Group Health Cooperative formally begins offering medical care and hospital services on January 1, 1947.

  • By Walt Crowley
  • Posted 12/26/2000
  • Essay 2912
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On January 1, 1947, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound officially opens the doors of its first downtown Seattle clinic and a small hospital, St. Luke's, on Capitol Hill. The member-governed Cooperative is barely two years old. It acquired the hospital and other facilities by purchasing the physician owned Medical Security Clinic, an existing pre-paid service, in 1946.

At the end of its first year of operation, Group Health listed 8,500 group plan enrollees and 1,024 cooperative members. With an enrollment of 600,000 in the year 2000, Group Health ranks as one of the nation's largest health care organizations.


Walt Crowley, To Serve the Greatest Number: A History of Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound (Seattle: UW Press/Group Health, 1996).

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