Bring the kids to festival’s Field of Fun

September 21, 2010

If you have children, plan to visit the Field of Fun this year at Salmon Days.

The playground of free and exciting activities is located on Veterans’ Memorial Field, behind the Issaquah Police Department and next to the Foods of the World. Catered toward the youngest festivalgoers, the Field of Fun has safe, fun, free and fishy activities for all ages.

For children who love to leap and tumble, try the Incredible Inflatables. Jump, climb and bounce around in these brightly colored, inflatable play toys. For more roly-poly fun, check out the giant hamster balls. Climb inside these giant inflatable balls and see what if feels like to be a hamster.

Who says there has to be snow for skis and snowboards? See extreme winter athletes demonstrate thrilling tricks on a 40-foot ramp. After the hair-raising exhibits, they’ll join the audience on spring-free trampolines to show how to have fun safely.

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Teenagers hearing less with hearing loss

September 14, 2010

One in five teenagers is experiencing slight hearing loss, according to a recent study of the nation’s youth.

Hearing loss can affect teenagers in more ways than one. In addition to asking people to repeat themselves, it can compromise social development, communication skills and educational achievement, according to the study.

Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the study compared teenage hearing loss from 1988-1994 and 2005-06, using data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

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Virginia Mason honored as top hospital in Northwest

September 14, 2010

Seattle’s Virginia Mason Medical Center again received the highest overall score of any reporting hospital in the Northwest in the 2010 Leapfrog Group Survey.

Virginia Mason also scored the highest in Washington in high-risk treatment safety ratings and overall patient safety ratings among all reporting hospitals.

Virginia Mason has an Issaquah clinic at 100 N.E. Gilman Blvd.

The latest results follow last December’s Leapfrog announcement that Virginia Mason was one of only 37 hospitals and eight children’s hospitals to be named to its prestigious Top Hospitals list.

Virginia Mason fully met Leapfrog standards in 11 of 16 categories. Virginia Mason rated in the highest quartile in all four of the survey’s measures for cost of care, including heart bypass surgery, heart angioplasty, heart attack and pneumonia. Virginia Mason also is in the top quartile for Leapfrog’s “steps to avoid harm” ratings, which includes such practices as hand hygiene, reducing catheter-related infections, reducing ventilator-associated pneumonia, preventing urinary tract infections, and assessing and preventing blood clots.

See complete survey results and compare hospitals at www.leapfroggroup.org.

Virginia Mason hosts free prostate screenings

July 27, 2010

Virginia Mason Medical Center is hosting a free prostate screening in Issaquah on July 30.

More than 55 million American men face the risk of prostate cancer, and early detection is important.

Virginia Mason, in partnership with ZERO: The Project to End Prostate Cancer, will host the event from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at its Issaquah campus, 100 N.E. Gilman Blvd.

The screening is free, confidential and does not require an appointment or health insurance.

Virginia Mason providers will staff the screening and volunteers will be on hand to explain the process and answer any patient questions.

The screening consists of a simple blood test known as a prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, blood test and an optional physical exam. Patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis, a Virginia Mason news release said.

Results are confidential and will be sent to patients in three to four weeks by ZERO. Patients with high PSA scores should follow up with their healthcare providers.

Additional health information for men and women will be available at the event.

Virginia Mason hosts free prostate screenings in Issaquah on Friday

July 26, 2010

UPDATED — 3:30 p.m. July 27, 2010

Virginia Mason Medical Center is hosting a free prostate screening in Issaquah on Friday.

More than 55 million American men face the risk of prostate cancer, and early detection is the key.

Virginia Mason, in partnership with ZERO: The Project to End Prostate Cancer, will host the event from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at its Issaquah campus, 100 N.E. Gilman Blvd.

The screening is free, confidential and does not require an appointment or health insurance.

Virginia Mason providers will staff the screening and volunteers will be on hand to explain the process and answer any patient questions.

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Summer fun includes protection from the sun

July 20, 2010

Michelle Johnson, Jackie Potter and Hayley Magee (from left), on summer vacation from classes at Skyline High School, share sunscreen sprays and lotions of SPF 15, 30 and 50, before sunbathing July 14 on the dock at Pine Lake Park. By Greg Farrar

Go into any drugstore and you’re bound to run into a plethora of sunscreen options this summer. But do you really know what to look for?

Many people don’t, so you’re not alone.

“There are a lot of sunscreens out there,” Amy Cheng, a dermatologist with Virginia Mason Medical Center, said.

Even the federal Food and Drug Administration doesn’t have a consumer-friendly system of standards regulating the claims of companies who make sunscreen, despite the Sunburn Protection Factor label.

Since 2007, officials with the FDA have posted consumer updates on its website saying it’s in process of developing a set of standards, but those have yet to come to fruition. Read more

Salmon Days gets new title spawnsor

July 14, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. July 14, 2010

Virginia Mason Medical Center is now the ohfishal title spawnsor for Issaquah’s Salmon Days Festival.

Virginia Mason has been the ohfishal Go Fish! Stage spawnsor for the past two years. Now, Salmon Days has signed a multiple-year contract with Virginia Mason as the ohfishal title spawnsor.

Virginia Mason offers a full range of primary and specialty care services at its Issaquah clinic, 100 N.E. Gilman Blvd.

The Issaquah Salmon Days Festival, ohfishally brought to the community by the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, celebrates the return of the salmon in downtown Issaquah. The festival, held Saturday and Sunday, has all kinds of fun, fishy, family friendly and free activities.

In its 41st year as Issaquah’s premier, free, community event, Salmon Days and Ohfishal Title Spawnsor Virginia Mason Medical Center invite you to come to the festival, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Oct. 2 and 3.

Learn more about Salmon Days by going to www.salmondays.org, e-mailing info@salmondays.org or calling 392-0661.

All about health

March 16, 2010

David Lingenbrink (left) provides a ‘fine specimen’ with a pinprick of blood for a free blood sugar check administered by Timi Harvey, a registered nurse care manager from Virginia Mason Issaquah during the Health and Safety Fair held March 13 at Pickering Farm. Health care professionals from 40 companies, hospitals and public agencies provided information, screenings and complimentary services during the free event.

Sakura Dean, 3, rolls her eyes while trying out a new toothbrush from a gift bag provided by Dr. Thomas R. Quickstad as mom Chieko looks on.

Oleg Lozovskyy, a medical assistant at Overlake Medical Center Issaquah, administers free blood pressure, pulse and respiration checks. Photos by Greg Farrar

State cuts free immunizations

August 18, 2009

Lauren Anderson (right) inoculates her daughter Anna Zornes in 2006 with the vaccine at Virginia Mason's Issaquah Pediatrics and Adolescent Clinic as a protection against HPV, which infects about 6.2 million sexually active Americans sometime during their lifetime. File

Lauren Anderson (right) inoculates her daughter Anna Zornes in 2006 with the vaccine at Virginia Mason's Issaquah Pediatrics and Adolescent Clinic as a protection against HPV, which infects about 6.2 million sexually active Americans sometime during their lifetime. File

Parents, get your wallets and insurance cards out: Washington state is scaling back on free vaccinations for minors.

In July, Washington stopped using state funds to provide free vaccines for the human papillomavirus. Come May 2010, the state will stop subsidizing all childhood vaccinations, including measles, mumps and rubella, chickenpox, polio, hepatitis B and the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine.

By cutting its Universal Vaccine Program, the state will save $48.5 million over the next two years.

The program began in 1990, when the state began providing free vaccinations for children under 19. In 1994, the federal government provided additional funds through the Vaccines for Children program. Read more

Washington worst in nation for emergency health care

January 5, 2009

When it comes to Washington residents’ access to emergency health care, the state gets a flunking grade.

The American College of Emergency Physicians delivered this unflattering assessment in its recently released “National Report Card on the State of Emergency Medicine,” which looks at such criteria as access to care, quality of care, safety, medical liability, public health and injury prevention, and disaster preparedness.

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