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Caring for the first COVID-19 patient

  • Season: Season 2
  • Posted On:
  • Featuring: Sean Collins, Robin Addison, & Andrea "Andi" Leighty

In January 2020 a man was admitted to the Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Wash. and became the first COVID+ patient in the United States. We talk with two of his nurses about his care and the value of being prepared. Also: to mark the end of Black History Month, we listen to an excerpt from a powerful conversation we first brought you in June 2020, "I see you. I hear you. And I ache for you."


Robin Addison is a nurse in the emergency department at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett. She's also the clinical coordinator for the BEST team — the biocontainment, evaluation, and specialty treatment team, the people charged with caring for patients with what they call a "high consequence infectious disease." 

In January of 2020, Robin and her colleague Andrea Leighty were called back into work one night to take care of a man who was being admitted to the hospital. But this wasn't just any man. He was the first person in the United States to have a documented case of COVID-19.

That's when Robin and Andi learned that all of their training paid off.

Robin Addison, RN, BSN, CEN, TCRN, NHDP-BC

Clinical Coordinator BEST Team

Emergency Department

Providence Regional Medical Center

Everett, Wash.

Andrea Leighty, MSN, RN, CEN

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Emergency Department

Providence Regional Medical Center

Everett, Wash.

This is the second in a series of occasional episodes about nursing that will continue throughout the year as WHO extends the Year of the Nurse & Midwife in 2021.

Also in this series: 

The Voices of Nurses

Nurses & Self-care