A Photo Ode to Harborview

This week I have been immersed in both the history and present state of the health care safety net in my home town of Seattle, especially as it is ’embodied’ (or ’em-building-bodied’) by Harborview Hospital/Medical Center.

Harborview is the largest hospital provider of charity care in Washington State. It serves as the only Level 1 adult and pediatric trauma and burn center, not only for Washington State, but also for Alaska, Montana, and Idaho, a landmass close to 250,000 square kilometers with a total population of ten million people. In addition, Harborview provides free, professional medical interpreter services in over 80 languages, and has the innovative Community House Calls Program, a nurse-run program providing cultural mediation and advocacy for the area’s growing refugee and immigrant populations.

Here is my photo–simple ode–to Harborview and its adjacent Harbor View Park:

Behold, the shining beacon on the hill,

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Rising from marshland’s King County Poor Farm,

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Stalwart Sisters of Providence did till,

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Shielding paupers, ill and homeless from harm;

Then, to separate church from state, we care,

‘Above the brightness of the sun: Service,’

Proclaimed the poster on opening day;

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Now, our common humanity declare

Responsibility to resurface,

Embrace compassion for all, we say.

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