Renown Health was founded as Washoe Health System in 1862 during a smallpox outbreak. The clinic became the area's first hospital when Nevada became a state in 1864 and opened the first 40-bed facility in 1876. Over the next century, Washoe Health System would establish pediatric, cardiac and cancer centers in northern Nevada. In 1984, Washoe Health System transitioned to a private not-for-profit health network and became the region's only Level II Trauma Center between Sacramento and Salt Lake City. Washoe Health System launched its not-for-profit health insurance division, Hometown Health
(formerly Hospital Health Plan), in 1988 and earned a Medicare contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to offer a Medicare Advantage Plan, Senior Care Plus
, in 1996.
In 2006, Washoe Health System rebranded to Renown Health and in 2007 opened the Tahoe Tower in Renown Regional Medical Center, a 10-story patient care tower featuring state-of-the-art technology. Renown Health became the first hospital in northern Nevada to perform robotic surgery using the da Vinci Surgical System in 2008. The area's first and only children's emergency room was opened in 2009 at Renown Regional Medical Center and is the region's only Children's Miracle Network Hospital.
Renown Health partnered with 23andMe and the Desert Research Institute to launch the Healthy Nevada Project, a population health study, in 2016. The Healthy Nevada Project provided northern Nevadans with no-cost genetic testing and participants who opted-in to receive clinical results were then screened for Tier 1 CDC genetic conditions in 2018.
In 2020, Renown Health established Western Clinical Alliance, a clinically integrated network focused on improving patient outcomes and lowering the overall cost of care. Along with partnering with community physicians, Renown Health is affiliated with the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, establishing Nevada's first fully integrated health system.
Today, Renown Health is the region's only Level II Trauma Center, serving more than 1 million people and a 100,000 square mile reach – across Nevada, Lake Tahoe and eastern California.