Joelle Thirsk-Fathi
Joelle Thirsk-Fathi, ARNP

Joelle Thirsk-Fathi, ARNP

Joelle Thirsk-Fathi, ARNP
  • Accepting Children: Unknown
  • Accepting New Patients: Yes
  • Accepting Medicare: Unknown
  • Accepting Medicaid/DSHS: Unknown
Insurance Accepted:

Contact this office for accepted insurance plans.

Medical School

Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Seattle University; Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: University of Washington; Master of Nursing: University of Washington

Board Certifications

Board Certifications: Adult Nurse Practitioner with American Nurses Credentialing Center; Critical Care Certification: Critical Care Consortium, Providence Medical Center; Advanced Cardiac Life Support

Louie BE, Farivar AS, Wagner O, Aye RW, Hopper P, Witmer K, Thirsk-Fathi J, Vallières E. "Should Robotic Thoracic Surgery Be Pursued? A case-control analysis of selected robotic versus laparoscopic/VATS procedures" (Abstract), The International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery. Washington DC. June 8, 2010.

Nicotine addiction and quitting smoking

The presence of tobacco dates back at least 8,000 years in the world’s history.  Throughout time, this plant was central to religious ceremonies, thought to have healing powers, delivered as gifts, traded for goods, and smoked by many.  As early as the mid 1700s tobacco was formally manufactured and distributed in the form of cigarettes.  Interestingly doctors were featured in promotional cigarette ads in the 1930s.  However, the ill effects of tobacco were identified long before this and Massachusetts state law banned smoking in public in 1632.

Nicotine is a stimulant and a very addictive substance contained in tobacco.  It is extremely easy to become addicted to nicotine.  With repeated exposure to the chemical, the brain’s nicotinic receptors crave more and drive the need to smoke at higher levels.  Nicotine is well known for its pleasurable physiological and psychological side effects.  These pleasurable side effects result in addiction to the substance and make it difficult to quit smoking, even when an individual is highly motivated to stop.  Tobacco companies have complicated this addiction by adding numerous other addictive chemicals that strengthen the difficulty in quitting, making cigarettes the most common form of chemical dependency in this country.

Use of cigarettes in the United States (U.S.) has dropped considerably since an all-time consumption high of 640 billion cigarettes in 1981.  Currently the U.S. consumption is about half that volume but smoking remains the leading cause of preventable illnesses and death in this country; attributing....

What’s New in Lung Cancer Screening?

For too long lung cancer has been detected too late to benefit from the most effective treatments.  Screening for lung cancer with Low Dose CT (LDCT) has been shown in large research trials to reverse this trend.  There is now cause for optimism that screening has the potential to change the negative statistics around lung cancer.

The current reality is that lung cancer related deaths in our country has surpassed those of prostate, breast, and colon cancers combined.  Although smokers are not the only people at risk for lung cancer they are at much higher risk than the average population.  In fact, if they have a smoking history of 1 pack per day for 30 years or more, are actively smoking or have quit in the last 15 years and are now 55 years old or older, they are considered in a higher risk group for developing lung cancer and would benefit from being screened to detect lung cancer early and at a treatable state.

The last decade has been pivotal in ....

Are you or someone you know at risk for lung cancer and should you be screened?

As lung cancer awareness month approaches us in November, we think about what lung cancer risk means to ourselves, friends, family members, and our patients. Many don’t know that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., far surpassing the rates of other cancers like breast, colon, and prostate.

What’s the risk of getting lung cancer?

The health risks from cigarette smoking are considerable and pose the largest risk for lung cancer; more than any other risk factors combined. Men who smoke are at 23 x the increased risk and women at 16 x the risk for lung cancer. This lung cancer risk is directly correlated with the concentration of (numbers of cigarettes smoked each day) X (number of years smoked).

Fortunately, the number of those who have quit smoking is growing, but sadly, more than half of all newly diagnosed lung cancers today are occurring in former smokers or non-smokers. People who have quit smoking remain at continued risk for lung cancer and there is also concern about lung cancer in second-hand smoke exposure.

The positive news on lung cancer is that two large multicenter research trials have been conducted in the past 12 years. The Swedish Cancer Institute was a major study site for one of these trials in association with Seattle Radiology. These trials have very clearly and consistently shown significant benefit in the early detection of lung cancer with low dose CT scan, reducing lung cancer mortality by 20%.

Who should be screened and how?

Understanding who is at risk for lung cancer is helpful but identifying...

Rib Fractures: Essentials of Management and Treatment Options

Rib fractures are the most common chest injury accounting for 10 to 15 percent of all traumatic injuries in the U.S. Nearly 300,000 people are seen each year for rib fractures and 7 percent of this population will require hospitalization for medical, pain, and/ or surgical management.

Rib fractures can cause serious complications including: bleeding in the chest (hemothorax), collapse of the lung (pneumothorax), or result in a fluid accumulation in the chest (pleural effusion), just to name a few. As well, rib fractures may contribute to the development of a lung infection or pneumonia. These problems are important to diagnose following chest trauma and even more importantly, when present, they need to be followed closely in the early post-traumatic period.

The most common symptom that people experience with rib fractures is....

Your Multidisciplinary Surgical Care Team

It can be overwhelming and confusing to have numerous professionals involved in your care when you undergo surgery. Your surgeon, also known as the “attending” surgeon, oversees your total care when you have surgery. In addition to your attending surgeon you will encounter many different people during your hospitalization who are invested in your care. The following is meant to familiarize you with professionals you may encounter during your hospital experience.

Your Surgical Team

Thoracic Surgeons, Fellows, and Residents

We take pride and are highly invested in teaching at Swedish. As part of this dedication to teaching we (the Thoracic Surgery team at Swedish) participate in an accredited training program for thoracic and esophageal “fellows”. Our fellows are surgeons seeking additional advanced surgical instruction in this specialized field of thoracic and esophageal surgery.

Swedish has a robust surgical residency training program which includes time spent on our service. There is always a senior surgical resident assigned to our team involved in the daily care of our patients.

During your hospitalization and follow-up care you will routinely encounter the attending surgeon, fellow, and resident daily. In the event that your attending surgeon is away, your care will be directed by one of our other thoracic surgical attending physicians.

Interventional Pulmonologist

Our Thoracic Surgery team also includes an airway specialist (Interventional Pulmonologist) who understands complex airway problems and specializes in advanced diagnostic and therapeutic techniques to treat patients with cancer, airway disorders, and pleural disease. This specialist collaborates closely with our Thoracic Surgery team, a team of medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists to improve the care of our patients.

Thoracic Surgery Nurses

Nurses at the bedside are integral in our care delivery during your hospitalization. We value the twenty-four hour expert care that our specially trained nurses offer and work closely with them to provide you a positive experience.

Thoracic Surgery Nurse Practitioners

Our team also includes two expert nurse practitioners. Nurse practitioners are nurses who have graduate level training in specific areas of adult and acute care medicine. These nurse practitioners work closely with the surgeons and nursing staff in your overall care management, educate you about your health condition(s), and work with you in managing health concerns following surgery. They facilitate your transition of care to home and support you in the early post-operative period.

Additional Support Professionals

We commonly call on the expertise and help of other health care professionals while you are in the hospital, such as:

Nutritionists

Many of our patients come to us in a compromised health state. We will often consult with our nutritionists for their recommendations and approaches to provide you with the nutritional support required to improve your nutritional state and support your recovery.

Physical and Occupational Therapists

Physical and occupational therapists are vital in the care of our patients. They provide assessments and recommendations for rehabilitation and work with us to restore your physical and functional capacity following surgery.

Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory therapists are also extraordinarily vital in the care of our patients. They work hard to assess and maintain pulmonary hygiene and optimize your breathing status following surgery.

We believe that by incorporating a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals into your surgical care we can offer you the continuity and quality of care that you deserve.

Do you have questions about multidisciplinary health care teams? Or, have you ever experienced multidisciplinary care teams? Please share your experiences and questions with us.

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Offices

Swedish Thoracic Surgery / First Hill
1101 Madison Street
Suite 900
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206-215-6800
Fax: 206-215-6801

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