Have you visited Cottage in the Meadow recently?

Today was my first visit in a while.  The gardens and meadow are blooming with soft spots of flowers, and there is a new play structure outside, donated and installed by a local Eagle Scout; sure to be a hit with the small visitors.

All 12 rooms are filled at Cottage, which sounds like a strange thing to be happy about, but not really.  The amazing staff and devoted volunteers certainly make the end of life journey easier and less lonely for patients and their loved ones.  The lobby bustled with activity today as a new patient was arriving, lovingly attended by her son and grandson, while visiting veteran therapy dogs Winnie and Baxter were regally greeting everyone and lending a warm furry shoulder of support.  Also in the lobby was a volunteer delivering nine newly-stitched quilts made for hospice patients –most of which are made from fabric and batting donated by yet more caring people.  Sandy, who is the mother of  veteran volunteer Heidi, was busy in the family kitchen, filling the cupboards with food so harried family members won’t have to leave the property in search of a meal while at the bedside of their loved ones. Such heartfelt generosity everywhere.

Hundreds of good people are involved in Cottage in the Meadow and home hospice care.  They sure have helped my family members and friends who have been there…and they are still there to provide tender care for yours.  What a gift Yakima has given to itself! Learn more about Cottage in the Meadow here >>


About Healthy For Life

Memorial Hospital and Kohl’s Cares have teamed up to bring you Healthy For Life, a program that provides FREE exercise and cooking classes! The exercise classes are available four days a week and are also offered in Spanish.

Some health issues are caused by manageable lifestyle choices including exercise and eating habits. Because it takes time, money, and resources to ensure a healthy lifestyle, it creates a challenge to some members of our community. Our goal is to make it easy to be healthy!

Programs include: bilingual yoga, bilingual zumba, gentle yoga, boot camp, and cooking classes.

Also of interest…


Compass Care

End of Life Initiative

To meet growing demand, Memorial announces the expansion of comprehensive end of life services, now called Compass Care. This begins an exciting new phase of strategic planning in support of best practices for the care of chronically ill patients, from first diagnosis throughout symptom progression, to end of life care and bereavement help for survivors.

The objective is to support current success while increasing capacity to serve the growing need.  The end result is assurance for consistent, expert medical care needed during life’s final journey for all who need it.  Compass Care services are only made possible by the kind and generous support of our community.  Please consider a gift today.

My Miracle, by Amy Berkheimer

Having my newborn spend time in Memorial’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) altered the course of my life. When my 10 lb. 5 oz. baby boy was born not breathing, and it took them 18 minutes to resuscitate him, it set me on a path I never could have imagined.

Eli suffered a brain injury at birth and was later diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. His life is complicated, and we’ve spent so many nights in the hospital that I’m losing count. It’s those nights in the NICU and Pediatric Unit that have made me realize how lucky we are to have the talented and gifted staff at Memorial, our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. From the amazing support they offered during Eli’s early days when so much was unknown; to return visits for RSV, colds, and dehydration, they remember us and are excited to see how Eli is doing. They’ve become like extended family.

Because of our three weeks spent in Memorial’s NICU, I decided I wanted to give back somehow. I became a hospital volunteer and was able to visit with parents in the NICU when they were beginning their journey into the unknown. When Eli was six, I became an employee and now work at Children’s Village, where I continue to offer support to parents. I also help coordinate and facilitate a recreation program for children with disabilities and special needs.

I am one of the luckiest moms in the world. I am Eli’s mom. I am a mom to a boy who is brave and strong and full of smiles and laughs, and is the toughest kid I know. I watch him with awe, as he faces every new challenge with joy and every hospital stay with IV’s and tests without flinching. I marvel at how simple life can be if you just slow down and enjoy the beauty of a boy that stays positive even when things aren’t going his way. Eli is 9 years old now.  I couldn’t have custom ordered a better kid!

The Memorial Foundation is proud to celebrate its 25th anniversary

The Memorial Foundation is proud to celebrate its 25th anniversary this year, and we look forward to many more years of serving the health care needs of our community.

The philanthropic partner of Memorial Family of Services, The Memorial Foundation mobilizes and energizes the community, generating millions of dollars to sustain local health care initiatives that improve access to care, expand programs and services, and educate members of our community about health and wellness.  It is only through generous community support that this has all been possible. Thank you!

Changing the lives of youth in our community

By Honor Stoneman

With 2015 in full swing, the YouthWorks Council has been preparing activities for the enrichment of the Yakima Valley.

One of the projects that the Council will be implementing this year is called Project G.O. The Council believes that it is imperative to instill healthy lifestyle habits into the younger members of our community. Members of the Council will be visiting local elementary schools and speaking to students on the dangers of various addictions, and the growing obesity epidemic in the United States of America today.

The Council has begun planning for this year’s Passion for the Village. An annual event, Passion for the Village is a special evening of celebration that helps to raise needed funds to support the amazing children’s healthcare programs and services that exist at this special place called Children’s Village. The YouthWorks council will work together with the Friends of the Village to organize and facilitate the banquet and to also help raise funds for Children’s Village.

And it is pageant season! All around the valley, pageants at high schools like West Valley and Eisenhower are beginning. For example, Mr. West Valley contestants have been raising funds and participating in activities through Children’s Village for months and are preparing for their pageant on the 25th of February. Proceeds of the high school pageants will benefit children’s healthcare programs at Memorial’s Family of Services and Children’s Village.

Everyday offers another opportunity to inspire others to get involved and help make Yakima great!

Donor Spotlight

Jack Silvers, who died last July at age 91, set up the first annuity at The Memorial Foundation 11 years ago. In addition to his gift annuity, Mr. Silvers made other generous gifts to the Foundation during his lifetime. He had particular interest in supporting our work through the Legacy Administrative Endowment. A mentor and faithful and generous donor to the Foundation – we are grateful for his foresight and his legacy.

Survivorship Program Update

In November, you read about the exciting new survivorship program being developed at North Star Lodge.  Since then, a generous grateful family has come forward with funding to help launch the program this year.

Individual care plans are provided at the end of treatment at North Star Lodge.  Continuing the focused service following the clinical treatment period will be a nurse practitioner keeping in touch with North Star Lodge graduates on a regular basis. Enhancing the success of our patients, post-cancer questions about self-management of symptoms and side effects are addressed as they occur.

Our generous donor family had such a nurturing support system at North Star Lodge while both parents were going through treatments, they made it their mission to be sure this program is available in its full capacity to others.  We invite you to join them in support of this amazing program.  

We Honor Veterans

Memorial Hospice has achieved Level Three Partnership with “We Honor Veterans” program, an awareness campaign conducted by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Department of Veterans Affairs.    Visit the “We Honor Veterans” website partner directory here http://www.wehonorveterans.org/partner-directory which shows our new status and points out that we are one of just a few hospice organizations in the state (and the ONLY organization in Yakima County) that have reached this level of commitment with “We Honor Veterans”.

Some highlights from our last report that earned us Level Three status include:

* the Vet to Vet volunteer program pairs veteran patients in both palliative care and hospice programs with a veteran volunteer. We have seen some truly wonderful connections made through this program. An update… we just welcomed three new veteran volunteers at a recent volunteer training!

* the initial phase of beginning “pinning ceremonies” in which veterans are thanked for their service and presented with a pin that relates to their service time

* the planned inclusion of a veteran volunteer to join our We Honor Veterans committee

* continued in-service training for staff and volunteers which focuses on veteran-specific issues

The mission of serving veterans and their families with compassionate care specific to their needs is so important. We are pleased to be a part of a community so committed to its veterans.