The Role of the Public Hospital District

Public hospital districts are governmental entities established by Washington State statute. The legislature granted local communities the authority to create hospital districts in 1945. Today, nearly one-half of Washington's 90 hospitals are part of public hospital districts. Valley Medical Center—Public Hospital District No. 1—is the oldest and largest in Washington, encompassing the cities of Kent, Renton, two-thirds of Tukwila, and portions of Auburn, Black Diamond, Covington, Federal Way, Maple Valley, Newcastle and Seattle. The oldest and largest of the 56 hospital districts in the state of Washington, it operates Valley Medical Center, serving greater South King County.

Public hospital districts fulfill a vital role in the state's healthcare system. Without them many people would be unable to receive healthcare in their own communities. Hospital districts are authorized not only to operate a hospital, but to deliver any service to help people stay healthy—physically, socially, and mentally. Because they're owned and governed by local citizens, hospital districts tailor their services to meet the unique needs of their individual communities. It is this community-based mission that defines and distinguishes hospital districts from other healthcare entities.

To learn more about the important role public health district hospitals play in Washington State healthcare visit the Association of Washington Public Health Districts website.

View the performance audit report of 3 local public district hospitals in a Review of Public Hospitals by the Washington State Auditor.

Look here for a map of Public Hospital District No. 1.

For more information on Valley Medical Center's Board of Commissioners, go to Meet the Board.