What Memorial’s potential affiliation means for The Foundation

To our community:

In light of the latest news about Memorial’s potential affiliation with Virginia Mason, we want to assure our community of generous donors that The Memorial Foundation will remain a separate 501(c)3. If an affiliation should occur, all gifts through the Foundation will stay locally invested, managed and allocated in support of Memorial Family of Services programs here in our Valley to meet our community’s health care needs.

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, Virginia Mason Health System Enter Formal Affiliation Discussions

Contacts: Shannon Dininny, Memorial Communications, (509) 577-5051
Gale Robinette, Virginia Mason Media Relations, (206) 341-1509

YAKIMA – Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital and Virginia Mason Health System announced their intent Wednesday to pursue a formal affiliation that would transform health care in the Yakima Valley, increase access to health care and improve the patient experience and value of care.

The boards of both hospitals have voted to sign a letter of intent, which is the next step in the affiliation process. The signing of the letter of intent enables the two organizations to conduct detailed discussions and perform necessary due diligence on the specific details of an affiliation whereby Memorial would become a part of the Virginia Mason Health System.

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.

“We are excited to work with Virginia Mason and look forward to continuing our discussions to build a partnership that serves our community,” Memorial CEO Russ Myers said. “Virginia Mason is a distinguished organization with strong leadership and excellent physicians.”

“In Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital we have found an organization with a shared vision for health care, focused on innovation, high quality and appropriate patient care at the lowest cost possible,” Virginia Mason Health System Chairman and CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD, said.

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.

Memorial and Virginia Mason, both not-for-profit health care providers, share a commitment to maintaining comprehensive health care in Yakima. Due diligence, a legal step in the affiliation process, is expected to take four to six months.

<strong>About Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital
Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is a 226-bed, acute-care, not-for-profit, community hospital serving Central Washington’s Yakima Valley. 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. Visit Memorial online at www.yakimamemorial.org or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/yakimavalleymemorialhospital), Twitter (www.twitter.com/Yakima_Memorial) or Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/yvmh). In addition, The Memorial Foundation has raised and distributed $45 million toward innovative health care programs in the Yakima Valley (www.memfound.org).
<strong>About Virginia Mason </strong>

Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. Virginia Mason employs 6,000 people and includes a 336-bed acute-care hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 460 physicians; regional medical centers throughout the Puget Sound area; and 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. Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is internationally recognized for its breakthrough autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason was the first health system to apply lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery to eliminate waste, lower cost, and improve quality and patient safety. Virginia Mason website: <a href=”http://www.VirginiaMason.org” target=”_blank”>www.VirginiaMason.org</a>.

11 ways to remove obstacles to Winter Fitness

In Memorial’s Diabetes Prevention program, we are learning from each other how to keep the momentum of our new, healthier lifestyle going through the cold winter months .  We know from experience that “things in motion stay in motion. “ Moving actually increases and sustains our energy, thus decreasing our old tendency to be sedentary.   Many of us have been enjoying outdoor exercise in our gardens, on neighborhood walks, hiking, swimming and bicycling.  You name it, someone in our class enjoys it!

Now we are challenged with keeping our activity level up during the winter Yakima has no shortage of options for indoor gyms and exercise programs.  Other things our class came up with:

Yoga, dancing, brisk fall leaf raking, indoor bicycling, mall walking, indoor swimming exercise class or lap swimming, short walks during the noon hour when it’s generally light and warmer than after work.

If you are interested in purchasing equipment for home, now is the time!  The retailers are clearing out this year’s models to make room for holiday and New Year sales of new models.  You might be surprised at the deal you can work on buying the floor model…

Whatever you choose, be sure to talk with your health care provider about limits you might need to observe, especially if you are just getting started.  We would love to hear how YOU keep fit in the winter months!

You’d be surprised how little it takes to make an impact….

 Yakima is an incredibly generous community. And it is this generosity that has made the quality of healthcare in our community what it is today. In most communities of equal size to ours, citizens do not have a say in their local healthcare system. When confronted with a chronic health condition or a challenging diagnosis, they are often forced to seek treatment at a distance . . . not in Yakima.

Through its generosity, our community has delivered state-of-the art cancer care at North Star Lodge, comprehensive and specialized child healthcare services at Children’s Village, and supportive and dignified hospice care at Cottage in the Meadow. An array of other general and specialized care services, all up to date with the latest in medical technology, have come to Yakima through Memorial Family of Services – providing us all with a complete continuum of care on a local level that will help us lead healthy lives . . . all as the result of our community’s generosity.

This generosity shows itself in the hearts of our donors; they are the true providers of healthcare for our community. They are the pillars that uphold these fine healthcare services that have been made available to us in the convenience of our community. Through The Memorial Foundation, they have the power of advancing healthcare for future generations . . . to ensure that Yakima will remain a healthy, vital place for those who call it their home, now and into tomorrow.

You can have a say in the quality of healthcare that exists in your community. You’d be surprised at the impact a $25 monthly donation can make in the future of healthcare.

Click here to find out more about monthly giving plans and to begin making your impact today.

Living Your Best Life

In hospice, we talk about living our best lives. What does “living your best life” look like to you? For one patient, it was being able to fly in an airplane before he died—which he did in his last week of life, as a volunteer with his own plane took him up to view Yakima County in a way he never had before. For other patients, it’s in seeing a distant relative, or taking a drive in the country, or enjoying a favorite meal, or spending time with family.

Edith wanted to be around to watch her grandson get married.

Tom lived in the Portland area and was planning to marry Anna (not their real names) in the near future. When Edith was admitted to the Cottage in the Meadow, Tom moved up the wedding date, and he and Anna decided to surprise Edith by changing the venue as well: they moved the whole wedding party to the Cottage.

The service was scheduled for Saturday afternoon. But then Edith took a turn for the worse, and her pain became nearly unbearable. She became nearly unresponsive, and by Friday it looked as if Edith wouldn’t survive to Saturday afternoon.

But the wedding license was dated for Saturday; the party couldn’t legally gather until the date on the license.

The pastor scheduled to officiate the wedding couldn’t come any sooner than Saturday afternoon, and the couple needed someone fast. That’s when I was invited to participate.  I met with Tom and Anna on Friday afternoon, and we planned a simple service to take place in Edith’s room. Tom really wanted Edith to be a witness to the wedding and to sign the wedding license.

So, in the middle of the night…literally, at 12:00 midnight, the wedding party gathered in the patient’s room. Vows were exchanged, rings were placed, unity sand was poured, prayers were shared, tears were shed, and the pronouncement of “man and wife” was made.

And Edith witnessed every moment.

At the end of the ceremony, Edith put on her reading glasses and, with shaking hands, signed the wedding license.

At that point, Edith was willing to take the medications to be made more comfortable. The staff could focus on making sure she wasn’t in any pain (for it had been excruciating), and the family could focus on sharing stories and loving on Edith until the moment that she let go and breathed her last.

While there were lots of tears, Edith got her wish: she was able to watch her grandson get married.

To her, that was really living.

Donor Spotlight: Ladies Division of Suntides Golf

For 13 years, the Ladies Division of Suntides Golf has donated the proceeds from their golf tournament to hospice programs and the Hospice Building Fund.  With the gift in August from this year’s tournament, their generosity totals almost $27,000.  If you know any of these golfing ladies, please convey our heartfelt thanks for their continuing support.

Yakima Hospice Transitions Program

“I don’t know what I don’t know” is a common thought when someone is first diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Currently, the Transitions program offers practical help to those struggling with a life limiting illness. When clients and caregivers feel isolated and overwhelmed the trained volunteers give the caregiver a much needed reprieve and companionship for program clients.

The Transitions program is bursting at the seams assisting 70 clients at a time. Demand for these vital services has led to the expansion of the program to include a nurse practitioner and a full-time licensed clinical social worker, enabling us to serve 200 clients at a time. The nurse practitioner will add a new medical component of support by addressing relief of symptoms and reduction of pain. This requires philanthropic support in the beginning with a priority of self-sustainment. Our goal in expanding the Transitions program is to improve services and thus the end of life experience for our patients struggling with a terminal diagnosis.  This coming year will require $50,000.  In years past, we have been able to secure funds sufficient to create and develop the program.  New plans include a grant we have our fingers crossed for that will allow for partial reimbursement.  In the meantime, we hope donors will continue to help.  Your continued support of the End of Life Initiative will help sustain the Transitions program.

Priscilla Forney, Fairy Godmother      

 Volunteer extraordinaire Priscilla Forney is often referred to as the “fairy godmother” at Children’s Village.  She magically appears on the clinic days when she is most needed.

Flitting around taking care of clerical tasks, getting toys, cleaning, or greeting families and escorting them in and out of the therapy room, Priscilla is a happy, calming presence for all.

“I have a much more successful day when Priscilla is in the orthotic clinic because she anticipates what we need. She has a joyful demeanor and brings her energy and excitement to each family that she encounters.  She helps us to speed up the turnaround time for getting ankle foot orthotics for children, often cutting the waiting time in half! Because of her help, we can provide much more efficient service; a real plus when working with children,” said Katie Buck, Children’s Village physical therapist.

Dedicated volunteers like Priscilla are the heart of Children’s Village.  If you would like to become a volunteer, contact Brandenjohnson@yvmh.org, telephone 575-8053.