Northwest Hospital & Medical Center

Northwest Hospital & Medical Center
UW Medicine
Northwest Hospital & Medical Center (logo).png
Location 1550 N 115th Street,
Seattle, Washington,
United States
Funding Non-profit hospital
Affiliated university University of Washington
Emergency department Level IV trauma center
Beds 281
Founded 1960
Website UW Medicine - NHMC
Other links Harborview Medical Center
UW Medical Center

Northwest Hospital & Medical Center is a 281-bed hospital in Seattle, Washington. On September 17, 2009, it announced that as of January 1, 2010 it would become part of UW Medicine, associated with the University of Washington. UW Medicine also includes University of Washington Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, the UW School of Medicine and several smaller entities.[1][2] Prior to the merger, 1997 agreement had already made a Northwest the home for a UW Medicine cardiac surgery program.[2]

In 1949, the "Community Memorial" Hospital Association purchased a 33-acre (13 ha) tract in North Seattle.[3] Northwest Hospital opened in 1960, as the city's northernmost hospital.[2][3] In 1965 the hospital acquired a radioisotope magna scanner, and over the rest of the 1960s they established a comprehensive rehabilitation program (1967), an inhalation therapy department (1967), a program for hearing disorders (1968), and a stroke center (1969). [3] In 1970, they were the first Seattle hospital with a birth clinic offering the use of a single "birth suite" for labor, delivery, recovery, and postpartum care.[3]

The 1970s saw physical expansion of the emergency department (1973), the opening of a department of nuclear medicine (1971), and the 1977 establishment of the Northwest Hospital Foundation.[3] Physical expansion continued in the 1980s with a new tower building (1983). In 1985, Northwest Hospital physicians pioneered the ultrasound-guided installation of a radioactive "seed" implant to treat prostate cancer.[3] In 1993 they were the region's first hospital to offer the non-surgical gamma knife technique of treating brain tumors.[3]

In the 2000s, the emergency department expanded yet again (2001), and Northwest continued to adopt pioneering technologies such as minimally invasive surgical techniques, DynaCT angiogram technology (2005, another regional first), and robotic surgery (2007); a bariatric surgery program began in 2005.[3] They made a strong move toward electronic medical records and bedside medication reconciliation in 2007; that same year they converted to all-digital mammography.[3] A sleep center opened in 2008.[3] Also that year, work began on the region's first proton beam therapy center for cancer treatment.[3] 2009 saw the introduction of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.[3] Physical expansion also continued with the opening of a new surgical facility in 2010.[3]

Before pursuing the UW merger, Northwest had unsuccessfully pursued a merger with the private Swedish Medical Center in 2004.[2] Even with the UW Medicine merger, Northwest will remain a separate nonprofit, tax-exempt entity. Bill Schneider, Northwest's CEO at the time of the merger, said that although Northwest lost nearly $13 million in 2008, that was its first loss since 2003 and that the institution remained "strong and economically viable." According to Schneider, the merger was not primarily motivated by budgetary concerns.[2]


  1. ^ "Northwest Hospital to Affiliate with University of Washington", medinfo (published by Northwest Hospital), November-December 2009, p. 8.
  2. ^ a b c d e Kyung M. Song,, Seattle Times, September 17, 2009. Accessed online 2009-11-09.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Our History", MEDinfo (Northwest Hospital & Medical Center), September-October 2010 (50th Anniversary Edition), p. 6–7.

External links

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