COVID-19 personal statement
I have spent my life caring for the communities in Washington state. Patients entrust me with their lives and there is no greater responsibility or privilege.
My career in healthcare began while in high school as a nursing assistant in pediatric endocrinology. Next was as an emergency room technician which grew to a vibrant career in nursing. I then expanded to the role of nursing supervisor, and ended in present day as an advanced practice nurse practitioner and small business owner.
I would have never anticipated we would be presented with a crisis so large that I would feel compelled to pursue a different path in attempt to protect my family, friends, community, state and country. The notion I would need to pull myself from the bedside of my patients and into the congressional arena in order to protect health, prosperity, and constitutional rights for future generations was shocking but fast moving.
COVID-19 has left us with more questions than answers and has threatened the health of Washington, as well as the nation on many fronts. I have a deep appreciation for the providers, scientists, epidemiologists, and policy makers who are struggling to keep America intact. Despite best efforts we are failing. Failing to do what we in healthcare do best; critically examine all the evidence, weigh every treatment option in a risk benefit capacity, provide informed consent of treatment to Washington and create a legitimate path forward. We have strayed from civil liberty and constitutional right. We have neglected to address the risk associated with the assumption of cure and provide our citizens with choices. We have silenced the voices of both healthcare and fellow citizens with implication that those who question new or discrepant data lack compassion for fellow man. We have decreed that if we change course as data evolves, that we do so out of political motivation, and at risk of peril of our fellow man/woman.
America is becoming further divided. Deaths to suicide, drug and alcohol overdose, domestic abuse, lack of access to preventative care, mental health, and fear of seeking care are not being addressed despite anticipated mortality prediction for these deaths will rival that of current pandemic mortality. Data that does not fit the initial narrative is suppressed or dismissed. The economy is collapsing. Civil liberties and constitutional rights being threatened. The interdependence of physical health, community health, and economic health have forever been altered, and we need a plan that considers any and all data with critical review and without political bias. We need to freely, publicly, and scholarly debate any and all risk and benefit of both prevention and cure. We need transparency that empowers the people of Washington and America to make informed decisions regarding the future of their elders, themselves, and their children.
While I am in no means a traditional politician, I have always been a patient advocate, initially as a nurse and now as a nurse practitioner. I’ve scoured research for hours and days regarding a complex problem. I’ve considered any possibility, followed any lead, without bias. I’ve created plans of care that are safe, efficacious and congruent with my patients’ beliefs and values.
Washington has a choice, America has a choice. If we lose our voice, our right to choice, we risk loss of all aspects of health, liberty, and the pursuit of individual determination of happiness. There is hope, and as I see hope I strive to do my part in maintaining that hope for my children, as well as yours.