Yakima Herald Republic
Posted on April 19, 2015
By Pat Muir
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Dozens of people arrived at Delma Tayer’s 91st birthday party before it officially started, and little more than an hour later you couldn’t cross the room without saying “excuse me” four or five times.
Some came for the chance to see a one-day exhibit of 13 large-scale Tayer paintings, part of a series never before displayed together. And it didn’t hurt that the party was held at artist Leo Adams’ house, a wonder of design so renowned it is now the subject of a book, “Leo Adams: Art Home,” distributed by the University of Washington Press.
“Of course they want to see Leo’s house,” Tayer said with a laugh, standing beside one of her paintings and taking a break from the line of well-wishers. “That’s a big draw. And where else could you put these paintings? You have to have a big house.”
But the party last Sunday could have been anywhere and people still would have come to celebrate Tayer and her unparalleled contributions to the Yakima Valley’s art scene over the past half-century.
“She opens her arms to everyone,” said Jane Gutting, who has known Tayer for 28 years, making her a relatively new friend by the standards of the party. “She is friends with people she’s known all of her life, and she’s friends with her gardener and his family. When she meets people, she wants to know them and know what their lives are about.”
And it seemed as though they were all there. The official count — according to the Larson Gallery, which opened the event to the public as a $10-per-head fundraiser — was 198 people. But it may as well have been 1,000, the way they filled every available space in the house, sipping pink Treveri champagne, laughing and telling stories.
The gathered well-wishers represented the various facets of Yakima Valley culture Tayer has touched and helped shape since moving here in 1947. Along with Gutting, a former Educational Service District 105 superintendent and currently president of the Larson Gallery Guild, there was restaurateur John Gasperetti; Yakima Valley Museum director John Baule; former Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital CEO Rick Linneweh; Yakima Light Project Gallery Executive Director Yesenia Hunter; Oak Hollow Gallery owner Josey Fast; and artists of all stripes, including poet Terry Martin, photographer Rob Prout, fabric artist Jackie Prout; musician James Hunter, and painter Jane Orleman.
“She crosses a lot of lines,” Baule said. “She’s done ceramics, collage, she does a lot with Japanese paper. And she’s also highly supportive of the arts in Yakima.”
Tayer moved to the Yakima Valley 68 years ago, after her husband, Harold, left the Navy. He began work as a dentist, and she started taking classes at what is now Central Washington University. Literary-minded by nature, she took every English class at Central. Then every art class.
“At one time, I had more credits up at Central than anyone ever,” she said.
She ended up earning a bachelor’s degree in English education and philosophy in 1962 and a master’s in English in 1970, after which she spent two decades teaching English at Yakima Valley Community College. She also served as YVCC’s dean of arts and sciences and directed its Larson Gallery.
“She’s been an educator all of her life,” Adams said, taking a break from the party to smoke a cigarette outside his house. “She’s gone through so many different chapters in her life. She has a brilliance beyond us, in a way.”
That’s high praise from the man generally seen as the Yakima Valley’s most accomplished living visual artist. But Tayer is a contemporary whose work is similarly prized by collectors. She was the subject of a Larson Gallery career retrospective in January 2004, when she was 79 and recovering from a fight with breast cancer. It seemed a fitting cap to a long artistic career. Except she’s still going, and still painting.
“She’s always learning something,” Adams said. “We don’t know when she’s going to stop.”
Back inside the party, Gasperetti, a longtime friend, stood in awe of Tayer, whose work frequently displays a mix of whimsy and vibrant, cutting humor.
“I just love her sense of humor,” Gasperetti said. “At 91. I mean, give me break. She’s an inspiration. It’s just joy, all joy.”
One room over, Tayer continued to chat with a steady stream of guests, standing underneath her painting “All Jazzed Up.” It’s a satire of an old Vogue magazine spread that depicted socialites slumming it in jazz clubs. She’s replaced the head of a male figure in the foreground with Adams’ head.
“I thought he’d enjoy having some muscles,” she said, laughing.
And the room laughed with her.
Yakima Herald Republic
Published: April 19, 2015
By Roger Underwood
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YAKIMA, Wash. — Bill Faller won again.
Having expressed concern that he might become overly emotional at Saturday’s baseball field rededication in his honor — “I’m afraid I might start bawling,” were his exact words — the longtime Yakima Valley Community College coach and administrator kept things together nicely, thank you.
There were no tears, from Faller at least, during the official changing of Parker Field to Parker Faller Field, on a cloudless Saturday that saw a sizeable crowd respond with a standing ovation when the man of the hour stepped to the podium behind home plate.
“I’ve got a lot of thank-yous to make, but there just isn’t going to be enough time,” he said as the 2015 YVCC team flanked him on both the left and right after the first game of their doubleheader with Treasure Valley.
Faller then asked those among the gathering who had played for him to stand up, and after a large number of people did to another robust reception, he said, “Those are the guys who made me a winning coach.”
Make that winning with a capital W.
During 26 seasons leading what were then known as the Yakima Valley Indians, Faller won 664 games, 11 conference championships and 18 league titles.
After his retirement in 1987, the trophy awarded to the NWAC (then NWAACC) champions was named in his honor.
Faller referred to Parker Field, constructed in 1937 and reconfigured in 1968, as his “classroom,” during a YVCC tenure in which he served as a P.E. teacher, baseball coach, football coach, athletic director and faculty union representative.
The suggested inclusion of his name was made by Daryl Parker, whose father Shirley Parker had built the original ballpark to house Yakima’s minor league Pippins.
Saturday’s festivities included comments from YVCC athletic director Ray Funk and college president Dr. Linda Kaminsky, after which board of trustees member Lisa Parker (no relation to the aforementioned Parkers) read a proclamation citing the ballpark’s history, Faller’s many achievements and officially renaming the field.
It had already been a grand week for Faller, a Mount Vernon native and Washington State baseball teammate of the late Bobo Brayton, who preceded him as head baseball coach at Yakima Valley. Brayton’s wife, Eileen, was among those in attendance Saturday.
“Bill’s amazing,” said Spud Edmondson, former Eisenhower High School multisport standout and longtime area fan. “He’s 90 years old and he still has all his hair.”
During Friday night’s birthday celebration, Faller said the many accolades sent his way had made him feel as if he could go outside and walk across the Red Lion Hotel pool.
“I actually thought I could,” he said Saturday with a wink.
Yakima Herald Republic
Published: April 12, 2015
By Jerry Ward
Parker Youth & Sports Foundation
The April 18 Yakima Valley Community College baseball doubleheader will start on Parker Field, but end on a newly renamed Parker Faller Field, a tribute to two men who have done so much for Yakima sports.
The original Parker Field was built in 1937 for a minor league baseball team the Pippens, owned by Shirley D. Parker, a Yakima High School graduate who became a trial lawyer, successful businessman, author and lecturer, whose love of sports remained a priority throughout his life. Daryl Parker, son of Shirley and Eleanor Parker, initiated the name change to honor both his father and Bill Faller, a decorated World War II Army Air Force veteran, who came to YVCC to coach football and baseball in 1961 and amassed 664 baseball wins before he retired in 1986. Those wins made Faller No. 1 in community college baseball records, and, fittingly, the Northwest Athletic Conference championship trophy was named in his honor in 1986. He’s also been inducted into three athletic halls of fame.
Coach Faller turns 90 this month. Following his military service, Faller graduated from Washington State College in 1948, played a couple of years of minor league baseball, and went on to teach and coach in Prosser and then Wapato. When Yakima Junior College baseball coach Chuck “Bobo” Brayton moved on to Washington State University, it was only natural that Faller be next in the batting lineup. Faller and Brayton had both grown up in Skagit Valley and played ball together, remaining good friends until Brayton’s death just a few weeks ago.
Faller, an active and successful teacher and administrator, also was president of the faculty union and was a community activist and member of the Rainbow Coalition.
A guy like that likes to stay busy, so it was no surprise that Faller, after retiring in 1986 from YVCC, became the first president of the Parker Youth & Sports Foundation, an organization established in 2004 with a primary mission of providing financial assistance to the youth sports programs of the Valley. He served three terms as president and continues to serve on the board, and is active on a committee seeking to raise funds for improvements at Parker Faller Field.
Daryl Parker, a charter board member of the Parker Youth & Sports Foundation has been instrumental in the creation and support of the Bill Faller/Bobo Brayton Endowment Fund, administered by the Parker Foundation, a fund that has grown to over a quarter million dollars in six years. In 2012, Daryl and his wife, Sherrie, created the YVCC Faculty Award, providing a financial stipend to the outstanding faculty member as chosen by their faculty colleagues.
The addition of Faller’s name to Parker Field recognizes a living legacy of over 60 years of community service, which actually stretches back even further. Daryl Parker’s father, Shirley, was the stepson of A.E. Larson, famed for the downtown Larson Building and Rosedell Mansion on Yakima Avenue. Shirley and his mother, Rose Hawkins Parker Larson, donated land and substantial funds during the 1940s where YVCC, Larson Park, the Larson Gallery and Parker Faller Field stand today.
The Parker Youth & Sports Foundation invites the community to join us on April 18, to honor Faller and Shirley Parker. The dedication ceremony will take place between the YVCC/Treasure Valley Community College games, about 2:30 p.m. A reception follows in the Hopf Union Building.
• Jerry Ward is a past president and board member of the Parker Youth & Sports Foundation and now serves as the official historian of the group.
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Posted: April 9
By Molly Rosbach
YAKIMA, Wash. — Flor Fernandez drives her three kids from Mattawa to her mother’s house in Wapato every morning before heading to classes at Yakima Valley Community College. After school, she picks them up and drives home to cook dinner, care for the kids, then focus on her own studies.
Tiffany Stewart has worked at least two jobs at the same time since she was 16 and is paying for YVCC entirely out-of-pocket. At the coffee shop where she works part time, her boss lets her spend any downtime on homework, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the job.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., listened to these and other students’ stories at a roundtable meeting at YVCC on Wednesday morning, taking notes and asking questions about their biggest challenges in accessing higher education.
“I am impressed by all of you and your determination and being able to balance a whole lot,” she said toward the end of the 30-minute conversation.
“As a nation, we need you to succeed.”
Murray was in town this week to hear from students about changes they’d like to see at the national level to make it easier to get their degrees.
She visited Central Washington University on Tuesday and stopped for a fundraiser in Yakima at Cowiche Canyon Kitchen. She was heading back to D.C. on Wednesday, where she said she wanted to share the students’ testimonials with her congressional colleagues.
Students at YVCC repeatedly cited their main struggle as working enough to pay for school, but simultaneously reserving enough time to do well in their classes, and still get through college in a timely fashion.
Many at YVCC also have children, which puts more demands on both their time and money.
“I don’t sleep a lot,” Stewart replied when Murray asked how she manages to be a full-time student with two jobs.
Murray is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee. She and the committee chairman, Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., announced this week a bipartisan proposal for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, aiming to fix the problematic No Child Left Behind.
Senators have just started looking at the Higher Education Act and haven’t begun any negotiations, Murray said, but she wanted to hear from students as preparation for those discussions.
President Barack Obama’s proposal for two years of free community college for anyone who is earnestly working toward a degree is also part of the conversation, she said.
In the end, Murray said, the budget will be a reflection of the nation’s priorities, and investment in higher education should be high on that list.
Murray also wants to simplify the FAFSA, the federal student aid application, to make it less confusing for students, especially those who are the first in their family to attend college and can’t get help filling out the forms.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of battles over the years for things I believe in, and nothing comes easy,” Murray said of working to pass legislation as the minority party.
“But you don’t win anything by being silent.”
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Posted: April 8, 2015
By Caitlin Wilson
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YAKIMA, WA.- Washington Senator Patty Murray stopped in Yakima Wednesday morning to speak with students at Yakima Valley Community College.
She talked about college affordability and helping to make the burden of tuition less stressful. She explained that this generation is our future and it's crucial to help students secure jobs in our growing economy.
“They are challenged today with the cost of education, to pay for college today is a huge challenge for a lot of young people and our country needs them to get this education, we're all in this together,” Senator Murray said.
We spoke with one student who said she's seen friends struggle with tuition, working several jobs just to get by; she's hoping something can be done to help students with pricey tuition.
“He at one point had to work three jobs and in between you want to try to get a good education, so you don't have to work three jobs, so yes that would be a relief of stress and give him more time to work on school and he'd be able to finish quicker,” YVCC student Samantha Hertoz said.
Senator Murray explained they have several ideas in the works; they're hoping to simplify financial aid applications and look into the president's plan to make the first two years of community college free to students who keep their grades up and are working towards an associate's degree.
“In congress as we look at reauthorizing the higher education act we really have to have a strong discussion about the issue of college affordability and how we make the right investments in higher education for our young people across the country,” Senator Murray explained.
This is just the beginning of a long process, but according to Senator Murray they're taking the right steps to ensure a better future for college students in Washington.
Posted: April 8, 2015
By Eugene Bueaventura
Washington state Senator Patty Murray pays a special visit to Yakima Valley Community College students this morning.
Senator Murray heard from several students, who shared their efforts to pay for school, while balancing other responsibilities.
Murray touched on how she is working to make college more affordable, whether it be through more financial aid granted through FAFSA or strengthening programs that aid students with low-income.
Murray says she intends on taking the stories heard today back to Washington D.C., students hope it helps.
"Hearing the actual difficulties that students face day-to-day is going to make an impact on legislation and on the national level," said YVCC student Taylor Tahkeal.
"They are working two or three jobs, many of them have kids, trying to pay for child care or find someone to take care of their kids, and pay tuition and books, which is all very costly," said Senator Murray, "This is something we have to take into account as we look at how we're going to fund education moving forward."
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Yakima Herald Republic
Published March 31, 2015
By: Molly Rosbach
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With improved access to health care, the increasing number of aging baby boomers and retirements in the medical community, industry experts are projecting a nursing shortage that could see the United States needing anywhere from 200,000 to 1 million nurses by 2020.
The Yakima Valley’s three nursing programs are doing their best to combat that.
“The beauty of us having the nursing programs that we have in this community” — at Heritage University, Yakima Valley Community College and Washington State University — “is that people tend to stay local,” said Veronica Knudson, CEO of Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center, who worked as a nurse herself for many years.
“Most people like to stay where they grew up and where they have family and friends,” she said. “If we can educate them in the same community, they’re more likely to stay here and work, and that’s really what we want: We want our staff taking care of their friends and neighbors.”
The path to nursing takes many forms. Two- and four-year degree programs, followed by nursing board exams, both turn out registered nurses (RNs), while shorter practical nursing programs, followed by a licensing exam, turn out licensed practical nurses (LPNs). Post-bachelor’s nurse practitioner programs can be at either the master’s or doctoral degree level.
Between YVCC, WSU and Heritage, the Yakima Valley’s got it all.
“The bottom line for me is, in these tough economic times, we really promote the fact that we home-grow our students and graduates, and they get jobs mostly in the Yakima area,” said Rhonda Taylor, longtime director of YVCC’s nursing program, which has about 145 students enrolled.
While students can come to YVCC, WSU or Heritage from outside the Yakima area, all three schools share the goal of producing local nurses specifically trained to address the health disparities of the Yakima community, where income and education levels directly impact access to health care.
“There is an understanding among nurse leaders around the nation that the best way to do that, instead of talking about cultural competence, is to actually change the workforce so that we include people from the communities and families that they will be competent to serve,” said Christina Nyirati, director of Heritage’s nursing program and a nurse practitioner.
Nursing programs here are diverse, reflecting the community. At YVCC, for example, Taylor said the majority of students in the latest class are people of color, about 70 percent. Cultural competence is a major part of the program.
“It’s threaded in our curriculum,” Taylor said. “Definitely with the understanding of how important it is to teach our students about, not just how to care for patients, but how to care for patients’ families and for communities.”
That bird’s-eye view of health care, looking at family units and community health as critical factors in individual health outcomes, ties in with the broader shift in health care toward preventive care and population health — which should reduce cost over time.
“I’m hoping because our graduates will have an impact on community health and preventing problems, and also at clinical reasoning, that fewer people will have to be rehospitalized, and also people will be able to go home sooner,” Nyirati said.
Heritage’s program will have eight to 12 students when it starts this fall, and will only grow to 20 or 24 in the next few years, she said.
WSU’s program admits 24 students per semester, for about a hundred undergrads at any one time, said nursing co-director Sandy Carollo. YVCC and WSU are also entering into a direct transfer agreement to enable RNs with associate degrees to get their BSN in just one year.
The nursing programs do regular outreach to area high schools to tell students about career opportunities, as well as to nurses already working in the community.
WSU has a grant to connect high school students with nursing mentors who follow them through high school and community college, and another to help practicing RNs go back and get their four-year degree. The RN grant covers about half the cost of tuition, plus books. Another grant provides some tuition help for RNs working in the community who want to go back and get their nurse practitioner degree.
The different programs are collaborative, not competitive, said WSU co-director Laura Hahn.
“I think there’s more than enough students,” she said. “Twenty years ago, it might’ve been a little different, but there’s such a need for nurses now that we’re turning applicants away.”
The programs are also all engaged with Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in developing interprofessional education, aiming to graduate students across many medical disciplines who are equipped to work in teams. WSU’s pharmacy school, which operates at PNWU, is involved, too.
“We’ve come together; we’re all sitting at the table together, and we’re working to meet the needs of the community,” by improving costs, overall health and access to care, Carollo said.
The biggest challenge in the Yakima area, nursing programs agree, is the limited number of clinical training spots for nursing students.
“We struggle because the hospitals are our primary partners, and they are training nursing students and all different kinds of students — medical students, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, phlebotomists, EMTs, paramedics — the list just goes on and on,” Taylor said. “The hospitals and the nurses are saying, ‘Enough! We just can’t take another student.’ ”
“You can’t grow a program if you can’t place them in good clinical sites,” she continued. “There’s no way.”
Taylor said she endorsed Heritage’s new BSN program, but with the caveat that it not add any more net nursing students to the existing number of training spots.
Nursing students do clinical rotations in nursing homes and primary care clinics, as well, but those don’t provide the high-acuity, hands-on experience students need to become competent in the fast-changing job.
Part of the demand on nurses comes from a shift to more outpatient care for conditions like diabetes, Hahn said.
“Fifteen years ago, they went to see a specialist if they were diabetic; now we have family physicians and nurse practitioners that are dealing with those issues in a community clinic,” she said. Complications from hypertension, obesity, cardiac disease and mental health issues are also commonly seen in primary care clinics.
Nursing’s other main tension right now is between two-year and four-year degree programs. At the national level, many in the nursing field are calling for the BSN to be the standard entry level for nursing, and for the profession to move away from two-year associate degrees, even though RNs all have to pass the same board exams and can carry out all the same nursing duties. Both sides of the debate feel strongly about their respective degree tracks.
But that push, combined with increasing complexity in medicine, is why Heritage is starting a BSN program, Nyirati said.
“We believed that having a baccalaureate program here would better fulfill the mission and vision of the university, for preparing nurses with a strong liberal arts background who could focus their nursing care, in addition to taking care of the individual, on the family and the community as the units of care,” she said.
Yakima Herald Republic
March 30, 2015
By Molly Rosbach
Click here to view YHR article.
Say you find yourself in a spacecraft, and all of a sudden, you crash and hurt yourself.
In ICD-10, there’s a code for that.
ICD-10 — the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, version 10 — is scheduled to be the new national standard for medical coding come Oct. 1, six months from now, as mandated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS.
Medical coding is the system by which medical providers document patients’ various illnesses and injuries, and which allows them to bill specifically for office visits and procedures. Without accurate coding, they don’t receive reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid or private insurers. Theoretically, the more detailed and specific the coding, the more providers will be properly reimbursed for patient services.
“The people who pay for health care want to be sure you’re doing the right thing, for the right reason, at the right time,” said Dr. Carl Olden, chief medical information officer at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital and a primary care physician. “You have to tell the story in more detail. We don’t want the CliffsNotes; we actually want the novel.”
The existing coding system, ICD-9, has been in place since 1975 and contains 13,000 diagnostic billing codes.
ICD-10, adopted by many countries worldwide in the 1990s, has 68,000, more than five times as many — and that’s not counting procedure codes, for the treatment side. So obviously, it includes a lot of codes that aren’t available in ICD-9, and providers and payers alike are feeling anxious about the transition.
“It’s going to be rocky,” Olden said. “It really is an entirely different system,” with alpha-numeric codes up to seven digits long, compared to three- to five-digit codes in ICD-9.
(The Healthcare Dive, an online publication, last year posted a list of the “16 most absurd ICD-10 codes,” including, but not limited to, “Struck by duck,” “Burn due to water-skies on fire,” and “Walked into lamppost.” These are real codes.)
While the volume of codes is daunting, ICD-10 is meant to improve medical documentation and, in the long run, allow providers and payers to have a more comprehensive understanding of population health, which should in turn lead to more preventive health care and reimbursement based on providers’ ability to keep patients healthy.
Industry urges caution
ICD-10 has been delayed several times since it was first mandated by CMS in January 2009, prior to and separate from the Affordable Care Act. Most recently, it was postponed for a year last March, to 2015.
Another delay is still possible, but providers here say the October date looks solid and they’re proceeding under the assumption that Oct. 1 will be go-live day.
In fact, many local providers have been preparing and training for ICD-10 for the past few years, regardless of recurring delays.
“We’re ready to go with it,” said Dr. Mike Maples, CEO at Community Health of Central Washington. “Our concern is that the people to whom we transmit that information are not going to be ready to deal with it.”
Industry consultants are urging clinics and hospitals to build up cash reserves or lines of credit so they can sustain their practice for up to six months, in case the payers or other vendors don’t sort out their end in time.
The fear is that if providers like Community Health start billing an insurance company using ICD-10 codes, but the insurer isn’t prepared to process claims with the new codes, it will block the cash flow of reimbursement back to the provider.
A March 4 letter to CMS from the American Medical Association and 99 other groups expressed concern that recent testing showed the claims acceptance rate in Medicare would fall from 97 percent to 81 percent if ICD-10 were implemented today. The AMA has long opposed the transition to ICD-10.
“Those revenues are crucially important to supporting hospitals” and other providers, said Bob Perna, policy director at the Washington State Medical Association. “If you can’t get those to function in the near term, you could see some serious cash crunches in the provider community.”
Other anticipated costs from the new system include some lost productivity as providers struggle to incorporate the new codes into their everyday practice; lost reimbursement if they code incorrectly; and software upgrades to keep the program functioning over time.
Individual organizations’ electronic health records systems will play a big part in how easily providers make the transition; some will prove better than others at generating shortcuts or suggesting codes based on the provider’s notes, experts say.
Practice, practice, practice
At Community Health, Maples said, providers are already coding in ICD-10, with ICD-9 mirrored in the electronic health records system so the codes will automatically transition in October.
Memorial is dual-coding as well, and testing by sending ICD-10 codes to payers able to accept them, vice president and chief information officer Jeff Yamada said. Training started in earnest in January 2014. Memorial will hire extra staff to help with coding during the transition, he said, but it plans to be fully prepared for the switch.
Perna said WSMA has been holding work groups with providers and insurers to do “as much pre-planning and problem-avoidance issues as we can.”
Yakima Valley Community College’s Medical Billing and Coding program has been teaching ICD-10 alongside ICD-9 since 2012, instructor Sandy Erlewine said, and will probably continue teaching ICD-9 at least through next spring so students can still learn to handle older claims that haven’t been processed by the Oct. 1 changeover date.
The school’s Allied Health Center of Excellence offered discounted online workshops on ICD-10 in 2013 and 2014 to community members, aiming to provide the local health care workforce with more resources to prepare for the new system.
“I would say that they are in high demand,” Erlewine said, adding that the demand for certified medical coders will only grow as baby boomers age and require more health care.
Perna said small providers might face more challenges in adapting to the new system than bigger organizations, like hospitals or community clinics, that have more resources to dedicate solely to coding and billing, as well as to analyzing the vast amounts of new data they’ll have on patient populations.
However, he said, smaller offices should also have a more limited scope of codes that they’ll need for patients, whereas hospitals or multi-specialty clinics will have to be familiar with a wide range of codes.
A lot of the buzz around ICD-10 has been negative, doomsday forecasting, as providers brace for the vastly more complicated system. It’s hard to see the benefits, experts say, especially when the medical community is already weighed down with documentation requirements for things like electronic health records and patient-centered medical homes.
“I think in the future-future, it will be transformative; I think right now, everybody views it just as another change,” Yamada said. “Us that are kind of more in the industry, we can see the gradual evolution and steps moving forward, but no one has really communicated well what’s the bigger picture of this moving forward.”
Yakima Herald Republic
Published March 29, 2015
By: Roger Underwood
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YAKIMA, Wash. — You should have seen the look on Mel Stottlemyre’s face.
The former New York Yankees pitcher and coach, in Yakima for a Parker Youth & Sports Foundation event in 2006, had just seen Bobo Brayton enter the room. Stottlemyre hurried through a crowd, hugged Brayton, then held each of his former coach’s shoulders while looking at Brayton’s beaming countenance with sheer, unadulterated joy.
That’s the way it no doubt was for countless Washington State Cougars and others who had played for, coached with or otherwise knew the college baseball coaching legend, who died early Saturday.
He was 89.
“Bobo,” Stottlemyre said in a telephone interview, “was loved by everybody. He had a way about him. Once you knew Bobo, it’s like you’d known him all your life.”
Stottlemyre, though never a Cougar, had been a Yakima Valley College Indian with Brayton as his coach. It was here, after all, that Frederick Charles Brayton began his Hall of Fame career.
Brayton was hired at YVC in 1950 and led the baseball program through 11 years and 10 league championships before succeeding Buck Bailey at WSU in 1961.
There he coached for 33 years, and Yakima Valley products Bob Garretson Jr., Manny Perez, Dave Edler were among his players.
“I think all of us who played for him, we were all very close,” Edler, a Yakima minister, said Saturday. “It was an honor to have played for him.”
Or to have been a teammate and friend, as Tom Parry had been at Washington State before embarking on his own career as a football coach at Central Washington University and Yakima Valley Community College.
“What a guy,” said Parry, who played football with Brayton in 1947 for coach Phil Sarboe. “High energy, no BS. Tough as nails, played linebacker and fullback for us, and I was very fortunate to get to know Bobo and realize what a wonderful damned guy he was.”
Consider, then, Bill Faller, who succeeded Brayton as Yakima Valley’s baseball coach. Faller had known Brayton since the two played youth baseball together in Mount Vernon.
And unlike most, Faller affectionately referred to Brayton as “Charlie.” Brayton, meanwhile, called Faller “Willie.”
“With Charlie, he was able to go, go, go, and then he’d maybe sit down and rest his eyes for a little bit,” Faller said. “When I replaced him at YVC, the one thing he told me was to go to bed at 11 o’clock and get a good night’s sleep. To Charlie, that meant going to bed at 11 and getting up at 5 in the morning.”
Garretson, who played two years for Faller and then one for Brayton in 1964 before signing a professional contract, said, “First of all, baseball has lost a great coach and person. Bobo was unique, and he really understood his players. And he cared for them.
“He was demanding, but he was fun to play for because he knew the capabilities of his players. One of the reasons he was so successful is he put the right guys in the right spots at the right times.”
He put Perez at shortstop in 1970, and for two seasons the Highland High School graduate served as team captain while also excelling as one of the best infielders Brayton coached.
Perez had driven Faller to Pullman earlier last week to be with Brayton, who passed away at his home near Pullman.
“It’s a sad day for Cougar nation,” Perez said. “There were several of us who were with him, and we were able to hold his hand and say some personal things, and I think he was able to hear us. It was tough.
“But he was a man who meant a lot to a lot of people. Just his personality, his character, the things he taught us that transferred to the way we lived. He taught us that we were going to get knocked down, but when that happened you get back up, dust yourself off and move forward.”
As Brayton himself had, winning 1,413 games (251 at YVC, 1,162 at WSU).
At Pullman his teams won nearly 70 percent of their games, claiming 21 conference championships and making the NCAA postseason 10 times including College World Series berths in 1965 and 1976.
Stottlemyre, Edler, Ron Cey, John Olerud, Aaron Sele and another Yakiman, Scott Hatteberg, were among the major leaguers tutored by Brayton.
When he retired in 1994, Brayton’s win total ranked fourth all-time on the NCAA list. And he has since been inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame, State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame, Inland Empire Sports Hall of Fame, WSU Athletic Hall of Fame and YVCC Athletic Hall of Fame.
As an athlete, Brayton was a three-sport Cougar, playing football, baseball for Buck Bailey and also basketball during the 1943-44 season for Jack Friel.
He became the school’s first baseball All-American in 1947, and WSU’s baseball facility is named Bailey-Brayton Field.
Said Parry, “Bobo is right up there with Babe Hollingbery, Jack Friel and a select few others in terms of what he meant to Washington State University.”
Said Edler, “I think about coach a lot, and I still use Boboisms when I talk to people.”
Said Stottlemyre, “I had the privilege of playing for Bobo his last year at YVC, and boy, what an experience. I learned a lot from him. He was a great coach and a great teacher in a lot of different ways, and I will really miss him.”
Said Perez, “Like Bobo always said, ‘Go Cougs.’”
KIMA TV - published: March 24, 2015