When the Seattle Seahawks kicked off the 2020 season, fans weren’t allowed to attend the game because of COVID-19. But to honor the healthcare providers on the frontlines of the pandemic, the football team made one small, COVID-safe exception. In partnership with Walmart, they invited anesthesiologist Eliot Fagley, MD, section head for Virginia Mason's Critical Care Unit, and his family to watch the game in person.
“It was an incredible honor to represent the critical care team and Virginia Mason as a whole,” Dr. Fagley says. “We have a remarkable team of dedicated physicians, nurses, technicians, therapists, and pharmacists. It was a real joy to have the opportunity to talk about the fantastic work they do every day, pandemic or otherwise.”
That’s just one of the many ways Walmart and the Seahawks have supported our organization this year: Walmart gave 100 gift cards to Virginia Mason team members and donated over 28,000 N95 masks. The Seahawks made a generous donation to our COVID-19 Response fund. They also invited Dr. Fagley to lead one of the Seahawks’ most sacred traditions: Raising the 12 flag at the beginning of the game. The team reserves this tradition, which celebrates Seahawks fans, to honor people who have made a significant contribution to the Seahawks and the Pacific Northwest.
For Dr. Fagley and his family — who are long-time Seahawks fans — being the only ones at the game was an unforgettable experience.
“At one point, my daughter yelled “DEFENSE!”, and about half of the Patriots’ bench turned around and looked up at us,” he says. “It was remarkable. The Seahawks were incredibly kind to us.”
Virginia Mason is proud of our long-term partnership with the Seahawks, and grateful for this celebration of our heroes on the frontlines.
“Dr. Fagley and his team embody what it means to be heroes,” said Jeff Richards, Seahawks Vice President of Marketing & Community Engagement. “We are thrilled to come together with Walmart to recognize Virginia Mason and Dr. Fagley’s tireless commitment and dedication to service when our region has needed it most.”