Family medicine doctors focusing on helping people overcome repetitive disorders, such as drug and alcohol dependency and eating disorders
Joe Merrill, M.D., MPH, (only accepting patients in Harborview’s Addictions Program), internal medicine, pain management; Harborview Medical Center, 325 Ninth Ave., Seattle, 206.744.9600 (Addictions Program at Harborview); Harborview Medical Center; Yale University School of Medicine, 1990
Poor Bertha, she deserved better. Bertha Knight Landes, that is. She was Seattle’s first and only woman mayor. In fact, she was the first female mayor of a major American city. She served from 1926 to 1928. Prior to that, she was president of the City Council and involved in many good government organizations in town. She ran because the corrupt city needed a good “housekeeper,” and she tried to do that by cracking down on crooked cops, illegal gambling and bootleggers.
We asked our cover doctors a number of questions, everything from how they knew they had chosen the right vocation to lessons they wish their patients would take to heart. Read on for more insight from these top-notch docs. Marquis Hart, M.D.Surgeon; Director, Organ Transplant Program, Swedish Medical Center
Why did you pick your specialty?The care of patients with organ disease requiring transplantation requires you to integrate everything that I learned in Medical school including: physiology, anatomy pathology, microbiology and immunology.
What experience or case convinced you that you made the right decision?My very first case as a fellow convinced me that this is what I wanted to do. The operation lasted 24 hours and required many units of blood to support due to what is called “primary graft non-function”. The next day we re-transplanted the patient and he lived. I had no idea that this was humanly possible.
What is one lesson you wish your patients would take to heart?To have hope even when the odds are against your survival.
What would make the biggest difference in their lives?To seek care from their primary care provider and get regular screening.
If you could change one thing about how we deliver health care, what would it be?Provide the best care for all regardless of financial ability.
What is the most important recent development in your field?There is now a cure for Hepatitis C.
What have you learned by directing the Organ Transplant Program at Swedish Medical Center that you wouldn't have learned had you not taken this administrative role?I have learned that Swedish and Providence leadership are committed to caring for all patients
Kathleen C. Y. Sie, M.D.Pediatric otolaryngologist, Pediatric, Seattle Children’s HospitalDirector, Seattle Children’s Childhood Communication Center
Why did you pick your specialty?I was drawn to pediatric otolaryngology because we deal with so many important functions including breathing, swallowing, communication, hearing and speech. Helping children with problems in any of these areas makes a huge difference for them. I focus on seeing patients with communication issues related to speech and hearing.
What experience or case convinced you that you made the right decision?When I was just starting my practice, I performed a surgery for a young girl (who had normal hearing) so that she could speak more clearly. Several months after the surgery, her mother wrote me a note to tell me that the surgery had changed the way her daughter interacted with her classmates on the playground—she had changed from a ‘shy’ girl to a talkative, confident and outgoing girl. The story made me realize that helping children communicate affects them in ways that are hard to capture with traditional medical metrics.
What would make the biggest difference in the lives of the children you see? Overall, eliminating poverty and improving maternal education makes the biggest difference for children. With regard to medical care, I think that educating children and families about health and eliminating barriers to health care will make the biggest difference for children.
If you could change one thing about how we deliver health care, what would it be? I wish we could eliminate the unnecessary waste in medicine so that more children could receive the services they need.
What motivated you to maintain both an academic and a clinical practice? Developing a relationship with and taking care of patients and their families is incredibly gratifying. But I realized that it is so important to perform research and to teach young doctors so that treatments and interventions will continue to get better. I think being an active clinician helps inform my academic work and vice versa. Both are so valuable.
What is the most important recent development in your field?The implementation of Early Hearing Detection Diagnosis and Intervention (newborn hearing screening) has decreased the average age of diagnosis of congenital hearing loss from 2.5 years to about 7 months of age. The earlier identification of childhood hearing loss gives families the opportunity to make language accessible to their children. The earlier identification opens the door for earlier interventions and improved outcomes.
Must HearSeattle Symphony’s Sonic Evolution, Featuring Sir Mix-A-Lot and PickwickFriday (6/6, 8 p.m.) — One of the many cool things about the Seattle Symphony’s groundbreaking Sonic Evolution program, according to maestro Ludovic Morlot, is that it brings people to Benaroya Hall who’ve never been there before. People such as Sir Mix-A-Lot and the members of Seattle indie rock band Pickwick, who will perform alongside the orchestra on Friday night.
Seattle game designer James Ernest, of tabletop game company Cheapass Games (cheapass.com), made a splash this spring with a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign for his totally new card game called Pairs. Portable and easy to play (for two–eight players), the Pairs deck has 55 cards (one 1, two 2s and so on up to ten 10s). A dealer deals cards face up in rounds, as players attempt to avoid being dealt a matching pair and scoring points.
Seattle is known for its rabidly loyal fans—we love our Seahawks, Sounders, Storm and even the troubled Mariners—but there’s one local team that has yet to gain a vocal following: the Seahammers. The lack of team scarves, 12th men and bobbleheads is likely due to the fact that the Seahammers are hard to see. Seattle’s underwater hockey team, founded in 1988 by Western Washington University grad Patrick Carboneau, plays at the bottom of a swimming pool, the athletes only surfacing briefly to grab a breath.
More than 900 people attended the JDRF Seattle Guild’s 25th anniversary Dream Gala on Saturday, March 8, when upwards of $5 million was raised to better treat, prevent and ultimately cure type 1 diabetes. Attendees bid on an extraordinary lineup of auction items, including winemaker dinners and exotic trips while a performance by Brandi Carlile with musicians from the Seattle Symphony capped off the lively evening.
From Fourth of July fireworks shows to outdoor concerts and movies, your summer calendar is swelling with social engagements. Herewith, your go-to guide for what to do during the warm-weather months.
When the sun comes out in Seattle, so does the music. Heating up in June and powering through September are a number of outdoor music experiences that will knock your shades off.
Capitol Hill Block Party
Brangien Davis; with research by Meghan Gelbach // Portrait by Hayley Young
Are you ready for a reishi-tini? The healthy mocktail—made from reishi mushroom and lemon balm extracts, lemon juice and limeade with a lime twist—is one of several made to order at the new offshoot of Tierney Salter’s popular natural health store, The Herbalist.
Must SeePacific Northwest Ballet Closes the Season with Giselle(5/30 to 6/8, times vary) — Giselle—everyone’s favorite jilted-bride ghost—returns to Pacific Northwest Ballet, this time with all new sets and costumes created by acclaimed French designer Jerome Kaplan. Principal dancer Kaori Nakamura takes lead in this season ender, which also happens to be her last run before retirement.
Crosscut.com is launching its first-ever Community Idea Lab, a project that focuses on a new way of doing journalism through community problem solving. The first thing it's tackling? The San Francisco tech boom and the polarization it has created between the tech and social services communities.
One of the many cool things about the Seattle Symphony’s groundbreaking Sonic Evolution program, according to maestro Ludovic Morlot, is that it brings people to Benaroya Hall who’ve never been there before. People such as, say, Sir Mix-A-Lot, who, before the photo shoot for this magazine, had never set foot inside the phenomenal concert hall (he was visibly wowed by the acoustics), but who will take the stage there this month—with the symphony playing backup on a new orchestration of his songs “Posse on Broadway” and “Baby Got Back.”
You know it. You do it. It’s safe, predictable, even comforting, like that pair of broken-in jeans that give in all the right places (thank goodness). A routine is one of the most powerfully subconscious habits that dominate our lives. Which is why it’s so thrilling to veer off the path and break the pattern with a vacation. But even if you’ve banked weeks of paid leave at a job, it is hard to get away more than once or twice a year.