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Dear First Hill Neighbors,

  Photo: Betsy Braun, Administrative Director, Design, Construction and Property Management, Virginia Mason
Betsy Braun, Design, Construction and Property Management, Virginia Mason

On behalf of Virginia Mason Medical Center, I would like to say a big “Thank You!” to the First Hill community for your contributions and creativity in helping us finalize our Major Institution Master Plan for the Virginia Mason campus. The Master Plan, Design Guidelines and Environmental Impact Statement are now going to the Seattle Hearing Examiner for final review before being submitted to the Seattle City Council, along with letters of recommendation from the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) and Seattle Department of Planning and Development.

Once approved, the plan will allow us to:

  • Create an environment for our patients, families, visitors, staff members, volunteers, and neighbors that reflects the quality of care we provide.
  • Provide a safe, attractive and engaging campus with lively streetscapes.
  • Exemplify good stewardship of scarce resources.
  • Modernize and expand our facilities to accommodate new technologies and embrace the future.

Throughout this multiyear planning process, our focus has been balancing the needs of Virginia Mason with the needs of an ever-evolving First Hill community. This collaborative process meant dealing head on with a number of difficult issues, including traffic, building mass and height, pedestrian and housing needs and historic preservation to strike this balance. Because of this collaboration, a number of alternates were identified on the path to determining the final plan. This process has benefited greatly from the community’s diversity of perspectives, which contributed to obtaining consensus.

Together, we have invested a considerable amount of energy and creativity into this process:

  • The CAC has held 22 public meetings, including an all-day weekend workshop.
  • Virginia Mason has presented the plans and gathered community input at a host of public venues, including the First Hill Improvement Association, various homeowners association meetings and other forums.
  • The CAC, City of Seattle and the community have contributed to six rounds of development, review and comment on the Major Institution Master Plan, the Environmental Impact Statement and the Design Guidelines.
  • There have been numerous smaller meetings, emails, phone calls and conversations with our neighbors to discuss various aspects of the plan.
  • The city has staffed the planning process with a team of experts from its Department of Neighborhoods, Department of Planning and Development, Department of Transportation, Office of Housing and other departments. We would like to extend a special thank you to Steve Sheppard of the Department of Neighborhoods and Stephanie Haines of the Department of Planning and Development for their leadership and direction.
  • The consulting team has brought some of Seattle’s best urban planners and designers together to collaborate with the community on this plan. We would like to especially thank Lesley Bain, Katy Chaney, Dennis Haskell, David Johnson, Terry McCann, John Owen, Natalie Price, Michelle Sarlitto, John Sato, Kim Selby, Peter Steinbrueck, Amina Suchoski, Rick Sundberg, Barbara Swift, and their teams for their expertise and creativity.

Thank you again to all of you for your participation in this community planning process!

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate contact me at (206) 341-0941 or at The current documents are available on Virginia Mason’s website at

Betsy Braun, Administrative Director
Design, Construction and Property Management
Virginia Mason Medical Center

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