University of Washington Medical Center | 100 great hospitals in America 2016

University of Washington Medical Center (Seattle). UW Medical Center may be the No. 1 hospital in the Seattle metro area and the whole state of Washington, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2015-16 rankings, but it had humble beginnings. In 1959, it opened as one of the nation's smallest teaching hospitals. The hospital building, which cost approximately $13 million to build, had eight floors, 291 beds and a nursery. It was located on a former golf course.

Today, UW Medical Center — which is Magnet-recognized for nursing excellence — is well-known for cancer care. Through the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, UW Medical Center is partnered with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Children's Hospital. The hospital has received national recognition for its oncology prowess: U.S. News & World Report ranked UW Medical Center as the No. 5 cancer hospital in the nation in its most recent rankings.

UW Medical Center is also known for transplant medicine, as surgeons at the hospital perform most of the multi-organ procurements in Washington, Alaska, Montana and northern Idaho in conjunction with LifeCenter Northwest. In fall 2015, UW Medicine became one of seven sites in the nation to conduct a clinical trial of the Organ Care System, which keeps organs warm and beating during transport, lengthening the window of time caregivers have to transport and transplant a heart.

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