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The Power of Teamwork – Seattle IT provides the digital infrastructure for the Seattle/King County Health Clinic  

The annual Seattle/King County Health Clinic runs through the weekend and ends Sunday, February 18. Held at the Seattle Center, this one-of-a-kind health clinic provides free dental, vision, and medical care to anyone in the region who struggles to afford or access health care. The event is truly a massive community endeavor. Over 90 organizations, including Seattle IT, donate their time and resources to this completely volunteer-driven event. 

photo of woman in knit hat with a dog laying by her side talking to a woman in a mask with a laptop.

Seattle IT has again provided the critical IT set-up, support, and consultation to connect all the necessary technology that enables a temporary healthcare facility to operate. The list includes everything from desktops and laptops for patient intake to medical testing and laboratory devices, translation services on rolling video screens that provide medically certified interpretation in hundreds of languages, if needed, and systems to monitor patient flow to ensure patients get through all the clinic’s steps. All temporary clinic IT infrastructure, including Wi-Fi, data activation, and cabling, is completed by Stephen Burke with assistance from the Government Services Device Support team. 

The full Seattle IT clinic team includes Stephen Burke, Clinic Subject Matter Expert IT Lead; Edward McClain, Clinic Technical IT Lead; Geramy Wong, Supervisor; Shawn Shelton, Supervisor; Michael Ford, Technician; Brandon Kipp, Technician; Rick Orstad, Technician and Eric Lee, Technician. 

photo of a big room with lots of medical beds and patients

Planning for Seattle IT’s support of the clinic starts at least 10 months out from the clinic date. Stephen and Edward work with clinic leadership to do lessons learned from past clinics and determine equipment, cabling, and infrastructure needs for the next event. Two or so months before the clinic, the team begins prep work to get ready for move-in day.  Then, during clinic week, the team has two days to get all the IT equipment set up in the three locations on the Seattle Center campus, McCaw Hall, Exhibition Hall, and Cornish Playhouse, before the medical technical staff come in for testing and training. 

Stephen Burke has been doing this work for 30-plus years. His institutional knowledge and know-how are integral to the clinic’s success. “I tell people this is the most important part of my job, the clinic, and it’s the most enjoyable too,” said Burke. 

photo of medical people in masks helping patients

This year, Seattle IT provided 30 Desktops and 45 Laptops, along with additional accessories such as barcode scanners and label makers. Document scanners and printers were set up, configured, and tested by device support staff. Stephen and Edward worked closely with medical volunteers and their technical teams to configure servers for the dental and medical x-ray machines. “If we’re doing our job correctly, they don’t think about IT,” said Burke. 

Since 2014, the clinic has seen 27,000 patients and provided more than $23 million in direct services to the community. Fueled entirely by volunteers, the Seattle/King County Clinic relies on thousands of individuals to carry out this enormous effort every year. 

photo of tv monitors with interpretation information on the screen

Another Seattle IT volunteer was Kim Flin, a strategic advisor in the Project Delivery division, who took two days off to work in the clinic. “2024 is the first year I was able to coordinate my schedule to volunteer. I’m so grateful to be a small part in this huge gift of healthcare goodness.”