This is the saga of how a few hundred ordinary citizens from Seattle-area granges, labor unions, and consumer cooperatives joined with a group of idealistic physicians and nurses to transform the American system of healthcare. On January 1, 1947, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound began a new kind of health service. Consumers paid flat monthly dues for comprehensive care. Members elected the board of trustees and bought bonds to fund new facilities. Doctors and nurses devoted as much energy to promoting wellness as they did to treating illness.Group Health Cooperative physicians and nurses pioneered preventive health services and made "family practice" a respected medical specialty. Innovative researchers laid the scientific foundation for scores of new procedures and therapies. Trustees and administrators devised new ways to make duality healthcare more affordable and efficient. Today, Group Health Cooperative ranks as America's largest-consumer-controlled healthcare system, and one of the nation's largest health maintenance organizations. And Group Health is considered an important model for comprehensive healthcare reform.