Group Health Cooperative opens its first satellite clinic, in Renton, on July 6, 1948.

  • By HistoryLink Staff
  • Posted 8/10/2005
  • Essay 7413
On July 6, 1948, Group Health Cooperative opens its first satellite clinic, in Renton. The town south of Seattle is the stronghold of many of the union and grange leaders who had helped to found the health care cooperative, and Group Health has 376 members in the area. Also, Group Health anticipates access to the Renton Hospital. However, opposition to the consumer-oriented health care organization by the King County Medical Society (the local branch of the American Medical Association) will result in Group Health doctors being barred from Renton Hospital.

Group Health rented a small house in town from trustee Sid Schaudies and converted it into the clinic. Chief of Staff Dr. John Osborne McNeel (d. 1951) assigned himself to Renton but this soon became too taxing. After a few months a newly hired physician, Dr. Raymond Bunker, took his place. The nurse-in-charge was Elizabeth Owens and the receptionist was Martha Wiberg.

Sources: Walt Crowley, To Serve the Greatest Number: A History of Group Health Cooperative of Seattle (Seattle: GHC/University of Washington Press, 1995), 51-52.

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