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Nurse caregiver who cares about patients with tracheostomies.

We care about your success because we care about medically complex patients.

Whether you're a healthcare worker, an administrator, or a loved one of a medically complex patient, we're here to help you become the best caregiver that you can be.

Learn from an accomplished, award-winning nurse.

Our classroom, curriculum, and simulation lab is modeled after what Leslie learned in nursing school and throughout her 33 years of working and teaching at Seattle Children's Hospital.

Hi there, I'm Leslie.

Owner/President and Lead Instructor at BreatheWell Inspiration.

Leslie Elder is a pediatric nurse known for her exceptional dedication and compassion and has served medically complex children and families at Seattle Children's Hospital for over thirty years. Her personal commitment to patient care, safety and innovative approaches to nursing has earned her numerous accolades, including:

  • David Fisher Award for Excellence in Safety, Trach Safe, 2019

  • Distinguished Practice Award, UW School of Nursing, 2009

  • Community Person of the Year, HCAW, 2006

When not at work, Leslie enjoys gardening, landscaping and spending time with family.  She also enjoys spending time enjoying her property in Eastern Washington. A mother of five and a grandmother of eleven children makes it a full and joyful life.

Leslie Elder is the Owner and President of BreatheWell Inspiration.

Areas of Specialty

  • Pediatric, medically complex care nursing

  • Case management, care coordination

  • Trach/ventilator dependency and airway safety

  • Chronic lung disease

  • Inpatient medical nursing

  • Ambulatory medical clinic nursing

  • Nurse, patient, and family education

  • Policy development and innovation

  • Advocacy at the state and local level

  • Continual process improvement

  • Educational program development

  • Community education and support


Graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Washington

Began working at Seattle Children's Hospital as a Nurse Tech in the Medical Unit.


Staff Nurse in the Medical Unit


Won Employee of the Month in December


Charge Nurse in the Medical Unit


Promoted to Pulmonary Case Manager


Nominated for the Family Choice Award


Nominated as Community Person of the Year by the Homecare Association of Washington


Honored as the Community Person of the Year by the Homecare Association of Washington


Won the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Award for Patient Advocacy


Won the Daisy Award


Won the Distinguished Practice Award from the University of Washington School of Nursing


Nominated for the Daisy Award


Won the Continuous Process Improvement Champion Award


Nominated for the Family Choice Award


Earned a Master of Science in Nursing at Loyola University, New Orleans, and won the Scholar Award for Healthcare Systems Management


Began working at Aveanna Healthcare as a National Corporate Clinical Operations Specialist


Came back to work at Seattle Children's Hospital as a Nurse Case Manager


Nominated for the David Fisher Award for Excellence in Safety


Won the David Fisher Award: Excellence in Safety for Trach Safe


Began working as the Program Development Lead for New Models of Care at Seattle Children's


Retired from Seattle Children's and launched BreatheWell Inspiration!

Leslie's Story

From Seattle Children's Hospital to BreatheWell Inspiration

  • Elder, L: Pediatric Home Care 3rd Edition- An Evidence-based, Family Health Care Nursing Approach:   The Chronically Ill Child in Home and Ambulatory Care Settings, Co-author Chapter 9, Care of the Child with Altered Respiratory Function, 2009.


    Ong T, Elder L, Hill L, Redding GJ.   Risk Factors for Preventable Death in Technology-dependent Children. Poster Presentation at 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference. A56691, San Diego, CA.


    Soares JJ, Striegl AM, Elder L, Johnson K, Ong T. Pre-discharge Airway Evaluation in Tracheostomy-Dependent Children: A Quality Improvement Safety Initiative. Poster Presentation at 2016 American Thoracic Society International Conference. A4132. San Francisco, CA.


    Elder L, Hill L, Soares, J, Johnson, K, Evans, K, Ong, T.  Preventing accidental death in tracheostomy patients at home:  Seattle Children’s trach safe program.  Poster presentation 2018 Seattle Nursing Research Conference, Seattle, WA.


    Hill L., Elder L, Ong T, DiBlasi R, Redding, G.  Trach Safe; An approach for reducing preventable death in tracheostomy-dependent patients.  Poster presentation 2018 AARC Conference, Las Vegas, NV.


    Coppess, S; Hill, L; Dahl, John MD; Elder, L; Liu, C; Minhas, J.; Ong, T. Parikh, S.; Rodacker, S.; Soares, J.; Stevens, D.; Johnson, K.   Improving confidence in ambulatory pediatric tracheostomy care with the trach safe emergency airway management course.   Poster presentation 2019 ASPO Conference, Austin, TX.


    Ong, T.; Liu, C.C.; Elder, L; Hill, L; Abts, M.; Dahl, J.; Evans, K.; Parikh, S.; Soares, J.: Striegl, A.; Whitlock, K.; Johnson K. (2019) The Trach Safe initiative; A quality improvement initiative to reduce mortality amount pediatric tracheostomy patients.  Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. doi 10.1177/0194599820911728


    Liu, C.; Soares, J.; Elder, L; Hill, L.; Abts, M.; Bonilla-Velez, J.; Dahl, J.; Johnson, K.; Ong, T.; Striegl, A.; Whitlock, K.; Parikh, S. (2019).  Surveillance endoscopy after tracheostomy placement in children:  Findings and interventions. The Laryngoscope. doi 10.1002/lary.28247


    Dubsky, D., Deards, A., Elder, L, Asnani, A., Wilcox, J. (2019).  A quick guide to case management:  Process and procedures of discharge planning Seattle Children’s Hospital


    Hofman Deyoung, S.; Elder, L; Faino, A.; Ong, T.; Hill, L.; Evans, K. (2021) Home safety events in children with tracheostomy tube dependence. 2021.  ATS International Conference—virtual.  Resident/Fellows Research Day, 2021, Seattle Children’s Hospital.


    Han, A., Hill, L., Hofman Deyoung, S., Elder L, Evans, K., Faino, A,. Ong, T. (2021).  High stakes equipment safety issues among tracheostomy-dependent children at home.  Poster presentation, ATS, 2022, San Francisco, CA


    Mockler, Blair, Hofman Deyoung, S., Han, Ashley, Bly, Randall, Elder, L, Evans, K., Striegl, A., Ong, T. (2022) Ventilator failures for common pediatric home ventilators: A FDA MAUDE database study.  2022.

  • Novel Model of Care for Trach/Ventilator Dependent Patients, CII 2021 - Present: CII Co-sponsor to develop an alternate model of care at home for non-nurses. International/national exploration on options and current programs, organizing a state-wide consortium to develop this model of care.


    Shared Governance—Implementation/Process Owner for the Case Management Department, 2019 - 2021: Chair, Leadership Council.


    Trach Safe, Co-Founder, Seattle Children’s Hospital Trach Safe Program. Instructor for the Seattle Children’s Hospital Emergency Airway Management course, July, 2014 - 2020: Class on hold due to Covid.


    Process Owner/Management Guidance Team for CPI event, May, 2013 - Present: Tracheostomy CPI to improve the care and safety of tracheostomy patients at home, led to the creation of the Seattle Children’s Hospital program, Trach Safe.


    Ambulatory Shared Governance, March, 2013 - December, 2014: Operations Council


    Safety Committee: Hospital wide, March, 2012 - 2013


    Case management presentation: Ambulatory Nursing, November, 2010


    Rapid Process Improvement Team: Pulmonary clinic flow, September, 2010


    Evidenced Based Practice Council, 2007 - 2008 hospital-wide committee involved with working to incorporate evidence-based nursing practice in the hospital.


    Ambulatory Practice Council, 2007 - 2008: Pulmonary liaison to nurse leaders in Ambulatory Nursing, review policies/procedures, agenda development


    Rapid Process Improvement Team, New patient scheduling, June, 2008


    Rapid Process Improvement Team, Cardiology Clinic, 2007, RN Care Model


    Rapid Process Improvement Team, Pulmonary Clinic, 2003, facilitator: improve processes and function of team members for Pulmonary clinic patients and their families.


    Rapid Process Improvement Team, Pharmacy/Medical Unit, 1999: improve discharge medication process for staff and families.


    Unscheduled Hospital Admissions Team, 1999: developed new process for admissions to the Medical Unit to streamline processes and improve family experiences.


    Shared Governance, Coordinating Council, 1998 - 1999: coordination of other councils within the Medical Unit, development of unit goals.


    Nurse Communication Group, Chair, 1998 - 1999: coordinated Nursing Celebration 1999, coordinated nurse communication group meetings and agenda.


    Computer trainer/development: trained staff on new computerized charting system, served on multiple committees for new computer system, March, 1997 - August, 1999.


    ER/Third Floor Workgroup: focus of communication and service development between the ER and Medical Unit, Aug 1997 - August 1998.

    • SmarTrach, 2022 - Present:  Project acceptance with the UW Healthcare Engineering Department to develop a new trach tube device that can alert caregivers of acute obstruction/decannulation.

    • Academic Enrichment Fund, Reducing Preventable Mortality Among Tracheostomy Tube Dependent Children, 2019 - 2021: Contributions to design, implementation, data collection/analysis, and publications. Grant is through the Center for Clinical and Translational Research.

    • PCORI—Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Pierre Robin Sequence, Steering Committee Member, 2019 - 2021:  Creating a community to engage patient-centered research on PRS, create future research that parents of children with PRS view as important.

  • January, 2023: Care Coordination for Medical Complex Children, Seattle Children's Pediatric Nursing Update. Principles of education, support, and process for safe discharges and readmission prevention.

    June 2010 - December, 2010: Medically Intensive Children’s Program Insurance Task Force, co-chair of multidisciplinary group comprised of members from the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, Office of the Insurance Commissioner, Medicaid Purchasing Administration, Northwest Justice Project, and the Medically Intensive Children’s Program to form a reliable method that will assist citizens in our state who have private insurance that refuse to pay for home nursing.

    September, 2007: In-service to staff nurses at Children’s Country Home on the pathophysiology and care of children with chronic lung disease pulmonary hypertension, blood gas analysis, and weaning from mechanical ventilation.

    February, 2007: Governor’s Office Windstorm After Action Review (AAR) Infrastructure Workgroup, represented the interests of ventilator dependent children with regard to disaster planning.


    February, 2007: Governor’s Office of Financial Management, State of Washington, presentation on low Medicaid reimbursement rates for homecare nursing negatively impacts the ability to discharge ventilator-dependent children from the hospital.

    April, 2006: Consultant to Children’s Country Home, evaluation and recommendations for nursing care and program development for nurses that care for ventilator-dependent children.

  • December, 2021, King County Medic 1: Pediatric trachs and airway emergencies. Presentation, discussion, demonstration with paramedics in training, as well as over 200 paramedics attending virtual instruction on pediatric airway emergencies.


    November, 2020, Regional Nursing Grand Rounds: Trach Safe: Keeping tracheostomy patients safe at home and school. Seattle Children’s Hospital Nursing Professional Development.


    July, 2019, The Trach Safe Initiative: Impact on mortality using a multifaceted approach in caring for pediatric patients. Presented at the American College of Surgeons Conference, Washington, D.C.


    June, 2012: Presentation to clinical nurse leaders with home care nursing agencies and group homes on facilitating effective phone calls between home care nurses and physician offices.

    2003 - 2009: Multiple presentations and education to area fire department paramedics/EMT’s on emergency airway management and responding to emergencies for tracheostomy and ventilator dependent children.

    February, 2007: Presentation to office staff at State Senator Kaiser’s office, how low Medicaid reimbursement rates for homecare nursing negatively impacts the ability to discharge ventilator dependent children from the hospital.


    September, 2006: Presentation to the Director of Professional Rates, DSHS/HRSA, on low Medicaid reimbursement rates for homecare nursing negatively impacts the ability to discharge ventilator-dependent children from the hospital

    January, 2006: Presentation to the Board of Children’s Country Home, funding for homecare nursing.


    August, 2005: Presentation to State Rep. Eileen Cody, the state of funding for home care nursing for children.


    September, 2004: Presentation to State Rep. Eileen Cody, case study on children at home on mechanical ventilation.


    June, 2004: Presentation to State Representatives Eileen Cody, Ruth Kagi, and Marylou Dickerson, D.D.D. Director, Medically Intensive Homecare Program (MIHC) Coordinator Chuck Howard, RN, home care nursing and funding for ventilator dependent children.


    April, 2004: Presentation to State Representatives Eileen Cody and Marylou Dickerson, funding homecare nursing for ventilator dependent children.

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