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The history of MultiCare Auburn Medical Center
Auburn General Hospital was built in 1921, a few years after construction of the Northern Pacific rail yards. The building was located on the site of an apple orchard.
Built by Dr. Owen Taylor, who previously had owned a small hospital in Kent, and Dr. Martin Lacey, who had a special interest in pharmacy, the new hospital was designed to meet the needs of the Northern Pacific's 1,200 new employees and those of Auburn's coal mining and lumber families.
The original stone and block building had 46 beds, wicker furniture in the lobby and a much-used rocking chair in the nursery. Nurses had their own private rooms in the hospital and ate most of their meals there, a practice usual in hospitals of the day.
By 1945 Auburn General was staffed by 13 local doctors, had the services of several consulting specialists from Seattle and had acquired a new nursery and maternity ward. New X-ray and pathology laboratories were added, and an elevator was installed as a convenience to the patients who previously had been carried up and down stairs on stretchers. At that time, the hospital was the only building in Auburn with an elevator. Auburn General was recognized as one of the finest hospitals of its size in the Northwest.
The Stewards Foundation, a nonprofit voluntary Christian organization, purchased Auburn General in 1956 and operated the hospital for 25 years. The hospital's original 46 beds were increased to 66 with a west wing addition in 1964, when a new obstetrical department, newborn nursery and radiological services were provided.
Additions to a south wing in 1969 provided a new surgical department, newborn nursery and emergency services. Early in 1973 a new three-bed intensive care was opened and the bed capacity was increased to 90.
A $3.2 million improvement program began in 1975 to replace the 90 beds in a new, efficient and more economical building, which more than doubled the space and added 30 new beds for a total of 120.
Auburn Regional Medical Center was purchased in 1982 by a subsidiary of Universal Health Services, Inc, one of the largest healthcare management companies in the nation. Construction began on a two-story diagnostic services addition with an additional 29 beds. The diagnostic center provided new and more efficient space for radiology, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, laboratory, MRI, mammography and cardiopulmonary services and included a cardiac catheterization unit, which was completed in the spring of 1983.
An expansion and renovation of the obstetrical department was launched toward the end of 1988. A new emergency services department was completed in 1992.
In October of 2002, Auburn Regional added a 107,300 square-foot, four- story patient tower on the corner of North Division and First Street in Auburn, at the approximate cost of $16 million. This addition includes inpatient and outpatient surgery centers, a new Family Birth Center, 51 new medical surgical beds, an expanded Emergency Services Department and a larger more convenient admitting area.
In 2010, Auburn Regional opened a new Medical Office Building that houses a number of other specialty services including our Sleep Disorders Center. This is located directly across the street from the hospital's main entrance on Division Street. Next to the new building, a parking garage will increase accessible parking for patients and visitors.
In 2012 Tacoma-based MultiCare Health System purchased Auburn Regional Medical Center from Universal Health Services. The newly named MultiCare Auburn Medical Center became the fifth hospital in the not-for-profit MultiCare’s integrated health system, and added inpatient services to MultiCare’s already robust health care service offerings in South King County, which includes primary, specialty and urgent care, as well as emergency services.
Nearly 300 physicians are affiliated with the hospital. Our nursing staff draws upon years of clinical experience to ensure quality care. All of our employees and the physicians on the MultiCare Auburn Medical Center staff are dedicated to excellence every day of the year.