Category Archives: Health Information

Common genes raise diabetes risk, study finds

July 26, 2016— Experts have long known that a person’s risk for getting type 2 diabetes is partly related to genes. But now, a large new study is shining a much brighter light on the disease’s genetic component.

Type 2 diabetes is a serious health problem that affects roughly 1 in 10 people worldwide. Learning more about why some people are more likely to get the disease than others can help scientists develop more effective treatments.

About the study

Researchers studied the DNA of more than 120,000 people of European, South and East Asian, North and South American, and African descent. They compared the genetic information from people without diabetes to those with type 2 diabetes.

They found that most of the genetic risk for diabetes comes from certain common gene changes, or variants. Each of these changes plays a small part in raising a person’s overall diabetes risk.

This knowledge can help scientists find new treatments that take a person’s individual genetic profile into account. However, researchers say more studies are still needed to learn about the gene variants in other groups of people.

Read more about the study in Nature.

The take-home message
Your family history might put you at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. But that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get the disease, says the American Diabetes Association.

Even if you’re predisposed to diabetes, there are plenty of risk factors that you have the power to change. These include:

Being overweight.
Having high blood sugar.
Having high blood pressure.
Having high cholesterol.
Being inactive.
Eating an unhealthy diet.
Talk with your doctor about first steps toward a healthier lifestyle. You might decide to try to eat a healthier diet or exercise more. That can help you lose weight and improve your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. If you smoke, it’s important to come up with a plan for quitting. Your doctor can help with that too.

Want to learn more about diabetes prevention? Test your knowledge and find out about your risk factors with this short quiz.

Belonging through ballet

Belonging Through Ballet

Ballet is known for its artistic and graceful movements, spinning and dancing around on the stage.  But for children at Children’s Village it is that and much more. For one little girl in particular, ballet gives her a sense of inclusion and belonging. Taylor never felt a part of a team until she be began ballet. She especially loves that the other kids are unique in their own way but at the same time are just like her. Before Taylor came to the first ballet practice with Children’s Village this spring,  she talked about not wanting to do it because she knew she would have to be in her wheelchair for the first time.  When she arrived for practice there were two other kids in wheelchairs and Taylor was thrilled. She knew she wasn’t going to be alone and realized that the beauty of ballet could be presented by anyone no matter their ability.

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Summer get-togethers – Make them fun and healthy

Summer get-togethers – Make them fun and healthy

Ah, summer! It’s time to kick back and get together-at backyard bashes, picnics in the park and parades on the Fourth of July. Here are some tips on how to keep those celebrations as healthy as they are fun..

Get everybody moving. Organize gatherings around activities that get guests on their feet. Explore a local trail together or, if kids are attending, head out on a neighborhood scavenger hunt. Play active games–maybe soccer in a nearby field or croquet or volleyball in your backyard.

Serve thirst-quenching, crowd-pleasing drinks. Beat summer heat by rethinking drinks. Skip sugary sodas and offer pitchers of ice-cold water instead. Add thinly sliced lemons, limes, watermelon or strawberries for flavor.

Pile on fresh produce. Serve family and friends just-picked summer fruits and vegetables. Fresh, in-season produce is at its peak in flavor and nutrition, so be ready for requests for seconds. Think veggie kebabs, leafy green salads and big bowls of cut-up fruit.

Keep uninvited guests away. Don’t let disease-causing bacteria contaminate your food at outdoor gatherings. Place perishable foods–such as burgers, deviled eggs and potato salad–in a well-insulated cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs. And keep the cooler in the shade. Bacteria multiply rapidly in warm temperatures.

Dish up a patriotic ending. Serve a red, white and blue dessert: a no-bake watermelon cake. It’s topped with white, yogurt-based frosting and mouth-watering blueberries. This sweet treat is packed with nutrients and low in calories. For the recipe, go to

Finally, be a cheerleader for healthy habits. Keep in mind that children of all ages copy what adults around them do-whether that’s eating well or moving more, even at parties.

Sources: American Institute for Cancer Research; U.S. Department of Agriculture

Go for the gold – Find fitness inspiration in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games

Go for the gold – Find fitness inspiration in the Summer Olympic Games

Looking for ways to add more fun to your fitness routine? Turn your eyes to Rio de Janeiro!

That’s the site of the Summer Olympics-and a source of some energizing exercise ideas.

As you cheer the elite athletes on to victory, consider giving these Olympic-inspired activities a try yourself:

Think boxing (an Olympic event) with a kick. Kickboxing is a popular fitness trend. This feisty whole-body workout blends aerobics with boxing- and martial arts-based jabs and kicks.

Walk a marathon-at your pace. Maybe you’re not ready to run a real marathon. But don’t let that stop you from crossing the finish line like the athletes in track-and-field events. Make it your goal to walk 26.2 miles (the length of a marathon race) over the course of several months.

Try table tennis. This fast-paced calorie-burner became an Olympic sport in 1988. Dust off that basement table tennis table. Or head to the nearest recreation center.

Give golf a go. Golf returns to the Olympics this summer after being banished from the game roster for more than 100 years. Consider adding it to your active lineup too. Be sure to walk the course to maximize movement.

Row like a pro. No boat needed for these Olympic-style cardio moves. Just hit the rowing machine at the gym. Sign up for a group class to multiply the fun.

Pedal your heart out. Olympic cyclists pedal for medal in road, mountain, track and other bike races. To get your heart racing, grab a helmet, hop on your bike and ride to glory (and good health).

Form a team. Many Olympic sports can be fun for the whole family. Try playing volleyball, badminton or soccer in your backyard. Shoot some hoops in your driveway. Or pack up the kids and tennis rackets and hit some balls at a nearby court.

Sources: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; American Council on Exercise; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; International Olympic Committee; National Institutes of Health

A worthwhile-and doable-training schedule

It takes a lot of time and training to be an Olympic athlete. You don’t have to mimic those efforts, however, to be fit.

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity-like brisk walking or tennis-every week. And do muscle-strengthening activities, such as lifting weights or using resistance bands, on two or more days a week.

Any movement beats sitting still. But you will gain the most health benefits if you exercise regularly. Staying active could help lift your spirits, trim your waist and lower your risk of:

• Heart disease.

• Stroke.

• Type 2 diabetes.

• Some cancers, including colon cancer.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

 Olympic trivia

• The ancient Olympic Games began in Greece about 3,000 years ago. They were originally held over one day. The games were suspended in 393 AD. The modern games were revived in 1896.

• The Olympic torch, which symbolizes friendship and peace, will travel this year across Brazil-mainly by foot-for nearly 100 days.

• More than 10,000 athletes from 206 countries are expected to be in Rio de Janeiro for the Summer Olympic Games. Four regions of the city will be home to 32 competition venues.

• Some of the things organizers are expecting to need for the games: 25,000 tennis balls, 8,400 shuttlecocks (for badminton), 60,000 clothes hangers and 34,000 beds.

• During 17 days of competition, 306 medal events will take place-136 for women, 161 for men and 9 mixed.

Sources: International Olympic Committee; Rio 2016

Thank you, Legends Casino!

Owned and operated by the Yakama Nation, each year Legends Casino gives a percentage of its profits to area emergency services and nonprofit agencies.

On Wednesday, the casino handed out nearly $900,000, with $464,307 given to emergency agencies and $434,027 to nonprofits. Cottage in the Meadow, North Star Lodge and Children’s Village were three (3) of nearly 200 nonprofits awarded funds in amounts ranging from $1,000 to more than $10,000.

Cottage in the Meadow Hospice Care Center and Memorial Hospital’s Hospice Program, Compass Care,  received $10,844 to serve patients and families who are struggling significantly with their day to day financial existence, and the illness and impending death of their loved one magnifies these struggles. The hospice emergency fund provides support and assistance to assure quality of life in the final stages of life’s journey.

North Star Lodge Cancer Center received $7,500 to support its cancer care fund which provides hardship assistance for patients who are forced to leave their employment during treatments, and for those who are uninsured, underinsured, or lack caregiver support. This fund helps cancer patients who need transportation to and from appointments, prescription assistance, nutritional supplements, counseling and stress reduction programs.

Children’s Village received $5,000 for its emergency fund to assist families who face significant needs, unexpected obstacles, and extraordinary expenses associated with the medical costs of having a child with special needs. This fund was established to fill in the gaps when no other options are available.

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Aaron Whitefoot from Legends presents a check to Carol Vanevenhoven, Oncology Service Line Director at North Star Lodge.

We are truly grateful to the Yakama Nation Legends Casino for their generosity! These grants allow us to help those patients who have the greatest need while confronting extremely difficult medical challenges.

Memorial wins a 2016 Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Award

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital wins a 2016
Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Award

Honored for commitment to health care environmental stewardship.

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YAKIMA, WA. – Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital has been awarded the Partner Recognition Award from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading health care community dedicated to transforming health care worldwide so that it reduces its environmental footprint, becomes a community anchor for sustainability and a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. The award is one of the Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor environmental achievements in the health care sector.

The Partner Recognition Award is given to health care facilities that have begun to work on environmental improvements, have achieved some progress, and have at least a 10 percent recycling rate for their total waste stream.

Memorial met the recycling rate by:

  1. Recycling all of its HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) shredded paper: an average of 78 tons a year.
  2. Florescent light bulbs: 1,133 pounds
  3. Batteries: 3,200 pounds
  4. Lead aprons: 157 pounds
  5. Cooking oil: 29.83 tons
  6. Toner cartridges: 2.6 tons
  7. Cardboard: 63.85 tons

Other environmentally friendly improvements included a 17 percent reduction in greenhouse gases and a heat-recovery program for kitchen refrigeration and waste systems, projected to save over 2 million gallons of water and almost 920 million BTU’s annually.


Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital was also certified with honors as a Green Cleaning Hospital by the ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard.

“This award demonstrates our commitment to enhancing the health of our patients, staff and community,” said Russ Myers, CEO of Memorial Family of Services.

“We look forward to working with Practice Greenhealth to continue navigating the path to sustainability for the future of health care,” said Kate Gottlieb, Memorial’s Sustainability and Wellbeing Coordinator.

The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards were presented May 19 in Dallas at the CleanMed Conference & Exhibition, the premier national environmental conference for leaders in health care sustainability.

is the nation’s leading health care community dedicated to transforming health care worldwide so that it reduces its environmental footprint, becomes a community anchor for sustainability and a leader in the global movement for environmental health and justice. To learn more about Practice Greenhealth visit

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, part of the Virginia Mason Health System, is a 226-bed, acute-care, nonprofit, 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; cancer care through North Star Lodge; breast health at `Ohana Mammography Center; acute hospice and respite care at Cottage in the Meadow, winner of the Circle of Life Award from the American Hospital Association for innovative palliative and end-of-life care; pain management at Water’s Edge; an advanced NICU unit, the only place in Central Washington that offers specialty care for at-risk infants; advanced services for children with special health care needs at Children’s Village; and The Memorial Foundation, a separate 501c(3) organization that raises funds for innovative health care programs in the Yakima Valley (

Visit Memorial online at or on Facebook (, Twitter ( or Pinterest (

Mayhem and Miracles Revving at the Ridge Motorcycle Poker Run and Show-n-Shine Saturday, May 21

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Reckin’ Crue partners with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and The Memorial Foundation to raise money for health care needs of Yakima Valley children

YAKIMA – The not-for-profit Reckin’ Crue Inc. will host the third annual Mayhem and Miracles Revving at the Ridge Motorcycle Poker Run and Show-n-Shine Saturday, May 21, at River Ridge Golf Course to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The event includes two morning four-person scrambles, a motorcycle poker run on the golf course, motorcycle rodeo, burnout contest and a motorcycle show-n-shine, as well as golf competitions, raffles, a silent auction and other activities. Scrambles start at 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., and admission is $200 per four-person team. The on-course Poker Run is scheduled for noon: Admission is $20. General admission to the day’s events is $10.

River Ridge Golf Course is located at 295 Golf Course Loop in Selah. For more information, contact John Drakes at (509) 941-7263 or check out the Mayhem and Miracles event page on Facebook.

Proceeds from this event benefit the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Department at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, as well as programs and services at Children’s Village, which serves Central Washington children with special health care needs and their families.

Memorial is one of 170 nonprofit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals that treat severely injured and ill children in the U.S. and Canada.


Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments each year to kids across the U.S. and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and charitable care. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $5 billion, most of it $1 at a time through the charity’s Miracle Balloon icon. Its fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit’s mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Find out why children’s hospitals need community support, and learn about your member hospital at

About Memorial Family of Services and Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, part of the Virginia Mason Health System, is a 226-bed, acute-care, not-for-profit community hospital. As the Children’s Miracle Network hospital for Central Washington, Memorial has the only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the region, as well as a Pediatric Unit. Memorial also partners with other community organizations to serve children with special health care needs at Children’s Village, which offers medical clinics, developmental evaluations, dental services, occupational and speech therapy, mental health counseling, education services, care resource coordinators and physical therapy.  Visit Memorial online at or on Facebook (, Twitter ( or Pinterest (