News and Information

May 9, 2012

St. Francis Hospital Commemorates 25th Anniversary

St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way is commemorating its 25th anniversary this month.

The hospital opened on May 6, 1987. Through its comprehensive inpatient and outpatient medical services and multiple community outreach programs, the Franciscan Health System hospital is essential to the quality of life in Federal Way and south King County.

"Since our hospital opened a quarter century ago, we’ve grown to become one of the leading hospitals in the area," said hospital President Tony McLean. "With state-of-the-art technology and services, combined with an increasing number of Franciscan primary-care physicians and specialists at nearby clinics, we’ve got all the community’s health care needs covered."

St. Francis was the first, and remains the only, hospital in the city of about 90,000 residents. The hospital had about 350 employees when it first opened. Now with more than 1,000 employees, the acute-care facility is one of the largest employers in Federal Way.

Other key milestones for St. Francis Hospital:

  • St. Francis Health Services purchased 22 acres from the Quadrant Corp. on Aug. 20, 1984. This property off 348th Street would become the site of the hospital.

  • The start of hospital construction was commemorated with a public groundbreaking ceremony on Aug. 28, 1985.

  • A public ceremony to celebrate construction completion and to dedicate the hospital, called St. Francis Community Hospital at the time, was held on May 2, 1987.

  • The hospital officially opened and welcomed its first patients on May 6, 1987.

  • The first baby – a boy – was born on May 7, 1987. The Historical Society of Federal Way website notes that parents of the newborn were showered with gifts from local merchants in recognition of their special status.

  • The hospital was originally licensed for 110 beds by the Washington State Department of Health. The number of licensed beds has since increased to134 in order to meet the needs of the growing community.

  • The St. Francis Outpatient Center opened in January 2002. The 62,500-square-foot facility includes same-day surgery, radiation oncology, diagnostic imaging, physical, speech and occupational therapies, and other services.

  • The 30-bed Critical Care Unit, and the remodeled Emergency Department, opened in September 2008. The Critical Care Unit includes 14 private rooms for medically critical patients who need intensive monitoring by specially trained caregivers, and 16 private progressive-care rooms for patients that require a higher level of monitoring than routinely provided in medical and surgical units.

  • In 2009, the hospital’s nurses and other front-line caregivers were selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to participate in a national initiative designed to improve quality of care in medical and surgical units across the U.S.

  • St. Francis was named one of the best hospitals for gynecological care in the Seattle-Tacoma market by U.S. News & World Report magazine in 2011.

  • The Women’s Health & Breast Center at St. Francis Hospital is designated as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence by the National Consortium of Breast Centers.

  • The Franciscan Foot & Ankle Institute, a residency program for podiatrists, was established at St. Francis Hospital in 1990. The three-year podiatric medicine and surgical residency program is approved by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education. More than 20 physicians have completed residency training at St. Francis since the program was created.

  • St. Francis Hospital is designated as a Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. It has been a leading provider of weight loss surgical procedures in Washington State for several years.

  • St. Francis has been named a Top 100 Hospital in the U.S. a total of five times based on independent evaluations of care quality, operational efficiency, financial performance, and other criteria by the companies Solucient and Thomson Reuters.

During its most recent fiscal year (July 2010-June 2011), St. Francis Hospital and its physicians, nurses and other staff:

  • Responded to 49,720 patient visits in the 24-hour emergency department

  • Admitted 9,921 patients for in-hospital care that lasted overnight or longer

  • Received 54,273 patient visits for a range of outpatient services

  • Welcomed 1,162 newborns at the Family Birth Center (by comparison, about 600 babies were born at St. Francis during the hospital’s first year of business)

Also last year, St. Francis Hospital provided $5.7 million in free and reduced-cost charity care for patients who could not afford to pay for needed medical services.

"The medical staff, nurses and other caregivers at St. Francis, along with Franciscan Medical Group physicians and providers, are committed to improving the community’s health and well-being," McLean said. "We look forward to meeting the health care needs of the area’s residents for the next 25 years, and beyond."

In addition to Federal Way, the hospital’s service area includes Auburn, Des Moines, Fife, Highline, Kent, Milton, Puyallup and Northeast Tacoma.

St. Francis Hospital is the second-largest hospital in the non-profit, faith-based Franciscan Health System, which also includes St. Joseph Medical Center, Tacoma; St. Clare Hospital, Lakewood; St. Anthony Hospital, Gig Harbor; and St. Elizabeth Hospital, Enumclaw. Additionally, the Franciscan organization includes Franciscan Hospice House, a 20-bed inpatient facility in University Place; and the Franciscan Medical Group network of primary care and specialty care clinics, physicians and other professional providers in Pierce, King and Kitsap counties.

Franciscan Health System is part of Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the largest non-profit health systems in the U.S.

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