The hospital celebrated 50 years of compassion and discovery in May 2009. A number of people wrote in to share memories of the hospital, or to pay tribute to its work in patient care, research, and teaching. Here are their offerings.

Having basked in the reflected glory of UW Medical Center for 16 years as UW president, I send my thanks and best wishes.

—Dr. William P. Gerberding, President, University of Washington (1979–1995)

It’s been almost 11 years since my head injury, and today I am perfectly fine, thanks to an incredible team of doctors at UWMC. Dr. Silbergeld [Daniel Silbergeld, Res. ’92], my neurosurgeon, is my hero.

I fell while snowboarding at Whistler on April 15, 1998, but didn’t go to the UWMC emergency room until May 16. I credit the doctors at UWMC for being so tuned in to my headache complaints, even when I said “no” the first time they asked me if I had fallen. Then, after the CT, I said, oh, yeah. I fell a month ago!

I had been bleeding into my brain for 30 days and had a subdural hematoma between my brain and skull — there was so much blood and pressure that my brain was pushed off center by several centimeters. Incredibly, I did not suffer any major brain damage thanks to immediate and skillful surgery.

I still snowboard, but with a helmet. And I’m always telling skiers and snowboarders about my accident. Maybe after Natasha Richardson’s tragic death, people will realize how important a helmet is — so, if you ski or snowboard…wear a helmet.

—Sandra Gardner

As a cardiology fellow, I performed the first heart catheterization in the UW Hospital!

—Werner E. Samson, M.D. ’53, Res. ’58, Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine

To my heroes at UW Medical Center/Harborview Medical Center: Dr. Ellenbogen, Dr. Snyder, Dr. Moe, Dr. Van Gelder, Dr. Eliza Sutton [Res. ’93, internal medicine], and their fabulous partners — Johnese Spisso and Debi Fritz — thank you!

—Connie H. Kravas, Ph.D., Vice President, University Advancement, University of Washington

We have been patients of family medicine since 1978, and are grateful to Dr. Sharon Dobie
[Res. ’89, family medicine], Dr. Bill Neighbor [M.D. ’79, Res. ’85, family medicine], Dr. Jonathan Drezner [Fel. ’00, family medicine], and all the medical and administrative staff who have cared about and for us for so long. We are equally indebted to Dr. Feeney in otolaryngology, Dr. Brentnall [Teri Brentnall, M.D. ’87], and Josephine at the DDC, Dr. Wang in dermatology, and Dr. Toop at the satellite eye clinic. Our special admiration goes to Pat Poulin, Irene, and Joy in community-based services, and to all the volunteers. But we received our greatest gift 24 years ago, when Dr. Tom Benedetti [M.D. ’73, MHA ’00], and Judy Wilson, coming off an eight-hour clinic shift, stayed with us for six more hours until our son was born.

—Roger, Penny, and Cameron Percy

Our 1959 class was the first class to graduate when UW Hospital opened in the spring of 1959. I was the first salaried medical intern on the service of Dr. Robert Williams. I worked up the second patient to be admitted, a young girl with lupus erythematosus.

—Roger E. Moe, M.D. ’59, Res. ’68, Emeritus Faculty

I want to thank all of the staff at the NICU for all their hard work and dedication to help our children. My son, Brian Naranjo, was a patient there six years ago, and thanks to all your hard work, he is here with us today. No words can express how grateful I am to have people like you guys.

—Erika Reynoso

A remembrance of: Dr. James Haviland, for facilitating three years of biological research in the U.S. Navy, Drs. Robert Williams and Robert Petersdorf, for a great medical education; Drs. George Aagaard and John Hogness [Res. ’51, internal medicine], for a great administrative medical education, and Dr. Julian Ansell, for a great urological surgery education.

—Kenneth N. Anderson, Sr., M.D. ’58, Res. ’62, Fel. ’62, Res. ’67, Emeritus Faculty

Thank you for 25 years of outstanding health care provided to the Angiulo family! We want to recognize and thank Dr. Mika Sinanan [Res. ’88, surgery], Dr. Tom Benedetti [M.D. ’73, MHA ’00], Dr. D. C. Dugdale [Res. ’87, internal medicine], Dr. Tom Payne [M.D. ’80], and Dr. Anne Eacker [M.D. ’97] for their exceptional quality care and service.

—John and Cindy Angiulo

In the 60s, on fine summer days, other residents and I would carry our lunches across the defunct-but-beautiful fairway and sit by the Montlake Cut to relax and dine.

—Forrest Darrough, M.D., Res. ’69

William “Bill” Wojciechowski remembers the address that former Dean of the School of Medicine George N. Aagaard gave at UW Medical Center’s 25th anniversary. In fact, he took notes.

Dr. Aagaard advised the following in his speech on 10 low-cost ways to a healthy and longer life:

  • Get or stay slender. Weight that is above the ideal is associated with high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, tumors, diabetes, and coronary problems.
  • Be physically active. Get some exercise — even a brisk walk several times a week.
  • Restrict salt. It contributes to hypertension, especially as we age.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking is the greatest contributor to a shortened life span.
  • Limit use of alcohol. Susceptability increases with age.
  • Avoid anger. Remember, only you can make yourself angry.
  • Replace anxiety with confidence. Most situations turn out better than expected.
  • Replace hurry with enjoyment. Enjoy each task. Learn to enjoy the mundane.
  • Laugh more. Learn to laugh at trouble — as we age, we’ll see plenty of it. Laughing is excellent therapy.
  • Do good, be helpful, be of service.