Reminder: UW Medicine Zoom Town Hall Today at 3 pm

Friendly reminder that today, Sept. 18, we will be gathering remotely for a UW Medicine Zoom Town Hall at 3 pm. Please join the webinar using this Zoom link. To dial in, see details below.

We will be talking about students coming back to school, testing, vaccines, child care and more. There is still time to send us your questions and we will work to address them as well.

We will record the discussion and post it on The Huddle for those who cannot attend. Please feel free to share the video. You can find recordings and transcripts of past meetings in the Zoom Town Hall Archive.

Thank you all for the outstanding care of our patients, their families and each other.



Trish Kritek, MD, EdM
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
UW School of Medicine

Timothy H. Dellit, MD
Chief Medical Officer, UW Medicine
President, UW Physicians


Join Today’s Zoom Town Hall

Zoom Link:

For higher quality, dial a number based on your current location:

Webinar ID: 887 116 941


UW Medicine Well-Being and Support

And then the smoke rolled in…

The challenges of this year don’t seem to let up and, for over a week, we have been stuck inside staring at a haze that just won’t blow away. It is as if the threats in the air that have caused anxiety for months have suddenly been made visible. With the loss of time outdoors, many of us have found our well-being coping strategies disrupted. We have also experienced what confinement indoors feels like with kiddos and family members at home all day. The challenges of this past week show us just how important it will be to develop strategies for facing the autumn and winter.

Peer and Mental Health Support: Many of our healthcare team members know how to be “fine” and white-knuckle their way through incredible challenges. We have been trained to be okay. Knowing how hard the stress, uncertainty and loss of control is on all of us now, we want to encourage you to seek out the supports around you. From a Peer Support session as you come off service or off a shift to a free supportive conversation with our Psychiatry clinician colleagues — we are here to help. We want to normalize the experience of stress and distress around us and encourage everyone in our community to connect with support now and in the darker, colder months to come. 

Several emergency medicine organizations have come together to name Sept. 17  National Physicians Suicide Awareness Day. The goal is to remind us how essential it is to create a space that is safe to talk about mental health and support each other as we acknowledge the impact our work can have. We know these emotions can affect all members of our community and strive to normalize these discussions. In addition to opening up to one another, we encourage folks to take advantage of our employee assistance program, UW CareLink, or if need is more pressing, to call the National Suicide Prevention hotline. It is okay to acknowledge just how hard this time is and to give and receive support now and into the future.

Town Halls: We will continue to gather as a community to share information and answer your questions during our Town Halls. Our next Town Hall will be Friday, Sept. 18 at 3 p.m.

Mindful Healthcare Summit (Oct. 1-5): Registration is now open for this FREE online event for medical professionals which will offer mindfulness, self-compassion and compassion practices for staying grounded, resilient and connected to our deeper inspiration during these challenging times. Leading neuroscience researchers, mindfulness experts and dedicated medical professionals will explore the science of mindfulness and teach evidence-based tools to support clinician well-being, improve patient care and foster mindful teams. Learn more about the speakers, or sign up for free here.

Caring for Self and Family: For the most up to date information on child and eldercare supports, please continue to check our central UW Human Resources page.

The winds will come and we will see the sun again. In these moments of darkness, please reach out and take good care of yourselves and each other.


With gratitude,

Anne Browning, PhD

Assistant Dean for Well-Being, UW School of Medicine

Founding Director, UW Resilience Lab

Affiliate Assistant Professor, UW College of Education


Patricia Kritek, MD, EdM

Associate Dean – Faculty Affairs

Professor - Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

University of Washington School of Medicin

Next UW Medicine Zoom Town Hall on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020

We will be coming back together as a community for our next UW Medicine Zoom Town Hall on Friday, Sept. 18, at 3 pm (Zoom link). Please take a moment to send us your questions in advance so we can address common themes. 

We will record the discussion and post it on The Huddle for those who cannot attend. You can find recordings and transcripts of past meetings in the archive.

Thank you all for taking great care of our patients and each other.



Trish Kritek, MD, EdM
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
UW School of Medicine

Timothy H. Dellit, MD
Chief Medical Officer, UW Medicine
President, UW Physicians

COVID-19 News Update for September 15, 2020

Data Snapshot 

UW Medicine Hospitals: 

COVID-19 Positive Inpatient Numbers Sept 15

King County: The county reported 63 new positive cases and 0 new deaths on Sept. 14. 

WashingtonThe state reported 80,138 cases and 2,006 deaths as of Sept. 13. 

United States: The CDC reports 6,537,627 cases and 194,092 deaths as of Sept. 15. 
Global: WHO reports 29,155,581 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 926,544 deaths as of Sept. 15. 

*Numbers update frequently, please follow links for most up-to-date numbers.

UW Medicine in the News

Business Insider: Some states have 'unintentionally' pursued a herd-immunity strategy to control the coronavirus, experts say — and it's kind of working 

Featuring: Trevor Bedford, Genome Sciences 

“A lion’s share of the infections and deaths during the US’s second coronavirus surge this summer were clustered in a handful of states that reopened quickly, including Arizona, Florida, and Texas. Since then, however, new cases in those states have subsided significantly, dropping almost to the levels reported before the summer wave. According to epidemiologist Trevor Bedford, this could be partially because so many people in those states have developed immune responses, so the virus now has more difficulty spreading. This, in essence, is a degree of herd immunity: the point at which enough people become immune to a virus to significantly limit its ability to spread. The safe way to gain herd immunity is through mass vaccination. The dangerous way is through mass infection, but that’s usually what people mean when they talk about a ‘herd immunity strategy’ in this pandemic.” 


Everyday Health: How to Prepare for the COVID-19 and Flu ‘Twindemic’ 

Featuring: John Lynch, Allergy & Infectious Diseases 

“Experts agree that individual behaviors can play a big role in reducing the risk of both COVID-19 and the flu, lowering the odds of a public health emergency this fall and winter. If you have questions about how to minimize your chances of getting sick with the flu or COVID-19 — or both — and want to do your part to help reduce the spread of these illnesses, keep reading. Should I Get a Flu Shot? ‘Getting the influenza shot is critical — it’s more important this year than ever,’ says John B. Lynch, MD, MPH, an associate professor in the division of allergy and infectious disease at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.” 


The Scientist: College Athletes Experienced Heart Damage After COVID-19 

Featuring: Jonathan Drezner, Sports Medicine 

“Myocarditis has been found in at least five Big Ten Conference athletes and among players in other conferences, two sources with knowledge of the situation tell ESPN. In addition, at least a dozen Power 5 schools have identified athletes with a post–COVID-19 myocardial injury, including asymptomatic patients. ‘Initially we thought if you didn’t have significant symptoms that you are probably at less risk,’ Matthew Martinez, director of sports cardiology for Atlantic Health System, tells ESPN. ‘We are now finding that that may not be true.’ The overall concern has ‘made the bar higher’ for returning to fall sports, Jonathan Drezner, director of the University of Washington Medicine Center for Sports Cardiology, tells ESPN. ‘It could be we don’t get there.”’ 

Tweet of the Week


Tweet of the Week Sept 15


Our Bodies Our Doctors Film Available for Streaming

Our Bodies Our Doctors directed by Jan Haaken (a UW alum), is an award-winning film featuring Sarah Prager, MD, a UW School of Medicine professor and the director of the Division of Family Planning in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The film screened at the 2019 Seattle International Film Festival and won multiple awards. Since then, the film has gone on to screen at multiple festivals and is now available on a variety of streaming services: Amazon PrimeiTunes, VUDU and Google Play.

Read the film review by Annie Kuo, director of marketing communications in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

New Recreational Therapy Program ReCreate Launches at Harborview Medical Center

Thanks to funding from an Emergency Support Grant awarded by the Neilsen Foundation, Harborview Medical Center’s Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Program is launching ReCreate, a virtual recreational therapy program to support spinal cord injury (SCI) patients during COVID-19.

Kristy Grant, CTRS/R, a recreational therapist, will lead weekly virtual recreation therapy sessions over a 10-week period, beginning in October. The sessions will be available through video chat and will focus on leisure activities that can be done at home, such as painting, photography, meditation, yoga and games.

All supplies needed for the activities, including adaptive equipment, will be provided before each session. Electronic devices with audio/video capability will also be provided if needed.

For more information, call 206.744.5052.

COVID-19 News Update for September 11, 2020

Data Snapshot 

UW Medicine Hospitals: 

COVID-19 Positive Inpatients Data Sept. 11 

King CountyThe county reported 126 new positive cases and 2 new deaths on Sept. 10. 

Washington: The state reported 78,467 cases and 1,985 deaths as of Sept. 9. 

United States: The CDC reports 6,343,562 cases and 190,262 deaths as of Sept. 10.

Global: WHO reports 27,973,127 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 905,426 deaths as of Sept. 11. 

*Numbers update frequently, please follow links for most up-to-date numbers.

UW Medicine in the News 

Health: This ER Doctor Says Her Hospital Was 'Treating COVID Patients Before We Knew We Were Treating COVID Patients'  

Featuring: Sachita Shah, Emergency Medicine 

“On January 21, the US announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19—a man from Washington state in his 30s who had developed symptoms after returning from a trip to Wuhan, China. Just over one month later, on February 29, officials reported the first confirmed coronavirus death again in Washington, this time near Seattle. Soon, Seattle became known as one of the epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic in the US, putting a strain on the hospital system there. ‘We were treating COVID patients before we even knew we were treating COVID patients,’ Sachita Shah, MD, an emergency physician Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, and associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Washington, tells Health. Dr. Shah began seeing patients come to the hospital with multifocal pneumonia—or pneumonia that affects multiple sections of the lung—in both lungs, but they didn't fit the initial profile of coronavirus patients. ‘They didn't really fit the criteria given to us of they haven't traveled to Italy so they couldn't have COVID,’ she says. ‘Very quickly we realized we were having local transmission just among people living in the community around Seattle.”’ 

AP: Return of football renews fears over more virus spread 

Featuring: Ali Mokdad, IHME 

“For football-obsessed fans, the start of the season is a relief after being cooped up for months — an opportunity to gather with friends at bars, go to games and tailgate parties or head to sportsbooks to place bets. Sportsbooks are expecting a record-breaking season in terms of the amount of money wagered, driven by a public that’s eager for action after months of lockdowns. And with each of these gatherings comes a greater health risk. For fans, watching football on TV can be done safely and is a welcome way ‘to go back to normal things in our lives that we love and enjoy,’ said Ali Mokdad, professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. For players, coaches and fans who venture into stadiums, a safe season hinges on what else people are willing to give up to lower the case numbers and control the level of community spread that could breed problems. ‘If we want to enjoy our football, we have to sacrifice, or let go of certain things we used to do before — such as bars and crowded restaurants and places like this where we know infection is more likely to happen,’ Mokdad said.” 

The News Tribune: Do neck gaiters provide adequate protection against COVID-19? 

Video Featuring: Mark Harrast, Sports Medicine , UW Medicine Newsroom 

“There has been controversy about whether neck gaiters provide sufficient coverage to prevent the spread of COVID-19. UW Medicine’s Dr. Mark Harrast, director of the Sports Medicine Center, and a runner, says any covering is better than none at all.” 

Tweet of the Week 

Tweet of the Week Sept 11

William Noble Will Serve as Acting Chair of the UW School of Medicine Department of Genome Sciences

William Noble, PhD, professor of Genome Sciences, will serve as acting chair of the UW School of Medicine Department of Genome Sciences during Stanley Fields', PhD, professor and chair of Genome Sciences, sabbatical. Effective Dec. 16, 2020, through Dec. 15, 2021. 

COVID-19 News Update for September 9, 2020

Data Snapshot

UW Medicine Hospitals: 

COVID-19 Positive Inpatients Sept. 8

King CountyThe county reported 56 new positive cases and 0 new deaths on Sept. 7. 

Washington: The state reported 77,545 cases and 1,953 deaths as of Sept. 6. 

United StatesThe CDC reports 6,310,663 cases and 189,147 deaths as of Sept. 9.

Global: WHO reports 27,486,960 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 894,983 deaths as of Sept. 9. 

*Numbers update frequently, please follow links for most up-to-date numbers.

UW Medicine in the News 

KUOW: Why it’s crucial that healthy people get a flu shot, especially this season 

Featuring: John Lynch, Allergy & Infectious Diseases 

“You have to remember that flu vaccinations are really one of the most powerful tools we have to prevent influenza from happening. A big challenge we're facing this year is that folks who may have influenza may look exactly like someone who has COVID-19. The same way the other direction. 

So, you can imagine how that could really complicate the evaluation of someone in a clinic or emergency department who has flu-like symptoms.” 


Eat This, Not That! Health: This One Thing Could Reduce Your COVID Risk by 75% 

Featuring: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) 

“Mask wearing has never been seen as more essential to stopping coronavirus from spreading. ‘A new long-term forecast predicts a significant increase in COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. by the new year,’ reports Bloomberg. ‘Under the latest projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington's School of Medicine, COVID-19 deaths could rise to 410,451 by the end of 2020. In a worst-case scenario, there could be 620,029 fatalities, according to the estimates.’ 

‘The difference between the projected and worst-case scenarios comes down to how diligent authorities are in mandating masks and social distancing, according to the report.”’ 


The Seattle Times: Youth sports amid COVID-19 pandemic: Some Washington teams hope for fall games, and others play on 

Featuring: Jonathan Drezner, Sports Medicine 

‘“I can tell you with certainty that small-group training in youth soccer — when it’s physically distanced and when everyone is following the safety and hygiene protocols — is safe,’ Drezner said. ‘We haven’t had any transmission from player to player or coach to player. … I think Seattle United has been a model youth program and has really been a leader in the community because of that.’ So far, most local soccer clubs are practicing only in their small-group pods; summer tournaments and games have been postponed or canceled. As fall approaches and as confirmed cases in the Puget Sound region seem to be slowly declining, club officials hope King County can move into Phase 3 in the near future, which could mean a return of scrimmages and games.” 


NBC News: U.S. closes in on grim pandemic milestone: the 200,000th COVID-19 death:  

Featuring: Christopher Murray, IHME 

“The United States is closing in fast on a number that was unthinkable when the first deaths from the coronavirus were reported back in February — the 200,000th pandemic fatality, NBC News figures showed Tuesday. There were 190,327 reported deaths out of more than 6.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to the latest numbers. Over the past seven days, one new COVID-19 death was being recorded every 106 seconds, according to an NBC News analysis. The silver lining? The pace at which the new coronavirus deaths were accumulating was somewhat slower than it was after the first week in August, when one person died of the coronavirus every 80 seconds over a seven-day period. 

And the states recording the largest increases in death rates over the last four weeks were not the biggest or most populous ones.” 

Tweet of the Week  


Tweet of the Week Sept. 9

UW Medicine Diabetes Institute Publishes Two Papers on the Brain’s Ability to Induce Diabetes Remission in Rodents

The UW Medicine Diabetes Institute recently published two companion papers in the Sept. 7 editions of Nature Communications and Nature Metabolism.

The papers describe the biology of the brains response to fibroblast growth factor 1, a protein that can restore blood sugar levels for weeks or months in rodents with Type 2 diabetes when surgically injected into their brains.

Michael Schwartz, MD, co-director of the UW Medicine Diabetes Institute, and Tunes Pers, MD, of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen in Denmark, are senior authors of the Nature Communications report. The lead authors from their labs are Marie Bentsen, PhD, and Dylan Rausch, a PhD student.

Kim Alonge, PhD, acting instructor in medicine at the UW School of Medicine, is the lead author of the paper published in Nature Metabolism, and Schwartz is the senior author.

Read more on the UW Medicine Newsroom.