In The News

Project Compassion- An Unforgettable Experience

WVMC's Lori Cutrell, RN donates personal time to travel with "Project Compassion" providing medical care to countries in need. I just returned from an

A Lifetime of Teamwork- Melva Proctor Retires

 Photo by Marcus Larson/News-Register LAFAYETTE — What Melva Proctor will miss most, now that she’s retired from a half-century career in nursing,

Willamette Valley Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Center Honored with National Award for Excellence in Wound Healing

McMinnville, OR 4/6/16– Willamette Valley Medical Center physicians, leaders, and clinicians gathered today to celebrate the Robert A. Warriner III, M.D., Center

Our Bloggers


Zac Woodruff, WVMC Voices

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KendraKendra Lindell, Mommy & Me

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CarlyCarly Dunn,
Notes From Your Nutritionist

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My Weight-Loss Surgery

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Amazing Care Stories

Project Compassion- An Unforgettable Experience

WVMC's Lori Cutrell, RN donates personal time to travel with "Project Compassion" providing medical care to countries in need.

Leading the Nation in Quality

Willamette Valley Medical Center Earns ‘Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®’ Recognition from the Joint Commission for

A Lifesaving Decision

In November 2014 Mike Sandels had his second heart attack. He just happened to be walking by


All Day Child Preparation Course @ WVMC Birthing Center
May 28 @ 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Prepare for your baby’s arrival with calm and confidence. Our usual course is taught in 6 weekly classes but to accomidate your schedule we have added an all day course to cover everything in one Saturday. Learn about the many choices you can consider as you near the end of your pregnancy: nutrition, comfort during late pregnancy, physical and emotional experiences of labor for mothers and partners, comfort techniques (breathing, relaxation, massage, etc) for labor and birth, medications and medical procedures, postpartum care for mother and baby, and so much more! Class includes dedicated teaching to breastfeeding and to newborn care. Also a birthing center tour, videos and handouts will be provided.

Alcoholics Anonymous- Sunday Gratitude Meeting @ WVMC Classrooms (1st floor, across from cafeteria)
May 29 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

We now have a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous every Sunday. This is an open meeting for all who are interested in recovery from alcoholism through the 12 Step program, including ambulatory patients and staff. For more information, call Robert (H) 503-835-1042 or (C) 971-259-9145.

New Moms Group @ Birthing Center Classroom
May 31 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Moms with babies up to two years old are welcome to join us each week for this very informal session. You’ll meet with other new moms and a registered nurse to discuss infant development, health and social issues, breastfeeding and other important topics. Siblings and toddlers are welcome!

Living with Cancer Support Group @ H.R. Hoover Cancer Center (WVMC Campus)
Jun 1 @ 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

A general cancer support group available for individuals in all stages of cancer including survivors. For additional information, or to register for the group, call (503) 435-6590 x8740.


Everything is changing! The play I was in just ended and Rotaract finishes next Tuesday. But the biggest change of all is that I am graduating college in two weeks. I have been in college for seven years, so it's going to be weird moving on to something else. But, as someone said, "when one door closes another door opens". I look forward to trying new things and growing as an individual.

This year has been a year full of growth. Although I am still in the process of losing, I do think that the lessons I have learned through this process will help me be an even better person as I graduate and find a job. I believe that my weight loss has given me the confidence, perseverance and strength to be successful after college. I am hoping to find a job that allows me to continue to be active and not just sit behind a desk.

Some of the things I look forward to after graduation are the opportunities to earn some money, travel and become more independent. Right now, my main concentration is passing my classes and preparing for my trip to Russia and Serbia. But after school ends, my goal is to find a job somewhere that will let me utilize my creative, social and business skills. I would love to do some sort of event planning or marketing, although I am open to all possibilities at this point.

I look back at last year and celebrate the changes and maturity that have come along with the WLS process. It's been hard, but because of all of the amazing support from Dr Higa, my family and friends, I have come a long way. I know that I can succeed in finishing my weight loss and move on to maintenance, just like I am finishing school. These are huge changes and I appreciate all of your support! Thank you!
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For as long as I can remember in her short little life, Lucy has always been sensitive to loud noises and things out of the ordinary. The blender, the vacuum, the hair dryer, helicopters, planes, lawnmowers and loud trucks are all examples of things that can set her off, even when they aren't running. She'll come over with a terrified or disgusted grimace and shake her head no, pointing to whatever is ailing her, sometimes crying in fear. She's also terrified of other strange things like dogs, cats and certain people, especially the Easter bunny and Santa Claus in the flesh.

If it weren't for the ability to compare Lucy to Karson, I probably wouldn't have thought anything of it. I would have attributed her behavior to normal baby behavior but I can see Karson is clearly not affected. In fact, he'll follow loud noises out of interest.

Sensitivity to loud noises can be an early flag for autism so it's important to pay attention to these behaviors but I've never seen any other signals in Lucy to give me cause for alarm.

Also, her reactions seem to be lessening over time. She now doesn't seem as afraid of trucks but still always points them out like she's aware they're there and she's going to stay on guard, which is probably a good thing. She'll say "tauk, tauk, tauk!" Which translates to "truck, truck, truck." She does the same with planes too, "pan, pan, pan!"

She also has taken an extreme interest in our chickens which surprises me since chickens are loud and fast and have sharp beaks that could seem scary to a little person. Despite these features, visiting the chickens is always the first thing she wants to do when we go outside.

She's given me other surprises lately that have lessened my worry. She wasn't phased at all by all the many strange creatures at the UFO festival and the big loud waves at our recent trip to the beach didn't scare her at all. She was a little terrified of the polar bear at the zoo but then again, I think I still am too.

Although she doesn't become nearly as terrified as she used to, I can tell she's still wary of all things loud and new, much more so than Karson ever has been. I don't know what it all means or how it will affect her later in life but with continuing gentle and gradual exposure to the world and all its noisy, loud and startling stimulus, she's learning to catalog all those sounds and sights and learning to trust more. I can tell she's learning I'll protect her from everything I possibly can and the world isn't such a scary place, at least not all the time. And for those times that are, a tight hug and a kiss can make it all a little better.

Note: Kendra Lindell gave birth to twins, Karson and Lucy on October 5th, 2014 at Willamette Valley Medical Center Birthing Center. She writes about her experience on the WVMC Facebook page. STAY TUNED for more stories from Kendra. See for previous posts.
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Let’s Talk About Apple Cider Vinegar
By Zac Woodruff, RN BS

The other day I was taking care of a patient who suffered from diabetes. I asked her how she managed her blood sugar and she told me that a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, each day, did wonders for her blood sugar.

I couldn’t believe it. In my head, I was like, “Whaaaaaaattt?!?!?!?” However, after I did a bit of research, it appeared that she could be on to something.

WebMD reports that apple cider vinegar does appear to help with diabetes and blood sugar control. Apple cider vinegar’s anti-glycemic effect is very well documented and the vinegar may block some of the digestion of starch, and keep your blood sugar from rising.

Keep in mind though, the most effective (and healthiest) way to control your blood sugar is to avoid refined carbs and sugar, but apple cider vinegar may also have a small anti-glycemic effect.

I know one thing though, to me, it stinks. Really. I don’t like the smell of apple cider vinegar, but aside from it’s pungent odor, this stuff may actually help you with your stinky feet.

The acids in the apple cider vinegar can alter the pH level of your skin, which fights off bacteria that cause smelly feet.

Some say that it can cure the hiccups. The sour taste may send a distracting message to your brain that ultimately stops your hiccups.

Some say it can clear a stuffy nose because it contains potassium, which thins mucus; and the acetic acid in it prevents germ growth, which could contribute to nasal congestion.

Others argue that it can help heal sunburn when added to your bath, because it can restore your skin’s pH levels, leaving your skin feeling cool and soothed.

Some say it helps prevent dandruff, is good for your skin, boosts your energy, helps with restless leg syndrome, banishes bad breath and whitens teeth.

There are even many who argue it can help aid in digestion, lower your cholesterol levels, prevent heart disease and even some types of cancer.

But I don’t really know about this whole apple cider vinegar thing. If you google the health benefits of it, you will find thousands of results, but not too many from highly reputable, trusted sources.

As a nurse, I am trained to search for evidence-based research to help guide my practice. The apple cider vinegar arguments are lacking the evidence-based research. This makes me highly skeptical.

I actually have to give my wife credit for bringing my attention to apple cider vinegar. She’s a huge Pinterest-er, and a few years ago she came across some posts that highlighted several surprising health benefits of using apple cider vinegar.

She’s tried a few of them over the years and ultimately, she does have good things to say about apple cider vinegar.

So I don’t know. While I was skeptical back then, and still am now, I think it’s worth exploring anything that has potential health benefits and home remedy solutions.

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