Skip to main content

The Atienza family has worked at UW Medicine for three generations. This is their story, as told by Ian Atienza.

Since 1960, Northwest Hospital (now UW Medical Center – Northwest) has cared for families in the Seattle community for generations. In the late ’70s, my family became part of that community. Starting in 1979, my grandfather Ariston Atienza immigrated from the Philippines and began working as a housekeeper at the old Northwest Hospital. In 1986 he later transferred to the present-day Northwest campus where he was joined by my uncle Lito (Food and Nutrition), auntie Daisy (Environmental Services) and my father Vicente (Environmental Services).  

Ariston Atienza (Grandfather/Lolo), 1979 – 1989 Environmental Services, First Generation Filipino-American

Joselito “Lito” Atienza (Uncle/Tito), 1986 – Present Food and Nutrition Services, First Generation Filipino-American

Daisy Ogalino (Aunt/Tita), 1987 – 2013 Environmental Services, First Generation Filipino-American

In the following years, my family continued to work at the hospital, a hospital they would call home. The Childbirth Center became a mainstay as our family grew. I was born here at the Northwest campus and recall many memories as a child spending time with family and other hospital staff. Growing up, my dad would introduce me to literally everyone, and everyone took the time to welcome and get to know me. I knew early on that the Northwest campus was a special place, a rare place where everyone felt like they mattered. It truly felt like one big family.

Left to right: Ian Atienza, 2009 – Present Emergency Department Nurse, Second Generation Filipino-American and Vicente Atienza (Father/Tatay), 1987 – 2019 Environmental Services, First Generation Filipino-American

Fast forward to the 2000s when my brother Chris began to work at the hospital in several capacities, namely in the lab as a phlebotomist. In 2020 my brother Mark joined the hospital’s Environmental Services and Dietary Services to help bolster the workforce during the pandemic. I began my own journey as a volunteer in 2009. Thanks to the culture that was set before me, I was guided into the nurse and person that I am today.

Chris Atienza (Brother/Kuya), 2003-2016 Laboratory Services, First Generation Filipino-American

Mark Atienza (Brother/Kuya): 2020-2022 Environmental Services and Food and Nutrition Services, First Generation Filipino-American

I am blessed and humbled by the opportunity of continuing to serve our community through a path that was paved for me by previous generations — generations of individuals who poured their heart and soul into the community that also took care of them.

Guest Writer: Ian Atienza, BSN, RN, Emergency Department at UW Medical Center – Northwest. 

Editor’s note: Article lightly edited for length, clarity and style.