Since November 2005, the Northwest Healthcare Response Network (the Network), including its predecessor healthcare coalitions, has focused on strengthening regional healthcare preparedness and response capabilities. Whether responding to a disease outbreak, mitigating the impacts of winter weather, or preparing for earthquakes, the Network has built the relationships, systems and plans to allow for quick and effective coordination.

In 2012, two healthcare coalitions serving the largest population centers in Washington State — King and Pierce counties — merged to form the Network. In January of 2014, the Network successfully transitioned from a program within Public Health – Seattle & King County to an independent 501(c)3 organization. The transition was guided by a comprehensive business plan, which was the foundation for the initial strategic framework, organization structure, and membership model.

In 2017, Kitsap County joined the Network. Concurrently, the Network was contracted by the Washington State Department of Health (the DOH) to guide training and exercise, information management, patient movement, and response coordination planning across Western Washington.

In July 2018, the DOH reconfigured the state’s healthcare coalitions, consolidating six coalitions into two: an Eastern and a Western Washington coalition. The Network became the healthcare coalition for most of Western Washington, working with partners in 15 counties and 25 contiguous sovereign tribal nations.

During the COVID pandemic, NWHRN also assisted DOH in providing real-time, statewide data to support the pandemic response.