"I would like to nominate Marc Chamness for being a true Seattle healthcare hero. Marc is a stalwart of Swedish Cherry Hill's emergency department, dealing with every kind of crisis the city has to offer. The depth of his compassion and kindness are recognized by both his patients and his fellow healthcare workers, and his positive attitude is a beacon for all those who are struggling in these difficult times. Marc is an amazing caregiver, coworker, and friend, and when he is taking care of you, you know you're in good hands."
Marc works as a charge nurse in Swedish' Cherry Hill hospital, where he has spent his last 9 years.
This past one, Marc managed the flow of patients, including those with COVID "and the ones that people don't think about, those who didn't come in earlier due to concerns with covid, making their illnesses much more severe."
"With the nationwide and very local nursing staffing crises, many nights my team does this with a skeleton staff, but we do it as a team, as a family. My colleagues at Swedish, the AMR crews, they are part of that family and essential members of that team, my first eyes on some of the sickest patients that come through my doors. I guess that's the big thing. I love getting nominated for something like this... But I also know that in small emergency rooms... I'm nothing without my team."
Marc has 20 years of experience in total as a healthcare professional, mostly in emergency rooms, having finished his prehospital/EMT training in 2001.
And then there is the human: Father, Husband, dog-father. Also a gamer, loves heavy metal and will still greet people in the streets... "Because it's the human thing to do." Thank you, Marc, for your hard work and generosity this last year! You are a true hero of this city! Your work does not go unnoticed!
Joshua works full time as Surgical Technician for Kaiser Permanente and part time at the Polyclinic in First Hill, but his nomination came along for the work he does as a volunteer on his spare (?!?) time. "I have been spending my nights and weekends for the past year and a half taking care of the homeless population", he confessed.
When Covid hit, Joshua's Chief Nursing Officer reached out for volunteers to help admit/discharge, take vitals, swab patients, and take care of the homeless population during their 14-day quarantine. Joshua heeded the call and started working the Shoreline Covid tents. His mission with Kaiser and King County there was to aid in the care for the homeless population who had either been exposed to Covid or had tested positive. As soon as Shoreline closed in September 2020, he moved to the Issaquah Isolation and Quarantine center, and has been there for the past 9 months.
"It has been so rewarding and I have met some amazing people, new forever co-workers and a lot of extremely grateful patients. I am just glad to be giving back to the community in some way."
No wonder Joshua's nomination appeared so atypical: "Joshua works in Surgery and has been working at the Polyclinic and the Issaquah Covid Center since April, helping the homeless all over Seattle". A rare combination of skills, brains and an incredible heart for humanity.
Thank you, Joshua, for your hard work and generosity this last year! You are a true hero of this city! Your work does not go unnoticed!
Alexander is a First Responder in First Hill/Downtown/Capitol Hill. He is one of two in an ambulance team that is dispatched to every type of emergency call coming to this area. Alexander dresses up in full protective gear multiple times a day and rushes to help people from all walks of life, including the homeless population particularly exposed during these winter days. "As an EMT, Alexander is known to be a calm and competent presence for his patients", said his nominator.
Alex was surprised to receive this nomination, and immediately thought of others on the front lines that "would deserve the recognition prior to him." "No problem Alex, please nominate them. This is about recognition, not competition", we reminded him.
Prior to being an EMT in Seattle, Alexander worked as a wilderness therapy guide in Utah, where his clients included teens and young adults with addiction, mental and behavioral problems. He then moved to Nevada to look after his grandmother when she had a stroke, so she could stay in her home. Helping others clearly runs deep within.
Alexander strives to keep his parents, family and friends protected by going the extra mile with caution, hygiene and reducing interactions to the minimum. "You have to do what you have to do in moments like this". This is what he signed up for in his pursuit to become a paramedic in the PNW.
“After investigation, I have found a wonderful nurse who works in the ICU. Jenni Makinen Tang has been a critical care nurse at Swedish for 19 years, has gave it her all these last months, and is definitely worthy of care and pampering herself” read our first nomination. No wonder...
"Anything helps boost the energy for the whole three ICUs, 6,7 & 8 East. We are worn out and tired while knowing it is going to get worse. Yesterday was the first time we ran out of ICU beds. Nevermind the nurse shortage. Thank you very much for your kindness!" expressed our first nominee when surprised by her peers.
“Thank you very much for this. I don't really feel like I deserve this. It's all about team work here in the First Hill ICU. Without each other we couldn't do much. We need nurses, respiratory therapist, intensive care doctors, Physical therapist, nutritionist and all kinds of help.” she wrote back.
We agreed and let her know we had taken gift and thank you cards on Thanksgiving to every one of the 200 people that work on her floor regardless of their title; this made it easier for her to accept a small token of appreciation.
Our appreciation package was delivered on a mystical day, the day that the first healthcare heroes were receiving the first doses of the vaccine, what an honor! Jenni quickly confirmed how much she thinks of others before herself: “Of course I was very excited to be one of the first people to get the vaccine today, partially to protect me for sure, but more importantly, for my two daughters 16 and 18, who have been isolating from their friends and peers for over 6 months, because of the stigma that comes with her mother’s occupation these days”.
This last comment reminded us of stories from people working as nurses abroad, who let us know that they were boo-ed in public transportation and asked to get off the buses for similar reasons. As if exposing yourself to take care of others was not enough of a sacrifice.
Help us honor, appreciate and recognize Ms. Jenni M Makinen-Tang: a true hero from Seattle’s First Hill! Thank you Jenni!
“Thank you very much for this! It's greatly appreciated. I'm honored to receive this gift.”
Thank YOU Jenni!!! Your actions speak loudly for the healthcare community, and sets us on the right path to celebrate others like you!
“I would like to nominate Ihreen Salaya. She is exceptional ICU nurse at Swedish, she's worked here close to 20 years. She is always happy, always ready to help and just good person to be around in ICU and teleicu.”
“Thank you very much for doing this. This is much appreciated. This is our job and I am happily doing it. Hopefully this pandemic ends soon and we can relax a little bit.”
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