Virginia Mason Clinic and Group Health Hospital begin collaborating in 1947.

  • By HistoryLink Staff
  • Posted 8/12/2005
  • Essay 7415

In 1947, Seattle's Virginia Mason Clinic and Group Health Cooperative begin collaborating. This is the year, two years after its founding, that Group Health begins offering medical services.

The King County Medical Society (local branch of the American Medical Society) opposes both Virginia Mason and Group Health for the "sin" of group practice (as opposed to solo fee-for-service practice). As a result most area hospitals -- Renton Hospital, Swedish Hospital, and Seattle General among others -- refuse staff privileges and assistance to Group Health physicians. Virginia Mason, which also offers a group practice, maintains an "open-door policy for Group Health physicians" and both begin to share resources for collaborative services such as radiation therapy and pathology.

Sources: Walt Crowley, To Serve the Greatest Number: A History of Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound (Seattle: UW Press/Group Health, 1996), 58; Austin Ross, Vision and Vigilance: the First 75 Years of Virginia Mason Medial Center (Seattle: VMMC, 1995).

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