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.