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January 1, 2004

Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, 1877-2003

Arch Surg. 2004;139(1):14-15. doi:10.1001/archsurg.139.1.14

It's come a long way from its early days as a 6-bed hospital as part of Washington State's King County "poor farm." In 1877, if you were indigent and stricken with consumption or cholera, you could get your care and do a few chores at the then King County Hospital (now Harborview Medical Center, Seattle) located originally on the site of the poor farm.

Harborview recently celebrated 125 years of continuous service to the community. From its humble beginnings, the medical center has maintained its mission of caring for the community's neediest while becoming an acclaimed level I adult and pediatric trauma center caring for patients from Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. Through its management relationship with the University of Washington (UW), Seattle, Harborview has become a comprehensive, internationally recognized center for patient care, teaching, and research for trauma, burns, neurosciences, orthopedics, human immunodeficiency virus, and sexually transmitted disease.