Norman Primary Care Patient Story

Years ago, when Norman Evenson's in-laws were living in Oregon, their health began to fail. Their doctor recommended moving to the Seattle area where they could get their health care at Virginia Mason. They did just that. Norm credits the care they received with helping them live healthier lives for many more years.

Based on his in-laws' experience, Norm decided to make an appointment with a Virginia Mason primary care doctor in 1989 and has been with that doctor ever since. Norm, who is now retired, had relatively good health care with his employer at the time of his switch to Virginia Mason. But he's glad he made the change. "It was a good decision," he says. "My doctor has stayed on top of everything and kept me well."

In particular, Norm's doctor has helped him manage his weight and cholesterol levels. "If I have a specific problem, I know he will send me to the right specialist," says Norm, who was diagnosed several years ago with myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease that can cause muscle weakness.

The muscles around Norm's eyes were the most affected, and his Virginia Mason medical team sent him to a Virginia Mason neurologist with an international reputation in treating myasthenia gravis. That doctor prescribed medication that has helped stabilize Norm's condition, but he is still followed closely by his primary care physician. "He's a good listener and pays close attention to all aspects of my entire health," says Norm.

“My doctor has stayed on top of everything and kept me well.”

Over the years, other members of Norm's family have been cared for at Virginia Mason. His wife, Linda, was recently treated for cancer and two of his sons are also primary care patients. One son died many years ago due to an unknown heart condition. Norm's doctor helped him understand what happened and whether the condition might be a concern for him or others in his family.

Nowadays, Norm, 78, plays golf when he can and stays active looking after their 11-acre property in Duvall. He doesn't spend a lot of time thinking about his health because, he says, his Virginia Mason doctor is on top of things. "If there's something I don't think about, he has already thought of it and we address it before any problems arise," says Norm.