COVID-19 Media Coverage
We thank our local and national media partners for sharing our story of COVID-19 treatment at EvergreenHealth Medical Center.
September 17 – Medical Lab Management: COVID-19: A View of the Beginning in the US
Q&A with Mary M. Munchak, MBA, MT(ASCP), Director; Laboratory Services
EvergreenHealth, Kirkland, Washington
September 17 – KIRO-TV: COVID-19 contracted at hospital
Two new COVID-19 cases in our state are at EvergreenHealth Hospital in Kirkland where it’s believed they contracted the virus at the hospital, but the source is still unclear. EvergreenHealth is contacting 100 employees who may have been exposed to those patients.
The broadcast clip can be viewed here.
August 26 – KOMO-TV: Nearly Six Months Since First Reported COVID-19 Death in the Country: Interview with EvergreenHealth's Dr. Francis Riedo
Six months ago this week, EvergreenHealth in Kirkland made international headlines after reporting the first coronavirus death in the U.S. Abby Acone spoke to one doctor on the front lines at EvergreenHealth about how far his hospital has come since the first local infections and how they are preparing for another surge in fall.
The full segment can be viewed here.
August 25 – KTTH Radio: Doctors from EvergreenHealth on Convalescent Plasma
Interview with Dr. Ettore Palazzo, chief medical officer, and Dr. Jeff Tomlin, chief executive of EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, WA. Because of the length, the interview is divided into three parts.
Listen to Part One
Listen to Part Two
Listen to Part Three
August 9 – The Everett Herald: Small hospitals weather the pandemic, but with heavy losses
The pandemic has cost EvergreenHealth Monroe, Skagit Regional Health’s Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington, and WhidbeyHealth Medical Center in Coupeville millions of dollars each, officials say. The disaster has burdened them with extra expenses — such as protective equipment and additional staffing — while temporarily halting the surgeries and procedures that are among their biggest moneymakers.
July 28 – ABC-TV: 20/20: Inside the pandemic's lost month
Near the end of February, more testing became available. In Kirkland, Washington, Dr. Francis Riedo decides he's going to randomly test two of his patients. Shockingly, they both come back as positive for coronavirus. “I knew this was–this was the event. This was now the beginning, everything changed at that point,” he said.
Watch the full documentary here
July 23 – Seattle Met: When a Doctor Needed Life Support
As an emergency department physician at EvergreenHealth near Life Care Center of Kirkland, Padgett had tended to some of the country’s first Covid-19 patients in early March. He developed symptoms of the disease shortly thereafter but gave them a broad-shouldered shrug. He worked out. He skied. He’d be fine. Several days later, though, he found himself intubated at his own hospital—and needing more oxygen.
July 14 – 425 Magazine: EvergreenHealth Facilities Manger Honored for Dedication During COVID-19
Damien Fannin, facilities manager for EvergreenHealth Monroe, has been awarded the hospital's inaugural Living Our Values award for his exceptional work during the COVID-19 crisis. Fannin was nominated for the award by his peers and coworkers.
July 14 – Kaiser Health News: Lost on the Frontline
America’s health care workers are dying. In some states, medical personnel account for as many as 20% of known coronavirus cases. They tend to patients in hospitals, treating them, serving them food and cleaning their rooms. Others at risk work in nursing homes or are employed as home health aides.
“Lost on the Frontline,” a collaboration between KHN and The Guardian, has identified 795 such workers who likely died of COVID-19 after helping patients during the pandemic.
July 12 – The Everett Herald: Federal loans to county businesses could top $1.5 billion
EvergreenHealth Monroe, a 72-bed hospital serving east Snohomish County, received $4.52 million in the last week of April. Its income, like other small hospitals in Washington, plunged early in the pandemic after the governor halted elective surgeries to preserve supplies of personal protective equipment and ensure adequate capacity of hospital beds.
“The funding received has been allocated to support payroll and employee benefits, allowing us to further negate any financial impacts on staff as a result of COVID-19,” said John Green, the public hospital’s financial officer.
July 9 – Puget Sound Business Journal: Jeff Tomlin 'traded one cockpit for another' joining EvergreenHealth
Jeff Tomlin, CEO of EvergreenHealth, completed medical school and his residency at University of Washington before joining EvergreenHealth in 1990 as an anesthesiologist. Before that he spent six years as a pilot in the Marines before transitioning to the Navy Reserve Medical Corps. Less than a year after becoming CEO, Dr. Tomlin would lead EvergreenHealth as it became the first American hospital to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.
July 9 – KNKX: Lingering effects of COVID-19
Michael Bundesmann is a pulmonary critical care doctor at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, the first American hospital to bear the brunt of COVID-19.
"You know, and I think I saw somebody yesterday who was one of our early patients and he was still fifteen pounds less than his baseline weight, and still had weakness and was trying to get his physical strength back and you know, he's in his early sixties but was fairly healthy and functional before all this happened, and this is three months out. Doctors are concerned about damage to the heart kidneys and other organs.”
July 3 – 425 Magazine: The Importance of Masking Continues
Author Francis X. Riedo, MD, is the Medical Director of Infectious Disease at EvergreenHealth
There is a simple and effective tool that can slow and eliminate the spread of COVID-19 — and that is wearing a facial covering or mask.
July 1 – PBS News Hour: Treating COVID-19
Dr. Ryan Padgett is on the mend after a near-death experience, a Hail Mary pass and a stunning victory over COVID-19. It all began in February, when he and his team at EvergreenHealth Kirkland began treating some very sick nursing home residents with the symptoms of viral pneumonia. The full interview can be viewed here.
June 30 – KING - TV: Enhanced safety protocols keep hospital patients protected
Hospitals around the country have enhanced safety protocols to allow patients to be seen for both acute and elective procedures -- while also preventing the spread of COVID-19.
EvergreenHealth has set up appropriate social distancing and has a universal mask policy. Since April, all patients are tested for COVID-19 before any procedures. There is also a restricted visitor policy based on the needs of the patient to minimize risks to both patients and staff.
June 27 – CNBC: 'I still have nightmares every night’ — health workers struggle with PTSD symptoms as coronavirus takes toll
In Washington state — the first hotspot for Covid-19 in the U.S. — hospital systems such as UW Medicine and EvergreenHealth quickly mobilized to assist their workers who were battling with stress and anxiety. They launched peer-to-peer support systems, coping resources and other online tools as well as in-person counseling.
EvergreenHealth, which treated the first Covid-19 outbreak in the nation, started offering online resources for coping with stress and other issues, followed by team leader outreach and live webinars in March. The online conferences allowed those who wanted individual help to reach out.
June 26 – ESPN: From the fields of play to the front lines of COVID-19
ESPN report looks at athletes now leading the way in the fight against COVID-19, including EvergreenHealth ER doctor Ryan Padgett, who played collegiate football at Northwestern.
Dr. Padgett survived his bout with COVID-19, and looks forward to returning to the emergency department.
June 24 – KING-TV: All in Washington
“On Friday, February 28th, I received a call that we had our first coronavirus-positive patient in our intensive care unit at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, and I remember feeling that pit in my stomach. And as that weekend progressed, it was almost as if a huge tidal wave was coming across our hospital. I knew our lives were going to change,” said Dr. Melissa Lee, ICU director at EvergreenHealth.
Hear from Dr. Lee and other first responders about how they dealt with COVID-19.
June 18 – The Chicago Tribune: He was on death’s door after treating some of America’s first coronavirus patients. How Northwestern rallied around a former Rose Bowl starter and doctor who battled COVID-19.
“I was on the night we got the confirmation a person had died,” Padgett said. “The first case. We had a little huddle amongst the ER doctors. We knew the world was going to change.”
Padgett, 45, became a doctor because of sports. As a teenager, he tore his rotator cuff pitching and injured both knees playing football. At Northwestern, he watched in awe as team physician Howard Sweeney performed a knee replacement.
June 16 – Home Care Health News: Coronavirus Pushed Home Health Employment Down 7%, Spending Down 12%
The coronavirus is expected to drive demand for home health care in the long term. But in the short term, it has yielded industry-wide declines in employment and spending.
HCR, Interim and EvergreenHealth all reported that patients were turning home health aides away at much higher rates than usual in the early months of COVID-19. The same was true for the rest of the industry, leading to higher rates of low-utilization payment adjustments (LUPAs), meaning less money for providers.
June 12 – Puget Sound Business Journal: Surgery in the age of Covid-19: A firsthand look at the safety and wisdom of getting it done
Although EvergreenHealth was spotlighted as America’s epicenter of Covid-19 care, with dozens of senior patients at one point from Life Care Center of Kirkland nursing home, surgeon Kelly Clinch reassured me that the medical center was well equipped for non-Covid-19 patients.
A virtual appointment with him, as well as an in-person examination, gave me confidence to schedule May 12 at 8 a.m. for my procedure. “We treated everybody like they had Covid to minimize transmission. We have not had one case where patients got it from surgery,” Clinch said.
June 12 – USA Today: We're heroes, too:' Hospital janitors risk lives to stop spread of COVID-19
When the first coronavirus patients arrived, along with stories of how contagious and deadly the virus was, environmental servicers supervisor Warren Juvle knew he had to set an example for the 28 employees he oversees.
“All the housekeepers, they had fear about going into those rooms,” Juvle said. ”Since I’m the leader, I had to show them what needs to be done — so I went in the rooms with them, showing them what to do, to support them and boost morale. If they have the guts to do it, why wouldn’t I?”
June 11 - Northwest Asian Weekly: United Chinese Americans of Washington State step up
Knowing that their parents were locked in their homes due to COVID-19, hearing about the thousands dying, the Chinese American community in Washington state converted their panicked emotions into action. They used every connection they had in China to get over a million masks to Washington state quickly and efficiently. They flooded local hospitals with supplies and money. And in the end, they helped turn the state from the epicenter of the contagion into one of the safest areas in the country.
May 29 – KIRO - TV: Evergreen Medical Center nurse who treated COVID-19 patients dies
Kurt Julian, 63, who spent decades working as an ICU nurse, died Friday from COVID-19, according to family and friends. Julian worked at Evergreen Medical Center in Kirkland and friends say he treated some of the earliest coronavirus patients.
May 20 – Woodinville Weekly: EvergreenHealth Foundation gifted generous grant
The EvergreenHealth Foundation has received a substantial donation for the purchase of two additional mobile Clorox Healthcare Optimum-UV Enlight Systems. The units, according to a May 15 press release, are designed to kill infection-causing pathogens, which adds another layer of protection in the hospital’s comprehensive infection-control plan in the fight against COVID-19.
May 19 – Kirkland Reporter: Don’t avoid the emergency department in a crisis
Hospitals are never fun places to visit — especially during a pandemic.
But Puget Sound-area emergency departments, from St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw to EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, are urging people to not avoid calling 911 when they’re experiencing a medical crisis, and that they should not be afraid of the coronavirus during their time there.
May 19 – The New York Times: The Time for ‘The Talk’ Is Now
By Laura Schellenberg Johnson, MD (Laura Schellenberg Johnson is a palliative care and internal medicine physician practicing at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, Wash.)
As a palliative care doctor in the Covid-19 era, I meet many families struggling to make decisions for loved ones who become too sick, too fast, to make their own health care choices.
May 14 – Patch: Kirkland: Anonymous Donor Gives EvergreenHealth UV Sanitizing Machines
The EvergreenHealth Foundation is thanking an anonymous donor who gifted them two new ultraviolet machines which will help sanitize their facilities as they battle the coronavirus.
The hospital says the donor gifted them two Clorox Healthcare Optimum-UV Enlight Systems to recognize the hard work they've done responding to the pandemic.
May 14 – KIRO-TV: Washington hospitals urge people not to delay care because of COVID-19 concerns
Leaders of Washington hospitals say visits to clinics and emergency rooms are way down because people are either afraid they’ll catch COVID-19 or because patients think the system is overrun.
EvergreenHealth, the nation’s first hospital to identify a COVID-19 outbreak, screens people at entrances, requires masks, and works to separate patients. “We have put into place a number of tools and instruments to try and make this a much safer place,” said Dr. Francis Riedo, an epidemiologist at EvergreenHealth.
May 14 – Kirkland Reporter: EvergreenHealth Foundation receives $120,000 donation for ventilators
The EvergreenHealth Foundation has received a $120,000 donation from Emerald Communities to assist with ventilator costs.
Four ventilators have since been installed in the intensive care unit of the Kirkland’s EvergreenHealth Medical Center. According to a press release, the EvergreenHealth foundation had been contacting community supporters in an effort to raise the funds necessary for the equipment, which has become increasingly needed amid the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
May 6 – KING-TV: EvergreenHealth overnight charge nurse on pandemic challenges
Hannah Pankratz is a true local who’s living her dream nursing in her backyard. She graduated from University of Washington School of Nursing. Pankratz worked as a volunteer with Evergreen before she was hired on and is now a few years in to her journey.
Pankratz, who serves as an overnight charge nurse, is also one of the first nurses to experience working in a “negative airflow space” that’s critical for the current virus outbreak.
May 5 – The Ellen Show: Ellen Meets ER Doctor Recovered From COVID-19
Ellen chatted with emergency room physician Dr. Ryan Padgett, who contracted COVID-19 in March. He suffered multi-system organ failure and had to be put on a ventilator, but thanks to experimental treatments, he was able to recover and soon after marry his now-wife Connie.
May 4 – 425 Business: EvergreenHealth Moves Forward with Trial for COVID-19 Treatment
Following a recent announcement from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) regarding the use of the anti-viral Remdesivir to potentially treat COVID-19, Kirkland-based EvergreenHealth issued a statement that it would move forward with the next phase of its clinical research.
Over the preceding weeks, EvergreenHealth had become the first West Coast site — and the second globally — to participate in the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT), sponsored by NIAID. The trial is the first of its kind in the United States to evaluate an experimental treatment for COVID-19.
May 4 – The New York Times: In Harm's Way
As countries ease restrictions on public life, health care workers around the world continue to risk their lives — and those of their families — to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Despite their stoic selfies, they feel scared, grief-stricken, guilty they can’t do more. In submissions and interviews, they reflect on what they have witnessed, the decisions they have made and how the pandemic has changed them.
Includes stories from EvergreenHealth's infectious disease expert Francis Riedo, MD and ER nurse Lynn Brown.
May 4 – NPR: Patients Dying Fast, And Far From Family, Challenge Practice Of Palliative Care
Dr. Hope Wechkin, medical director of EvergreenHealth Hospice and Palliative Care in Kirkland, Wash., says palliative medicine is fundamentally about "being with patients during times of profound uncertainty, and continuing to place comfort and enhanced quality of life front and center."
May 4 – The Seattle Times: Washington hospitals, community health centers face a new crisis: red ink
At EvergreenHealth Medical Center, the first U.S. hospital system to identify a COVID-19 outbreak, March revenue was $20 million less than projected. The hospital system spent an unplanned $3 million on personal protective equipment, testing and screening, among other costs.
May 1 – CNN: FDA Approves Use of Remdesivir for COVID-19 Patients
CNN's Sara Sidner spoke with EvergreenHealth's Dr. Francis Riedo about the FDA's authorization of the drug Remdesivir for emergency use in patients with COVID-19.
April 30 – KIRO-TV: EvergreenHealth tests coronavirus drug, remdesivir
EvergreenHealth will enter the second arm of the clinical trial for remdesivir after positive results. EvergreenHealth treated patients with the most severe symptoms, some on ventilators, with the drug that was developed for Ebola.
Dr. Diego Lopez de Castilla, the lead investigator of the trial, told KIRO-7 that the treatment is a game-changer.
April 28 – The Seattle Times: Doctors, hospitals urge Inslee to restart elective procedures as COVID-19 patient numbers decline
The Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) initially sent a letter to Inslee on April 10 asking him to ease the restrictions that were intended to ensure the state’s hospitals were not overwhelmed by what public health officials worried could be a flood of COVID-19 patients. The letter also was signed by the heads of the Washington State Medical Association and Association of Washington Healthcare Plans.
April 27 – Home Health Care News: First Home Health Provider to Face COVID-19 Sees Sharp Increase in LUPAs, Decrease in Therapy
EvergreenHealth Home Care has been dealing with the coronavirus longer than just about any other home health care agency in the country. Back in February, its affiliated hospital treated the first positive COVID-19 patient to die in the U.S. Since then, Brent Korte — the not-for-profit’s chief home care officer — has been firefighting the virus left and right.
April 26 – The New Yorker: Seattle’s Leaders Let Scientists Take the Lead. New York’s Did Not
The first diagnosis of the coronavirus in the United States occurred in mid-January, in a Seattle suburb not far from the hospital where Dr. Francis Riedo, an infectious-disease specialist, works. When he heard the patient’s details—a thirty-five-year-old man had walked into an urgent-care clinic with a cough and a slight fever, and told doctors that he’d just returned from Wuhan, China—Riedo said to himself, “It’s begun.”
April 25 – Q13-TV: Nurse supports her own grandfather through COVID-19 treatment
In October, Sarah Chapin had her dream come true. She started working as a nurse at EvergreenHealth. In her hospital, on her floor, her grandfather was admitted after testing positive with the coronavirus.
April 23 – KIRO - Radio: Being prepared for COVID-19 is now ‘part of daily life’ at EvergreenHealth
As Washington state seems to have passed the first wave of COVID-19 infections and looks toward returning to some sense of normalcy, KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show spoke to two doctors who have been on the front lines of the fight against this virus.
Dr. Jeff Tomlin and Dr. Ettore Palazzo from EvergreenHealth shared some good news and talked about how their hospital was uniquely prepared to handle COVID-19.
April 22 – Kirkland Reporter: Chinese Community Alliance donates to EvergreenHealth Foundation to support COVID-19 efforts
The Chinese Community Alliance (CCA) recently gifted $140,000 to the EvergreenHealth Foundation in recognition of the health system’s ongoing efforts to treat the COVID-19 outbreak in the region. The funds will go toward purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure the safety of health care workers on the front lines.
April 21 – PBS FRONTLINE: Coronavirus Pandemic
How did the U.S. become the country with the worst known coronavirus outbreak in the world? FRONTLINE investigates the American response to COVID-19 — from Washington state to Washington, D.C.
April 19 – The Seattle Times: Pregnant during a pandemic: Seattleites share their concerns about birth, delivery and beyond
When Ansley Bechtolt realized she was in labor at 12:50 a.m. on March 26, her husband dropped her off at the Family Maternity Center at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland and drove home to be with their three other children.
She would have preferred to have her husband with her at the hospital, but that wasn’t an option. Just two weeks earlier Evergreen had found itself at the center of the nation’s novel coronavirus outbreak. The hospital had 65 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and 15 deaths due to the illness within a 12-day span. Thereafter, Evergreen enacted new policies that limited each delivering mother to one support person.
April 16 – KIRO-TV: First responders thank nurses and doctors
Doctors and nurses typically arrive for their life-saving work at places like here at EvergreenHealth in silence. Today was a little different because they were celebrated for their courageous, traumatizing work on the front lines. Some of the nurse poured out to join in.
April 14 – Los Angeles Times: Seattle may be through the worst of coronavirus, but the stunned city is not celebrating
Emergency room workers at EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland, Wash., prepare to treat a patient arriving by ambulance with symptoms resembling COVID-19. (Karen Ducey / For The Times)
April 14 – KUOW: With family visits on hold, Washington hospitals strain to comfort sickest patients
EvergreenHealth’s manager for spiritual care, Kris Stone, said those guidelines also mean just one visitor per day,
“Because even one person at a time, if you had a procession of individuals that would burn through limited PPE pretty quick,” he said. “So it was designating, what would be the most impactful, what would be the most meaningful.”
For similar reasons, hospital staff like medical specialists and chaplains have turned to technology, such as using video chats rather than entering patient rooms.
April 13 – Los Angeles Times: Emergency room doctor, near death with coronavirus, saved with experimental treatment
As critically ill, elderly patients streamed into his emergency room outside Seattle, Dr. Ryan Padgett quickly came to understand how deadly COVID-19 could be. Of the first two dozen or so he saw, not a single one survived.
It took longer for Padgett and his colleagues at EvergreenHealth Medical Center — the first hospital in the country to treat multiple coronavirus patients — to learn how easily the disease could spread.
April 13 – KUOW: This Kirkland ER doctor survived Covid-19 — just barely
Dr. Ryan Padgett is an emergency physician at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, Washington. He was hospitalized for more than 16 days after being diagnosed with Covid-19 in early March.
April 13 – The Seattle Times: EvergreenHealth doctor opens up about ‘brush with death,’ recovery after COVID-19
An EvergreenHealth Medical Center physician who became infected with COVID-19 in early March, spent more than two weeks on a ventilator and received novel treatments during what he described as a “brush with death,” is now at home recovering.
“You realize there are times in life that it’s completely out of control and you have to put your trust and faith in another person’s hands,” Dr. Ryan Padgett said in an interview Monday after receiving treatment at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland and Swedish Medical Center.
April 13 – The New York Times: He Was a Doctor Who Never Got Sick. Then the Coronavirus Nearly Killed Him.
At the end of February, Dr. Ryan Padgett’s colleagues in the emergency room called him over to share some news: A patient who had died the previous day had tested positive for the coronavirus — the first known death in the United States.
Everything, they knew, was about to change. Over the next several days, a parade of patients from a nearby nursing home was brought into the emergency room at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, Wash., which emerged as the first center of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak.
April 13 – The New York Times: Voices of the Pandemic (audio)
Hosted by Michael Barbaro
Mike Baker spoke with Tammy Wiatrowski, a nurse at the hospital that faced the brunt of coronavirus cases and deaths in the United States. At the beginning of this, Tammy began a new journal to chronicle what was happening. Baker asked her to read from it.
The full interview can be heard here, and starts at 18:10.
April 9 – KOMO-TV: Experimental drug helps doctor recover
The doctor at EvergreenHealth who got coronavirus has recovered.
Dr. Ryan Padgett was the first emergency physician to fall critically ill from the coronavirus. In mid-March, he contracted the virus from treating patients. He was then transferred from Evergreen to Swedish, where he was put on a ventilator and given and experimental drug called actemra. It’s a medication typically used for rheumatoid arthritis.
April 9 – The Wall Street Journal: In Washington, Why the Predicted Coronavirus Surge Hasn’t Hit
Dr. Riedo said the weeks of social distancing and preparation is paying off.
“Do it early. Don’t wait until you have 500 cases or 1,000 cases,” he said of social-distancing measures. “The benefit of the intervention you implement today is two weeks down the line.”
April 8 – KIRO-TV: Couple in their 70s recovers from COVID after being part of clinical trial
An Everett couple in their 70s with underlying health conditions both recovered from COVID-19 after being part of a double-blind clinical drug trial to treat the virus.
April 8 – The Seattle Times: Delayed coronavirus test results strain Washington’s resources and leave patients in limbo
EvergreenHealth, one of the first local hospital systems to test in-house, prioritized rapid results for only the most critical-needs patients, and sent less urgent cases to the UW or LabCorp, said Jeff Friedman, vice president of operations.
April 6 – The BMJ: Seattle’s covid-19 lessons are yielding hope
The same day, officials at EvergreenHealth hospital in Kirkland, a suburb east of Seattle, dropped another bombshell. The hospital’s infection control team had grown suspicious of two cases in the intensive care unit and sent swab samples to the state laboratory.
April 5 – The Seattle Times: Ailing Everett couple gambles on drug trial for COVID-19 cure
In late March, the Taylors were discharged from EvergreenHealth medical center, heading home a few days apart. They returned to their tidy white house in Everett, tired, worn — and wondering if the clinical trial they had joined is the reason they survived the deadly disease.
The couple are among the first patients in the U.S. to recover from COVID-19 after agreeing to participate in a National Institutes of Health randomized controlled trial of remdesivir, an antiviral drug made by Gilead Sciences that once aimed to treat another infectious disease, Ebola.
April 4 – The New York Times: 24 Hours in a Pandemic Nation
A virtual recovery meeting. A police officer donned in a face mask. A pastor without a congregation. A funeral director trying to bury the dead. This is a new America.
12:40 A.M. Kirkland, Wash. - Tammy Wiatrowski curled up on a lilac sectional with a writing tray and a floral-patterned journal. She has been writing in it since early March, after working 57 hours over four days as a charge nurse in a critical care unit. It had dealt with the first spate of the nation’s deaths, a crunch of supplies, quarantined employees and a dire uncertainty.
April 2 – Home Health Care News: Home Health Provider Feeling COVID-19 Heat: ‘We Are Not the Fire, We Are the Fire Department’
On Friday, Feb. 28, just after 10 p.m. PT, Brent Korte — chief home care officer at EvergreenHealth — got a call that changed everything. It was from his boss.
“She asked me if I was sitting down,” Korte said. “She told me that EvergreenHealth not only had patients who had tested positive for COVID-19, … but that a patient passed away in our hospital. This was the first death from COVID-19 in the United States.”
April 1 – Advisory Board: 'Do your planning now': EvergreenHealth CNO's stark warning to American hospitals
EvergreenHealth, located in Kirkland, Washington, was unexpectedly the first U.S. acute care hospital with COVID-19 patients and has been at the forefront of early learnings ever since. Mary Shepler, CNO at EvergreenHealth, spoke with Carol Boston-Fleischhauer, Chief Nursing Officer at the Advisory Board, about the hospital’s early experiences and key advice she would give to health care executives that are bracing for a COVID-19 surge.
March 29 – The New York Times: Coronavirus Slowdown in Seattle Suggests Restrictions Are Working
Many of the Seattle area’s cases surfaced in the suburb of Kirkland, at EvergreenHealth Medical Center, which has handled some 246 confirmed cases and 47 deaths.
Dr. Jeff Tomlin, the medical center’s chief executive, said on Sunday that the number of cases there has remained steady in recent weeks. At times when the hospital’s intensive care unit has neared capacity, he said, it has been able to turn to other nearby hospitals for help.
March 27 – Wall Street Journal: How the Coronavirus Attacks Your Body
Matthew Arentz, a pulmonary and critical care doctor at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, Wash., published a study in JAMA earlier this month looking at the chest images of the first 21 critically ill Covid-19 patients in the U.S.
Two-thirds of the patients were from nursing facilities with an average age of 70-years-old and most had chronic medical conditions. Eighty-four percent required mechanical ventilation and only four people survived, says Dr. Arentz.
March 27 – The New York Times: On the Front Lines of a Pandemic, ‘I Love You’ Can Mean ‘Goodbye’
Separated from family and worried about patients and colleagues, James Kuo, a hospitalist physician at EvergreenHealth where the U.S. outbreak began, counts losses and blessings.
March 26 – The Washington Post: Where coronavirus outbreak started in Washington state, officials see hope as cases appear to be leveling off
The suburban hospital that handled the first onslaught of coronavirus patients weeks ago — a crush of seriously ill and dying nursing home residents that signaled the beginning of the national health crisis — is now offering cautious optimism to people across the United States who are searching for an end to the springtime nightmare: They believe they might have flattened the curve here.
March 25 – American College of Emergency Physicians: COVID-19 in Seattle—Early lessons learned
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has rapidly evolved and now dominates the attention and full efforts of the emergency medicine community, both domestic and abroad. Seattle is the site of the initial diagnosed COVID-19 cases and fatalities in the United States.
We provide an overview of the system-level response of 6 Seattle emergency departments and the Washington state chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) to the COVID-19 pandemic. Local efforts involved the spectrum of emergency response including on- and off-site triage strategies, an approach to personal protective equipment, testing and reporting protocols, early treatments, communication strategies, the impact on front-line providers, and ongoing work.
March 24 – KUOW: Why so hard to be tested for coronavirus? Not enough swabs and confusing government guidelines
Dr. Aileen Mickey, chief medical officer at EvergreenHealth, said her hospital has been able to keep up with demand for tests and, for now, is able to ramp up supplies as the number of cases rises. “At some point, though, the limiting factor will be the test kits, the number of swabs we have and the ability of the lab to be able to perform the tests,” she said.
March 22 – The Everett Herald: Hospitals prepare for a surge of COVID-19 patients
At EvergreenHealth Monroe, staff moved quickly following an outbreak at another Evergreen facility in Kirkland to create negative pressure rooms at the 31-bed hospital. They had two, now have six, including the hospital’s four-bed ICU, and in the next week will have the fans and special air filters to add four more. Much of Evergreen’s staff is being cross-trained to take on additional duties, Dr. Midori Larrabee, the Monroe hospital’s chief medical and quality officer said.
March 20 – NPR: Seattle Hospitals Brace For Wave Of COVID-19 Patients
We’re still at the “empty tent stage” of this crisis. At EvergreenHealth, nurse Barbara Jensen shows off the blue tent that they’ve pitched outside of the Emergency Department entrance.
March 16 – The Washington Post: Inside a hospital on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak
EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland, Wash. has seen more than 100 cases of COVID-19 in the weeks since coronavirus began to spread through a nursing home outside Seattle. Their ICU director explains how they are working to save lives and contain the virus.
March 13 – KIRO-TV: Contents of a COVID-19 test kit
We got our first up-close look tonight at a COVID-19 test kit at EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland. Each kit contains instructions, protective gloves, a swab that’s used to collect a sample from the patient, and a vial to store the swab and specimen. EvergreenHealth admits it’s still having trouble getting the volume of kits they anticipate they will actually need in the coming days and weeks.
March 11 – New York Times: A ‘New Normal’ For Hospitals on the Front Lines Fighting Coronavirus
Unlike at any other hospital in the United States, the staff members at the hospital in Kirkland, Wash., have faced the brunt of the rapidly escalating coronavirus outbreak.
March 10 – Seattle Times: Inside a Seattle-area hospital on the front lines of the nation’s first major coronavirus outbreak
The staff had been watching as tragedy unfolded in Wuhan, China.
An EvergreenHealth nurse regularly checked the CDC website. When the CDC changed its testing criteria on Feb. 27 to allow for the testing of severe pneumonia — even without travel to China — they sent two samples in immediately.
March 7 –KIRO-TV: Congresswoman Suzan DelBene at Evergreen Health, speaks out about staff and patients
March 6 –NPR: U.S. Hospitals Prepare For A COVID-19 Wave
Since EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland identified the country's first fatal case of COVID-19 last Friday, it's borne the brunt of the most serious cases — and most of the country's deaths. Many stem from the outbreak at the nearby Life Care nursing facility.
One week later, the hospital has made plans to house even more of the patients, by taking steps such as converting more sections of its buildings into "negative pressure wards," in which HVAC systems keep germs from spreading. Still, they're feeling the strain.
March 6 –NPR: U.S. Hospitals Fear Coronavirus Crunch
As the virus spreads, a major concern is hospital capacity. Thousands of people have had to wait for hospital beds overseas. The question now is, will there be a similar crunch here in the U.S.? NPR's Martin Kaste reports from Seattle, Wash.
March 6 –KIRO-TV: Hospital CEO talks about response
EvergreenHealth CEO, Dr. Jeff Tomlin, talks about COVID-19 response.
March 6 –KING-TV: Front Lines of Coronavirus Fight
EvergreenHealth CEO, Dr. Jeff Tomlin, talks about COVID-19 response.
March 6 –New York Post: US coronavirus death toll rises to 14, most cases in Washington
The coronavirus death toll in the United States jumped to 14 on Friday — with all but one case in Washington state, according to reports.
Two more people have died from the bug at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, hospital CEO Jeff Tomlin confirmed to local outlet KING 5.
Media Relations at EvergreenHealth
Reporters interested in conducting interviews or taking photographs of staff, patients or patients' families must request permission from EvergreenHealth's media relations staff. This includes visits to EvergreenHealth for live stand-ups and other external shots on the campus.
Written consent must be given before interviewing or photography takes place. A Media Relations representative must accompany members of the media at all times while they are on hospital grounds. A Media Relations representative must be present when members of the media interview any EvergreenHealth Medical Center staff on or off campus.
Media Relations Contacts
Please contact the Marketing department for information and for interview, videotaping or photography requests:
Kay Taylor - Chief Marketing Officer, Communications and Patient Experience Officer
Phone: 425.899.2604 (office), 303.514.5326 (cell)
Kayse Dahl - Manager of Marketing and Public Relations
Release of Patient Information
The confidentiality and privacy of our patients and their families is our top priority.
Because of federal privacy regulations (HIPAA), it is essential that members of the news media provide a patient's first and last name when calling. A patient can opt out of providing information altogether.
For an explanation of the rules that govern release of patient information, please refer to the Washington State Hospital Association Guide for Cooperation