Kin On was the first nursing home in Washington to implement a “no visitors” allowed policy at the beginning of the pandemic. Despite the challenges, the Kin On team has provided seamless support to the most vulnerable population, upholding the CMS five-star nursing home quality rating, providing uninterrupted in-home care and social services while enduring the devastating office fire in the Chinatown-International District, and keeping elders active and connected through 20 hours of weekly virtual programming.
Dennis Lam: We are deeply grateful to Nigel (former Kin On CEO) for his leadership, vision, and dedication to Kin On during his tenure. Under his leadership, we have accomplished so much—including opening the assisted living facility and adult family home, implementing a major building upgrade to Kin On Rehab & Care Center, and maintaining a high quality of care throughout the pandemic.
Ray Tong is an occupational therapist and rehab director with 13 years of therapy and leadership experience under his belt. He currently serves as the rehab director for Judson Park in Des Moines—helping seniors regain their independence and improving their quality of life through education, teamwork, and therapy. He also volunteers at the Rainier Valley Food Bank and the International District Emergency Center in the International District.
Keith Koga is a clinical assistant nurse manager at Harborview, who helped plan and implement drive-through and mobile COVID-19 testing clinics in the early phase of the pandemic.
Co-worker Pamella Guntrum said, “Keith has been instrumental in figuring out staffing, supplies, and logistics as the demand for testing rose from an average of 100 to over 200 tests per day. He does this with a calm demeanor. He is approachable and his team respects and works together with his leadership.”
Imei Hsu is a licensed mental health counselor and registered nurse. She maintains a private practice by delivering online counseling, with a subspecialty in helping those with autoimmune diseases and chronic illnesses. While volunteering for King County Public Health Medical Reserve Corps during the COVID-19 response, Imei volunteered time in the Isolation and Quarantine centers, COVD-19 testing, debriefing groups, and COVID-19 vaccinations.
Dr. Edward Leonard
Dr. Edward Leonard is an infectious disease specialist at Overlake. Leonard graduated with honors from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and has nearly three decades of diverse experiences. Seattle Metropolitan Magazine named Leonard as one of its “Top Doctors” for 2020.
Dr. Peter Hashisaki
Dr. Peter Hashisaki is an infectious disease specialist at Overlake with over four decades of experience in his field. He was named one of Seattle Metropolitan Magazine’s “Top Doctors” in 2020. Hashisaki is a graduate of University of Washington School of Medicine.
Dr. Gayle Robinson
Dr. Gayle Robinson is an assistant professor at Seattle University College of Nursing.
Tiffany Moss, communications manager at Swedish Medical Center, nominated Robinson “because of her continuous commitment to improving health care services to the community, with special emphasis on communities of color with the high prevalence of the coronavirus infecting these communities.”
She has consulted and taught classes on infection control and handwashing to staff and community workers at the Sisters in Common organization and at the Center for Multicultural Health. Moss called her “an outstanding source of continued inspiration to our Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization members and our student scholarship recipients.”
Dr. Arooj Simmonds
Dr. Arooj Simmonds, an anesthesiologist at Swedish, is a “creative problem solver, trusted colleague, and thoughtful collaborator,” according to Dr. Lynn Welling, Chief Medical Officer of Swedish Health Services.
When Gov. Jay Inslee issued a mandatory shutdown on elective procedures across the state, Simmonds served as co-lead for Swedish’s surgical and procedural review committee.
“She developed a novel algorithm to determine which surgeries could move forward safely based on patient symptoms,” said Welling.
Kristy Carrington is the Chief Nursing Officer at Swedish’s First Hill facility. She leads operations of Women’s Health, which includes overseeing the 10th most baby deliveries in the country.
During the pandemic, Carrington led efforts for staffing models, alternate sites of care protocols, and clinical operations.
“She is passionate about the highest quality care at the lowest appropriate cost for the community. She cares about her nursing team and she hosts a monthly breakfast with new nurses so she can get to know them,” said Dr. Welling.
Rachel Wang Martínez
Rachel Wang Martínez is Neighborcare Health’s director of nursing who “built a process from the ground up for staff to report COVID symptoms, potential exposures, or other concerns so that a team could quickly follow up to advise on next steps and answer staff and patient questions,” according to Director of Marketing Communications Mary Schilder.
“Rachel also quickly became the go-to resource for the ever-evolving information on the virus. Because of her efforts, we have also been able to safely remain open to provide essential medical, dental, and behavioral health care our patients need and deserve, especially at a time like this.”
Roxanne Garcia joined Neighborcare Health in an administrative role at the peak of the pandemic to support its Housing and Street Outreach team.
“Her contribution has meant that thousands of individuals experiencing homelessness and/or living in congregate settings were able to get tested and notified of their results so they could isolate and quarantine if positive to protect others, and get the assistance they needed,” said Schilder. “She brightens everyone’s day and maintains such a kind and caring attitude, all while learning a new job during a pandemic.”
Kia Truong is the health center manager at International Community Health Services’ Bellevue clinic ICHS Marketing Communications Manager Angela Toda said Kia was being recognized for her hard work, agility, optimism, and cheerful can-do attitude.
“In these times, it has been important to have people such as Kia, who serve as a daily source of hope and inspiration.”
Tram Le is the health center manager at ICHS’ Holly Park clinic. Le assumed the role of interim manager for three centralized teams, in addition to her role as health center manager, without a front desk supervisor. Additionally, she also took on standardization of all workflows for the front desk and EPIC conversion for a brand-new electronic health care system.
Rattana Chaokhote is the clinical care services director at ICHS’ International District clinic. She led the infection prevention and control response to COVID-19 at ICHS, committing many hours to drafting guidelines, training staff, and investigating exposures, along with her other responsibilities of leading nursing and nutrition, and comprehensive care services.
ICHS Marketing Communications Manager Angela Toda called Chaokhote “an agile and goal-directed leader, key to successful organizations.”
Winnie Lee is a physician assistant and assistant medical director at ICHS’ Bellevue clinic.
Described as a “thoughtful and committed leader,” Lee provided astute clinical acumen in identifying the first COVID-19 case at ICHS, which was also the first in the nation among community health centers and linked to the long-term facility that was hit early during the epidemic.
Scott Sato is a physician assistant at ICHS’ Holly Park clinic. Toda said, “He embodies a can-do attitude and willingness to lend a hand to all. He was the recipient of the Life Saver Award from the residency program for answering every desperate call, serving on interview committees, and helping to shoulder the burdens of program administration.”
Dr. Uyenvy Pham
Dr. Uyenvy Pham is a primary care provider with obstetrics at ICHS’ Holly Park clinic. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, her family was brought as refugees to settle in Seattle.
“Probably because I was the first born and was always the helper in my family, being a doctor always seemed like a natural career choice to me,” Pham said.
She also helps in the development of new providers working for both the ICHS Nurse Practitioner Residency Program and the Family Medicine Residency.
Leovelyn Tamayo is the lead medical assistant at ICHS’ Holly Park clinic.
“She stepped in and functioned as the interim medical assistant supervisor through the pandemic,” said Toda. “She mounted the most successful flu vaccine clinic at Holly Park with over 500 vaccines in four days. She is a calm leader with a pleasant demeanor and winning smile.”
All ICHS staff
ICHS statement: The ICHS clinics cannot run without the combined effort of every individual who works here. This pandemic has presented us with unimaginable challenges in our lives… without the unusual strength and perseverance of our staff, we would not have been able to continuously provide quality care to all our patients while caring for each other. The dedication, resolve, and adaptability of ICHS staff is the reason why we continue to be at the forefront of community-centered care.
Special mentions: Linh Lam Van, Clinic Support Supervisor, International District Clinic; Phuong To, Lead Medical Receptionist; Grace Wang, Physician, Holly Park Clinic; Alan Chun, Physician; Marily Sta Maria, RN; Diana Toepfer, RN; Thu Nguyen, Medical Assistant; Yen Do, Medical Assistant; Tina Kim, Lead Medical Receptionist; Nguyet Vo, Lead Medical Records Specialist; Phan Truong, Lead Medical Referral Specialist; Qing Weng, Clinic Support Supervisor; Sunny Hwang, Patient Services Supervisor; Faith Flores, Dental Clinical Support Supervisor; Cheryl Dilag, Dental Clinical Support Supervisor; and Viktoria Garkavi, Dental Clinical Support Supervisor.
Missy Cruz is an emergency room technician at the University of Washington Medical Center.
She contracted COVID-19 from a patient in the early days of the pandemic and recovered. She was recognized for raising public awareness of the virus, encouraging cooperation, and promoting unity during the pandemic.
ACRS Mental Health Department
Yoon Joo Han is the behavioral health director at Asian Counseling and Referral Service. She was recognized for “working quickly, and with innovation, to deliver behavioral health and recovery services” to the vulnerable population that ACRS serves.
Dr. Anthony Chen
Dr. Anthony Chen is the Director of Health at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. His team leads the response to the COVID-19 public health emergency in Tacoma and Pierce County.
He promotes a policy, systems, and environmental change approach to advance the Health Department’s vision of healthy people and healthy communities.
A Duke University medical school graduate, Chen developed expertise in access to healthcare, cross-cultural medicine, and cultural competency in healthcare. Chen also serves on state and national public health committees; regional planning bodies; and local, state, and congressional district committees on healthcare access and reform.
Winona Hollins-Hauge is a licensed clinical social worker who has brought together corporate, faith-based churches, nonprofits, and community donors during the pandemic.
Hollins-Hauge has built a solid joint venture to help build a food security outreach partnership with Seattle King County Parks Department and Seattle Public Schools, with the leadership of Together Washington, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, Mount Zion Baptist Church Women’s Ministry, Grandmothers against Gun Violence, the National Council of Negro Women, and a large number of community donors from around the Pacific Northwest.
Rose Kim of Korean Women’s Association is being recognized for “innovative leadership in delivering culturally responsive care coordination and health education for limited English proficiency Korean Americans in Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties.”