A Long and Proud Tradition of Caring for our Community
While our name is new, our roots go back to 1862, in the midst of our country's Civil War and the Comstock Lode silver boom in nearby Virginia City when Washoe Clinic was founded to treat victims of a smallpox outbreak. In 1864, Nevada became a state and Washoe County Hospital first opened.
For more than 140 years, our hospital has served the healthcare needs of northern Nevada. Originally operated by Washoe County as the county hospital, ownership of Washoe Medical Center was transferred in 1984 to the newly created Washoe Health System, a private, not-for-profit corporation. In the fall of 2006 after an extensive community study, Washoe Medical Center become Renown Health. Today, both Renown Health and Renown Regional Medical Center operate as private, not-for-profit organizations.
The following timeline summarizes the organization's long and colorful history, and highlights the many medical technologies and advancements pioneered in northern Nevada by Renown Health and Renown Regional Medical Center.
1862 Washoe Medical Center (WMC) begins as a clinic in Washoe Valley to treat an outbreak of smallpox among miners.
1864 The first hospital building is purchased.
1876 The hospital moves to its present location at 77 Pringle Way, Reno.
1900 to 1970s
1949 WMC opens the first Pediatrics Unit.
1950 Washoe Medical Center Auxiliary is established.
1953 WMC offers the area's only radioactive isotope lab for treatment of tumors.
1956 Washoe Western School of Practical Nursing opens at WMC.
1960 Washoe Poison Center is established at WMC.
1964 WMC expands to 300 licensed beds.
1971 WMC establishes the only cancer treatment center in northern Nevada.
1971 Renal dialysis for kidney patients is first offered at WMC
1973 Seven-story hospital tower is completed. Expansion adds 160 beds, bringing WMC's capacity to 529 licensed beds.
1973 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is established at WMC.
1973 Radiation Therapy Department is established at WMC.
1977 First cardiac catheterization in Reno is performed at WMC.
1977 First open-heart surgery in Reno is performed at WMC.
1979 The University of Nevada School of Medicine establishes its first residency program at WMC for internal medicine, family care, and psychiatry residents.
1980s to 1990s
1980 WMC offers occupational therapy.
1981 Region's first coronary angioplasty is performed at WMC.
1983 Same-day surgery is initiated at WMC.
1984 The only ultrasound scanner in northern Nevada is introduced at WMC.
1984 WMC establishes Washoe Pregnancy Center, ensuring prenatal care is available to any expectant mother, regardless of ability to pay.
1984 Washoe Medical Center Board of Governors and the Washoe County Commission adopt the transfer of WMC's assets, patients, staff, employees, and debts, to a not-for-profit corporation, Washoe Health System.
1984 WMC becomes a private, not-for-profit hospital under Washoe Health System.
1985 Washoe Medical Foundation is established
1988 WMC receives designation as the region's only Level II Trauma Center.
1988 Hometown Health Plan forms as a not-for-profit health maintenance organization, offering affordable and complete health coverage to fully insured employer groups.
1989 Opening of region's first dialysis center at WMC.
1993 WHS begins Healing Arts Program, celebrating the link between emotional and physical health by bringing massage, healing programs and pet therapy to the hospital setting.
1994 Washoe Diabetes Health Center, which opened in Sparks in l984, relocates to WMC.
1996 WMC opens Washoe Health Resource Center, a community information center.
1996 Washoe Health System is named company of the year by the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the American Association of Training and Development for exemplary employee training and development.
1996 WMC funds grant of $750,000 to Truckee Meadows Tomorrow, a community nonprofit organization, to identify and measure indicators related to health concerns, of community well being.
1997 Washoe Health System is awarded the prestigious George Land World Class Innovator award.
1999 Washoe Village at South Meadows opens, providing assisted living, acute rehabilitation and long-term care in south Reno.
1999 Pediatric specialty clinics open, providing specialized local care for children and their families.
1999 Washoe Health System and Barton HealthCare System of South Lake Tahoe announce an agreement to assume equal ownership of Carson Valley Medical Center in Gardnerville, Nevada.
1999 First intravascular brachytherapy procedure in northern Nevada performed at WMC.
2000s to Present
2002 Washoe Institute for Neurosciences and Washoe Comprehensive Stroke Center are established at WMC.
2002 Women's Cancer Center, specializing in gynecologic oncology, opens as part of Washoe Cancer Services.
2002 WMC is one of 13 hospitals nationwide to receive the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers "Facility of Choice" award. 2003 WMC becomes one of only 20 hospitals in the nation to offer Novalis Shaped Beam Surgery, the most advanced form of stereotactic radiosurgery available.
2003 Washoe Health System acquires Washoe Medical Center Rehabilitation Hospital.
2004 Washoe Medical Center South Meadows is the first new hospital to open in Reno for more than 20 years, following an extensive remodel of the former Washoe Village at South Meadows.
2004 WMC is the only healthcare network in Nevada named to the Top 100 Health Networks list. This distinction by the Verispan Corporation recognizes performance level and degree of integration, and indicates a health system's ability to support the delivery of quality patient care.
2005 An extensive community research project is launched to study the Washoe Medical Center brand.
2006 The Board of Directors approve the rebranding of the organization to Renown Health.