About Us


Where did the name come from?

Actually, our name has its genesis in two young women — both named Virginia Mason. One of the founders, Dr. Tate Mason, had a daughter named Virginia. His partner, Dr. John Blackford, also had a daughter named Virginia Mason Blackford. And if that weren't enough, both physicians graduated from the University of Virginia.

Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS)

While some medical centers have initiated projects using the Toyota Production System (TPS), Virginia Mason is the first to integrate the Toyota management philosophy throughout its entire system. We did so by combining basic tenets of TPS and elements from the philosophies of kaizen and lean, to create the Virginia Mason Production System.

Our History

Established in 1920, Virginia Mason began as an 80-bed hospital with six physician offices. It was named after the daughters of James Tate Mason, MD, and John M. Blackford, MD, who co-founded the clinic with radiologist Maurice Dwyer, MD. The founder's vision was to provide a single place where patients could receive comprehensive medical care, a "one-stop shopping" place for virtually any medical problem or need.