70 Years of Caring

Celebrating 70 years of caring for Clallam County

There have been many changes in health care since Olympic Memorial Hospital first opened its doors 70 years ago, but one thing hasn’t changed – a dedication to meeting the needs of our community, every day.

What began in 1951 as a small, rural hospital with approximately 80 employees is now a vibrant medical center – Olympic Medical Center – providing safe, quality health care to the residents of the North Olympic Peninsula. Now the largest employer in Clallam County with more than 1,600 staff, Olympic Medical Center offers a Level 3 Trauma Center, emergency department and birth center, as well as surgical procedures, state-of-the-art cancer care, primary care and dozens of medical specialties.

Take a look at the historical timeline below for a history of how Olympic Medical Center came to be what it is today. Check back throughout the year as we continue to celebrate 70 years of caring for Clallam County.

June 18, 1862

President Abraham Lincoln signed an executive order which reserves the site for the present-day hospital. Federal government planners chose the 10-acre site at the corner of Caroline and Race streets for the hospital. Victor Smith was ordered by the government to survey the town and make reservations for a light house, hospital and other public purposes.

November 1946

Public Hospital District No. 2 of Clallam County was created by vote of the people. When the hospital district was created, three commissioners were appointed: N. Ruth Fint, Boyd R. Grant and Luke Lamberson. Henry L. Boni was appointed commissioner shortly after Mr. Lamberson moved out of the area.

June 30, 1947

Congress approved an act to set aside the current property for a public hospital in Clallam County.


President Harry Truman designated the present-day property to be used for a public hospital.

By required three-fifths majority, voters approved the constructing and equipping of the hospital at an estimated cost of $924,000. Construction proceeded under the terms of the Federal Act referred to as the Hill-Burton Act, under the provision of which the Federal Government paid approximately one-third of the cost.

The commissioners paid considerable attention to the matter and decided to name the hospital Olympic Memorial Hospital, in memory of the men and women who served in wars in which this country participated.

July 17, 1950 (ca.)

Construction on the hospital began. Commissioners estimated they would need $1,011,111 to build and equip it. They did the job for $16,338 less than the estimated cost. The general construction was done by the firm of J.G. Watts Construction Co., the electrical work was done by The Electric Co., the heating, plumbing and mechanical ventilation work done by the J. W. Caven Co. Robert Cole, an engineer for the Washington State Hospital Board, approved the structure and the Commissioners concurred in the recommendation of management and staff. Superior Court Judge Max Church spoke at the cornerstone laying ceremonies on December 15, 1950.

November 1, 1951

Olympic Memorial Hospital began its 24-hour “vigil over the lives of Clallam County’s nearly 30,000 inhabitants. The hospital is completely self-contained to embrace all the activities that are to be a part of the lives of those who work in the various departments and at the manifold tasks that are part and parcel of the administration of a modern hospital.”

The hospital officially opened its doors at 2:00 pm, taking its first significant step toward becoming one of the top rural medical facilities in the country. About 80 people comprised the original staff, including 13 doctors: Dr. Fairshter, Dr. Hamilton, Dr. Kintner, Dr. Laico, Dr. Madsen, Dr. Schueler, Dr. McFadden, Dr. Moore, Dr. Littlejohn, Dr. Carlson, Dr. Leibold, Dr. Tomlinson and Dr. Barker. Harry Sanislo was the hospital administrator.

The first baby born at Olympic Memorial Hospital was Marilyn Ruth Erickson, born to Margaret and Ernest Erickson. In 1986, a celebration of the Hospital’s 35th anniversary featured Margaret, Marilyn and Dr. Quentin Kinter, who delivered Marilyn as well as three out of four of her own children.


The hospital competed an expansion that doubled the square footage and expanded services offered to make it comparable to institutions in urban areas.


The Board hired Allen K. Remington as Administrator . While with the Hospital, Remington became president of the Washington Public Hospital Districts Association, board president of the Washington State Hospital Association and received the honorary Joe Hopkins Award for outstanding leadership in rural healthcare.. Under Remington’s leadership, the Olympic Memorial Hospital Foundation, now the Olympic Medical Center Foundation, was established. Over the years, the Foundation has donated more than $6 million to OMC.


The Stovel Tower was completed, adding a 10-bed ICU with rooms looking out over the Port Angeles Harbor and the Strait of Juan De Fuca. The project also allowed for the pharmacy to relocate to a larger space. The wing was named in honor of Lucille Stovel, who worked for the Hospital for more than 40 years, beginning as a volunteer in the laundry room mending linens and working her way up to Associate Administrator before retiring in 1986 to became a member of the Board of Commissioners.


Olympic Medical Center chose to participate in the Washington Trauma Designated Hospital System. This system defines standards of care requirements for participating hospitals. Trauma levels range from I to V, with Harborview as the only Level I trauma center in Washington State. Olympic Medical Center received a Level IV status in 1994 before applying for Level III in late 1998. Currently, OMC is one of two Level III Trauma Care Service hospitals in the Olympic Peninsula region.


Mike Glenn was hired as OMC administrator after previously having served with the Hospital since 1991. Glenn ultimately spent 15 years with OMC, including seven as CEO, helping to develop the organization’s services, facilities and staff.


Mike Glenn, OMC CEO at the time, attends a ground-breaking ceremony for the Cancer Center in Sequim

March 5, 2003

Dr. Scott Kennedy was named Chief Medical Officer for OMC, becoming the first person to hold that position for the hospital. Dr. Kennedy, who was raised in Port Angeles, practiced family medicine for a decade on the Olympic Peninsula prior to being selected to this role at OMC.

May 3, 2003

OMC celebrated the grand opening of the new Cancer Center on North Fifth Avenue in Sequim. Following remarks from OMC board members and administration, guests toured the facility while learning about cancer treatments and care.

July 29, 2003

OMC received the Quest for Quality award from the American Hospital Association, which recognizes hospitals for providing high-quality, patient-centered care.

Mike Glenn, CEO of OMC at the time, said of the prestigious honor, “We are delighted to be recognized for our leadership in quality and commitment to patient care. The Quest for Quality award represents the commitment and work of all our physicians and hospital employees and is an honor the entire community can feel good about.”

October 11, 2003

A star-studded OMC Foundation gala and fundraiser, including television personality Art Linkletter and KOMO-TV meteorologist Steve Pool, drew a full house to SunLand Golf and Country Club while raising more than $14,000 for the Cancer Center, setting the tone for the event that continues growing today.

August 14, 2007

A first-of-its-kind satellite Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic opened its doors to serve the approximately 14,000 veterans on the North Olympic Peninsula. U.S. Senator Patty Murray, who played an important role in helping to make the clinic a reality, told Newsradio KONP 1450, “This is exactly what we should be doing to care for our local veterans.”

The clinic allowed veterans access to primary health care without having to drive to the Puget Sound area. OMC leased the original building to the VA for $1 a year.

In 2014, the VA clinic moved to a new location – just a block away on Georgiana Street in Port Angeles – and increasing the size of its facility more than five-fold, from 1,400 square feet to 7,800.

December 2006

Eric Lewis selected as CEO after previously serving with OMC as Chief Financial Officer since 1998. Lewis went on to serve OMC for 22 years, including 14 as the CEO. He served as Board Chair of the Washington State Hospital Association and was also the Board President of the Association of Washington Public Hospital Districts in 2017.

Lewis received a number of accolades and awards over the years, being recognized by the American Hospital Association as a Grassroots Leader in 2013, Joe Hopkins Memorial Award in 2017 from the Washington State Hospital Association, and 2018 Leaders in Health Care Honoree by Seattle Business Magazine.


Olympic Medical’s retention of the former Virginia Mason primary care clinic enabled over 18,000 local residents to maintain access to primary care. The retention of the “Eighth Street Clinic” allowed patients to continue seeing their “own” doctor and preserved primary care access for members of the community.

June 4, 2007

The state-of-the-art, 48,000 square-foot Medical Services Building opened in Sequim.

“We are so proud to open the doors of this beautiful medical facility,” then-CEO Eric Lewis said at the time. “The Sequim community has desperately needed this and we are happy to now offer a full range of cardiac services, specialty services, imaging and laboratory under one very large roof.”

When it first opened, the Medical Services Building housed Cardiac Services, an Imaging Center and a Laboratory, as well as Olympic Medical Physicians Specialty Clinics.

March 19, 2014

Governor Jay Inslee signed into law a bill that helped to provide long-term financial stability for “sole community hospitals” such as OMC. The result of the bill was increased reimbursement for Medicaid outpatient services, which has aided in preserving access to quality health care in Clallam County.

The bill was co-sponsored at that time by State Senator Jim Hargrove (1993-2016) and State Representatives Steve Tharinger (2010-present) and Kevin Van De Wege (State Representative: 2006-16; State Senator: 2016-present). “Without this community hospital, our most vulnerable citizens would have nowhere to go,” Hargrove said in a statement upon the bill’s signing.

April 22, 2017

The Medical Office Building in Port Angeles hosts its official grand opening. The 42,000-square foot facility houses a Walk-In Clinic as well as the Primary Care Clinic and many specialty services.

June 2, 2020

Darryl Wolfe officially began his role as OMC’s interim chief executive officer. The Board of Commissioners selected Wolfe as the permanent CEO on July 29 and confirmed his appointment on Aug. 5.

Wolfe joined Olympic Medical Center in 2006 as a financial analyst, and quickly progressed into leadership roles, including treasurer, director of administration, chief financial officer and chief operating officer.

He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University and a bachelor’s degree from Washington State University.