UW Today

June 20, 2011

UW Medicine's Team Transplant runs with U.S. Health and Human Services leader

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department  of Health and Human Services, (right) took an early morning run in  Seward Park with UW Medicine's Team Transplant.

Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department  of Health and Human Services, had a busy day in Seattle on Saturday, June 11. She served as commencement speaker for the Class of 2011 at the University of Washington in the afternoon. And she started off her day in Seward Park with UW Medicine’s Team Transplant.

Team Transplant runs up to six miles every Saturday, and Alysun Deckert, the team’s founder, coach and a clinical nutrition manager at UW Medical Center (UWMC), knew that Secretary Sebelius might be up for joining the team after reading a recent profile in “Runner’s World” magazine.  Deckert is an experienced runner who has competed in U.S. Olympic marathon trials.

At least 20 transplant recipients, and a total group of 45 runners, ran with Secretary Sebelius and her staff on June 11.  Deckert said that the secretary ran up to five miles with the team, but had to cut the distance a bit short so that she could make a breakfast appointment.

UWMC Executive Director Steve Zieniewicz and Alysun Deckert, UWMC nutrition manager, share a light moment with Kathleen Sebelius in Seward Park.

UWMC Executive Director Steve Zieniewicz and Alysun Deckert, UWMC nutrition manager, share a light moment with Kathleen Sebelius in Seward Park.Tess Brown

She also oversees one of the largest civilian departments in the federal government, with nearly 80,000 employees. Sebelius was the second female governor of Kansas from 2003 to 2009, and was the first daughter of a governor to be elected governor in American history.