Capital Medical Center Celebrates 30 Years in Thurston County

capital medical center


Submitted by Capital Medical Center

capital medical center
Capital Medical Center is celebrating 30 years in Thurston County.

Capital Medical Center has turned 30. The hospital was founded in 1985 by a small group of physicians seeking to expand health care for women. Today Capital Medical Center is that, and more. The hospital recently completed a $1.5 million renovation of their women’s services unit, including newly remodeled private birthing suites and an upgraded family waiting area.

A $16.3 million expansion and renovation of the hospital’s surgical services department, slated to begin later this year, will include seven state-of-the-art operating suites to accommodate the growing demand from patients and to better meet the needs of surgeons. Since 2005, Capital has invested over $32 million in new technologies and facilities.

Capital’s CEO, Jim Geist, says he is always surprised when he finds someone is unaware that Capital Medical Center is a hospital. “This is a full-service, accredited hospital and Level IV trauma facility providing critical 24-hour emergency care to residents of the Southwest Washington.”

“It may come from the perception that a community hospital is less than full service,” he said. “In fact, you’ll find the same level of professionalism, expertise and technology as hospitals in larger urban areas like Seattle and Portland.”

Dr. Angela Bowen, a retired endocrinologist, was one of the founding physicians of the hospital. “I think it’s a friendlier place, not as big and busy and kind of impersonal as a much bigger hospital. The quality of doctors that practice at Capital makes me very comfortable. You can get most anything you need done there.”

capital medical center
More than 550 employees work at Capital Medical Center.

In a nod to the hospital’s excellence, The Joint Commission, the nation’s leading health care accreditation organization, awarded their “Gold Seal of Approval”— one of the first in the state — to Capital’s Joint & Spine Center in 2013. Dr. Stephen Snow, an orthopedic surgeon, leads Capital’s Physician Leadership Group and has, himself, been a patient for spine surgery at Capital.

“I have confidence in Capital Medical Center and have sent family members there when they needed care,” said Snow. “Having a hospital on both sides of town increases access, and the community benefits by having two strong health care centers.”

Quality and patient safety are carefully monitored at every level at Capital. Former Olympia Mayor Doug Mah chairs Capital’s board of trustees. The board is comprised of physicians and community volunteers who gather monthly to review quality dashboards and ensure patients are experiencing the best possible outcomes.

“Capital Medical Center really dedicates itself to exceptional care,” said Mah. “They bring diversity, choice and tremendous economic investment to our region.”

capital medical center
90-year-old Rose Tighe says that volunteering at Capital Medical Center keeps her young.

Capital Medical Center’s impact is widely felt in our community. Over the past five years, the hospital has provided more than $52 million in charity and uncompensated care, including nearly $375,000 in donations to community service organizations. Capital also paid $12.7 million in state and local taxes and fees, helping fund schools, public safety, emergency services, and care for the poor.

Paula Rauen, executive director of the Olympia Free Clinic, recently received a $3,500 donation from Capital and their employees after they selected the non-profit to receive the proceeds of a monthly “Jeans Day” campaign.

“We are very grateful for our partnership with Capital Medical Center and the generosity of their employees,” said Rauen, “Good health care affects families. If you have healthy parents, you have healthy children.”

While Capital has invested heavily in new technologies, ultimately, great health care is delivered by people. And Capital has some of the Northwest’s best — from professional nurses and technical staff to passionate, fellowship-trained physicians and specialists trained to treat most any condition.

Over the past five years, Capital has infused nearly $200 million in wages and investment into our region’s economy. Capital provides jobs for more than 550 employees who live in our neighborhoods, volunteer in our schools and make our community vibrant.

The hospital is celebrating their 30th anniversary with a variety of events during the year.

To learn more about Capital Medical Center, visit

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