In the hardscrabble beginnings of Kitsap County, medical care wasn't easily come by. A handful of physicians served a formidably wide area, braving rough roads and treacherous waters to reach a far-flung population. Despite these doctors' valiant efforts, medical care rarely reached the pioneer, the mill worker, and the logger. Neighbors frequently filled the breach.
This spirit of shared burdens and mutual benefit was especially apparent in 1918 when the area was hard hit by the virulent "Spanish Flu." The influenza outbreak—which would claim millions of victims around the world—quickly subdued the County. Among those responding to the suffering were Benjamin and Angie Harrison, a hardware merchant and his teacher wife.
The contributions of the Harrison's didn't end with the epidemic. Their experience in the influenza wards resulted in a firm conviction that medical care was everyone's right. For years following, the Harrison’s devoted most of their energies to the concept of community healthcare, nurturing the hospital through a variety of locations and identities. As a final gesture of their commitment, the Harrison's made a substantial gift in their will to the hospital that would eventually bear their name. Today, their legacy flourishes at Harrison Medical Center.
"Harrison Hospital shall serve humanity, and shall alleviate its pain and suffering." - Harrison Hospital's mission as expressed in Benjamin Harrison's will.