Seattle Culture

AI, Hope for Heroes, Medical Excellence

Take a whirlwind trip through Seattle’s social scene

By Linda Lowry December 7, 2023

Former City of Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best with district officers at Hope for Heroes Gala in Bellevue.

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2024 issue of Seattle magazine.

The questions swirling around artificial intelligence no longer involve “if.” They’re about “how.”

That was the topic of a recent event produced by the Seattle chapter of WIT (Women in Tech) Network, a global nonprofit with a Seattle chapter. The chapter delved into AI with a panel discussion on “Diversity in Artificial Intelligence” at the historic Women’s University Club in downtown Seattle.


The diverse panel consisted of Deanna Lanier, chief strategy officer at Seattle tech company Icertis; Dr. Nwando Anyaoku, Providence chief health equity officer; Janna Hong, cofounder of Interactive Intelligence and a research analyst at Allen Institute; and WIT Network President Christine Bongard. The discussion was led by Seattle Chapter President Mary Alice Colvin, who is also an executive at Icertis.

Speakers emphasized the importance of training AI algorithms with diverse datasets to address biases, foster inclusivity, and increase accessibility to health care for diverse populations.


Another event, The King County Medical Society’s Excellence in Medicine Awards (at Woodinville’s Winemakers Reserve), celebrated the often-unsung work health care providers deliver across the region. Established in 1888, KCMS has solidified its position as one of the largest and most influential medical societies in the United States. 

Honorees included Dr. Mark Vossler, who won the Physician Advocacy Award; Dr. Nkeiruka Duze, the Heart of the Gold Award; Dr. Frederick Rivara, the Lifetime Achievement Award; Dr. Michelle Terry, the Reducing Health Disparities award; Dr. Kevin Johnson, the KCMS Presidents Award; and Dr. Martine Levine, the Physician Leadership award. Additionally, Dr. John Nelson was granted the Physician Teacher & Mentor Award; and the Innovations in Access to Care Award was presented to the Providence Behavioral Health Urgent Care Clinic in Everett. 

KCMS’s celebration also served as a fundraiser for scholarships that support underrepresented medical students. 


In Bellevue, the annual Hope for Heroes Gala at the Hyatt Regency raised money for Stronger Families, a Bellevue nonprofit that provides relationship skills to military, veteran, and first responder families. 

Several community leaders were in attendance, including entrepreneur Kemper Freeman; former City of Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best; and Renton City Council Member Kim Kha Van. Other prominent community members, local businesses, and compassionate organizations found a common rhythm, pledging to stand by those who have stood for them. 

Until next time, stay tuned for more tales from the social scene in the Emerald City.

About the Social in Seattle Column

Linda Lowry has a pulse on the greater Seattle region’s social landscape and provides insight on the people and personalities that make our city vibrant and unique.

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