COVID-19 Trusted Voices

 Dr. Elise Herman, KVH Pediatrics, joined other pediatric health care leaders for a panel discussion hosted by the American Hospital Association (AHA), American Academy of Pediatrics and Children’s Hospital Association. To learn more visit

“At the end of the day, no matter what your personal opinion is on masking, out of respect for healthcare workers and first responders and their families, we would ask you to please go ahead and take those precautions for the health of the whole community.”

Dr. Jie Casey, KVH Family Medicine – Ellensburg, KVH Women’s Health

“The problem isn’t just, ‘Oh, there’s going to be some elderly people. They might get sick and everyone else is going to be fine.’ The problem is that of the people we have seen with COVID-19 infection, it’s really difficult to determine who’s going to get really sick. Worse yet is not knowing who’s going to have long-term, potentially permanent, disabling symptoms.”

Dr. Jamin Feng, KVH Internal Medicine

“I do think we’re going to have an opportunity to celebrate when this is over. We should start to see the curve flatten because of the changes we’re making now. Or we can undo that by having our traditional Thanksgiving dinner.” (Read more)

Dr. Kevin Martin, Chief Medical Officer

“One of the peculiarities about COVID is that the bulk of people seem to have relatively mild symptoms. And then there’s a group of people with the same disease who have a horrible, severe illness. That’s the rub – a lot of people are walking around, unaware that they’re ill.”

Rob Merkel, PA-C, KVH Family Medicine – Cle Elum

“It’s easy to think, ‘I’m not going to get COVID. My family members aren’t going to get COVID,’ until a family member does get COVID. Family members around the country are dying every day because of this disease.
We need to take it seriously, wash our hands, cover our face and nose, and stay home. When we can’t stay in, keep six feet apart. It all matters and adds up to keeping the people we care about safe, keeping our community safe.”

Dr. John Merrill-Steskal, KVH Family Medicine – Ellensburg

“COVID is taking a toll on the patient care side of things. We’ve had staff out on quarantine, patients waiting longer for test results and medication refills when understaffed, adjusting to telemedicine. This just fuels the stress and anxiety that is already present with the pandemic. We have to support our patients and coworkers who may be having a particularly tough day.”

Julia Riel, PA-C, KVH Family Medicine – Ellensburg

“Wearing a mask is not about you. It’s about you protecting other people who can’t protect themselves, people who aren’t able to wear masks because of a health issue or because of a psychological issue. Do the best you can to set a good example for people around you.”

Dr. Annaliese Stone, KVH Family Medicine – Ellensburg

“If we are compelled to leave the house, whether it be going to the grocery store to pick up last minute fixings or to visit that elderly relative who really needs some personal contact over the holidays, it’s vitally important we remember that masking really does work, even though we were uncertain about it early on in this pandemic. It’s become increasingly clear that masking is the single easiest thing that we can all do every single day in order to keep those around us safe.”

Dr. Andrew Thomas, KVH Family Medicine – Cle Elum