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 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.

Healthy Beginnings For Moms & Babies

2015 brings exciting changes with the ABC Clinic evolving into the Healthy Beginnings Care Center, a wellness center for parents and their newborns.  The program has been sustained against all the odds for decades, with the leadership and passion of devoted caregivers, and hundreds of contributors who provide funding to help moms of newborns at their most vulnerable moments.
Patient appointments at Healthy Beginnings are available by physician referral as part of regular maternity care.  Appointments will be scheduled before patients leave the hospital after delivery. To enhance the patient experience, the center will be open additional hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mon. – Sat.).  Patients will have the opportunity for up to six infant visits (if necessary) with the original physician referral. For more information, please contact Linda Haralson at 575-8801 or Aimee Borley at 575-8597 or visit our web page.


Strengthening Families and Communities

The Nurse-Family Partnership is a national, evidence-based program that helps transform the lives of vulnerable, first time moms.  The program’s three primary goals are to improve pregnancy outcomes; improve the child’s health and development; and improve the economic self-sufficiency of the family.

Each mother is partnered with a registered nurse early in her pregnancy and receives nurse home visits that continue through her child’s second birthday, guiding them through the emotional, social, and physical challenges they face, empowering women to change their families’ lives for the better.

The program helps young moms to develop a vision for their own futures, stay in school, find employment, and plan future pregnancies; which enables them to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

Here in our valley, enrolled mothers experience drastic reductions of domestic violence, and dramatic increases of employment.  Additionally, 94 percent of babies were up-to-date with immunizations at 24 months, protecting their own—and their community’s health outlook.

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.