SEATTLE, WA – It appears even hospitals aren’t immune to the nationwide war to win the loyalties and the wallets of America’s growing and aging population of hipsters. Just this month, UnifiedHealth group opened “Northwest Vintage Hospital” in downtown Seattle.
Artisanal medications, meticulously restored iron lungs, compostable bandages, and a truly authentic medical experience await feverish millennials eager for handcrafted healing.
“After I saw my nurse in that 1920’s outfit come into the room to put the leech on my leg and bleed me, I knew I was in the right place,” said Riley Davenport, one of the hospital’s first patients. She has been in the hospital for two and a half weeks for a urinary tract infection that she wanted treated in a vintage sort of way.
“The on-site craft brewery definitely helps the weeks go by,” she explains.
When Reese Johnson developed acute appendicitis, he knew that no ordinary assembly-line hospital in the suburbs would do. Johnson had his surgery done in the old-fashioned, theater-style dome of Northwest Vintage Hospital’s surgical unit.
“I wanted the real craftsmanship and attention to detail that comes with having an authentic early 1900’s surgical experience,” said Johnson. “The feel of a hand-sharpened scalpel on your skin when you’re floating in a stupor from the ether really can’t be replicated in a modern hospital. That’s authentic.”
He sailed easily through the 9-hour surgery, and the poultice which his doctors are using to treat his subsequent surgical wound infection was made on site by a team of artisans using local ingredients.
Another patient, 25 year-old Holden Smithmanson, needed hipster healing to find his way out of a major depressive episode, but he didn’t want mass-produced pills from a factory. Instead, he turned to Northwest Vintage Hospital’s restored prohibition-era mental health asylum. After three weeks and twice daily high-dose electroshock treatments, he says he’s a changed man.
“I can’t even remember feeling depressed any more, feeling any more, more, any more feeling,” he explains.
The hospital has been criticized for practices that some medical professionals say are “backward and frightening,” and some insurance companies have declined to pay for the prolonged hospital stays required for an authentic, pre-antibiotic era treatment approach. However, Northwest Vintage Hospital defends its approach.
“We’re restoring the integrity of our materials and medical techniques to levels not seen in almost a century. Northwest Vintage is taking the quality of our care forward to get backward to a simpler and more genuine time. It’s definitely not just marketing, and it’s certainly not a money grab.” said hospital CEO, Joe Carustins, MBA.