Patricia Murphy | KUOW News and Information

Patricia Murphy

Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 2000

Patricia Murphy is a feature reporter for KUOW. Patricia is part of two collaborative projects focusing on military and veterans.  The American Homefront Project is a partnership between public radio stations KUOW, WUNC, KPCC and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Back at Base is a collaboration between National Public Radio and seven member stations including KUOW.  

Patricia is an award-winning radio journalist. Prior to covering veterans and military affairs she reported on social issues and criminal justice. Patricia’s first job in radio news was at WBUR Boston in 1994. She’s worked at KUOW since 2000.

Patricia’s series “Less than Honorable,” investigated how the military handles more than 3,000 sexual assault cases each year. Her 2011 collaboration with the Seattle Times, “The Weight of War,” looked at heavy loads carried by troops and the increase in chronic orthopedic injuries as a result; the series won a national award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism from the Association of Healthcare Journalists. She also received a national Edward R. Murrow Award for a documentary on IV drug use and has had her work recognized with awards from the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.

In 2012, Patricia was inducted into the Dart Society, a network of journalists who cover trauma, conflict and social injustice.

Patricia holds a B.A. from Emerson College in Boston.

Ways to Connect

photo courtesy of UW Innovative Programs Research Group

Heavy alcohol use and binge drinking are on the rise in the military. And many service members with a problem don’t voluntarily seek treatment.

Research from the University of Washington found that allowing soldiers to assess the impacts of their drinking confidentially can help them cut down.


Socks and sandals, a true Northwest fashion symbol
Flickr Photo/Paul Williams (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9UkbbE

Patricia Murphy speaks with Seattle Times data reporter Gene Balk about his article on the least fashionable neighborhood in Seattle. They also discuss what the causal style of Seattle says about the city. 

President Donald Trump
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9hKraP

University of Washington law students will keep a close watch on President-elect Donald Trump during his first months in office.

The law school is offering a brand-new course on presidential power.


Canadian flag
Flickr Photo/Alex Indigo (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/4eDBug

Patricia Murphy speaks with Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer about the big stories in Canada in 2016. Many Canadians are glad to see the year come to a close; a poll shows most people think 2016 brought more bad than good for their country, the U.S. and the world as a whole.

King County Sheriff John Urquhart
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

A lawsuit has brought to light allegations that King County sheriff John Urquhart tried to quash a rape accusation against him.

Patricia Murphy speaks with Seattle Times economics columnist John Talton about how President-elect Donald Trump's economic polices will affect the Puget Sound region. 

Spokane Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers says the current Republican health care bill is only part of a larger plan.
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/e4kQ16

Patricia Murphy talks with Wall Street Journal reporter Amy Harder about the role of Donald Trump Jr. in deciding the president elect's pick for Interior secretary. Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers was initially a front runner for the position. On Thursday, Trump picked Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke.

John Zimmerman, a nurse anesthetist for the Veterans Administration in Minneapolis, leans over a patient. Under a new rule, some nurse practicioners are allowed to work independently rather than under a physician's close supervision.
Association of Veterans Affairs Nurse Anesthetists

The VA is giving more some nurse practitioners more autonomy to treat patients, but not all of them will be free from physician oversight.

Jeff Lynch survived catastrophic injuries from his two deployments to Iraq, but they left him unable to have children naturally.
Brian Batista

When his convoy was attacked with an improvised explosive device in Iraq in 2007, Army sergeant Jeff Lynch was seriously wounded. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, was hospitalized for months, and underwent more than a hundred surgeries.


Transgender veterans hoping the veterans administration would cover their sex reassignment surgery were dealt a setback after the administration dropped the plan.

Air Force veteran Katherine Pratt in front of an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Pratt's detachment was responsible for the operational tests.
Courtesy of Katherine Pratt

For some military service members returning to civilian life can be disorienting.

The Native American community is reaching out to help vets with a modern day version of an ancient ceremony known as “calling home.”

Kara McDermott for KUOW

New rules that go into effect Monday from the Department of Defense detail protocol for military doctors who care for transgender service members.

The rules also establish guidance for commanders.

Soldiers fire two rounds from their High Mobility Artillery Rocket systems at Yakima Training Center in 2011.
Flickr Photo/DVIDSHUB (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9MtxXi

The Army plans to practice firing its High Mobility Artillery Rocket System this week at Joint Base Lewis-McChord despite concern from neighbors about the impact of the noise.

Much of the feedback solicited by the Army from neighbors around the base was negative. Many said noise from the unarmed rockets would be disruptive to children, animals and people with post-traumatic stress disorder.  

Patricia Murphy

The Department of Education is partnering with education nonprofits to help answer questions from students affected by the abrupt shutdown of ITT Technical Institute.

The 40,000 former students will have to find new schools if they want to pursue their education. But for the more than 6,000 of those ITT students who were veterans, the problems can be much more complicated.

An analysis of veterans suicides by the Department of Veterans Affairs sheds new light on high-risk groups of veterans.

The report, billed as the most comprehensive analysis to date, examined completed suicides between 2001 and 2014.


John Zimmerman, a nurse anesthetist for the Veterans Administration in Minneapolis, leans over a patient. Under a new rule, some nurse practicioners are allowed to work independently rather than under a physician's close supervision.
Association of Veterans Affairs Nurse Anesthetists

Nurses may soon do work doctors normally do at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This includes nurses performing work that anesthesiologists have been doing – and that has some physicians irate.

Governor Jay Inslee (center) with Gold Star mother Monica McNeal (left) and Gold Star wife Arlene Murray (right) at Seattle’s Alvin Larkins Park.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Washington Governor Jay Inslee joined the growing list of politicians condemning Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s reaction to a speech made by a couple who lost their son during the Iraq War.

At the democratic convention Khizr Khan talked about his son U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan’s military service. He criticized Trump's call for a temporary ban on Muslims from entering the United States.

Audio Pending...

Local Veterans Affairs officials met with reporters this week to talk about some of the steps they're taking to improve accessibility and quality of care for veterans. 

One of the Seattle VA's new initiatives is to help veterans deal with chronic pain -- a problem that can often lead to opiate dependence and addiction. Another critical initiative addresses the 11 percent growth in VA Puget Sound's patient load. 


Lt. Col. Eric Flake, a physician at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wa. in what will be a new autism therapy center with Major Ruth Racine, a nurse practitioner who has a child with autism.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

While stationed in Germany, Army nurse practitioner Major Ruth Racine and her husband carved out a promising educational and therapeutic plan for their seven-year-old son Magnus, who has autism.

“We were in an absolutely fantastic place," Racine said. Magnus got occupational, physical and speech therapy.

Marine veteran Jack Kegley and UW Assistant Professor Jeremy Watson enjoy the new healing garden built by UW students.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

A dull empty space outside Puget Sound VA’s emergency room has been transformed into a serene space for sitting.

Senator Patty Murray in the KUOW offices, Jan. 2016.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

The U.S. Senate passed a bill which included a provision to help injured veterans conceive children. It would cover the cost of fertility treatment under their VA benefits.    

US. Senator Patty Murray’s amendment would allow veterans with service-connected injuries that prevent them from conceiving naturally to pursue procedures like in vitro fertilization. The procedure combines harvested eggs and sperm outside the body.

David A. Bauders, a Washingon State Trooper, was killed while in Iraq with the National Guard.
Courtesy of WSP

A National Guard soldier from Seattle has died in Iraq. The Department of Defense says the officer's death was not combat related.

The Army says 1st Lt. David A. Bauders died Friday on Iraq's Al Asad Airbase.  He’d been deployed since April to Iraq and Kuwait with the 176th Engineer Company of Snohomish.

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, 7th Infantry Division come together for the first reenlistment of cavalry scout Kayci Landes in the Army at JBLM on May 4.
Coutesty of 16th Combat Aviation Brigade

A  soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord  will become the first woman in the Army to reenlist as a cavalry scout. 

Army cavalry scouts work in tanks and are the eyes and ears of the commander during battle. It’s a position that’s only recently been opened to women. 

Bank Street Tattoo Company owner and Navy Petty Officer First Class Mike Spittler. Spittler already has a nautical scene with Poseidon the God of the sea tattooed on his arm.
American Homefront/Sophie McKibben

Effective this month, tattoo enthusiasts who serve in the U.S. Navy can ink a lot more of their body.

The Navy's latest policy change is an effort to remain attractive to millennials who may be excluded from serving due to the size of their body artwork.

Commander Lt. Col. Vylius Leskys administeres the Oath of Enlistment to Levani Ilasa, the first woman in the country to be enlisted into 19K - M1 Armor Crewman.
Photo courtesy of the Seattle Army Recruiting Battalion

Two Washington women signed up this week for Army jobs that were previously only open to men.

Loren Ross is the second woman in the country to enlist in infantry since the Army opened the positions up to women earlier this year.

Soldiers perform fast rope insertion certifications at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in January 2015.
Flickr Photo/CC BY NC SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/rakSmz

Joint Base Lewis-McChord is no longer considering a controversial proposal to land helicopters at seven wilderness sites around the state.

Officials at JBLM made the decision after receiving feedback from stakeholders and reading 2,350 comments from the public which were mostly negative. 

Families of service members missing in action gather at the Bellevue Marriott to hear how the Department of Defense is trying to match them with recovered remains.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

On a recent Saturday, the mood at the Marriott in Bellevue was lively considering the reason that people gathered there. From 7:30 in the morning until 5:00 in the evening, families packed into a ballroom to be briefed on what the federal government is doing to recover the remains of their loved ones.  

Roosevelt Ward Jr. after receiving a 50th anniversary commemorative pin. Ward served in the US Navy between 1965-1966.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Veterans and their families packed the lobby of VA Puget Sound in Seattle on Tuesday for the department’s local commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

U.S. Army Pfc. Dustin Hein, with the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, smokes a cigarette between training missions at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., Nov. 11, 2009.
Flickr Photo/MilitaryHealth

Soldiers like their smokes and chew.

At Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Seattle, 35 percent of soldiers use tobacco, just slightly higher the average for the entire Army.

Allie and Matthew McClintock. It was a big deal for him to be photographed in his uniform.
Courtesy of Allie McClintock

A Special Forces soldier from Tacoma killed in January has been awarded a Silver Star.  

Sfc. Matthew McClintock was killed trying to help a wounded teammate during an intense firefight in Marjah, Afghanistan. After McClintock’s death his unit nominated him for a Silver Star, the nation’s third-highest award for valor.

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