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Dr. George Tanbara


Put the patient first.


Dr. George Tanbara, founder of Pediatrics Northwest, passed away July 1, 2017, just four months after his wife of 65 years, Kimi. 

Dr. Tanbara received his medical education and training from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Minneapolis, MN. He completed his Internship and Residency at Children's Hospital and Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Dr. Tanbara was board certified in Pediatrics. He was a Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics; a member of the American Medical Association; Washington State Medical Association and Pierce County Medical Society.

Dr. Tanbara began his solo practice in 1954 and co-founded Pediatrics Northwest in 1980. He was active in Community Health Care, United Way of Pierce County and Tacoma Buddhist Temple. He and Kimi are survived by their four adult children Gregory Tanbara (Barbara), Diane Taniguchi (Harold), Susan Brahm (Jerry), and Merilee Tanbara; grandchildren Madison, Eleanor, George, and Mia; and many nephews and nieces.

A life of service and generosity

dr tanbara news tribune

article by Jared Brown of the Tacoma News Tribune

Dr. George Tanbara always found a way to put patients first — long before he became a licensed doctor in 1952 and long after he officially retired in 2008.

“If being retired is doing what you want to do, my father’s probably been retired since 1955,” his son Greg Tanbara told The News Tribune.

The former pediatrician died July 1 after 95 years of life, but the work he started in Tacoma continues to reach across the South Sound, just as it had since he (kind of) handed over the reins nearly 10 years ago.

Read more about his legacy (article used with permission from the Tacoma News Tribune).

Additional articles about Dr. Tanbara:

Dr. George Tanbara: Living a Life of purpose 2017

MultiCare honors legacy of 5 physician leaders in Tacoma 2014

Japanese pediatrician advocates for poor in his community 2010

South Sound Magazine - Doctors Making a Difference 2008