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Our Story & Legacy

The story of movement is the story of life itself.

The Smallest Movements

The smallest movements serve as the markers by which we measure growth, development and change. First steps. First smile. The moment a child’s mouth curls into first words. We record them, chart them, share movements and measures with doctors, family and friends.

Life continues to proceed this way. We track a young dancer’s movements at her first recital. We count the miles between us and loved ones when they move away. When an old friend suffers a severe injury, we return once again to logging the smallest of movements—the bend of a finger, the twitch of a toe—as we follow his recovery.

When people and minds come together, things move in new directions.

In the mid 1930s, two friends, both of whom were doctors, met to share a meal and an idea. Both men were doing well, and they’d traded enough referrals back and forth over time that they joked about going into practice together. “Move things along,” one said to the other, and both men nodded their heads. The casual idea stuck with both of them. What would happen, they wondered, if they really did “move things along?”

They decided to follow the idea, and soon began sharing an office downtown. In less than three years, two more doctors joined them, and by 1940 they had the makings of a community medical clinic, one of the area’s first.

When it came to naming their group practice, they wanted it to reflect the population they served, many of whom were the children and grandchildren of the area’s timber industry, fishermen, carpenters and millworkers. After a few tries, they settled on something they knew would move well into the future.

They called it The Vancouver Clinic.

Breaking New Ground

Dr. John C. Brougher broke ground for the 87th Avenue Clinic on January 21, 1978. Watch our historical timeline to see how The Vancouver Clinic has served the rapidly growing population and remained the region’s top private source of healthcare services.

History in the making…

In 1936, Dr. John Brougher, a gynecologist, invited Dr. Frank Boersma, a family practitioner, to join him in his practice. The two provided medical care to the local community from an office in downtown Vancouver. To expand their thriving practice, they were joined by a surgeon in 1937 and a pediatrician in 1939. The group selected The Vancouver Medical and Surgical Center as a name for their practice. The name was officially shortened to The Vancouver Clinic in 1941.

Due to rapid growth, The Vancouver Clinic grew steadily both in numbers of patients and in providers. The Clinic outgrew its original office suite, as well as its own building created in 1956. It also outgrew additions to that property and the space available at four houses purchased in the vicinity. In 1978, with between 25 and 40 new patients joining the Clinic each day, the Clinic found itself at a crossroads of decision.

The Vancouver Clinic leaders responded by building a substantially larger facility close by the Southwest Washington Medical Center. The building on 87th Avenue became the largest facility for private practice in the county. Today with two hospitals in the community (Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital opened in 2005), the Clinic has a major facility directly across the street from each hospital.

The Vancouver Clinic today is the largest private multispecialty clinic in Clark County, with over 175 physicians and more than 300 physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, physical therapists, audiologists, registered nurses, and medical assistants. And, we’re growing to meet the needs of our growing community.

With over 1,100 people overall, The Vancouver Clinic is one of the largest private employers in the region and a powerhouse for the local economy. In 2003, its annual payroll topped $45 million.

The Vancouver Clinic has continued building facilities and adding services throughout the county to serve the rapidly growing population and to remain the region’s top private source of healthcare services. Its reputation and dedication for healthcare excellence and collegiality has aided its growth by attracting top-quality providers from around the nation.

Our Mission & Values

Caring for people is our first priority.

As an alliance of health care professionals, we are committed to continuing our tradition of providing high-quality, cost-effective medical care for our patients and their families in southwest Washington.

We will respond to the health needs of our patients in a caring and timely manner. Through education we will help them share responsibility for their own wellness. We will respect patient confidentiality in all matters.

As a physician-owned and governed group, we are dedicated to building a stimulating practice setting based upon teamwork and mutual respect within our organization. In as much as each person is an essential member of the group, we will encourage and acknowledge outstanding individual effort. We will foster an environment where quality of life remains a high priority.

As members of the community we are committed to public service and to sharing our medical expertise. We will maintain a prominent role working with community leaders to provide care for individuals with financial and other special needs.