospitals to let credit unions know exactly what kinds of contributions will most benefit the children. Donations might support toy purchases, patient care, research or medications, and in the end all of this puts smiles on faces of the kids and their families.”

The Credit Unions for Kids charity was born in 1986 by a group of Northwest credit unions that began raising money for regional Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Their model was adopted nationally a decade later and now is the “charity of choice” for the entire credit union movement. While more than $130 million has been raised for 170 CMN hospitals across the nation, Yakima Valley credit unions alone have collected nearly $100,000 in the past decade.

“Memorial is grateful to the Northwest Credit Union Foundation for their selfless efforts to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network (CNM),” said Mary Hart, director of Memorial’s Maternal Health Services. “CNM helps support the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Pediatrics and Children’s Village services for special-needs children. This gift will help save lives and put smiles on the faces of sick children in our community.”

Memorial offers class to learn infant CPR, January 21

Unintentional choking and suffocation are the leading causes of all injury deaths for infants under one year of age. Being prepared for such an emergency can make all the difference.

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is offering an opportunity for parents and caregivers of infants to learn when a baby needs rescue breathing, how to start CPR and how to care for an infant who’s choking. The class is January 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Memorial’s Community Education Center, 2506 W. Nob Hill Blvd., Yakima. No registration is needed. The cost is $5 per person.

This is not a CPR certification class. But knowing how to respond in the first few minutes of an emergency – before professional help arrives – can mean the difference between life and death. If you are the parent or caregiver of an infant, learn infant CPR!

For more information, call 509-248-7322 or visit the Classes and Events page at

Memorial Family of Services’ Affiliation with Virginia Mason Is Official

SEATTLE – (Jan. 5, 2016) – The affiliation of Yakima-based Memorial Family of Services, which includes Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, with Virginia Mason Health System became final on Jan. 1 as expected, following regulatory review.

“I am very pleased to welcome Memorial to our organization,” said Virginia Mason Chairman and CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD. “We are partnering with a community-focused health system that shares our vision for the future of health care and our commitment to quality and safety.”

Dr. Kaplan and Memorial CEO Russ Myers, along with Jim Berg, chairman of the Memorial Board of Trustees, and James Young, chairman of the Virginia Mason Board of Directors, signed the legal document for the affiliation during a Nov. 11 ceremony in Yakima.

“We are excited about joining the Virginia Mason organization,” Myers said, “and the opportunities this will create for expanding access to high quality, affordable and patient-centered health services in our community.”

The affiliation, a historic first for both not-for-profit organizations, is a non-cash transaction. Memorial Family of Services and Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, which is owned and operated by the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Association, become part of Virginia Mason.

Teams from Virginia Mason and Memorial are developing plans that will guide the collaborative integration and enhancement of services over the next several months. Clinical areas designated for integration and/or enhancement first include primary care, digestive diseases, heart, cancer, neurosciences and orthopedics.

“Our management and leadership teams share a vision and commitment to work together in building a health system that is greater than the sum of its parts,” Dr. Kaplan said.

The affiliation expands Virginia Mason’s presence in Central Washington, where it has partnerships with Kittitas Valley Healthcare in Ellensburg and Confluence Health in Wenatchee for providing or supporting specific services.

About Virginia Mason
Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system based in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. Virginia Mason employs approximately 6,000 people and includes a 336-bed acute-care hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 480 physicians; regional medical centers throughout the Puget Sound area; and Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the U.S. designed and built specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS. Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is internationally recognized for its breakthrough autoimmune disease research. Using the Virginia Mason Production System management methodology, Virginia Mason is an international leader in applying lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery to eliminate waste, lower cost, and improve quality and patient safety. Virginia Mason website:

To learn more about Virginia Mason, visit or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter.

About Memorial Family of Services
Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is a 226-bed, acute-care, not-for-profit, 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 ( The Memorial Foundation has raised and distributed $45 million toward innovative health care programs in the Yakima Valley (

Media Contacts:
Gale Robinette
Virginia Mason Media Relations
(206) 341-1509

Rebecca Teagarden

Communications Specialist

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital

and Memorial Family of Services

(509) 577-5051

The top health stories of 2015

Dec. 29, 2015—From hot dogs to high heels, 2015 delivered a lot of interesting health news.

While there were many leading headlines in health, here are a few that got some of the most attention from our readers in 2015. If you missed any of them, take the time to check them out—soon they’ll be last year’s news!

1. Eating certain meats causes cancer, report finds. Is that hot dog going to make you sick? Find out what kinds of meat the World Health Organization tagged as cancerous.

2. Anxiety affects millions of careers. Do you feel stressed on the job? This story reveals just how common that feeling may be.

3. Melanoma cases double in 30 years. Find out what steps you can take to protect yourself against the most deadly form of skin cancer.

4. Your kitchen towel may be a comfy home for germs. You dry your dishes with it. You wipe your hands on it. But what might be living on it?

5. Not so sweet: Sugary drinks kill 184,000 a year. You may want to reach for a big glass of water after reading about the global health effects of sugar-sweetened beverages.

6. Sleeping in car seats can be deadly. Learn how to provide a safe sleeping environment for your baby—and why a car seat can be a napping no-no.

7. High heels, higher injury risk. Dressing up feet may be pretty, but sometimes it’s dangerous. A report shows how a number of injuries related to wearing high heels has increased.


Cruisin Coffee raising money for The Memorial Foundation on Dec. 17

Hot Coffee and Kickin’ Country benefit a Great Cause

Grab a coffee and donate to The Memorial Foundation tomorrow morning (THURSDAY) at the Cruisin Coffee at 32nd and West Nob Hill Blvd.

Coastal Farm & Ranch of Yakima will match public donations up to $1,000, and all proceeds go to The Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Memorial Family of Services.

You can’t miss Cruisin Coffee. They’ll be the ones with DJ’s from 92.9 The Bull out front broadcasting the morning show.


Exceptional Cancer Treatment in Yakima

Traveling away from your own community for cancer treatment can be expensive, exhausting and complicated.  Accommodations and appointments are difficult to organize and many patients are feeling their most vulnerable during this time and need to focus on their health. Being in familiar surroundings near family is an important part of emotional well-being and improves one’s ability to cope with the stress of cancer. 

At North Star Lodge, our goal is to make every patient’s journey with cancer as stress free as possible.  Our medical specialists, support services, radiation and chemotherapy treatment equipment, laboratory and pharmacy services, are located under one roof.  North Star Lodge is one of the only outpatient cancer treatment facilities in Central Washington with this unique and all-encompassing approach.   Nobody should have to leave their community for exceptional cancer treatment, its right here, in Yakima.

Memorial hosts screening of the documentary film “PlantPure Nation,” Dec. 9

Memorial hosts screening of the documentary film “PlantPure Nation,” Dec. 9

A new grass-roots movement has a goal nothing short of a world filled with healthy people and strong communities by promoting the importance of plant-based nutrition.

The new film “PlantPure Nation” tells the story of three people on a quest to spread the message of one of the most important health breakthroughs of all time. And Memorial Family of Services, the Yakima Food Cooperative and Vegetarians of Yakima would like to share that message with the public at a free screening of the movie on Wednesday, Dec. 9.

A movement toward a vegetarian diet must grow from the grass-roots, the food documentary says.

“PlantPure Nation” makes a case for not relying on the medical establishment or the government to spread the word about the evidence that eating whole, plant-based food is the key to good health. Instead it’s up to those of us who know the benefits of vegetarian food to start a nationwide health revolution.

The film stars renowned Cornell University biochemist T. Colin Campbell and his oldest son, Nelson Campbell.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. There will be two showings, 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., at the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital auditorium, 2811 Tieton Drive.

For more information on the screening, contact Kate Gottlieb at 509-225-3179. Find out more about the film at


The Holidays and Cancer Treatment

Family celebrations are often based on tradition, however cancer treatment may change the way your family chooses to enjoy the holidays.  Take time to discuss your plans in advance and be prepared to make changes for a stress-free season.

  • Be realistic about your abilities. Doctor appointments, side effects from medications and fatigue may change the activities you would normally participate in.  Choose a few meaningful occasions to attend rather than use your energy to go to every event.
  • Change tradition. Talk to your family about switching hosting roles or locations to ease the burden of planning and organizing.  Consider catering a meal or eating at a restaurant rather than preparing a large holiday meal.
  • Talk about your expectations and what the holidays mean to you. Simply spending time together may be more meaningful than elaborate activities and decorations.
  • Look to the future rather than thinking about the way things used to be. Create opportunities for extended family to share their traditions with you and celebrate in new ways.

North Star Lodge offers a wide range of programs and support services to make sure all patients and families have the resources they need to continue normal life and routine as much as possible.   Learn more at