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PeaceHealth receives $50M gift, largest in 130-year history

Thank you to Peter H. Paulsen for helping build the future of healthcare

Proposed Paulsen Building at St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Washington

We are embarking on a generational investment

to transform our community hospital into

northwest Washington's premier 21st-century medical center


Peter Paulsen

We are extraordinarily grateful for Mr. Peter H. Paulsen and his transformational gift of $50M to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center. This generous donation is the most sizable in PeaceHealth history and one of the most substantial gifts to community health systems in the U.S. in the past several years. We are deeply humbled by his generosity and inspired by his vision and hope for the future.

Mr. Paulsen joins other initial donors who have contributed $15.5M to date to support PeaceHealth St. Joseph’s newly launched Stronger Together fundraising campaign, intended to help the hospital expand capacity and access to best-in-class care and services to meet the evolving needs of the community.

Mr. Paulsen’s lead gift will be used to help build the Peter Paulsen Pavilion, a proposed addition to PeaceHealth St. Joseph which will significantly expand access, including a new emergency department and state-of-the-art care for women, children and newborns — all essential services that will directly impact the health and well-being of the entire region.

Mr. Paulsen has deep roots in the Bellingham area. His self-made success as a commercial property developer and investor afforded him the resources to give back to the community where he was the owner of the renowned Hotel Bellwether, which he designed and built on Bellingham Bay. His prior gifts to PeaceHealth include support for hospice programs to ensure exceptional care for Whatcom County patients and families.

"This changes everything,

for each person we care for."

Mara Kelley, MD
Pediatric Hospitalist and Medical Director of Pediatrics at PeaceHealth St. Joseph

Mara Kelley, M.D. smiles

Proposed Peter Paulsen Pavilion

A provider with gloves holds the hands of a patient

The New Emergency Department

  • Universal private rooms and flexible spaces dynamically respond to patient volume
  • Easy-to-navigate layout that facilitates collaboration and communication among care teams
  • Integrated imaging to speed up diagnosis and treatment
  • Modern, evidence-based design with consistent layouts to support healing
A woman holds baby in a park-like setting

Women's and Children's Health Services

  • Increased Pediatric Services so that families receive the care they need in their own community
  • A brand-new facility for labor and delivery with space to grow along with our community
  • Evidence-based design that reflects the special process of welcoming a new baby
  • Level 3 NICU, allowing more newborns to receive care right here in Bellingham with their families
Stronger together logo

The Time is Now

We have been honored to care for the people of northwest Washington for over 130 years. To meet the growing health needs of our region, PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center must expand and innovate. PeaceHealth is making significant investments in capital improvements to increase access to world-class care and transform our hospital for the future of medicine and the future of our region.

The new PeaceHealth St. Joseph will be modern and innovative in every way, from its footprint to patient room design, from the way it integrates medical technology to the way it makes people feel.


Square feet in a modern high-tech pavilion

  • Rooftop Helipad
  • Floors 4-5: Women's and Children's Services
  • Floors 2-3: Patient care rooms
  • Floor 1: Modern, unified Emergency Department
  • Ground Floor: Lobby and Healing Garden


New patient rooms with space specially designed for families


New floors provide optimal space to care for our community

This historic commitment will touch all areas of the hospital with a focus on two priority areas: the Emergency Department and Women’s and Children’s Services—areas of care with the potential to touch the lives of every person in the region; everyone needs access to high quality emergency services and labor and delivery care close to home.  


Learn more about how you can join us



To learn more about how you can make a difference, contact:
Anne Rasmussen, Chief Development Officer Northwest Network
360-319-9219 |

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