Category Archives: News

May 21-27 is National Emergency Medical Services Week

To all EMS workers: “This year we were the 2nd busiest ED in Washington State. We couldn’t have done it without the excellent care you provide to our community in the field!!! Thank you for your continued commitment to excellent care for all of our patients”
–Kim Bersing, Emergency Department Manager.

Together we do great things! In the past year, Emergency Medical Services helped provide care for over 230 of our patients who had a heart attack- including 178 emergent PCIs, and almost 200 patients who had a stroke. Our partnership with EMS ensures that Virginia Mason Memorial will continue to be the leading provider of care for both Heart Attack and Stroke in Yakima County.

Virginia Mason Memorial is a member of the Washington Emergency Cardiac & Stroke System, a Level I Cardiac Center
and a Level II Stroke Center.

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




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 or by calling 509-576-5794.

Day-long workshop on March 21 will train educators, counselors and others to help youth cope with grief

Day-long workshop on March 21 will train educators, counselors
and others to help youth cope with grief

 Children learn lots of things in school, on their computers, from television and their friends, but one topic usually is never discussed: death and the grief that goes with it. On Tuesday, March 21, Virginia Mason Memorial is sponsoring a day-long workshop open to anyone interested in learning how to best respond to the needs of children and end-of-life issues.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Understanding and supporting the needs of children and teens who are coping with the death of a loved one.
  • Tips for grieving students in the classroom and community.
  • What to do (and not do) when a student dies.
  • Special considerations following homicide or suicide.

The workshop will be led by Donna L. Schuurman, senior director of advocacy and training at The Dougy Center: The National Center for Grieving Children & Families located  in Portland, Ore. Schuurman writes and trains internationally on bereavement issues and wrote the book “Never the Same: Coming to Terms with the Death of a Parent.”

The Dougy Center, the first center in the United States to provide peer support groups for grieving children, was founded in 1982. Over the past 35 years, the center has served 40,000 children, teens and their families, and has received national and international acclaim for pioneering the peer support model for helping children cope with the death of a family member.

The no-cost workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 21, in the auditorium at Lakeview, 1470 N. 16th Ave. Lunch will be provided.

To register please call 509-574-6746 or email

Pancakes at IHOP & Virginia Mason Memorial on Tuesday, March 7, benefit local children

Pancakes at IHOP & Virginia Mason Memorial on Tuesday, March 7, benefit local children

IHOP to raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® throughout February and on National Pancake Day

YAKIMA, WA. — Today, March 7, is National Pancake Day! And area IHOP restaurants and the café at Virginia Mason Memorial hospital are offering guests a free short stack of their famous buttermilk pancakes all day. This family-friendly tradition aims to raise needed funds and awareness for Virginia Mason Memorial, the local Children’s Miracle Network hospital.
For every short stack of buttermilk pancakes served on National Pancake Day between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (and until 7:30 p.m. at Virginia Mason Memorial), IHOP guests are invited to make a donation to Children’s Miracle Network. Since 2006, IHOP’s National Pancake Day has raised approximately $15 million to provide life-saving treatment, programs and medical equipment for children — including the thousands of patients treated annually at Virginia Mason Memorial.
In the weeks before National Pancake Day, participating IHOP restaurants also sold Miracle Balloons for $1 and $5 to benefit Children’s Miracle Network. The balloons are available through National Pancake Day, and all proceeds benefit local children. Guests who purchase a $5 Miracle Balloon will receive a $5 discount coupon that can be used during their next visit to IHOP.
“We are so grateful for IHOP’s continued support for Children’s Miracle Network and Virginia Mason Memorial,” said Josh Munson, Memorial’s Children’s Miracle Network program director. “Their support is vital to sustaining the programs and equipment needed for our children with health care challenges.”

Stop in at the following IHOP location on Tuesday, March 7, to benefit Children’s Miracle Network:
• Ellensburg, 2704 Triple L Loop

For more information or to make a donation to Virginia Mason Memorial, visit
* * *

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

Virginia Mason 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 — including all those made on IHOP National Pancake Day — stay local to fund critical treatments and health care 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

Heart Health Tip of The Week

February 21,  Heart Healthy Tip of the Week

3 Steps to trim winter pounds

Has the long snowy winter added some extra pounds? Is your belt feeling a little tighter than usual?    That extra weight or waist circumference can put you at risk for a number of serious health concerns including cardiovascular disease. Good news!

Trimming those winter pounds may be as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Reduce calories.

If you eat more calories than you need, you usually gain weight. If you eat fewer calories, you usually lose weight.  To stay healthy and lose weight, most people need to subtract about 500 calories per day to lose 1 pound per week.  Make sure you are eating at least 1200 calories per day and don’t try to lose more than 2 pounds per week.  See your provider if you need advice on your caloric needs.

2 Educate yourself.

Learn how to read and understand food labels so you make healthier choices when shopping for food.  Look up restaurant menus on line and make your choice based on the nutritional numbers, not on what looks and smells good.  Research and try new recipes that use less fat & sodium and more vegetables & whole grains.

  1. Burn more calories through activity.

Regular physical activity helps to control weight and blood pressure and decrease the risk for heart diseases and stroke. 150 minutes of brisk walking every week will not only help you lose weight, it can also improve your quality of life by reducing stress.

February 14, Did you know that 75 percent of the sodium we eat comes from packaged and restaurant foods?

So what can you? A well balanced healthy diet can still include amounts of sodium, the trick is to keep it in balance.  Try these tips.

  • When you are shopping for packaged or prepared foods, look at the labels and choose the product with the lowest amount of sodium (per serving).  The same food in another brand can have lower sodium.
  • Sometimes poultry has been injected with a sodium solution. Look for terms like “broth,” “saline” or “sodium solution”.
  • Try to find low or reduced sodium salad dressings, salsas, and olives as well as sauces like ketchup and mustard.  These types of condiments are usually high in sodium
  • If you buy canned or frozen vegetables, get the kind with no added salt or sauce.

It may take a while to get used to the taste of lower sodium in your meals.  Pick a few places to start and gradually change your ingredients.  Your heart will thank you for it!

February 6, Did you know that 1 in 5 adults in Yakima have high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is a leading controllable factor to prevent heart attack, heart Failure, stroke, and  kidney failure.  If your blood pressure in greater than 140/90, you have high blood pressure and should take action.  Some things  you can do is:  lose weight, exercise regularly, cut your salt intake and consider seeing your doctor about medical management.  Remember, Virginia Mason Memorial want you to “Have a Healthy Heart!”

Read our next health tip >>

Flu is sneaky!

Flu is sneaky!  If Flu comes to your house, do you know what to do to be prepared?  Check to see if your doctor has after-hours care or an illness hotline. Check to see if your insurance has an illness hotline and write down the number for others to use on your behalf.  Make a plan for help if you are too sick to care for others. Gather medical and prescription information for everyone in your household. Learn the difference between common flu symptoms and dangerous –emergency symptoms here.