Our History

Raising the bar for pediatric care in the Inland Northwest

“Because the kids deserve it!” was the rally cry of pediatric professionals who approached Sacred Heart Medical Center more than 15 years ago. Across the country, hospitals were being established to meet the unique medical needs of children – needs not easy to address in an adult facility.

Today, nearly 250 children’s hospitals serve the 3 million children hospitalized annually, plus care for growing outpatient volumes. As referring physicians and parents continue to recognize the advanced care a children’s hospital offers, the expansion will likely continue into the future.

Children’s medical needs are unique

The Spokane area pediatricians who believed children should receive care from providers who understand their unique medical needs cited the fundamental benefits of a dedicated children’s facility:

  • Children experience a range of developmental phases. Illness can affect them differently during each phase – and differently than adults.
  • One in 10 children has a chronic illness requiring long-term, coordinated care. Children need hospitals experienced in treating complicated childhood illnesses.
  • Children come in all sizes—from infants to teens—and need services and equipment to fit them. This means a big investment to maintain a wide range of supplies.
  • Children need providers who know how to communicate with them—even if they can’t express their concerns, distress or pain. And, the providers have to be adept at working with the families—an integral part of a child’s care and recovery.
  • Children benefit from a focused pediatric medical hub that provides education, research and the latest care techniques.

World-class care, close to home

It took 10 years and major investments, but we’ve built a children’s hospital that provides world-class care for kids – right here in Spokane. No need for a family to travel hundreds of miles to find care for their child. Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital is dedicated to providing every child with high-quality, cost-effective, primary and specialty care to fit their needs … close to home.

Sacred Heart, led by those pediatricians, built the facility and programs and established the children’s hospital in 2003. Along with the physical expansion, there was a focus on recruiting pediatric doctors and staff. And, with new physicians came new services – like 24-hour pediatric emergency services and a dedicated surgery center.

Here today, with plans for the future

Where are we today? We have 177 pediatric beds, a full complement of pediatric providers and plans for exciting new services to round out our continuum of care. Front and center: our highly skilled surgical, cardiology, neonatology, emergency and critical care teams. We also offer endocrinology, gastroenterology, neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, nephrology, ophthalmology, orthopedic, psychology, pulmonary, urology, adolescent and developmental medicine.

But, just as important, are the “behind-the-scenes” specialists who round out the teams.

Eight pediatric anesthesiologists provide care for vulnerable infant and child patients. Pediatric radiologists and infectious disease specialists assess the (sometimes) minor nuances in childhood diagnostics. Pediatric-trained pharmacy and laboratory teams ensure optimal safety, while the nursing staff, techs, child life specialists and others demonstrate their passion for kids.

We’ve come a long way

We’ve come a long way from a simple pediatric unit in a hospital.

Access to research protocols, connections to other children’s hospitals through the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and recruitment of nationally-recognized pediatric specialists to Spokane has “raised the bar” on the quality of pediatric care in our region.

A short 10 years after the pediatric community told us, “If you build it, they will come,” the momentum is strong. And, the impact on the health of our children is dramatic. All due to that passionate group of pediatricians who believed kids deserve the very best care we can offer.