July is UV awareness month.

Central Washington is known for an abundance of sunshine that lifts the spirit and encourages outdoor activity.  Research shows that daily exposure to sunlight is important for proper absorption of vitamin D. However, overexposure to damaging Ultra Violet rays from the sun can put you at risk for multiple health concerns from skin damage in the form of dryness, sun spots and wrinkles, to melanoma; the deadliest form of skin cancer.

How much do you know about UV safety?  Take the “Fact or Fiction?” quiz below.

  1. There is no risk free way to get a tan (unless you use a self-tanning product).
  • FACT:  In the past, society associated health and vibrancy with tanned skin, however a tan is a form of damage to the skin and a risk to your health.  If you are outside for more than a few minutes, you should take steps to protect your skin.  Remember, tanning bed lights are just as damaging as UV rays from the sun.
  1. I don’t need to worry about skin cancer because I don’t get sunburned.
  • FICTION:  Even occasional over-exposure to UV rays will increase your risk of melanoma cancer. The sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., you should limit your sun exposure during these hours.
  1. Sunscreen should be applied to babies as soon as they are born.
  • FICTION:  Most pediatricians recommend waiting to apply sunscreen until babies are at least six months old because the chemicals used may be too harsh for baby’s sensitive skin.  Keep baby safely in the shade or dressed in protective clothing including a face shading hat.
  1. You only have to worry about sun damage in the summer.
  • FICTION:  Ultra violet rays are the same year round and can cause the same damage.  It is more likely to have exposed skin when the temperature is warmer.
  1. Red haired people with freckles and blue eyes are most likely to develop skin cancer.
  • Fact: In general, fair-skinned people with freckles, those with light colored hair and those with light colored eyes burn the easiest.  The damage from burning puts them most at risk for developing skin cancer or other long-term effects of UV exposure.
  1. Using a higher Sun Protection Factor (SPF) sunscreen offers more protection from the sun.
  • FACT:  However, SPF is an approximate way to measure a sunscreens ability to prevent UVB damage.  For example SPF 15 will block 93% of UVB rays and SPF of 50 will block 98% so a significantly higher SPF doesn’t equate to significantly higher protection.  It is best to use water-resistant broad spectrum sunscreen to protect against both UVA and UVB rays.  All sunscreens should be reapplied every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
  1. You must have exposure to the sun in order to get Vitamin D.
  • FICTION:  You don’t need to increase your risk of sun cancer to get Vitamin D.  Most of the required amounts of Vitamin D can be found in fortified milk, cheeses and yogurt, fortified cereal, and oily fish like salmon and tuna. Small amounts of sun exposure in your daily life will make up the rest of the need.
  1. Certain medications can increase your sensitivity to the sun.
  • FACT:  Some common medications are photosensitive, causing an allergic reaction such as rashes and other unpleasant skin conditions. Photosensitivity can also make you more prone to sunburn and a reaction may not be evident until several hours after exposure.  Talk to your physician or pharmacist to see if your medications may put you at risk and enjoy the sunlight from a shaded viewpoint.
  1. The only reason people wear sunglasses is to look cool.
  • FICTION:   Strong sunlight and UV rays can damage your eyes and the sensitive skin surrounding them. Check to see if your favorite shades block both glare and UV rays.  Consider wearing wraparound sunglasses as they offer the most protection as well as look cool.
  1. The best way to protect your skin outside is wearing long sleeved shirt and pants, a broad brimmed hat, wraparound sunglasses and SPF 15 (or more) broad spectrum sunscreen on any exposed areas.
  • FACT!

 

Virginia Mason Memorial hosts Baldrige Examiner Training Class in 2017

YAKIMA— In partnership with local leaders, Performance Excellence Northwest (PENW) offers Examiner Training in communities across the Pacific Northwest to bring information, resources, knowledge, and best practices to organizations, communities and the region. Participants in this training class will experience a one-of-a-kind professional development and networking opportunity, and the chance to make a meaningful contribution to their organization’s improvement.

When: July 25-26
Where: Virginia Mason Memorial’s 16th Avenue Campus, 1470 N 16th Ave, Yakima, WA 98902
Cost: $300

Join us and become leader in service to your organization, your community and your country.

For information on the 2017 Examiner Training Schedule and to register visit performanceexcellencenw.org

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About Performance Excellence NW
PENW educates organizations in performance excellence management and administers the only state awards and recognition program for performance excellence in the Pacific Northwest (WA, OR, ID). We partner with Pacific Northwest organizations dedicated to improving their performance. Our main areas of focus are:

• Helping organizations achieve best-in-class levels of performance,
• Identifying and recognizing role-model organizations, and,
• Identifying and sharing best management practices, principles, and strategies.

PENW recognizes and awards organizations that have demonstrated exceptional performance excellence. These organizations are seen as models for organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest and the nation who seek outstanding results.

About the Baldrige Program
The Baldrige Program is the nation’s public-private partnership dedicated to performance excellence.

The Baldrige Program
• Raises awareness about the importance of performance excellence in driving the U.S. and global economy
• Provides organizational assessment tools and criteria
• Educates leaders in businesses, schools, health care organizations, and government and nonprofit agencies about the practices of best-in-class organizations
• Recognizes national role models and honors them with the only Presidential Award for performance excellence

Learn more at nist.gov/Baldrige

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Orthopedics Northwest affiliates with Virginia Mason Memorial

Orthopedics Northwest affiliates with Virginia Mason Memorial

YAKIMA – Orthopedics Northwest (ONW), which provides adult and pediatric orthopedic and sports medicine care, is aligning with Virginia Mason Memorial (VMM) through a service agreement aimed at streamlining patient care and supporting the long-term availability of orthopedic services in the Yakima Valley.

Under the new alignment, Orthopedics Northwest will continue to staff and operate the clinic as an independent organization, while Virginia Mason Memorial will have other strategic responsibilities. Patients at Orthopedics Northwest will see no change to the process for making appointments and receiving care. The same staff will provide care in the same location, 1211 N. 16th Ave.

“The alignment is an affirmation of our relationship and signifies the investment both organizations make to provide high quality orthopedic care for our community,” said Todd Orvald, president of Orthopedics Northwest. “This new relationship also confirms our efforts to ensure the local long-term sustainability of these services in the Yakima Valley.”

“Health care affiliations are becoming more commonplace as providers work to maintain high-quality services, improve access to specialty care, advance physician recruitment and expand financial, clinical and information systems resources,” said Virginia Mason Memorial President and CEO Russ Myers. “Ultimately, these collaborations benefit patients and communities they serve.”

All Orthopedics Northwest physicians are board certified specialists who provide the highest level of expert care. A team approach allows ONW to provide a broad spectrum of specialty care including state-of-the-art diagnostic services, general orthopedics, spine care, wrist/hand care, sports medicine, arthroscopy, ankle/foot care, and joint replacement and reconstruction.

Orthopedics Northwest encourages anyone with questions to contact the office at (509) 454-8888.

About Virginia Mason Memorial
Part of the Virginia Mason Health System, Virginia Mason Memorial is a 226-bed, acute-care, nonprofit, community hospital serving Central Washington’s Yakima Valley. Virginia Mason Memorial 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.

What you can do to manage your blood pressure. 

By living a healthy lifestyle, you can help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range and lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.  This includes eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy appropriate weight.  Make sure you are getting 150 minutes of deliberate physical activity per week, limit your alcohol use and if you use tobacco, quit.  Need resources?  Learn more here. https://www.yakimamemorial.org/medical-services-community-education.asp

High blood pressure usually doesn’t have any symptoms.

High blood pressure is sometimes called the “silent killer.” Most people with high blood pressure don’t have any symptoms, such as sweating or headaches. Because many people feel fine, they don’t think they need to get their blood pressure checked. Even if you feel normal, your health may be at risk because high blood pressure, is a leading cause of stroke.  Learn more about hypertension here. https://yakimamemorial.netreturns.biz/HealthInfo/Topic.aspx?TopicID=a4fb09c1-8068-4bb1-814f-26fa8fff6d1f

Did you know that young people can have high blood pressure, too?

High blood pressure doesn’t just happen to older adults and neither does stroke. High blood pressure is a leading cause of stroke, a condition that is on the rise among younger people. The increased risk for stroke among young adults is because of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes—conditions that are preventable and treatable through lifestyle changes.  Learn more here.  https://www.yakimamemorial.org/medical-services-stroke-prevention.asp

Mothers have a unique risks when it comes to high blood pressure.

Women with high blood pressure who become pregnant may have complications during pregnancy.  High blood pressure can harm a mother’s kidneys and other organs, as well as put baby at risk for early delivery and lower birth weight. If you have high blood pressure and are planning to become pregnant, you should take steps to lower your blood pressure before becoming pregnant.

Learn more about hypertension here. https://yakimamemorial.netreturns.biz/HealthInfo/Topic.aspx?TopicID=a4fb09c1-8068-4bb1-814f-26fa8fff6d1f

 

Virginia Mason Memorial recognized as among most sustainable health care facilities in America with three awards

Virginia Mason Memorial recognized as among most sustainable health care facilities in America with three awards

Practice Greenhealth Circles of Excellence Award honors Virginia Mason Memorial among top 10 in Healthy Food category

(YAKIMA, WA) – In recognition for outstanding accomplishments in sustainability, Virginia Mason Memorial has received three awards this year from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care. The awards are given each year to honor environmental achievements in the health care sector.

The Circles of Excellence Award, given to Virginia Mason Memorial for Healthy Food in Health Care, honors hospitals for outstanding performance in one specific area, such as reducing use of toxic chemicals or sourcing food sustainably. These awards highlight hospitals that are pushing the envelope and driving innovation in sustainability performance in each sustainability category. There can be up to 10 designees selected for each Circle of Excellence category.

The Healthy Food category award highlights leaders in sustainable food services, including meat and sugar-sweetened beverage reduction, healthier meat procurement, local sourcing, food waste prevention and management. Top contenders have written policies and an educational strategy that addresses the food system as a critical component in an overall sustainability plan — for human and planetary health.

The Greenhealth Emerald Award is presented to hospitals that demonstrate superior sustainability programs. The award recognizes Virginia Mason Memorial’s ongoing commitment to improving its environmental performance and maintaining a top standard of excellence in sustainability.

The Greening the Operating Room Recognition Award acknowledges hospital sustainability programs that drive environmental stewardship within the surgical suite.

 

“We are proud to be named one of the top 10 hospitals in the country for our work toward providing healthy food for our patients, employees and visitors, and will continue to make sustainability a top priority,” said CEO Russ Myers.

“We embarked on our environmental sustainability journey two years ago, and I’m really proud of our staff and leadership,” said Kate Gottlieb, Sustainability Program coordinator. “I know what we are capable of, and I can’t wait to see how our positive work has affected Yakima in the years to come.”

Virginia Mason Memorial strives to serve food to patients, visitors and staff that is local, organic and sustainable whenever possible. Memorial buys meat and marine-certified seafood that are free of antibiotics and hormones when possible. Last year, Virginia Mason Memorial’s garden, on the hospital campus, provided 4,200 pounds of produce that was used in the cafeteria and served to patients. Organic produce is supplied locally from Bella Terra Gardens in Zillah, WA.

In addition, Virginia Mason Memorial collected 212.65 tons of recycling on the hospital’s main campus, up 38.2 tons from the 174.45 tons collected in 2015. And energy use was reduced 3.2 percent over that same period.

In 2016, the Memorial OR diverted 14,846 pounds of medical waste from landfills  through reduction and reprocessing devices with Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions. And a sock recycling program, in which lightly used socks are washed and donated to the Union Gospel Mission, was also started.

The awards will be presented at the Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards Gala, set for May 18 in Minneapolis at the conclusion of the CleanMed Conference & Exhibition.

 About Virginia Mason Memorial

Part of the Virginia Mason Health System, Virginia Mason Memorial is a 226-bed, acute-care, nonprofit, community hospital serving Central Washington’s Yakima Valley. Virginia Mason Memorial 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.

 About Practice Greenhealth

Practice Greenhealth 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 www.practicegreenhealth.org.

 

 

 

Attend the Mr. Capitol Pageant and support health care for Yakima Valley kids

Attend the Mr. Capitol Pageant and support health care for Yakima Valley kids

On April 18 the Capitol Theatre’s 4th Street Theater will host the first Mr. Capitol Pageant, an evening of talent and fun featuring the top talent from each of the Yakima Valley’s YouthWorks pageant schools. Proceeds from the event raise awareness and funds for children’s health care needs in our community at Virginia Mason Memorial and Children’s Village.

Earlier this year students at West Valley, Eisenhower, Naches, Sunnyside, Wapato and East Valley high schools held pageants at each of their schools, the competition and fundraising fierce – with the real winners being area children. The highly competitive YouthWorks pageants raise money to support Children’s Village and Virginia Mason Memorial’s Neo-Natal Intensive Care and Pediatric units.

The Mr. Capitol Theatre Pageant begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets, $5, are available at the door. The 4th Street Theatre is located at 14 S. 4th St., Yakima.

Since the event was established in 2001, more than $1 million has been raised for the Children’s Health Care Fund at Virginia Mason Memorial.

Find out more at memfound.org. or by calling 509-576-5794.