Providence from the eyes of a 12 year old

I always appreciate it whenever people take the time to write to me about their experiences with Providence. But every now and then, I’ll get a letter that stands out above the rest. That was the case with one I recently received from 12-year-old Niko Johnson.


It wasn’t just the fact that he hand wrote his letter on loose leaf paper that caught me eye. It’s that his sentiment was so genuine and offered the kind of perspective that only comes from kids.

After getting the letter, we invited Niko and his sixth grade class to tour our outpatient center in Monroe, Wash. While he was visiting, we pulled together a short video, so you can meet him and hear his story. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch it. It truly embodies what we do at Providence every day. A special thank you to the team in Northwest Washington for taking such great care of Niko’s grandfather and family.


  1. What an amazing young man. He really thought about who to write his letter to and chose someone that impacted his life. I’m proud to be affiliated with this wonderful organization.

  2. It feels so good to be a part of my Providence family. I felt that I was at the dinner table listening to good things happening while you told your story Dr. Hochman.

  3. This video is excellent, and really brings Niko’s story to life. Even though his letter is pictured in the video, it would be interesting to read the whole letter if it could be posted (assuming Niko would not mind).

  4. Reading this story, brings to mind my family’s experience regarding my father. In 2009, my father was hsopitalized at Providence St. Vincents a number of times and the care that he received, especially in CICU was amazing. The compassion and kindness, made all the difference when dealing with the stress of the situation and the decisions needing to be made. When my father got to a point where nothing could really be done medically, I remember making a comment,almost under my breath, saying “I think he would really rather be home”. My father was from Scotland and his culture, and upbringing led him to believe that people are at home and family tend to them if they are ill. Well no sooner did I make that comment, the wheels were in motion to get him home. They were so caring and supportive and handled everything for my family I will never forget this experience. Little did I know that I would go to work for Providence shortly after. I carry this experience, as well many others gained from working with the people of Providence, with me every day.

  5. A tremendous and moving story. It’s an honor to be part of an organization that has so deeply woven compassion and service into care. Sister Susanne Hartung shared a reflection today on “complete love,” which reminds me of this family’s story. In her words, “There is so much living to do with our family and friends.” Here at Providence, we understand that life principle. Each day we are all working to support and care for those we serve so that they can have moments like those captured on this video. (Kudos to those involved in making the video – it is excellent quality!)

    • Louise
      Your comments capture what it means to come to work at Providence. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Rod

  6. Nikko story was fantastic. Seeing the video you can tell he gets his compassion from his grandfather. Hearing these stories confirms why i do what i do, working in healthcare for 28 years. Everything we do affects the patient AND the family.

    Thank you Nikko for taking a few minutes to write your letter, we all appreciate it.

  7. Such a beautiful story. Niko seems like a charming young man who adores his grandfather. I am so pleased to be associated with an organization that goes the extra distance in caring not only for our patients, but also the people who are important to our patients.

  8. I just loved watching this unfold when the letter came into us, assisting Joel in sending the responses back out as well as seeing the news story on King 5. What a great kid and a great organization to be a part of!

    • Kimberly
      I agree!! Rod

  9. What a wonderful story!