Category Archives: Press Releases

News Releases

Memorial Family of Services Will Affiliate With Virginia Mason

YAKIMA – (Nov. 11, 2015) – Memorial Family of Services, which includes Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, is a step closer to joining Virginia Mason Health System after leaders of both organizations today signed the legal document paving the way for the affiliation to take effect in early 2016.

Virginia Mason Chairman and CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD, and Memorial CEO Russ Myers signed the definitive agreement at Memorial hospital in Yakima this morning. Jim Berg, chairman of the Memorial Board of Trustees, and James Young, chairman of the Virginia Mason Board of Directors, also signed the document.

“This affiliation will advance Memorial’s commitment to meeting the needs of our community,” Myers said. “We are joining a nationally acclaimed organization that shares our view that all individuals should have access to high quality, safe and affordable health care.”

“I am very pleased that Memorial Family of Services and Virginia Mason are coming together to better serve patients on both sides of the Cascades,” said Dr. Kaplan. “We are partnering with a community-focused organization that embraces our vision for the future of health care and our determination to deliver high quality care at the lowest possible cost.”

The affiliation is a non-cash transaction in which Memorial will become part of Virginia Mason Health System. The affiliation is expected to take effect in early 2016 following Federal Trade Commission regulatory clearance.

“Perhaps the most important aspect of the affiliation is the cultural fit between our non-profit organizations, which is essential for successful collaboration,” Myers said. “This is an exciting day for Memorial and it’s a historic day for our community.”

Today’s signing of the definitive agreement capped months of evaluation and study by the organizations’ boards and leadership teams.

“Memorial’s affiliation with Virginia Mason allows two innovative, patient-centered organizations to work as one in establishing a comprehensive network of care,” Dr. Kaplan said.

The affiliation will also expand Virginia Mason’s presence in Central Washington, where it already has partnerships with Kittitas Valley Healthcare in Ellensburg and Confluence Health in Wenatchee for providing or supporting specific services.

Founded in 1920, Virginia Mason Health System includes a 336-bed acute-care hospital that is consistently ranked among the best and safest hospitals in the United States; eight regional medical centers in the Puget Sound area; Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the U.S. designed and built specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS; and Benaroya Research Institute, which is internationally recognized for its breakthrough autoimmune disease research. Using the Virginia Mason Production System management methodology, Virginia Mason is an international leader in applying lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery to eliminate waste, lower cost, and improve quality and patient safety. Virginia Mason has about 6,000 employees. Learn more at Virginia Mason online.

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, established in 1950, is a 226-bed, acute-care, not-for-profit, community hospital serving the Yakima Valley in Central Washington. Memorial Family of Services includes primary care practices and specialty care services, including high quality cardiac care, a continuum of cancer care, hospice care, and advanced services for children with special health care needs. Memorial has about 2,600 employees. Learn more at Memorial Family of Services online.

Media Contacts

Gale Robinette

Virginia Mason Health System

Desk: 206-341-1509


Rebecca Teagarden

Memorial Family of Services

Desk: 509-577-5051


17th Annual Golf to Give Classic to be held Sept. 14

YAKIMA, Wash. – The 17th annual Golf to Give Classic will be held on Monday, Sept. 14, at Apple Tree Resort, with proceeds to go to The Memorial Foundation to benefit children’s health care programs at Children’s Village and Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, your Children’s Miracle Network Hospital®.

This year’s Golf to Give Classic includes a BBQ Lunch and one afternoon flight, with a 1:30 shotgun start and an awards ceremony immediately following the tournament.

Memorial is grateful to Les Schwab Tire Centers, Apple Tree Resort and ACE Hardware who are partnering to conduct this year’s event.

For more information about the event, call Kevin Anderson, Head Golf Professional, Apple Tree Resort, at 509.966.5877 Ext. 12 or visit

About Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital 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 (

About Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds for 170 nonprofit hospitals across North America to treat severely injured and ill children. When a donation is given it stays in the community, helping local kids. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4.4 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of the organization’s mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.


ACE Bucket Campaign to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

9 3 15 Mem and CMN

ACE Bucket Campaign to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

September 5, 2015

Nine local ACE Hardware stores are participating in the Ace Bucket Campaign to support local miracles for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Participating ACE Hardware stores are selling blue buckets for $5 each and 100% of the funds raised from this event will 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. Retailers are also offering a 20% discount on items that customers can put in the bucket on bucket day.

Memorial is the Children’s Miracle Network hospital for Central Washington.

The 1-day campaign is being held on September 5,, 2015 at the following local ACE Hardware stores in the area: Tri Cities, Sunnyside, Toppenish, Hermiston, & Yakima.


Memorial board agrees to move forward with Virginia Mason

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

Memorial Family of Services board agrees to move forward with Virginia Mason
Affiliation subject to completion of definitive agreement, regulatory approval

YAKIMA – The Memorial Family of Services Board of Trustees voted unanimously July 28, 2015, to move forward with an affiliation with Virginia Mason Health System, subject to completion of a definitive agreement that must then be approved by both the Memorial and Virginia Mason boards.

The two organizations anticipate successful completion of that agreement, which will outline how they will work together, in about 60 days. The final agreement may also require state and/or federal review and approval.

Memorial and Virginia Mason share similar values and cultures, as well as a commitment to innovation, and view a potential relationship as an opportunity to create a broader network of care that better serves both organizations’ communities.

Partnerships in health care are occurring across the country as a way to improve service, lower costs and respond to health care reform. Ultimately, these collaborations benefit the patients and communities they serve.

The Memorial Board of Trustees views a strategic partnership as an opportunity for Memorial – and Yakima – to maintain access to high-quality healthcare, improve access to specialty care, advance physician recruitment and expand our financial, clinical and information systems resources. Such a partnership also ensures that state-of-the-art medicine continues in this community.

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 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.