About Harborview Medical Center


​​​​Harborview Medical Center is the only designated Level 1 adult and pediatric trauma and burn center in the state of Washington and serves as the regional trauma and burn referral center for Alaska, Montana and Idaho. UW Medicine physicians and staff based at Harborview provide highly specialized services for vascular, orthopedics, neurosciences, ophthalmology, behavioral health, HIV/AIDS and complex critical care.

Harborview received the 2007 Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service in recognition of the important role Harborview plays in delivering high quality health care throughout the community. In 2011, U.S. News & World Report ranked Harborview in the top 10 hospitals in the Seattle/Tacoma metropolitan area.

The medical center is owned by King County, governed by a board of trustees appointed by the county and managed by the University of Washington.
Harborview has a specific mission to care for the community’s most vulnerable patients. It also is the Disaster Control Hospital for Seattle and King County. 

Key Centers of Excellence

  • Level I adult and pediatric trauma and burn care
  • Neurosciences Institute
  • Orthopaedic reconstruction and rehabilitation
  • Comprehensive Eye Institute and vision science center
  • Vascular
  • Behavioral health

2013 Statistics

​​Licensed beds  413 
Admissions 18,000
Emergency Department visits          66,000
Clinic visits 246,000


Charity Care

Harborview is mission driven and provides comprehensive care to patients from all walks of life. In fiscal year 2013, UW Medicine physicians and staff at Harborview provided $219 million in charity care. This level of support represents 18 percent of all the charity care provided throughout the state of Washington.

Medical Firsts

As faculty members at the UW School of Medicine, Harborview physicians also teach the next generation of health-care professionals, advance medical discovery and set the standard of care worldwide. Our physicians have:

  • Founded Medic One emergency response with Seattle Fire Department 
  • Developed safer neurosurgery techniques, including brain mapping 
  • Pioneered treatments for patients with acute respiratory distress disease 
  • Led many advances in multidisciplinary critical care for clots, sepsis, organ failure, lung disease, inflammation and infections 
  • Established the use of transcranial Doppler to determine if brain vessels have been damaged by trauma 
  • Refined methods for burn treatment using artificial skin grafts to improve survival


Harborview began in 1877 as a six-bed King County Hospital in South Seattle. In 1931, the hospital moved to its present location overlooking Puget Sound and changed its name to Harborview Hospital. Since then, Harborview Medical Center has become a leading medical center and expanded its facilities through voter-approved bond projects and Harborview reserve funds. The Ninth and Jefferson Building, which opened in 2009, houses expanded specialty care services, providing greater access to medical experts in key areas.

Research Studies

UW Medicine is currently engaged in the following studies:

  • Cardiac arrest