Category Archives: Cancer Care

Alzheimer’s Association Hosts Central Washington Memory Loss Conference on Nov. 3

10 9 15 alzimageYAKIMA, October 9, 2015 – 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. 3 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 3:45 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.

The conference is sponsored by The Memorial Foundation, The Peggy Schaake Charitable Fund, Fieldstone Memory Care and Aging and Long Term Care.

For more information or to register, visit or call 206-363-5000 ext. 8170.



Yakima Valley Quilters’ Guild to Make Donation to The Memorial Foundation

Yakima, WA, October, 2, 2015—Yakima Valley Quilters’ Guild will donate $6,000 to the Memorial Foundation to support breast health screenings for local women. The donation will be made on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. at `Ohana, Memorial’s  Mammography Center.

Money for this donation was raised during the guild’s quilt show in May, with 100% of the proceeds from the guild’s silent auction and a portion of the sales of tickets from their raffle quilt “Yakama Trails” going toward this donation.

Since 2003, the Yakima Valley Quilters’ Guild has donated to the Memorial Foundation to support mammograms and other screening and diagnostic testing related to women’s breast health. The donation helps to offset the costs associated with testing for women who might not otherwise be able to pay for these procedures. Over 12 years, it is estimated that the guild has donated nearly $50,000 in funding.

The Yakima Valley Quilters’ Guild, with 70 members, hosts their  silent auction and raffle quilt drawing during quilt shows every other year. Members of the guild share a love of quilting and actively support several local organizations through their quilt donations and other activities throughout the year. The guild members donate both personal quilts for individual use and several quilts that other non-profit organizations use as raffle or auction quilts of their own.


Will this year’s flu shot be better than the last?

Sept. 29, 2015—Bad news: The flu season is here. Good news: You can get protected. This year’s flu vaccine is expected to provide much better protection than last year’s did, according to a recent news conference held by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID).

Why this year’s vaccine should work better

Health officials called last year’s flu season unusual. One of the strains the vaccine was designed to protect against mutated after the vaccine was made. That made the vaccine less effective than usual.

That’s not the case so far this year. This year’s vaccine appears to be a good match for the flu strains that are out there, according to health officials.

How you can help keep the flu at bay

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging that people take a 3-step approach to avoiding the flu:

1. Get a flu shot. The flu vaccine is already available, and everyone age 6 months and older should get vaccinated. Last year nearly half of the population that could get a vaccine got one. But that number should be much higher, considering that the public health goal for coverage is 70 percent.

2. Avoid people who are sick. Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. And wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Need more motivation? See how easily the flu virus can spread:

How the flu spreads

3. If you get the flu, consider antivirals. Antiviral drugs can lessen the duration and severity of the flu. CDC recommends antivirals for people at high risk for complications from the flu. This includes young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions, and people age 65 and older.

CDC also recommends that everyone age 65 and older talk to a doctor about getting the pneumococcal vaccine. Pneumococcal disease is a common complication of the flu. People with chronic health conditions, like diabetes, heart disease and lung problems, should also ask about the pneumococcal vaccine.


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:

October 6, Noon-1pm, YVMH Auditorium

November 3, Noon-1pm, YVMH Auditorium

November 18, 7-8 pm, Naches Presbyterian Church (201 E. 2nd Street, Naches, WA)

December 2, Noon-1pm, YVMH Auditorium

Open to the community. No registration required.

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Auditorium (in the basement)
2811 Tieton Drive, Yakima, WA 98902 Map this address

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

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 or on Facebook (, Twitter ( or Pinterest (


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 or on Facebook (, Twitter ( or Pinterest (


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.