The year was 1928 and a group of women from Mercer Island decided to form the Orthopedic Guild of Mercer Island in support of Children’s Orthopedic Hospital.
The Hospital was the brainchild of Anna Clise, a prominent Seattleite, whose 5-year old son, Willis, died in 1898 of heart disease. Mrs. Clise responded to the lack of health care for children by organizing the Children’s Orthopedic Hospital and today Seattle Children’s Hospital is among the top five children’s hospitals in the country.
For the past 90 years, the Mercer Island Guild has contributed approximately $6 million to uncompensated care in support of the Hospitals founding philosophy of accepting any child regardless of the parents’ ability to pay.
Since its inception, hundreds of Mercer Island women have passed through the Guild. Today the Mercer Island Guild membership stands at 54 and includes the first male member. Recently they gathered together along with several emeritus members to celebrate the Guild’s 90th birthday.
Included among the guests was Judy Ogden, current chair of the Guild Association for Seattle Children’s Hospital. Ms. Ogden related some recent statistics around uncompensated care. In 2017, Seattle Children’s provided $164 million in uncompensated care stemming from rising health care costs, complexity of patient’s care, underpayment from insurance and Medicaid.
Last year, 18 individual patients from Mercer Island received care at Seattle Children’s resulting in $123,000 in uncompensated care.
This last statistic dispels the myth that Mercer Island residents do not benefit from donations made to the Mercer Island Guild. In 2017, the Mercer Island Guild contributed $120,000 to uncompensated care and $2,500 to pediatric research through its principal fundraising vehicle, the Mercer Island Directory.
The Directory serves the community by connecting residents and businesses and has been published by the Guild for the past 75 years. The Directory is used by many long-term residents as source of information about businesses serving the Mercer Island community.
Seattle Children’s recently embarked on a new campaign called “It starts with YES”. The goal is to raise $1 billion to fund needed expansion of the Hospital, deliver on the power of immunotherapy, unlock the mysteries of the developing brain, and expand health and wellness to low-income and ethnically diverse children.
The Mercer Island Guild has joined this campaign and through the generosity of the residents and businesses serving Mercer Island will continue its legacy of giving to Seattle Children’s Hospital.
To make a donation, join, or ask questions about the Mercer Island Guild, locals may contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-232-3903.