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Fannie C. Paddock Memorial Hospital, c. 1882
Fannie's dream, 130 years later
MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital Marks 130th Anniversary
by Maura Hallam
In 1880, Fannie C. Paddock of Brooklyn, New York, was making ready to move to faraway Tacoma, Washington. Her husband, John Adams Paddock, was set to become the new Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Washington Territory. In addition to preparing their household for the long journey west, Fannie also took on another important task: raising funds to build Tacoma’s first hospital.
Sadly, Fannie didn't live to see the fruit of her efforts. She became ill and died shortly before the couple reached Washington. But Fannie’s husband kept her dream alive and on April 29, 1882, exactly one year after her death, the Fannie C. Paddock Memorial Hospital opened.
Today, of course, Fannie C. Paddock Memorial Hospital is known as MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital. And what began in a converted dance hall on North Starr Street has grown over the last 130 years into more than what Fannie could ever have imagined.
Tacoma General has gone through many changes since its founding in 1882, expanding to meet the demands of a growing population and adopting new technologies and treatments to keep pace with the evolving health care landscape. But the fundamental mission behind Fannie’s dream, to offer quality health care to patients, has not changed.
“Tacoma General is the oldest continuously running hospital in the region — in fact we were founded seven years before Washington gained statehood,” says Shelly Mullin, RN, Vice President of MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital. “This hospital has grown along with Tacoma almost from Tacoma’s very beginning, and is, I think, a vital part of history here. It’s also a big part of my own history; I started at Tacoma General right out of nursing school in 1986, and chose it as the place where I wanted to build my career. It makes me proud that I’m now one of the stewards of Fannie’s legacy, 130 years later.”
To commemorate MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital’s 130th anniversary, MultiCare has developed a historic display for Tacoma General’s main lobby, featuring photos and videos from Tacoma General’s past and present. This display will be installed on Monday, April 30, and is available for viewing by the public.
For more information about Tacoma General’s 130th anniversary, visit multicare.org/tacoma-general-130th.