The Army’s flagship hospital, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, is preparing to shut its doors forever after more than a century of care. From World War I to the present there have been hundreds of thousands wounded soldiers pass through their doors to receive treatment for their injuries. Three famous Americans, General John J. Pershing, General Douglas McArthur, and President Dwight Eisenhower, have died there. Countless celebrities have also passed through these doors to entertain the many wounded soldier while they recovered from their injuries.
The hospital, which opened in 1909, faced a scandal in 2007 about the substandard living conditions on its grounds for the wounded in outpatient care. It also included all the red tape these wounded soldiers also faced to get treatment. After all was said and done, it led to much improved care for the wounded throughout the military and at the hospital.
A government commission has voted to close the hospital and consolidate its operation with two other hospitals to save money. They plan to consolidate with a hospital at Fort Belvoir, Virginia and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. A final good bye will be said Wednesday by staff members and former and current patients but most of the moving will be done in August. The new tenants of the hospital will be the District of Columbus and the State Department, who will take over on September 15th.
Any of the buildings on the hospital grounds that are considered to be national historic landmarks will be preserved and the rest will be torn down. The city is planning on developing its section for various uses such as retail.
They are going to call the new facility the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.