Our August staff spotlight is on Krista Forsyth Fisher, administrative and communications specialist in the Division of Nephrology.
Krista joined the division in 2014 as an administrative coordinator and then moved into the roles of executive assistant to the division head, administrative specialist, and communications specialist. Since July of 2021, she has also taken on communications for the Division of Gastroenterology.
“The Department of Medicine is known for its inclusive and supportive culture. There are many opportunities to share resources among the divisions, which provides numerous routes for staffers to grow and develop. The Core Competency series is a good example. It is an educational meeting where we learn what others are doing within the department and how the pieces fit together through patient care, education and research.”
In her current role in Nephrology, she facilitates the resident and medical student rotations, the faculty in-patient service schedules, and assists with faculty education. In her communications roles, she manages websites with a focus on updates and news regarding both the faculty and the fellows, as well as notices about publications and research highlights.
“I love being in an academic setting where the environment is inherently stimulating,” she says. “And I feel very fortunate to be in the Division of Nephrology. The faculty and staff are amazingly talented and supportive and we all sincerely want to help each other.”
"Krista is a great asset to the department," said Amy Fields, director of communications. "Nephrology was the first division website roll-out and she had a key role in that. She has helped with training and sharing best practices with the other divisions on our web framework. The web and communications team values her partnership, collaboration, and positive attitude!"
Krista is from Anacortes, Washington, “The Gateway to the San Juan Islands”. She says it was an idyllic place to grow up. Her first job was picking strawberries in the Skagit Valley every summer during elementary school with her sister and all of their friends. They also worked in the tulip fields digging up bulbs. She still has family there and enjoys visiting whenever she can.
With a passion for and background in art, she graduated cum laude with two degrees from the University of Washington Art School: a BA in Studio Art and a BFA in Sculpture.
School was an exciting and challenging experience. I studied under renown faculty who were passionate about teaching, and the sculpture program was physically demanding, which I liked. Casting bronze in the school’s foundry is something I will never forget. You need to be strong and able to stand the heat! During that time, I also got married and we had our first child. I would bring the baby with me to the Ceramics & Metal Arts Building in his car seat carrier when I was working on projects after class.
Her past jobs have run the gamut from pastry chef at the infamous B&O Espresso on Capitol Hill (now sadly gone), a summer in Alaska on a fish processing boat (16-hour shifts, 7 days a week), stints at Nordstrom, and Fredrick and Nelson (also sadly gone), and an administrative position in downtown Seattle where she first met her husband.
Krista and her husband have been married for 28 years and have three children. Their oldest son is a bioengineer with two biotech startup companies, their middle son is a software engineer for a company that is contracted to Nintendo, and their daughter is an incoming senior at Western Washington University studying literature and creative writing.
We also have a 12-½ year old rescue dog named Tulio that we think is part Golden Retriever and part American Staffordshire Terrier. We adopted him when he was only 3 or 4 months old. He is our honorary 4th child!
In her free time, Krista enjoys making art, hiking, yoga, dining out, watching movies, attending live music and theatre events, visiting art museums, and traveling.
She also has a motorcycle endorsement on her driver’s license. “A couple of years ago I rented and rode a Harley Davidson to Leavenworth, WA across the North Cascades Highway just to eat lunch, then rode back to Seattle,” she said.
Krista says she feels lucky to have been able to stay home with her kids when they were young – volunteering at their schools and enjoying quality time with them – before eventually joining the workforce.
While being a stay-at-home mom was both rewarding and challenging, I feel so grateful to have reconnected with the same university where I earned my degrees. It is as if life has come full circle. One moment I had my eldest in his car seat at the foundry and the next moment he is a UW-educated bioengineer and entrepreneur. The UW has impacted the lives of our entire family. It is a community that I highly value and find both supportive and enlightening.