Community Relations

Art program sessionSince 1877, Harborview Medical Center has developed a reputation as a world-class medical center, providing care for patients in Seattle, throughout the region and from around the world. As the only Level I adult and pediatric trauma and burn center in Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho, our physicians and health-care professionals provide expert care from primary health care through highly specialized services.

But Harborview’s role in the community extends far beyond the bedside. To help broaden awareness about Harborview Medical Center, Executive Director Eileen Whalen launched in June 2009 a Community Internship Program. Community leaders spend the day as "interns," immersed in Harborview Medical Center, with walking tours provided in the Emergency Department, trauma and other divisions.

Our robust Harborview Art Program features works by premier Northwest artists, art that is often displayed throughout the community, as well as in the medical center.

Art program sessionWe realize how important reading is to a healthy life, and our literacy program “prescribes” reading for some of our youngest patients. Our yearly Children’s Holiday Party features costumed characters and gifts for former patients. As part of our ongoing commitment to children, Harborview has teamed with two partners to create the Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Seattle to promote the use of booster seats in immigrant communities, create walking school bus programs in inner city neighborhoods and distribute bike helmets at no or low cost.

Harborview’s leading physicians educate the public through the Seattle Public Library’s lecture series and UW Medicine’s Mini-Med School, a multi-part program that gives participants a behind scenes look at medicine.

We reach out to the underserved in many ways. Our Pioneer Square Clinic, located in downtown Seattle, provides primary care, mental health and other services to the homeless. Mary Larson, a nurse at the clinic and artist, often paints vibrant portraits of the patients, which are displayed in the clinic and at Harborview. Our integrated and supported employment and housing programs to help homeless clients with mental illness find jobs and housing, and our work overcoming language and cultural disparities in health care through our community house calls and extensive interpreter services programs.

Harborview’s Volunteer Services offers opportunities for all volunteers, from teens to adults. Volunteers regularly gather donated toiletries for families with loved ones in our intensive care units, while our prestigious summer volunteer program introduces teens to medicine and public service.

While Harborview provides many specialty services, we promote preventive health, as well.