Category Archives: Press Releases

News Releases

Yakima Urology Associates partners with Memorial Family of Services

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, July 27, 2015
Contacts: Shannon Dininny, Memorial Communications, (509) 577-5051

Yakima Urology Associates partners with Memorial Family of Services

YAKIMA – Yakima Urology Associates, which provides adult and pediatric urology care, is aligning with Memorial Family of Services through a service agreement aimed at streamlining patient care and supporting the long-term availability of urology services in the Yakima Valley.

Under the new partnership, physicians from Yakima Urology Associates (YUA) will oversee and direct urology programs at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital. YUA also will become part of the SignalHealth network, a clinically integrated network of care that includes independent care givers and physicians and is supported by Memorial. Memorial will operate the ambulatory surgical center located at Yakima Urology Associates, which will allow for some non-urology outpatient surgeries to be handled there.

Partnerships in health care 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. Ultimately, these collaborations benefit patients and communities that they serve. The partnership between YUA and Memorial is the culmination of more than a year of discussions.

“Across the country, physicians are joining health systems to better position themselves to respond to health care reform and to ensure the best possible care for patients,” says Dr. Raymond Merrell, President of Yakima Urology Associates, PLLC. “We are excited about the possibilities a partnership affords to ensure the continuity of quality urological care in the Yakima Valley.”

As Memorial moves from a fee-for-service model of health care to values-based reimbursement, services must remain available locally to meet community need, Memorial CEO Russ Myers says.

“This partnership reinforces our common goal to provide critical urology services in Yakima,” Myers says. “As health care evolves, partnerships like this will be essential to improving the overall health of our population, while reducing health care costs.”
Yakima Urology Associates has been providing pediatric and adult urological services at its 31,000-square-foot clinic and surgery center, located at 2500 Racquet Lane, since June 2009. The clinic employs eight medical providers, as well as administrative, nursing and surgical staff.

Patients at Yakima Urology Associates will see no change to the process for making appointments and receiving care. The same staff will be providing care in the same location.

Yakima Urology Associates encourages anyone with questions to contact the office at (509) 249-3900.

Yakima Memorial Hospice selected to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model


Model aims to increase choice and quality by enabling individuals to receive palliative and curative care concurrently

Yakima, WA – Yakima Memorial Hospice has been selected to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model, announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. The model provides Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for coverage under the Medicare Hospice Benefit and dually eligible beneficiaries who qualify for the Medicaid Hospice Benefit the option to elect to receive supportive care services typically provided by hospice and continue to receive curative services at the same time. The announcement is part of a larger effort at HHS to transform our health care system to deliver better care, spend our dollars in a smarter way, and put patients in the center of their care.

All eligible hospices across the country were invited to apply to participate in the model. Due to robust interest, CMS expanded the model from an originally anticipated 30 Medicare-certified hospices to over 140 Medicare-certified hospices and extended the duration of the model from 3 to 5 years. This is expected to enable as many as 150,000 eligible Medicare beneficiaries with advanced cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, and human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immunodeficiency syndrome who receive services from participating hospices to experience this new option and flexibility.

Participating hospices will provide services under the model that are currently available under the Medicare hospice benefit for routine home care and respite levels of care, but cannot be separately billed under Medicare Parts A, B, and D.  Services will be available around the clock, 365 calendar days per year. Memorial will begin delivering these services will begin starting January 1, 2016.

HHS announced the project participants Monday.

More information about today’s announcement is available at

For additional information on the model or list of participating hospices, visit and

Huge thanks to Walmart for donating $66,826 to The Memorial Foundation!

Walmart Comm Ed 2

Huge thanks to Walmart for donating $66,826 to The Memorial Foundation in support of health programs!

Walmart awarded $683,034 to 13 Washington non-profit organizations on Thursday, June 25 —including a $66,826 grant to the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation.

The $66,826 grant will support the hospital foundation’s preventative health programs, which aim to reduce the instance of diabetes and childhood obesity in Yakima County by improving food literacy and access to exercise programs. Funds will be used to augment current program offerings, such as yoga, Zumba®, fitness boot camps, and healthy eating cooking classes and grocery store tours.

“This grant will provide area families with the skills they need to make better health choices—something that can impact their health for generations,” said Bertha Lopez, Memorial’s senior director of community health. “The Healthy Communities, One Person at a Time program is a critical component of our efforts to address the obesity epidemic in Yakima, and will help us prevent type 2 diabetes and other chronic health conditions through nutrition counseling.”

This grant is a continuation of Walmart’s partnership with the hospital and its foundation. The hospital has also received funding through the Children’s Miracle Network—which raises funds in Walmart stores—and through partnering with local stores on issues, such as car seat safety.

“Walmart is committed to helping our friends and neighbors live better,” said Matti Havener, vice president and regional general manager for Walmart. “This partnership with the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation helps us do just that. There is nothing more important than our health. We are proud to support their efforts to make healthy living choices easier to make and fun to participate in.”

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:

Tuesday, May 26, YVMH Auditorium, 5 pm

Tuesday, June 2, North Star Lodge, 2 pm

Wednesday, June 10, YVMH Auditorium, Noon

Wednesday, July 9, YVMH Auditorium, Noon

Tuesday, August 11, YVMH Auditorium, Noon

Open to the community. No registration required.

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Auditorium (in the basement)
2800 Tieton Drive, Yakima, WA 98902 Map this address

North Star Lodge
808 N. 39th Ave., Yakima, WA 98902 Map this address

Memorial plants onsite garden to supply Cafe with fresh veggies

Fresh-Vegetables-5FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Contact: Shannon Dininny, Memorial Communications, (509) 577-5051

Entrees and salads will feature fresh ingredients from the garden

YAKIMA – Employees and volunteers at Memorial Family of Services have planted an onsite herb and vegetable garden as part of Memorial’s efforts to be more sustainable and encourage our community to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables.

Workers tilled and composted the garden in April and began planting vegetables on Tuesday, May 19. Crops planted include tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, green beans, radishes, pumpkins and herbs in a 3,200-square-foot plot off of South 29th Avenue behind Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital. These fresh ingredients are all for Memorial use in patient meals and at The Memorial Cafe.

“My hope is that the herbs and vegetables we grow will help to sustain The Cafe through summer and into early fall,” says Cindy Parkey, Memorial Director of Food Services. “Our aim is to provide healthy options for our patients, visitors and employees, while at the same time, focusing on local ingredients and sustainability. This garden is one step toward that goal.”

Parkey wishes to extend special thanks to Yakima Master Gardeners for planting guidance and to Cowiche Creek Nursery and Blueberries, where Memorial bought the plants.

The garden planting matches Memorial’s renewed focus on sustainability under the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, a national campaign to focus on sustainability in health care and improve the health of communities, reduce environmental impact and decrease overall health care costs through better public health.

Memorial joined the Healthier Hospitals Initiative in January. Under the healthier foods and beverages part of the challenge, Memorial has committed to decreasing the amount of meat purchased by 20 percent within a three-year period, increasing healthy beverage purchases and increasing the percentage of local (within 250 miles) food purchased by 20 percent annually.

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 (

Yakima group earns grant from prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Investing in Children




Contact: Anna Marie Dufault, Yakima Valley Community Foundation, (509) 457-7616

Roadmaps to Health Action Award includes $10,000 grant, community health improvement coaching

YAKIMA, Wash. – The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health, has awarded a $10,000 grant, plus consultation and coaching with leading population health experts, to a consortium of Yakima groups aimed at improving health outcomes and early learning for Yakima Valley children.

The Investing in Children Coalition is the early learning coalition serving south-central Washington, specifically Yakima and Kittitas counties. This consortium of engaged community partners collaborates to advocate for children and empower families, by providing opportunities to improve health with a goal of strengthening learning.

The award is one of 20 across the country and one of just two on the West Coast. The Memorial Foundation applied for and was awarded the grant on behalf of the coalition. The award will be administered by the Yakima Valley Community Foundation.

“This award is a tremendous coup for Yakima children and families as our community moves toward improving the overall health of our population,” said Jackie McPhee, co-chair of the Investing in Children Coalition and director of Children’s Village, a coalition partner that provides programs and services for children with special health care needs. “The reality is that healthy children learn, and we must take every opportunity to eliminate barriers to good health and learning.”

“Our kindergarten readiness work, including early learning collaboration and improving access to health care, has resulted in more Yakima Valley children entering school ready to learn. Students who have had high-quality early learning experiences do better academically, socially and emotionally, and this benefits the entire community,” says Stacie Marez, co-chair of the Investing in Children Coalition and early learning specialist for ESD 105, a coalition partner.

The Roadmaps to Health Action Award includes a $10,000 grant and up to one year of consultation and coaching with health experts at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute to build a culture of health in the Yakima Valley.

Partners in the Investing in Children Coalition include: Bright Beginnings for Kittitas County, Building Vision, Central Washington University Center for Teaching and Learning, Catholic Family and Child Services Child Care Aware, Child Care Director’s Network, Children’s Village, Community Health of Central Washington, EPIC, ESD 105, Heritage University, Infant-Toddler Regional Steering Committee, Inspire Development Centers, Kittitas County Early Learning Coalition, Kittitas County Public Health Department, Rivers of Culture, Sunnyside Community Hospital, United Way of Central Washington, West Valley School District, Yakima County Department of Human Services, Yakima Health District, Yakima Interfaith Coalition-La Casa Hogar, Yakima Neighborhood Health, Yakima School District, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic and Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.


Film preview for “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies” open to public March 24 at The Seasons

CANCER logo white medKen Burns documentary based on best-selling book, serves as biography on cancer

(YAKIMA) – Memorial Family of Services and Seattle public television station KCTS 9 are pleased to host a film screening of “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies” on Tuesday, March 24, at The Seasons Performance Hall in Yakima.

This three-part, six-hour television miniseries, presented by preeminent documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and directed by award-winning filmmaker Barak Goodman, is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.” The film shares the history of cancer – from the ancient Greeks who believed it to be a “black bile” in the body, to 1950s social norms that made cancer an unspoken topic, to the research and clinical trials being done today. The film also highlights the scientists who made cancer research their mission, as well as the personal stories of cancer survivors and caregivers.

A panel discussion and Q&A follows the 40-minute film screening. Participants include:

  • Vicky Jones, Medical Oncologist
  • Shawn Murphy, Cancer Survivor
  • Hector Torango, Cancer Survivor and Caregiver

Everyone is likely to be touched by cancer at some point – either to be diagnosed with it or to have a loved one touched by it. This event presents an opportunity to learn more about the film, which will be airing on KCTS 9 over three evenings – March 30, 31 and April 1 – as well as to learn from and participate in a discussion about cancer care from people who have experienced it firsthand.

This event is free and open to the public. Space is available first come, first serve. Registration is not required, but people are encouraged to RSVP at

For more information about the film and to see personal stories from the filmmakers, cancer researchers, cancer survivors and caregivers for loved ones who have had the disease, visit

What:              Film screening, followed by panel discussion

“Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies”

Where:            The Seasons Performance Hall

                        101 N. Naches Ave., Yakima

When:             March 24, 2015

Doors open at 6 p.m. Program begins at 6:30 p.m.


Preview Screening of: The Emperor of All Maladies

CANCER logo white med

This three-part, six-hour major television event is presented by preeminent documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and directed by award-winning filmmaker Barak Goodman. Airing March 30-April 1 on KCTS 9, the film is based on the Pulitzer prize-winning book, “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer,” by Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD. Learn more about the film and explore videos at

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Seasons Performance Hall
101 N. Naches Ave. Yakima
Doors Open 6:00 p.m.
Screening & Discussion 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Open to the public at no charge. Space is available on a first come, first serve basis. This event made possible through partnership with KCTS 9 Public Television and Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Care Line.

Register your attendance here

Screening followed by a moderated discussion panel including:

  • Vicky E. Jones, MD Medical Director, Medical Oncology, North Star Lodge
  • Shawn Murphy, Cancer Survivor
  • TBA

Memorial’s Comprehensive Cancer Care Line provides diagnostic and treatment services for all types of cancer. Patients receive individualized treatment from a multidisciplinary team that is truly passionate about cancer prevention, detection, treatment and support.

Ob Hospitalist Group names Dr. George Bailey Physician of the Year

(GREENVILLE, S.C.) – Dr. George Bailey, an OB/GYN hospitalist who works at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, has been named the 2014 Physician of the Year by the Ob Hospitalist Group.

Ob Hospitalist Group develops and manages on-site OB/GYN hospitalist programs for hospitals across the country, providing board certified physicians 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Bailey, who is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, is employed by Ob Hospitalist Group and provides OB/GYN services at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.

“From the very first day of the program at YVMH in July 2013, Dr. George Bailey established a standard of close collaboration with nurses, physicians, colleagues and hospital administration,” says OBHG Regional Vice President of Operations Elizabeth Yanko. “In addition to being recognized for his excellent clinical and leadership skills at the hospital, he is a true champion of the patients he cares for.”

A hospitalist is a physician who specializes in the care of hospitalized patients. OB/GYN hospitalists specialize in caring for mothers and infants while in the hospital.

Dr. Roger Rowles of Generations OB/GYN in Yakima says Bailey has done a superb job as the lead OB/GYN hospitalist at Memorial.

“He has emphasized safety and effective communication and has served as a mentor and educator for nurses, students and residents. He is unflappable in the busiest of times and maintains his good humor throughout,” Rowles says. “We all have significant improvement in our quality of life and sleep patterns, knowing he or one of his colleagues is taking care of our patients.”

Bailey earned his medical degree and completed his residency at Oregon Health Sciences University.

Memorial joins the Healthier Hospitals Initiative and signs Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge

YAKIMA – Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital and Memorial Family of Services have joined the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, a national campaign to focus on sustainability in health care and improve the health of communities, reduce environmental impact and decrease overall health care costs through better public health.

Launched in April 2012, the Initiative urges hospitals to commit to improve the health and safety of patients, staff and communities by using free, step-by-step guides to implement up to six challenges that focus on sustainability. Memorial has committed to meet three of the six challenges over the next three years:
• Engage leadership on environmental health and sustainability;
• Serve healthier foods and beverages;
• Leaner energy challenge.

Memorial CEO Russ Myers signed the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge on Tuesday, Jan. 13 – the first hospital in Central Washington to do so – kicking off Memorial’s participation in the Healthier Hospitals Initiative.

“As a health care leader in the Yakima Valley, Memorial must be in tune not only with the health care needs of individual patients, but with the greater needs of our community. We must be a community role model for healthy living, environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility,” Myers says. “And having clearly defined goals for healthier food, engaged leadership and leaner energy use aligns with our strategic vision: to create healthy communities one person at a time.”

Roughly 75 percent of all health care costs nationally are for the treatment of chronic diseases, according to the Healthier Hospitals Initiative. Nationally, the United States spends an estimated $147 billion to treat obesity alone, another $116 billion to treat diabetes, and hundreds of billions to treat cardiovascular disease and cancer. By addressing the root causes of disease, health care providers and patients together can reduce the burden of chronic disease in their communities.

Yakima County exceeds the Washington state obesity rates, with one in every three adults and one in six children or adolescents identified as obese. Obesity contributes to high rates of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, which are among the leading causes of death in Yakima County.

Memorial has consistently worked to improve access to care and to educate the community about obesity and chronic diseases that are prevalent in our community, including diabetes, offering comprehensive diabetes education and prevention programs and a nutrition and fitness education program for at-risk children and their families, among other programs.


The new Initiative includes changes that enable Memorial to create a healthier workforce, as well as a healthier community, while reducing our carbon footprint and operating more sustainably.

Memorial also will be making significant changes to serve healthier food and beverages, including:
•    Decreasing the amount of meat purchased by 20 percent within a three-year period, subsequently reducing fossil fuel use and modeling healthy eating behaviors;
•    Increasing healthy beverage purchases, with healthy beverage purchases accounting for 80 percent of total beverage purchases over three years, helping to reduce rates of obesity and chronic illness, as well as associated health care costs;
•    Increasing the percentage of local (within 250 miles) food purchased by 20 percent annually.

“So much of what we eat isn’t nutritious anymore. People are busy. They don’t cook healthy meals and they eat a lot of processed foods, which contributes to health problems in our community,” Memorial Community Health Director Bertha Lopez says. “We have a responsibility to set a good example for our community, whether it be nutrition, waste or energy use, because a healthy environment contributes to a healthy population, which builds a healthy economy.”

Memorial has appointed an executive sponsor for the Healthier Hospitals Initiative, and Memorial’s leadership commits to creating an environmental sustainability plan, measures and reports, starting in 2015.

In addition, Memorial has agreed to take on the “Leaner Energy” challenge – specifically, to reduce greenhouse gases from metered energy use by 3 percent from baseline. Initially, Memorial will be looking to determine its baseline for energy use to determine specific areas for improvement, then developing strategies to reduce energy use. These activities will occur over time in the coming months.

In 2016, Memorial will take on the remaining challenges of the Initiative: reduction of waste and increased recycling, use of safer chemicals and purchase of environmentally preferable products.

About Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital and Memorial Family of Services
Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital and Memorial Family of Services employ roughly 2,500 people, making Memorial the largest employer in Central Washington’s Yakima County, with a core purpose to inspire people to thrive. Memorial Hospital is a 226-bed, acute-care, nonprofit community hospital. Memorial Family of Services includes 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 (

About the Healthier Hospitals Initiative
The Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) is a national campaign to implement a completely new approach to improving environmental health and sustainability in the health care sector. Eleven of the largest, most influential U.S. health systems, comprising over 500 hospitals with more than $20 billion in purchasing power, worked with Health Care Without Harm (HCWH), the Center for Health Design and Practice Greenhealth to create HHI as a guide for hospitals to improve sustainability in six key areas: engaged leadership, healthier foods, leaner energy, less waste, safer chemicals, and smarter purchasing. More information is available at