Health care workers at EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland smile for the camera alongside first responders from Kirkland, Bothell and Woodinville, who stopped by to show their appreciation for the work they have done in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. Samantha Pak/staff photo

Health care workers at EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland smile for the camera alongside first responders from Kirkland, Bothell and Woodinville, who stopped by to show their appreciation for the work they have done in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. Samantha Pak/staff photo

Showing their appreciation for EvergreenHealth workers

First responders from Kirkland, Bothell and Woodinville stopped by the Kirkland medical center to show their support for their colleagues.

First responders from Kirkland, Bothell and Woodinville filled the parking lot of the west entrance of EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland the evening of April 16.

Lights from fire and police vehicles flashed as groups of nurses and doctors from inside the hospital came out every few minutes to meet their colleagues from out in the field. A number of bystanders had pulled out their phones to take photos and film the scene.

While a loud and chaotic scene at a hospital might indicate a large-scale emergency in most cases, Thursday’s happenings were different.

Members of the Kirkland fire and police departments, Bothell fire and police departments and Woodinville fire and rescue and police departments were at the medical center to show their appreciation for the healthcare workers at the hospital who have been responding to the COVID-19 outbreak since the first U.S. cases and deaths occurred in Kirkland at the end of February.

“We just really want to thank them,” said Catherine Breault, public information officer for Woodinville Fire & Rescue, about the hospital healthcare workers.

First responders from Woodinville hold up signs thanking the doctors and nurses at EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland. Samantha Pak/staff photo

First responders from Woodinville hold up signs thanking the doctors and nurses at EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland. Samantha Pak/staff photo

The event was organized by the King County Fire Chiefs Association and was part of a coordinated effort that had first responders from jurisdictions throughout the county holding similar events all day at 15 hospitals and medical centers.

Breault said they held everything on the same day because wanted to make it a big show of support for their colleagues, noting that they have been fighting the pandemic longer than anyone in the country — especially in Kirkland, where the first deaths occurred.

“We’ve been in this fight the whole time” she said. “We’re still in the battle.”

A Tyrannosaurus rex stops by EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland to show his appreciation for the doctors and nurses working at the hospital. Samantha Pak/staff photo

A Tyrannosaurus rex stops by EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland to show his appreciation for the doctors and nurses working at the hospital. Samantha Pak/staff photo

Breault said they also wanted to remind the public to stay home and to practice social distancing if and when they do have to leave their homes. Personally, she said the stay-at-home order is important because both she and her husband — who works for the Lynnwood Police Department — haven’t been able to stay home. And neither can her coworkers and many of her friends, some of whom have spouses working as nurses in hospitals.

“It matters to my family who’s out there every day,” Breault said. “It’s directly impacted all of our teammates.”

She added that everyone has been impacted by the outbreak, whether it has been having a loved one get sick from the coronavirus or having their job affected as many businesses throughout the region have closed. Breault said we need to think about the people we know and how the outbreak has affected them.

First responders who stopped by EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland to thank the doctors and nurses included members of the Kirkland, Bothell and Woodinville police departments. Samantha Pak/staff photo

First responders who stopped by EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland to thank the doctors and nurses included members of the Kirkland, Bothell and Woodinville police departments. Samantha Pak/staff photo

While Thursday’s events were meant to thank the hospital workers, that gratitude was reciprocated.

As groups of nurses and doctors stepped out of the building to rounds of applause and shouts of thanks, they returned the applause and shouted their thanks as well.

Mary Shepler, chief nursing officer at EvergreenHealth, was humbled and honored when she learned that she and her colleagues were going to be recognized this way, and said they have just as much appreciation for the first responders. She said they are doing the same work as those in the hospital and first responders are the ones bringing the patients to them. What they do as healthcare workers is a team sport, she said, and it helps to know those out in the field are with them and keeping her and her colleagues in the hospital in their thoughts.

Shepler said there is so much good work being done in the community and the first responders may not realize what they do for the healthcare workers in the hospitals and how they help them keep doing what they’re doing every day — especially when things get tough.

“It’s amazing,” she said.

Members of Eastside law enforcement agencies stop by EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland to thank the health care workers at the hospital for being on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak. Samantha Pak/staff photo

Members of Eastside law enforcement agencies stop by EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland to thank the health care workers at the hospital for being on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak. Samantha Pak/staff photo




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

Local musicians hold virtual benefit concert for mental health

The stream-a-thon supports NAMI Eastside and nonprofit Hold Your Crown

Medic One Foundation’s Gratitude Meals offer support to first responders, local businesses

The initiative provides hearty lunches to first responders staffing the COVID-19 testing sites as they work to test their colleagues.

UW students create Spira app to gather COVID-19 data

The app was created to screen for respiratory diseases but the teen creators shifted their focus once the COVID-19 outbreak began.

Showing their appreciation for EvergreenHealth workers

First responders from Kirkland, Bothell and Woodinville stopped by the Kirkland medical center to show their support for their colleagues.

‘Don’t assume it can’t happen to you’

Federal Way resident Evelyn Allcorn shares story of her husband’s battle with COVID-19 after he tested positive on March 28.

From left, Evan Shouse, Lauren Shouse and Ellienn Tatar stand outside their Kirkland residence. Courtesy photo
Making ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic

LWTech Foundation COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund lends a helping hand.

Savannah Lynn and Will Chadek in the Second Story Repertory of Redmond’s production of “The Fantasticks.” “The Fantasticks” had been performed three times by the organization until coronavirus concerns resulted in the cancellation of the remaining dates. Photo by Michael Brunk
How is the coronavirus affecting the arts?

Representatives from Eastside arts institutions discuss their experiences.

Photo courtesy of Meenakshi Sinha 
                                From left, Kirkland residents Nick Davis and Silvia Bajardi play their instruments at a neighborhood music event March 15.
‘We’re still in this together’: Inspired by Italian residents, Kirkland resident organizes singing event

Meenakshi Sinha wanted to connect Kirkland neighborhoods amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Shamrock Run participants from a previous year smile for the camera. Photo courtesy of Orca Running
Shamrock Run returning to Kirkland March 14

The annual event is put on by Orca Running with presenting sponsor Lake Washington Physical Therapy.

Lake Washington Institute of Technology. File photo
LWTech students place fourth in national Codebreaker Challenge

CSNT program recently placed fourth at the NSA Codebreaker Challenge online competition.