Holy Family's story begins in 1945, when the Dominican Sisters, realizing that Spokane's population was moving north, purchased a 40-acre site east of Division Street for future use. The Sisters, who first came to the Northwest from Germany in 1925, envisioned a health care ministry that sought to "restore and maintain health, promote wellness, prevent illness whenever possible, and (help create) a person-centered environment which fosters the healing process."
The Sisters' first facility on their North Spokane site was the Holy Family Convalescent Home, which opened in 1960. Volunteers from the community solicited materials including a treadle sewing machine and a harness floor loom to support the facility's program of teaching patients new skills and new ways to do old skills.
Four years later, in 1964, the Sisters held an open house to celebrate the completion of their newest facility: Holy Family Hospital in North Spokane, WA. Built at a cost of $3.4 million, the hospital was funded by the Sisters and donations from the community.
Its three floors held:
It was designed specifically to accommodate the needs of individual patients through classification into five levels of progressive care, and was the first air conditioned structure of its kind in Eastern Washington.
As north Spokane grew, so did Holy Family and its services to the community. In 1965, the School of Radiologic Technology opened, followed a year later by the first hospital-based radiation therapy center of its kind in Spokane.
In 1968, a complete mobile emergency life support and cardiopulmonary resuscitation system was installed, enabling hospital staff to initiate life support procedures within 26 seconds.
In 1969, Holy Family was the first hospital in the area to introduce modern methods of infection control. It was also one of the first in the nation to use Unit Dosage in medications, reducing the chance of medication errors and lowering medication costs to the patient.
In the spring of 1970, the Convalescent Home was closed so that hospital services could be expanded. A year later, a $4.6 million construction program began that added two more patient floors, expanded the operating rooms to seven, expanded Emergency Services, and added a Radiology Department.
Holy Family continued to develop innovative programs and services. In 1978, Short-Stay was added for outpatient medical and surgical procedures. In 1979, a new cardiac rehabilitation program opened, the only monitored program at the time in Spokane. In 1983, the Family Maternity Center opened, housing the region's first single-room labor and delivery care where all physician, staff, parent and baby interaction takes place in one room.
The Emergency Center underwent several expansions during the next several years as the area's population continued to grow. In 1990, a new, 10-bed circular-layout Intensive Care Unit was built in response to the increasing need for advanced technology and intensive care services.
That same year, the Imaging Center was opened, adding a second CT and MRI scanner to the hospital's existing diagnostic and imaging equipment.
In 1991, the Cancer Center was enhanced to provide patients with state-of-the-art technology, national protocols, and a full continuum of outpatient and inpatient cancer treatment options under one roof.
By 1993, the Dominican Sisters of Spokane had become a small, aging group. They joined another congregation of sisters in Wisconsin, but transferred sponsorship of the Dominican Network (which included Holy Family Hospital and other hospitals in Northeast Washington) to the Sisters of Providence to assure that quality health care would continue to be available to the communities they served.
In the years since, Holy Family Hospital has continued to keep pace with the changing health needs of the community and the rapid development of medical technology and health care.
Recent campus developments include:
Current projects include renovations to increase patient space, improve access to central areas and conversion to single-patient rooms.
Download and read this 50th Anniversary booklet, commemorating the history of Holy Family Hospital.