Providence nurse recognized for treating first US COVID patient

Jordan Hansen

A Washington-based Providence nurse who served as part of the care team that treated the first U.S. COVID-19 patient was nationally recognized on Thursday.

Sarah Wilkerson, Montana’s regional director of infection prevention, was honored by the Alliance for Health Policy for her work treating the first U.S. COVID patient at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington, nearly two years ago. She was honored alongside individuals who helped develop the vaccine and care treatments, as well as community health care providers.

Wilkerson has been a nurse for 11 years and started her career in the operating room. She completed her master’s degree in nursing at the University of Washington. She also co-authored an article in the New England Journal of Medicine regarding the first American COVID case.

Liz Hall, a board member of the Alliance for Health Policy, asked Wilkerson about that first case during a teleconference Thursday.

“I remember vividly the moment, I think I always will. I got a call as I was headed to bed on that Monday evening from our hospital administration and they had been notified by local public health that the first confirmed novel coronavirus case in the United States was in our county,”

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