Columbia has always been a place of innovation.
Our first Administrator, Pastor C.R. Swanson, was a visionary who pioneered social services and developed the concept of integrated care for the elderly, which continues to inspire our mission today.
Established in 1920 to house elderly Scandinavian immigrants, it was first conceived of as a self help cooperative- an early precursor to today’s Assisted Living model- with a Matron, a Caretaker and 12 residents.
Known as the Columbia Conference for the Aged, residents came from as far away as Montana. As its reputation grew, the “Home” underwent continual expansion. By its 10th anniversary, there were 72 Residents with an annex that served as a Hospice.
1970– Inspired by European practices in senior care, Columbia’s Administrator Rev Everett Jensen went to Denmark to learn how to implement the “social model” (versus medical model) for senior care.
1975– Recognized as one of the first (if not the first) to open an Adult Daycare program; providing personal care services and activities.
1980– Became the first nursing facility in Washington to provide respite and emergency care beds to assist families caring for loved ones at home.
1986– Launched the first pilot program in the nation to care for patients with AIDS.
1995– Pioneered home health care services with our trademarked Club 24 Senior Living at Home.
2016– Announced our fund raising goal of $100,000 to develop 4 hospice suites to provide an intimate, comfortable environment for families at the end of life.
Today, Columbia continues the tradition of integrated, compassionate care for 116 residents in a contemporary facility. We are proud to provide services based on need and to serve anyone regardless of religion, orientation or ability to pay. And we continue to look for ways to be innovative.