Rockwood Clinic was founded in 1930. The Roaring 20s were a
distant memory, the stock market crash of 1929 had plunged America
into the Great Depression and the Inland Northwest was struggling
along with the rest of the country.
Despite uncertain financial times, a young doctor began
building what was to become one of the Northwest's largest
outpatient clinics and regional referral centers for
multi-specialty care. Dr. William W. Robinson, a Spokane native and
graduate of Rush Medical College in Chicago, returned to Spokane in
1930 to establish a medical practice. With 10 patients and a staff
of four, Robinson opened Rockwood Clinic Hospital on Spokane's
Robinson promised, "The hospital will be giving a new
type of service where a complete examination and necessary medical
and surgical services will be available under one roof under the
close personal supervision of the physician in charge."
Rockwood Clinic prospered until World War II when many of its
physicians were drafted or enlisted, forcing the Hospital to close.
In 1945, Robinson returned to Spokane and began recruiting his
colleagues to join him in a new style of medical practice.
Individual doctor's offices were being replaced by group practices,
similar to the Mayo Clinic model.
By 1957 Rockwood Clinic moved to a larger facility on Eighth
Avenue in a rapidly growing area that was becoming the medical
center of the Inland Northwest. Physicians were added to the staff
and in the 1980s planning began for a new facility. In the fall of
1987 a 103,000-square-foot clinic opened on East Fifth Avenue.
This location still serves as the Clinic's main location with
primary care and many specialties located on the campus. It
continues to serve as the hub of the Rockwood Clinic satellite
system offering multi-specialty, urgent care and primary care
(family practice, pediatrics and internal medicine on site).
Over the years, Rockwood Clinic physicians were some of the
first in the Northwest to provide radiation therapy, pediatric
intensive care and laparoscopic surgery. Additionally, Rockwood's
physicians have received national recognition for advances in
arthritis treatment using new drug therapies. In 1997 Dr. Rex T.
Hoffmeister received the National Arthritis Foundation Virginia
Engalitcheff Award for Impact on Quality of Life for his pivotal
role in the use of methotrexate as a primary treatment in
Today, Rockwood Clinic sees more than 110,000 patients a year
and employs more than 300 physicians and providers and a total of
more than 1,100 employees. Rockwood Clinic offers more than 40
specialties and operates from 12 primary clinical locations
providing concentrated medical and urgent care services and several
other specialty care locations throughout Spokane and Coeur
d'Alene, Idaho. Rockwood Clinic is the largest freestanding
outpatient diagnostic and treatment center between Central
Washington and Minneapolis and is home to the region's most
comprehensive and skilled medical and health care experts.
Rockwood Clinic continues in the spirit of its founder, Dr.
William Robinson, by providing compassionate, comprehensive,
integrated care in "a tradition of caring."
Excerpted from "The Inland Northwest A Modern History of A
Dynamic Region," by Kay F. Reinartz.
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