DC, George Washington U. to open new hospital in Ward 8

WASHINGTON — The government of D.C. and a major regional hospital are partnering to create a new facility on the St. Elizabeths East Campus in Ward 8, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Friday.

Bowser’s administration and The George Washington University Hospital are working together to develop the first new hospital to open in D.C. in almost 20 years, Bowser’s office said in a statement. It is the first public-private partnership formed to improve health care particularly for residents east of the Anacostia River.

This partnership will once and for all create a self-sustaining, state-of-the-art health facility that will provide residents in Ward 7 and 8, and across the District, the care that they deserve,” Bowser said at a news conference Friday.

The complex will provide urgent and acute care, outpatient surgery and physician offices, among other services. The District has a capital budget of more than $300 million for construction and expects the hospital to open in 2023.

GW will institute an academic and research arm in the hospital, the news release said.

“Together the GW clinical expertise will bring advanced technology, research and education to our community, and create an integrated medical network that will benefit the entire region,” Bowser said.

The new campus will replace the 801 East men’s shelter, on the campus, with a new emergency and temporary housing facility by 2020.

The United Medical Center “will close its doors,” Bowser said. It will remain open at its original location on Southern Avenue until the new St. Elizabeths complex is fully built and operational, so there will not be gaps in service, city administrator Rashad Young said.

The District has a separate $130 million budget for additional infrastructure and development to the campus, Young said.

Bowser’s administration and GW Hospital signed a Letter of Intent at the news conference. The District has organized a working group with GW to draft a formal agreement about the specifics of the partnership that they hope to send to the D.C. Council at the end of the year, Young said.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton said at the news conference that the partnership marks the first viable steps for creating a full-service hospital east of the Anacostia after the city tried to establish such a complex many times.

“What we’re doing here today is historic,” Norton said. “It’s historic because of the many attempts. This time I believe it is going to happen.”

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