A family’s journey

A Parent to Parent team member shares a family’s journey.

“Recently I had a visit from a family served many years ago through the Parent to Parent program at Children’s Village.  I was surprised and delighted to see them again.  I remembered back to when I used to do home visits with them in 2003.  Their little boy was 2 years old and had been diagnosed with a terminal illness.  The family needed support and resources.  I listened to Mom as she shared her concerns and fears, and did my best to offer comfort and compassion.  Mom also needed resources, such as financial assistance to pay for her child’s funeral.  I connected her to a local wish granting organization who agreed to cover some of the costs.  Sadly, her son passed away several weeks later.  This was such a heartbreaking experience but I was so thankful to have been there for them.

Years later I met the family again when they returned to Parent to Parent.  Their young daughter had been diagnosed with developmental delays and Mom wanted to be matched to another parent of a child with similar needs.  I facilitated the match and the parents became close friends.  She also participated in the Spanish language “Holland” group, where she connected with other parents raising children with special healthcare needs.

With the recent visit from this grateful mother, I learned about the impact Children’s Village had on her family.  She shared her appreciation for all the help and support they received for both of their children ‘and wanted to give back’ to Children’s Village.  She gave a financial gift to support the continued work of Children’s Village.  I am thankful for families like hers who benefit from our supportive services and want to give back in some way.”

Your donations to The Memorial Foundation help support important programs like Children’s Village Parent to Parent.

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Quit Smoking – There’s an app for that!

As part of the new tobacco cessation education program at Virginia Mason Memorial, the new QuitLine program has already received a positive response.

In-patients who currently use tobacco products receive a pamphlet with stop smoking tips and information about the QuitLine. Funded by The Memorial Foundation, the QuitLine program is a phone app made available to patients.  After receiving initial educational information, patients get a follow up visit from a respiratory therapist the following day and have the opportunity to go through the quit tips and receive encouragement to consider trying several of the tips.

For more information, visit doh.wa.gov/youandyourfamily/tobacco/howtoquit

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Gratefulness for North Star Lodge

Your gifts to The Memorial Foundation for cancer care programs stay right here in Yakima, helping people like Christine James manage their fight against cancer.  Read further as Christine shares her experience.

“North Star Lodge has been my home away from home for the last year. Even though battling triple negative breast cancer was the toughest journey I’ve ever been on, I feel so grateful for all the staff at North Star Lodge. They have easily become my second family.  There is no stupid question, there is no stupid reaction to the chaos of feelings I felt when I was losing my control of this awful monster trying to invade my body. No matter what kind of day I was having, I had so many people offering me support.

I was very sick one Christmas and completely worn down from chemo treatments and an infection I had with a fever.  I had to go in 3 days before Christmas, and let’s face it having 5 months of infusions you’d like to keep your scheduled appointments and add no additional appointments because it feels like you’re always there. I broke down crying because I felt hopeless. While I was crying the infusion nurses all held me and gave me such a great inspirational pep talk. I needed to have blood drawn through my port and my arm at the same time. I was so frail and exhausted I asked for a nurse to hold my hand while I cried on her shoulder. What a loving group of people. I am so grateful for the expertise at North Star.”

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With gifts like yours, our community is serving those in their final illness through Virginia Mason Memorial’s incredible Compass Care team.  Read about a patient story as told by a hospice social worker:

“Recently, we worked with Charles. At first he and his wife didn’t want our help but soon were overwhelmed with the extent of his illness and the challenging symptoms which were far beyond their ability to control – they wanted relief – they needed help – and we responded. Their living quarters were so small, there wasn’t space for the necessary medical equipment and even providing the physical care Charles needed presented a myriad of problems – there just wasn’t room.

The hospice team made it work anyway – multiple visits, many late night chats, inventive problem solving, and throughout all of this – no judgment, no criticism – because this was Charles’s life, it was what he knew and he wanted to stay at home as long as possible.

After a few months, he fell and sustained serious fractures. Not surprising to his care team, Charles, upon release from the hospital, remained steadfast in his desire to stay in his own home, so the hospice team went back to the drawing board to figure out how to make this happen. The hospice team found ways to make it work.

In his final days, Charles thought it was best to move to Cottage in the Meadow. There, in the capable hands of the Cottage team, he was able to spend his final days peacefully and symptom free.”

Compass Care covers the spectrum of home care programs, from home health, to palliative care, to hospice and to bereavement for the surviving family members. The Compass Care team works with patients every day who frequently suffer from chronic and terminal illnesses.  The home care team develops individual care plans that will provide the best possible service to each patient.

Thank you for supporting these amazing programs, bringing compassionate, professional care to people on their own terms.

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Our promise to the community

Each year, our board of trustees identifies the most urgent funding needs and commits funding to our health care programs. We ensure every dollar is used to enhance healthcare here in the Yakima Valley.  2017 again brings a promise from us to you that we continue to diligently steward your gifts to fuel the best possible health outcomes.   This year our board has committed nearly $2.3 million to local health care programs.

Since 1990, The Memorial Foundation has responded to community health needs by funding vital health care initiatives.  We are driven by the voice and needs of our community and by the community’s generosity.  You are the community.  You are making Central Washington a better place to live, and you are providing better health outcomes for all of your friends and neighbors.

We are deeply grateful for your trust and for your support.

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Youth in action

“What you all don’t know,” Ken said, “Is that my bride of 57 years inside has Alzheimer’s and I just had another round of radiation therapy.” That’s when the YouthWorks Council took action!

YouthWorks at Virginia Mason Memorial has been busy with community service projects!  In 3 months, they have racked up 127 hours of service time, assisting patients in need. They staged a successful food drive, restocking the family kitchen at Cottage in the Meadow, and they took an afternoon to rake and winterize the large yard of a palliative care patient whose wife has Alzheimer’s. The teens set up and decorated the couple’s Christmas tree with them, reveling in the memories shared through the 60-year accumulation of holiday ornaments.  What a touching scene, honoring the lives of strangers who are, perhaps, celebrating their last Christmas together.  Imagine that family’s peace, being able to carry on their traditions with the help of compassionate teenagers.

What is YouthWorks? Coordinated through The Memorial Foundation, the 2016-17 YouthWorks Council is comprised of twenty Valley teens.  The council has focused largely on the Children’s Initiative, mentoring children with special health care needs, learning about philanthropy and fundraising, and getting a peek into the many facets of the health care world.  New YouthWorks coordinator Josh Munson of The Memorial Foundation is determined to ‘step up the experience and impact’ of the council members, and has been introducing them to our other 3 main health initiatives.  Watch for updates on their activities and community service projects in the months to come.

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Classes and support groups are available

North Star Lodge, Virginia Mason Memorial’s comprehensive cancer care center, offers a wealth of ground-breaking technologies, leading clinical trials, and complementary services, right here, in Yakima. All cancer care patients and their caregivers, families and friends are welcome to participate in cancer care classes and support groups  to renew their mind, body and spirit.  Many are provided at no charge through generous donations to The Memorial Foundation.

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Learning and growing at Children’s Village

Assuming her son Max was just a late crawler, Brooke Hamilton-Neufeld went to the Children’s Village website for information. The self-referral team, a physical therapist, nurse, and others, evaluated Max and referred him to early intervention services. Max started with a physical therapist who came to his home for five months.

Later, Brooke and Max began seeing Children’s Village occupational therapist Sue, who worked with the family every week for ten months. More importantly, “Miss Sue” made therapy fun for Max. To improve his fine and gross motor abilities, Sue used obstacle courses that included various exercises, swings, and climbing. Thanks to his family and Sue’s support and guidance, Max is now a five-year-old who can stand on one foot, hop and hold a pen properly.

Brooke appreciates the staff welcoming her family when they arrive and allowing Max to check himself in. Sometimes the Village childcare watches Brooke’s two-year-old son Miles while she and Max attend therapy sessions. As he prepares to complete preschool, Max still keeps connected with Children’s Village for occupational therapy. Max is growing up with fond memories of his time with Miss Sue at Children’s Village.

Community support for Children’s Village helps provide vital services for the more than 4,800 children served at the Village each year.

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