The first hospital in the Pacific Northwest was founded in 1858 at Fort Vancouver in the Washington Territory. With the support of 16 women, whose husbands were employed by the Hudson Bay Company, Mother Joseph of the Sisters of Providence established the hospital in a small cabin. Care was provided regardless of ability to pay. Mother Joseph periodically visited the logging and mining camps nearby to raise funds.
The Washington State Hospital Association has its first meeting in 1933. The association provides issues management and analysis, information, advocacy and other services. In 2005 launched the Patient Safety program to help hospitals improve patient safety by supporting the adoption of evidence-based protocols that have been proven to save lives.