Knowing the Signs of Stroke Improves Outcomes, Saves Lives

Many of us have heard the phrase “time is brain” referring to the aftermath of a stroke. The most common type of stroke occurs when an artery in the brain becomes blocked, cutting off the flow of blood and oxygen to part of the brain. After a stroke, … [Read more...]

Worth the Distance: Advanced Cancer Treatment Helps Alaska Man After Just One Infusion

**By Hagen F. Kennecke, MD, MHA, FRCPC The day after Christmas in 2016 brought unwelcome news for Wasilla, AK resident Josh McCool. McCool, then 26, was diagnosed with a rare tumor of his adrenal gland, called a pheochromocytoma … [Read more...]

Staying Ahead of Heart Failure: Janet’s Story

To see Janet Henry now, as a successful Human Resources executive for an international chain of stores, and gracious hostess who loves to entertain, it’s hard to realize all she has been through. In the space of one year, she experienced serious … [Read more...]

Exciting Developments for Pancreatic Cancer Care

**By Flavio G. Rocha, MD** After successful treatment for pancreatic cancer, one of our patients shared her story. Life after cancer is not normal, she said, it’s better than that. She talked of being inspired by the dedication of the Virginia Mason … [Read more...]

Watchman Device Potential Alternative to Blood Thinners

People with atrial fibrillation – an abnormal, irregular heart rate – are at increased risk of stroke due to blood clots. The abnormal rhythm may cause blood to pool and form clots, mainly in a small chamber of the heart known as the left atrial … [Read more...]

Transgender Health Care at Virginia Mason: Providers are ‘Driven to Do This Work’

Longtime Virginia Mason patient Samantha Forney and the nurse caring for her sat down to talk. The nurse had made a mistake by referring to Samantha, who is a transgender woman, with male pronouns. Samantha saw an opportunity for teaching, with a … [Read more...]

Cryoablation: New Hope for a Heart Out of Sync

Imagine you are speaking to a large audience when your heart suddenly starts fluttering and racing. You have to finish your talk without letting anyone know about the symptoms you are experiencing. Sounds like a nightmare, but this was Jon … [Read more...]

The Down Syndrome Program: A Supportive Medical Home for Families

When pediatrician Rebecca Partridge and her family moved to the Seattle area in 2008, finding a doctor for her son who has Down syndrome topped her list. But she was in for a surprise: no primary care Down syndrome program existed. Dr. Partridge got … [Read more...]

New Heart Valve Possible for More Patients with TAVR

**By Moses Mathur, MD, MSc, FACC** Less than a decade ago, replacing the aortic valve required open-heart surgery and involved a long recovery. Then in 2002, the first transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) was performed in France – a … [Read more...]

The ABCs of RA: What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

**By Amish Dave, MD, MPH** What is rheumatoid arthritis?  Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the joints that, according to the Arthritis Foundation, affects more than 1.3 million Americans. It is a common autoimmune … [Read more...]