Saturday, May 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Brent!

Happy Birthday to the love of my life!! I love you more than words can say, Sweetie, and I'm so grateful the Lord brought you into my life! I'm excited to celebrate a lifetime of birthdays with you and am looking forward to each one. I'm so glad you're mine forever!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I Have A New Job!!!!

I have a new job!!! For those of you who missed my announcement on Facebook, I'm happy to let you know that two weeks ago I was offered a new job! That afternoon I submitted my resignation for my current position, so everything is official!

I'll be working as an RN Specialist at a clinic where there is a new model of doing healthcare. I will be especially focusing on preventing and treating chronic diseases. The clinic is a part of the same system I've been with for the last 16 months, so it's a nice easy transfer. I happen to be changing jobs over my birthday weekend, and I had already taken a day off (since Brent and I are going with our friends, Jim and Sara to FIDDLER ON THE ROOF!!!) so that means I'll have a four-day weekend before starting a new job! I'm so thankful that I don't have to try and switch my sleep schedule the same day I'm starting a new job!

I really think this will be a good fit for me job-wise, and I think I'll be a good fit with this department, but at the moment the thing I'm most excited about is the schedule change! Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm each day, no evenings, weekends or holidays sounds completely wonderful to me! This last year has been pretty hard on me in lots of ways, and it mostly stems from my random night shift schedule. I'm looking forward to that changing.

Here's a little more on the clinic, from our system's website:

What is the Affinity Medical Home?
The Affinity Medical Home is a new approach to primary
health care. Staff members work in highly coordinated health
teams to address patient care needs. In this model, patients
will continue to have a strong relationship with a Primary Care
Physician (PCP), but that relationship will be directly supported
by other team members.

Affinity is one of the first health care systems in the country to
implement this innovative care model. The goal is to optimize
access, and provide high quality, personalized care—addressing
the full range of health care concerns from wellness to disease
management, to acute care, in a highly coordinated, patient
centered, holistic manner.

Who’s on the medical home team?
Every medical home team is developed to fit the unique needs
of its community. Patient-centered teams will typically consist of:

• One or more physicians partnered with one or more
Nurse Practitioners or Physician Assistants

• One or more Nurse Specialists who will coordinate disease
management—overseeing patient registries, providing patient
education and wellness coaching, and partnering with providers
to execute disease management visits

• Behavioral health resource person, such as a social worker or
counselor, to assist with care coordination and behavioral health

• Patient service representatives

• Health Care Associates such as LPNs, MAs and CMAs

The physician will supervise and lead the activities of the medical
home. The team member who sees the patient will be determined
by the need of the patient, facilitated by dynamic communication
between team members—assuring each patient is given high
quality, compassionate care. All teams have access to Affinity’s
network of specialists and our three hospitals for comprehensive
medical care.

Will providers visit patient homes?
No, patient care will take place in the clinic.We want patients
to feel safe and “at home” when they receive care from us.

How is this different than what a patient may experience now?
Patients will notice a difference as soon as they walk into our
clinics. The physician will rely on the help of the other team
members to assist with collecting information, so the patient
and care provider’s time is most effectively utilized.
Team members will make sure all patients have a clear
understanding of their diagnosis and care plans.We realize
health problems also affect a patient’s personal life and
emotional well-being.We will give patients access to a team
member who can help navigate community resources as
needed and listen to their concerns.

Thanks for all your prayers for me and Brent. I'll be sure to let you know how it's all going!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Electron Boy

By Katherine Long

Seattle Times Eastside reporter

Thursday was shaping up to be just another school day for 13-year-old Erik Martin, but then something extraordinary happened: Spider-Man called.

Spider-Man happens to be one of the few people who knows that Erik, too, has a secret identity — he's Electron Boy, a superhero who fights the powers of evil with light.

And Spider-Man needed Erik's help.

Erik, who is living with liver cancer, has always wanted to be a superhero. On Thursday, the regional chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation granted him that wish with an elaborate event that involved hundreds of volunteers in Bellevue and Seattle.

The local chapter, which serves four states, grants more than 300 wishes every year to children with life-threatening medical conditions, but only a few of them involve so many participants.

Pulling off a wish like this one required a big story, and a lot of heart. And so, with a note of panic in his voice, Spider-Man explained the dilemma: "Dr. Dark" and "Blackout Boy" had imprisoned the Seattle Sounders in a locker room at Qwest Field. Only Electron Boy could free them.

Erik got into his red-and-blue superhero costume, and called on the powers of Moonshine Maid, who owns a DeLorean sports car. For good measure, more than 20 motorcycle officers from the Bellevue Police Department and King County and Snohomish sheriff's offices escorted Electron Boy to Seattle.

"They shut down 405 — they shut down I-90," marveled Moonshine Maid, aka Misty Peterson. "I thought it would just be me, in the car."

At Qwest Field, Electron Boy was directed by frantic fans to the Sounders locker room, where the entire team was shouting for help behind jammed doors. With a little help from Lightning Lad, the alter ego of local actor Rob Burgess, Erik opened the door with his lightning rod. The Sounders cheered.

"Thank you, Electron Boy," said defender Taylor Graham.

"You saved us!" exclaimed forward Nate Jaqua.

"Good job, big man," said defender Tyrone Marshall. And forward Steve Zakuani mutely bowed his thanks.

Electron Boy seemed a little dazed by his powers. Out on Qwest Field, the Sounders gave Erik a hero's congratulations, posed for pictures and gave him a jersey and autographed ball.

Everyone was startled when, overhead, the Jumbotron crackled to life.

"Electron Boy, I am Dr. Dark and this is Blackout Boy," sneered an evil voice, as the villain — Edgar Hansen, and his sidekick Jake Anderson, both of Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" — taunted the young superhero. "We are here to take over Seattle and make it dark!"

On the Jumbotron, a video showed a Puget Sound Electric employee Jim Hutchinson trapped in the top of his bucket truck in front of PSE's Bellevue headquarters. Only Electron Boy could save him.

As Electron Boy's motorcade — the DeLorean, the 25 motorcycle officers and a white limo — rolled through downtown Bellevue, pedestrians stopped in their tracks and pulled out their cameras to take pictures. Clearly, somebody famous was in town. But who could it be?

"It's Electron Boy," Erik's older sister, Charlotte Foote, shouted out the window of the limousine.

More than 250 PSE employees gathered outside the company's headquarters and cheered as Electron Boy freed the trapped worker. "It was so loud, people in office buildings were looking out the window," said Make-A-Wish communications director Jeannette Tarcha.

But Dr. Dark and Blackout Boy were still at large. Electron Boy got a tip that the evil duo were at the Space Needle, where they had disabled the elevator and trapped people on the observation deck. Racing back to Seattle, Electron Boy stepped out of the DeLorean to a cheering crowd of dozens of admirers, and confronted his nemesis.

"How did you find us, Electron Boy?" Dr. Dark demanded.

Erik wordlessly leapt at Dr. Dark with his lightning rod, freezing the villain. Then he unlocked the elevator and freed the people trapped upstairs.

Bellevue police Officer Curtis McIvor snapped handcuffs on Dr. Dark and Blackout Boy, who couldn't resist some last words: "How can we thank you for saving our souls?"

A tiny smile played around Electron Boy's mouth. Just for good measure, he held his lightning sword to Blackout Boy's throat again. The crowd went wild. "Hip-hip, hooray!"

Seattle City Councilwoman Sally Bagshaw stepped forward with a key to the city and a proclamation that Thursday was Electron Boy Day. Afterward, Erik posed for the TV cameras, flexed his muscles and spent some time astride a Bellevue police motorcycle.

"He's over the moon," said Foote. "This is definitely beyond anything we thought it would be."

Watching her son run across the plaza in front of the Space Needle, mom Judy Martin said Erik goes to school when he's able, but is often too tired. "He hasn't had this much energy in a long time," she said. "They called it the power of the wish, and they're right."

Like any good superhero, Electron Boy kept his innermost thoughts to himself. But he did have one important thing to say:

"This is the best day of my life."

Katherine Long: 206-464-2219 or