Thank you Solarity Credit Union!

Thank you Solarity Credit Union!

We would like to extend our deepest thanks to Solarity Credit Union, Credit Unions for Kids and Co-op Miracle match for contributing almost $30,000 to Memorial to benefit the Children’s Health initiative.

Along with their check, they gave a Red Flyer wagon that was full of toys for Memorial’s Pediatrics Department, as well as a battery-operated Solarity mustang that is sure to bring a smile to the faces of children in our community for a long time to come.

We so appreciated everything that you have done, and continue to do, for Yakima’s children!

Comfort Through Music

Donated by Rick and Linda Linneweh, the family’s piano sits in a place of honor in the family room at Cottage in the Meadow. 

It is the favorite gathering place for families and friends, and there is plenty of room for patients to join in for a sing-a-long!   It is not unusual to find a crowd gathered there, laughing and singing. New friends are made around the piano, sympathies shared, and fond memories related.

At other times, quieter, more reflective concerts waft down the hall, bringing soothing comfort to all within earshot.  Christmas caroling, church hymns, show time tunes, perhaps a beginner practicing the scales; the simple gift of a piano has brought cheer and comfort to so many.  Thank you, Rick and Linda.

Healing For Body, Mind And Soul

All cancer care patients and their caregivers, families and friends are welcome to renew their mind, body and spirit with these sessions brought to you at no charge through generous donations to The Memorial Foundation. For more information call 509-574-3541 or visit our classes and events pageA sampling of current offerings:

North Star Knitters—An active, fun-loving group of knitters (many are cancer survivors) who get together every Tuesday at North Star Lodge to knit, crochet, and teach others.  They donate many warm items for cancer patients, too!

LifeBio—A very popular series of writing sessions in a group setting, allows patients to examine and write stories about their lives.  Led by a psychologist, more than 80 people have participated in this cathartic exercise.  Watch for Session 11 to begin in 2015.

Look Good, Feel Better – Led by cosmetology professionals, each workshop includes skin, makeup and nail care. Receive professional advice on how to deal with hair loss using wigs, scarves, hats, hairpieces and other accessories.

Sound Sleep, Sound Rest – Learn natural ways to combat the side effects of stress, depression, and anxiety which often accompany a cancer diagnosis. Introductory sessions are weekly.

Lamplighter Bible Study—See how the Bible can help navigate through the cancer journey. Meetings are twice each month; please call 509 574-3541.


Growing Pediatric Services

Brave parents like Buffy and Brian Alegria, whose tiny ones needed to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, truly become a part of the Memorial family.  Buffy, now on the Memorial Hospital Board, recently convened an auditorium full of friends to hear of the challenges and needs of this precious local resource that serves hundreds of tiny vulnerable babies each year, like her baby girls who were born at Memorial nearly 8 years ago.

With a goal to reduce patients’ length of stay while providing the highest quality of care possible, a learning lab is in the works right now to provide improved training for all our pediatric health providers.   Additional pediatric services such as a simulated adolescent and a SimMom®,  EEGs, anesthesia, a staff member dedicated to coordinate and train others, and an expanded pediatric intensive care unit are all under consideration.  And there’s a dream….a dream of a separate mother/baby unit for improved dedicated services is a goal to which we aspire for our community.

Your leadership investment through The Memorial Foundation continues to guarantee local dollars make a difference in the level of care available to our families, friends, and neighbors.  Our babies are given the best chance at a healthy life because of your continued generosity and kindness.

Inspiring People To Thrive

Governor Jay Inslee visited Yakima last month, applauding Memorial Hospital, the YMCA, and other community organizations for collaborating to create a healthier population in our valley. Memorial’s ACT program (Actively Changing Together) works with overweight and obese kids ages 8-14, and their parent/guardian to learn healthy eating habits and increase physical activity.  Reaching the whole family with healthy messages is key, as they support each other in their efforts toward making healthy lifestyle changes.  For 12 weeks Memorial nutritionists and YMCA health coaches work together with the families.

The ACT pilot program was funded in 2012 by The Safeway Foundation and Sage Fruit Company, and Sage has recently made a generous pledge to continue the program through 2016.  This support is vital, and with more funding, we can reach more kids and families.

YouthWorks In Action

As the months grow colder, the hearts of those serving in the valley continue to spread warmth. YouthWorks at Memorial remains one of the core organizations of youth led service in the valley. One of the projects that the council members take on every year is a canned food drive. This year, members delivered boxes to various businesses and the donations collected were enough to fully supply the Cottage in the Meadow and the remaining donations were given to Northwest Harvest. Council members have also committed to helping with Children’s Village 17th annual Holiday Festival, as well as being an on call snow shoveling service for those in the valley with that need.


Honor Stoneman
YouthWorks PR Director

Angels at Cottage in the Meadow

 “People are like stained glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

We have a celebrity angel among us.  Her name is Tinker and she can be found at Cottage in the Meadow Hospice Care Center.  Tinker breezes in to the Cottage a few times each week to keep her fingers limber playing the piano and singing.  Her husband received hospice care before he passed away, and Tinker says she felt so blessed by that experience, that playing music for the residents at the Cottage is her way to give back.IMG_0990

To tell Tinker’s story, we need to step back to another time….another era.  It was 1944, and 18 year old Tinker sang as part of a quartet at the University of North Texas.  The satin smooth harmonies of the four vocalists soon won them a contest called “College Capers” that was sponsored by Interstate Theatres, which entitled the quartet to do a weekly radio show in Dallas, as well as a nine-week USO tour.  Then the group got their big break in 1945 when a Billboard reporter heard the “Swingtet” as the girls called themselves, and he sent a record to Vaughn Monroe, who at that time was the leader of one of the most successful big bands in the nation.  He promptly hired the girls, and in keeping with Monroe’s theme song “Racing with the Moon,” he changed their name to the “Moonmaids.”

Tinker sang with Vaughn Monroe until 1950, performing often at the Commodore Hotel in New York City.  The band journeyed every day to different cities up and down the East Coast to perform.  Tinker made 78 records with Vaughn, and was even in the movie “Carnegie Hall” in 1947 after only six months with the band.

“I have led a charmed life,” says Tinker.  “I have had a wonderful time doing what I loved to do and getting paid for it!”  In 1950, Tinker left the band to go back to college but met her husband, a Dr. Pepper executive, instead.  They were married in 1951 and have two daughters.

After her husband passed away, Tinker moved to Yakima in 2009 to be near her children.  And it seems that her life has come full circle.  Sitting with her in the Cottage in the Meadow family room, Tinker shares her scrap books and photographs from the big band era, recalling in great detail her “charmed life,” humming tunes when she talks about a particular song title.  Then, she makes her way to the piano to play and sing those songs, and her music floats through the air to soothe others who are at a distinct point in their life’s journey.  And one has to wonder if they think, “I hear an angel among us.”

True beauty is revealed.

Leslie Whiteside, Grants Coordinator




The Golden Shovel of Healthcare 

shovel Memorial’s talks with Virginia Mason Health System have created quite a buzz and since then I have been reflecting on Memorial’s evolution.  One man started it all in 1944.  Ed Mueller and friends George Martin, Donald Keith, James Bronson, and Ernest Kershaw rolled up their sleeves and recruited 11 more community leaders and planned a hospital.  The community supported this with enthusiasm and monetary donations.  Just 3 years later, Supreme Court Chief Justice William O. Douglas, a Yakima native, dedicated the new Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital site with the now-famous “golden shovel”.  William Yeaman & Co. built the building, and the Yeaman Trust continues to support our programs to this day through an endowment set up way back when.  Community-minded at every turn, the hospital was staffed those first few years with more volunteers than paid staff.

We have grown and Yakima is truly the better for it.  We know that Virginia Mason has very similar benchmarks, professionalism, and a philosophy of having a healthy community. I think our founders would approve and encourage our current leaders in exploring this avenue of making Memorial even stronger for our community’s current and future needs.

With your gifts we were able to…

The Memorial Family of Services relies on community support for many of its programs. Anne Caffery, president of The Memorial Foundation, appeared on KIT 1280 on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, to thank the Yakima community for its generous support and to highlight the Foundation’s philanthropic accomplishments and highlights in the past year and the year ahead.

In 2014, generous contributions to the Foundation enabled Memorial to:

  • Expand the Diabetes Initiative with diabetes prevention and diabetes education classes, offered both in English and Spanish.
  • Buy a new incubator for the NICU
  • Serve hundreds of families through our Transitions Program, offering palliative care for anyone with a life-limiting illness, and through our Hospice programs, including Cottage in the Meadow hospice home.
  • Continue to provide critical care for children with special needs at Children’s Village.

Last year, we took guidance from our Community Health Initiative – and from past patterns of requests – to determine areas of greatest need in our community. We are focusing our efforts on four major initiatives going forward.

The following shows the total dollar figure awarded by the Foundation for 2015 in each of those four major initiatives and a couple of highlights for each:

  • Improving Children’s Health – $716,873
    • Continued support for critical Children’s Village programs
    • Creation of a Pediatrics simulation lab and training center
  • Advancing Cancer Care – $242,400
    • North Star Lodge services, including support and education programs, pharmacy, dietary, rehabilitation services
    • Mammography scholarships for women in need
    • Creation of a survivorship program
  • Supporting End of Life – $233,000
    • Continued support for Cottage in the Meadow hospice home and the Transitions palliative care program, which we intend to grow in the future
    • Improved efforts for Hispanic/Latino outreach
  • Healthy Yakima – $769,538
    • Support for Alzheimer’s and dementia conference to better educate our community about this disease – both physicians and caregivers – and to provide vital support
    • Continued support of our ACT! program to address childhood obesity
  • General, Fundraising, Grants – $238,324

TOTAL = $2,200,135 – Total money allocated by The Memorial Foundation for 2015.

Thank you, Yakima!