In the early days of Kitsap County, medical care was a luxury. A handful of physicians served the entire region, braving rough roads and treacherous waters to reach a far-flung population. Despite these doctors' valiant efforts, professional treatment was not always available to help the pioneer, the mill worker, and the logger. Neighbors had to look out for one another, too.
This spirit of cooperation and concern for others was especially apparent in 1918, when the area faced a grave medical crisis. An influenza outbreak—one causing many deaths around the world—quickly spread throughout the county. Among those who responded to the suffering were Benjamin and Angie Harrison, a hardware merchant and his wife, a local school teacher.
The contributions of the Harrison—among Bremerton’s earliest pioneers—did not end with the epidemic. Their experience in the influenza wards resulted in a firm conviction that medical care ought to be available to all. For years afterwards, the Harrisons devoted most of their time and resources to the hospital, carefully nurturing it through a variety of locations and identities. The proud legacy flourished today at their namesake, Harrison Medical Center.
What begins as a handful of friends gathered in support of Harrison Medical Center has become a vibrant and successful Guild. Our purpose is to serve as advocates for Harrison Medical Center through volunteer, philanthropic and educational endeavors to ensure excellent care for patients in our region. Our fundraising projects will make possible programs and services for Harrison, resulting in a healthier community.
Annual membership dues are $20. Members are expected to attend as many regular meetings as possible and participate in our fundraising event.
Guild meetings will be organized around our fundraising event, however we will have educational, hospital-related speakers as well. We will meet on the third Tuesday of each month with the starting at 6:00 PM (location TBD).
For further information on membership and our next meeting please contact Guild President, Sandy Carino or the Foundation office at (360) 744-6760.
Image of Angie Harrison.