On January 4, 1907, Anna Herr Clise (1866-1936) and 23 of her affluent Seattle women friends come together to found the Children's Orthopedic Hospital Association. They do so to address a health care crisis -- namely the lack of a facility to treat crippled and malnourished children. Each of the women contributes $20 to launch the association, which is incorporated on January 7. The Seattle Children's Hospital will eventually become a major regional medical center.
Anna Clise had become painfully aware of the inadequacy of facilities for treating children when her 5-year-old son, Willis, died of inflammatory rheumatism in 1898. No physician or hospital in Seattle specialized in pediatric care at the time.
In October 1907, the Board of Trustees adopted a policy to accept any child regardless of race, religion, or the parents' ability to pay.
The hospital started out in a wing of the Seattle General Hospital. In 1908, the hospital moved to a 12-bed cottage on Queen Anne Hill. In 1911, a 40-bed facility opened on an adjacent site. In 1953 the hospital moved to the Laurelhurst neighborhood of Seattle.
Now a major Northwest institution, Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center is still (in 2002) governed by an all-female board of trustees that entrusts medical decisions to professional staff.