Memorial recognized as leader in Diabetes Prevention and Population Health at recent conference

Memorial recognized as leader in Diabetes Prevention and Population Health at recent conference

By Lori Gibbons, Diabetes Education Coordinator000LoriG

Recently a co-worker and I had the opportunity to attend the 2015 HealthShare Symposium in Aventura, Florida. 400 other hospital systems congregated to share marketing ideas about the importance of information transparency to consumers, physicians and hospitals and its potential impact on engagement, alignment, volume and outcomes. As a client of Healthgrades, they invited us to be a part of this conference.

I was asked to participate in a poster session for the diabetes prevention program. The session provided a face to face meeting with many of the attendees in which they were able to ask questions and learn about a wide range of critical topics and best practices. I had many individuals come up and ask about our prevention program and how to go about implementing this at their hospital. Some of the questions asked were about cost savings for the hospital and how prevention is less expensive than treating the actual disease along with costs associated with running a program such as this. Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital was represented as a leader in diabetes prevention and population health even though we were one of the smaller hospitals attending the conference.

It was a wonderful experience and I felt proud to represent Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.

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

FOR 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 (

Many adults missing cancer screenings

Cancer screenings 2015May 19, 2015—Americans aren’t as up-to-date with cancer screenings as they should be, reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Regular screenings for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers can catch cancers early, when treatment is likely to work best. This lack of screening means that individuals aren’t getting tests that can save lives. The trends also point to problems in reaching the government’s Healthy People 2020 goals for cancer screening.

The report

Researchers looked at data from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey, which is used to monitor progress toward health screening goals.

The analysis showed that, in comparison to previous years, screening levels for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers either fell behind or showed no improvement. Here’s a look at the numbers:

Breast cancer:

  • The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women ages 50 to 74 have a mammogram every 2 years.
  • Healthy People 2020 screening goal: 81.1 percent.
  • Current screening levels: 72.6 percent.
  • Areas of concern: Mammogram rates were lower for women age 50 to 64 than age 65 to 74. They were also lower for Hispanic women, women without insurance and women without a usual source of healthcare.

Cervical cancer:

  • The USPSTF recommends that women ages 21 to 65 receive a Pap test at least every 3 years, unless they’ve had a hysterectomy.
  • Healthy People 2020 screening goal: 93 percent.
  • Current screening levels: 80.7.
  • Areas of concern: Pap test use was lower for Asian women, Hispanic women, women ages 51 to 65 and foreign-born women. Women who were uninsured or publicly insured were less likely to get the test than women with private insurance.

Colorectal cancer:

  • The USPSTF recommends that people ages 50 to 75 choose 1 of the following options:
    • Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) every year.
    • Sigmoidoscopy every 5 years and FOBT every 3 years.
    • Colonoscopy every 10 years.
  • Healthy People 2020 screening goal: 70.5 percent.
  • Current screening levels: 58.2 percent.
  • Areas of concern: Test use was lower among Asian and Hispanic people, except Puerto Ricans. Testing was also lower among people aged 50 to 64 compared to those 65 to 75. Test use was slightly lower among men. People without a usual source of care or insurance had a particularly low test rate.

Overall, the data showed no progress toward the screening goals for 2020. In order to reach these targets, researchers encouraged higher efforts to reduce barriers—such as finances and lack of insurance—that keep people from screening. They also suggested that making the public more aware of screening options could help improve these trends.

Find more details on these trends in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The take-home message
Cancer screening could save your life. Regular testing may help detect breast, cervical and colorectal cancers early. Treatment at these early stages tends to be most successful.

Make regular screening a priority. Learn about screening options and recommendations for:

Talk to your doctor about what screenings are right for you.


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.


Trying to lose weight? Do some calorie math

It isn’t easy to lose weight. Let’s acknowledge that right up front.

However, the math behind weight loss is not complicated: You have to use more calories than you take in.

You use—or “burn”—calories through physical activity. You take in calories through eating.

It’s not that difficult to figure how many calories you’re eating every day. You can check the calories-per-serving information on a product’s nutrition label. There are also a multitude of “calorie counter” books available.

Calculating how much physical activity you need to lose a certain number of pounds? Not quite so black-and-white. In fact, it can vary greatly from person to person.

Just to maintain your current weight, you probably need to engage in about 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise every week. You’ll likely need to increase that if you want to drop pounds.

We have a couple of calculators that can help you learn more about your calorie and exercise needs:

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Smartphones may reduce kids’ healthy sleep

Jan. 20, 2015—A smartphone—or another device with a small screen—in the bedroom can shorten a child’s sleep by as much as half an hour every night, according to a recently published study.

The study found children who slept near their smartphones went to bed later than kids without bedroom phones. Children with bedroom phones also felt significantly more tired during the school week.

Having a smartphone in the bedroom was even more disruptive to sleep than having a TV in the bedroom.

Big screens, little screens and sleep

The study involved 2,048 children who attended public schools in Massachusetts from October through December 2012. Most of the children—1,194—were fourth-graders and around age 9. The remaining 854 were in 7th grade and about age 12.

Slightly more than half of all the children said they kept their smartphone nearby when they slept—such as next to the bed or in the bed. And 75 percent said they slept in a room with a TV.

Researchers asked the children a series of questions about their sleep habits during the previous week, such as: When did you go to bed? When did you wake up? Did you feel rested the next day?

Compared to kids who didn’t sleep near a phone, children who slept near their smartphone slept an average of 21 minutes less every night. In addition, this group went to bed an average of 37 minutes later than children who didn’t sleep near phones.

Children sleeping near smartphones were more likely to feel increasingly unrested during the week than those who didn’t sleep with a phone. TVs weren’t significantly associated with kids feeling tired.

Why would small smartphone screens affect sleep more than big TV screens? One reason may be that TVs don’t beep, ring or play a short tune whenever a message arrives like a smartphone does.

Another possibility from the researchers: Screen light may interfere with the body’s release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Although TVs have a bigger screen, smartphones are held next to the face. The closer the screen light, the greater the interference.

Learn more about the research online in Pediatrics.

The take-home message
Children ages 5 to 12 need about 10 or 11 hours of sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).

The NSF recommends designating bedrooms a “no-screen zone,” no matter how big or small the screen may be. To help kids get enough healthy sleep, the NSF also suggests:

  • Limiting caffeinated drinks, especially late in the day.
  • Making sure that a child’s bedroom is sleep-friendly, which means dark, cool and quiet.