Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cardiac Survivor Celebrates Paramedics Who Came to Her Aid

Last February, Bellevue resident Heather Kelley was on her way to the Seahawks' Super Bowl celebration at CenturyLink Field when her heart stopped. Yesterday, after nearly six months, Kelley was reunited with her paramedic rescuers for the first time during Seahawks training camp at Virginia Mason Athletic Center (VMAC).

Kelley and her two daughters were among the estimated 700,000 Seahawks fans who flooded downtown Seattle to celebrate the return of the newly minted Super Bowl champions on Feb. 5, 2014, but the trio never got the chance to celebrate with the team and their fellow 12s.  Just outside CenturyLink field, Heather collapsed from a sudden cardiac arrest. Her two daughters immediately took action - 14-year-old Taylor called 911 and 15-year-old Ryan began performing CPR. When Paramedics arrived, they had to shock Heather's heart three times before getting a heartbeat. She was transported to Swedish Hospital where she later had a defibrillator implanted to help start her heart, should it suddenly stop again in the future. 

My near-death experience has deepened my sense of gratitude,” Kelley said. “I will never see a Medic One vehicle again without remembering that they saved my life and allowed me to continue being a mom to my beautiful daughters.”

Yesterday, Kelley, her husband and her two daughters reunited with first responders including Christina Dixon (pictured with Heather Kelley, left) and David Van Velthuyzen, the two paramedics who restarted Kelley’s heart. The family also got the chance to spend time with the team they were hoping to celebrate last February, attending training camp and meeting Seahawks defensive end Greg Scruggs.

“We’re proud of Heather’s daughters and the first responders who helped bring her back,” said Jan Sprake, executive director of the Medic One Foundation. “Our region has achieved a cardiac arrest survival rate of 62 percent thanks to our strong paramedic teams and the training at their disposal, but surviving a cardiac arrest all starts with the community and their steps to first activate Medic One and initiate CPR until our teams can arrive.”

Thanks to research and training funded by the Medic One Foundation, King County boasts the nation’s highest survival rate for witnessed sudden cardiac arrest.  Heather's oldest daughter, Ryan, learned in school that CPR cannot hurt someone, it can only help them.  In an interview yesterday, Ryan explained this knowledge gave her the confidence to perform CPR that fateful day in February - a choice that played an instrumental role in saving her mother's life.  Research that supports the development of educational programs like the one at Ryan Kelley's school is funded in large part by the Medic One Foundation, a local non-profit organization that ensures the quality of our region’s pre-hospital emergency care. 

The Medic One Foundation also funds paramedic training programs for first responders in the Pacific Northwest region.  The UW Paramedic Training program is among the best in the country, requiring 2,500 hours of instruction from University of Washington physicians - more than twice the number of hours required by most programs. Each student also averages 700 patient contacts during training, a number more than three times the national average.

To donate to the Medic One Foundation and support a lifesaving organization, click here.

Local media was on site to capture the Kelley family's emotional reunion with the paramedics who saved Heather's life - check out more coverage of this amazing story through the links below!


Women Take Control of Breast Health at Overlake Mammo Party

Overlake Medical Center hosted a group of women at a mammography party on Thursday, July 10th. Overlake offers mammography parties to encourage women to receive annual mammograms. While most women consider annual mammogram screenings to be an unpleasant chore, mammography parties make the patient experience one women can look forward to.

Each mammography party includes a spa-like environment for a group of women (family and friends invited by the hostess) to join together so they may relax and enjoy wine and cheese or tea and cookies while at the same time receiving their annual screening mammogram.

Early detection is critical to long term breast health and is vital to the successful treatment of breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. Statistics indicate that one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. If detected early, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 97 percent. Women over age 40 should have a mammogram every year, and women between the ages of 20 and 39 should have a mammogram every three years.

Overlake is pleased to offer the best technology for its patients, 3D Digital Mammography-a breakthrough technology poised to revolutionize how breast cancer is detected today. Overlake chose this breast imaging system based on its excellent image quality and patient safety. The ergonomic design ensures a more comfortable experience for patients. The diagnostic tool also supports more confident diagnoses by radiologists, saving valuable time, reducing the need for follow-up imaging and allowing patients to get answers faster.

In order to be a hostess or an attendee of a mammography party you must be at least 40 years of age and have no current symptoms (no lumps, bumps, pain, etc).

To schedule a party call (425) 688-5985 and one of Overlake's mammography coordinators will be happy to schedule your party. The hostess will be able to schedule the time and location most convenient for the party members. The coordinator will need the name and telephone number of each of the guests so she may call and obtain pertinent health and insurance information.

For more information, please visit

Thursday, July 17, 2014

New WGU Washington Scholarship Helps Local Students Earn Master's Degrees in Business

WGU Washington is offering a $2,000 scholarship to professionals looking to continue their education and professional development in business. The Master's Degree in Business Scholarship is designed for new WGU Washington students working toward a business-related master's degree. 

"In business, a master's degree can provide a foundation for career advancement," said Brian Stading, president of Centurylink's northwest region. "WGU Washington has proven to provide graduates with the knowledge and skills to succeed, and that's exactly what top employers are looking for in today's environment."

"WGU Washington's flexible model is ideal for busy, working adults interested in advancing in their careers," said WGU Washington Chancellor Jean Floten. "Our affordable, flat-rate tuition is already a good value, but these scholarships will go a long way to helping recipients earn a high-quality, university degree." 

The Master's Degree in Business Scholarship is competitive, a student needs to go through a series of steps and meet certain requirements in order to qualify. Applicants must submit an application for admission and be accepted to the university, submit their previous transcripts and complete an interview with a scholarship counselor. Eligible applicants must be newly enrolled in, or in the admissions process for, one of the following programs:
  • Master of Business Administration
  • MBA Information Technology Management
  • MBA Healthcare Management
  • M.S. Management and Leadership
  • M.S. Accounting
The five master's degrees in business were created for working adults looking to further their education in a way that fits with their lives. The state-endorsed, online university uses technology that allows students to study, complete assignments and take exams on their own time and at their own pace. 

The scholarship provides $500 per six-month term for as many as four terms, up to a $2,000 total value. Scholarships will be awarded based on, among other considerations, the student’s academic record, readiness for online study and current competency. The application deadline is Oct. 31, 2014.  

Click here for more information about the Master's in Business Scholarship.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sclater Architects share insights on Bellevue Collection Expansion

On Thursday, June 26, Alan Sclater and Craig Kasman of Sclater Architects gave a tour of the entire Bellevue Collection. Downtown Bellevue currently has eight major projects under construction, including the Lincoln Square expansion that broke ground on June 11. Many cannot imagine Bellevue being anything but the urban hub that it is today. However, in the 1940s, what is now the city’s downtown core was used as farmland. Sclater Architects work on the Bellevue Collection has been a major catalyst in the areas transformation from rural land to metropolitan hub. 

During the walk, Sclater said that he never anticipated how big the Bellevue Collection would become. The Lincoln Square expansion is an exciting project for Sclater. One of the towers will include a 244-room hotel and 250 high-end apartments, while the second tower will house 700,000 square feet of office space and 177,000 square feet of retail. The expansion will encompass a total of 1.5 million square feet. 

Citing the fact Kemper Development Company (which oversees much of the development in downtown Bellevue) likes tenants who are “unique and special,” Sclater said the new retail tower will host more luxury stores.

 According to an article in 425 magazine, those who are curious to see what the expansion will look like upon its completion can visit The Studio, a high-tech sales office where state-of-the-art monitors and precise 3-D models illustrate what the Collection and downtown Bellevue will look like when it is finished. 

"We never thought it would get this big," Sclater said during the tour. "When we first started, we just wanted to build out to the street, just wanted to build an urban environment."

For more in depth looks at Sclater Architects’ expansion of Bellevue, check out these articles: