I recently spoke with Dr. Michele Arnold, chief medical officer at Swedish Issaquah and Issaquah Highlands resident. Like many of our neighbors, our staff and board at Highlands Council have been thinking about our healthcare heroes at Swedish Issaquah. To express gratitude for their bravery and dedication on our community’s behalf, Highlands Council, the Issaquah Highlands Community Association, and Highlands Fiber Network co-funded the “Thank You #HealthcareHeroes” banner currently on display on the pedestrian bridge above Highlands Drive.
In our chat, I asked Dr. Arnold how the Swedish staff is holding up, what the hospital census is in terms of COVID-19 patients, and when we might expect to see vaccines available right here in Issaquah.
According to Dr. Arnold, the most important thing we can do to support our healthcare heroes is to follow public health guidelines: avoid gatherings, stay socially distanced, wash hands, and wear a mask. Dr. Arnold stresses Swedish does not want to see you as a COVID-19 patient; however, she promises the highest level of care if you are admitted.
Her message is filled with gratitude to this community, hope for a healthier future, and a call to action for anyone with time to volunteer at vaccination distribution locations.
Christy Garrard is executive director of Highlands Council and a Dahlia Park resident.