Mary Bridge Children’s Legacy

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The Tacoma Orthopedic Association was founded in 1921 with the dream to open a dedicated children's hospital in Tacoma

A 100-Year Dream

The vision and support of community members more than 100 years ago is what brought Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital to Tacoma.

In 1921, Gertrude E.V. Baker founded the Tacoma Orthopedic Association (TOA) — known today as the Mary Bridge Brigade — with the dream of opening a dedicated children’s hospital in Tacoma.

In 1947, the TOA received a large gift from the late A.W. Bridge, a Tacoma physician who left money in his will to open a children’s clinic in honor of his mother.

In 1955, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital opened its doors.

It’s with this same community-driven mindset and support that we’ll soon bring expanded pediatric health care to our community with the opening of this new standalone hospital building.

When the new Mary Bridge Children’s opens, the dream of Gertrude E.V. Baker and the women of the TOA to have a dedicated children’s hospital in Tacoma will be fully realized.

The Mary Bridge Children’s Experience

Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital is more than a place for children to heal. It’s a place for them to grow and thrive. A place for families to come for solutions and support. A place where medical expertise and a passion for children and families work together in perfect balance.

Building on the foundation of our family-centered care philosophy, the Mary Bridge Children’s Experience is strengthened by the Care Promises our providers make to our patients and their families:

  • Connect: I will acknowledge and be available to you.
  • Honor: I will treat you with dignity and respect.
  • Listen: I will listen to understand.
  • Teach: I will teach you and learn from you.


Historical images at top of page courtesy of  Mary Bridge Brigade archives.