Traffic deaths rose in 2012 (infographic)

Traffic fatalities rose in 2012 for the first time since 2005, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But deaths still remain at historic lows, with current rates mirroring those from 1950.

There’s also evidence that the uptick in deaths during 2012 is a one-year phenomenon. Early estimates on crash deaths for the first half of 2013 suggest a decrease in deaths compared to that same time period during 2012.

“Highway deaths claim more than 30,000 lives each year, and while we’ve made substantial progress over the past 50 years, it’s clear that we have much more work to do,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “As we look to the future, we must focus our efforts to tackle persistent and emerging issues that threaten the safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians across the nation.” Take a look at specific numbers from the report in the infographic below.


View the infographic

The Importance of Waiting Until 39 Weeks to Deliver Babies

PSA Campaign Aims to Educate Public about Importance of Waiting Until 39 Weeks to Delivery Babies

Hospitals are teaming up with the March of Dimes and the Washington State Department of Health to bring public awareness of the importance of waiting until at least 39 weeks gestation to deliver babies.

A public service announcement is running on Comcast cable stations across the state. The announcement lets the public know that waiting until babies are full-term allows their brains and lungs to finish developing. The message’s tagline is a March of Dimes slogan, “Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait.” The public service announcements are scheduled to run for the next several months.

Thanks to Group Health, Franciscan Health System, MultiCare Health System, Providence Health & Services, and the UW Medicine Health System for sponsoring this effort. Each of these health systems was able to add their own logo to the spots they purchased and choose where and when the spots ran. With the group purchase, Comcast is donating more showings of the public service announcement. Other organizations interested in sponsoring the campaign can contact Cassie Sauer for more information.
(Beth Zborowski,

Tips For Summer: Enjoy the Sun While Staying in Shape!

Summer Navigation Guide –
Enjoy the Sun While Staying in Shape!
By Lindsey Woodkey

It’s that time again! Fire up the barbeques, plan those summer vacations, and (gasp!) … purchase the swim attire you will don this year. Whether you’ve made and kept your New Year’s resolution, or you still have some work to do, here are my summer survival strategies. Family gatherings, vacations, and pool parties need not be recipes for disaster.

At Barbeques: Eat before you go. This will keep you from being ravenous and making unhealthy choices. Protein is best, so opt for a tuna cup, hardboiled egg, or whey protein shake.

Look at the spread BEFORE making your choices. Choose items you really enjoy and leave the other ones. Often we think we must have baked beans, or cheese on our burger just because it’s there.

Watch out for dressings and sauces. Not only are they breeding grounds for food-borne illnesses, they are calorie bombs. Trust me, you’ll hardly miss the mayonnaise on that hot dog. Instead, make safer choices such as mustard, hot sauce, and low calorie salad dressings.

When filling your plate, think “islands”, not “mountains. We often take more than we truly need to feel satisfied, then are distracted by conversations and consume it all. Instead, think of each serving as an “island” instead of piling food onto your plate.

Fill up on fruits and veggies first. These foods are voluminous, meaning they take up a lot of space with few calories. By choosing to eat these items first you will quiet those hunger pains without consuming too many unnecessary calories.

Focus on the company, not the food. Why are bratwurst and potato salad the focus of our gatherings? Station yourself away from the appetizer table and converse with your family and friends. It’s hard to get a word in while you’re stuffing your face.

Drink WATER. As good as an ice-cold beer sounds, it can wreak havoc on your dedication to eating healthfully. Not only are there unnecessary calories in alcohol, it lowers your inhibitions and promotes you to indulge more than usual. Stick with water, not calorie-laden lemonades or sweetened ice teas. If you must have a beer, keep it light, and don’t drink on an empty stomach.

Be Active. It’s a BARBEQUE! Set up a net and play volleyball or badminton; join the kids in a game of tag; if you’re at the park get a game of dodge ball going. You may even forget about the cherry pie!

If you’re the chef, you have even more you can do to “healthify” your gathering. Now more than ever people are becoming conscious of their health and what goes in their bodies. Most will appreciate your efforts to offer a lower calorie spread!

Swap High Calorie Condiments. Fat free mayo, mustard, low sugar ketchup, unsweetened relish; the options are endless and can save you hundreds of calories.

Choose lean meats. This means 93/7 grass fed beef, chicken breasts (without sugar-filled barbeque sauces) and flank or sirloin steaks. Since leaner cuts tend to be less tender, marinate your meats before grilling.

Stick to One or Two Carbohydrates. Do we really need beans AND potato salad AND corn? Not to mention the high calorie buns. I’m not saying deprive yourself or your guests, but limit your spread to two carbohydrate-filled items. Feeling adventurous? Try skipping the bun and instead wrap your burger in lettuce or use portabella mushroom caps.

Include lots of healthy options. No one will miss the store bought chips and dip if you have an array of fresh veggies, healthful salads, and fruit platters. Make your own Greek yogurt dips and dress your salads with vinegar to save on calories.

Opt for Sugar Free Beverages – What’s a barbeque without ice cold lemonade? Choose a sugar free version. Many have 10 calories or less per serving. Your guests won’t even know the difference!

Say no to heavy desserts – You’ve worked hard to keep your meal healthy, why blow it with cherry pies or ice cream cakes? Fruit with low sugar whipped cream or angel food cake with fresh strawberries will leave you satisfied and ready for that game of flag football, not on the sidelines in a carb coma.

There’s no need to stay away from social gatherings or deprive yourself this summer. Make simple, healthy swaps and your body will thank you. Whether you’re at your goal weight or far from it, wear your summer clothing with pride. Most importantly, take time to have an enjoyable summer with your treasured family and friends!

Lindsey Woodkey of Ellensburg is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor with bachelors’ degrees in exercise science and nutrition from Central Washington University.

Yakima Asthma Treatment: Bronchial thermoplasty

Memorial Helps Severe Asthma Patients Breathe Easier with New Treatment

Memorial first hospital east of the Cascades to offer procedure



Yakima – More than 20 million Americans live with asthma every day.  In Yakima County, one in 11 adults have this respiratory disease that causes the lungs to narrow making it difficult to breathe.  There is no cure for asthma; however, it can be managed with proper education and treatment.   And now, there’s a cutting edge treatment for people with moderate to severe forms of the disease whose symptoms are not well managed with standard medications.

Memorial is the first hospital in Central and Eastern Washington to offer bronchial thermoplasty. This is the first non-pharmaceutical procedure approved by the FDA for the treatment of severe persistent asthma in patients 18 years and older.


Bronchial thermoplasty uses a small catheter to deliver controlled energy to the airways of the lung to reduce the amount of excessive airway smooth muscle.  This reduction decreases the muscle’s ability to constrict the airways, resulting in a decreased frequency of asthma attacks.  The minimally invasive procedure is performed via bronchoscopy in three outpatient visits


The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) estimates asthma accounts for approximately 13 million asthma attacks, 2 million emergency room visits, 500,000 hospitalizations and 4,000 deaths each year.

“This has the potential to be a life-changing procedure,” said Ismael Matus, MD, a pulmonologist from the Lung and Asthma Center of Central Washington with medical privileges at Memorial.  “People who have this done should see their symptoms ease so they will use their rescue inhalers less, make fewer trips to the ER and they will improve their quality of life,”


There are few risks with this procedure, but include a temporary increase and worsening of respiratory-related symptoms immediately after the procedure that rarely, but could require hospitalization.  Patients are encouraged to talk to their physician to determine if they are a candidate for bronchial thermoplasty.


Please visit our website at to learn more about bronchial thermoplasty.  To learn more about asthma, please go to