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SEATTLE, Wash. - (Aug. 20, 2007) - Hundreds of people from Federal Way and the surrounding area will join Virginia Mason Federal Way Pediatrics providers and staff in wishing Jon Almquist, MD, well at his retirement party Sept. 9 at the Federal Way Community Center from 1 to 4 p.m.

"I'm looking forward to retirement and enjoying time with my wife, Patty, but it will be incredibly difficult to say goodbye to my patients. Each and every one of them inspires me in memorable ways," said Dr. Almquist, who has been described by a patient as the "child whisperer."

"Dr. Jon is remarkable with kids. I would often find him sitting on the floor, getting on their level and laughing contagiously with his patients," said Eileen Dupras, a clinical services representative at Virginia Mason Federal Way Pediatrics.

Federal Way resident Maria Nelson was a patient of Dr. Almquist's since she was 3 months old. She remembers the calming influence he had on her and her three sisters. Now as a mother of four boys, Nelson has appreciated Dr. Almquist for the high-quality care he provides her children. "As a child, he always made you feel like the most special, perfect kid," said Nelson. "He made you feel safe."

Dr. Almquist joined Virginia Mason Federal Way Pediatrics in 1987 to continue his long-standing pediatric practice in the community. He received the prestigious Virginia Mason James Tate Mason Award for Outstanding Physician in 2002. The award is presented annually to a physician who best exemplifies Virginia Mason's commitment to professional excellence, patient service, medical leadership, innovation, teamwork and personal values.

"Dr. Almquist is the kind of physician we all dream of being. He has been an amazing teacher and mentor to me and scores of other pediatricians throughout the country," said Gordon Naylor, MD, a fellow pediatrician at Virginia Mason Federal Way Pediatrics. "In everything Jon does, his first priority has always been to give the very highest quality of care to the patient. I will greatly miss working alongside him."

Pediatrician Jenny Vengalil, MD, was recently hired and will begin seeing patients at Virginia Mason Federal Way Pediatrics beginning Sept. 4. She will see many of Dr. Almquist's patients, as well as accept new patients.

Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit comprehensive regional health care system that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 400 physicians with a 336-bed acute care hospital in Seattle. In addition, Virginia Mason has a network of clinics located throughout the Puget Sound area, and manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and adult day health program for people living with HIV and AIDS. Virginia Mason also has an internationally recognized research center, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason. For more information, please visit VirginiaMason.org.

Contact:  
Alisha Mark
Media Relations
(206) 341-1509

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