Partnership with D.C. government aims to improve health care access and outcomes for District residents.
By Katherine Dvorak
In an effort to improve health equity and health care access and to bring research and technology to Wards 7 and 8 in Washington, D.C., the George Washington University Hospital signed a letter of intent to oversee the opening of a new hospital and health complex in Southeast D.C.
The complex will be located on the campus of St. Elizabeths East through a partnership between GW Hospital and the government of the District of Columbia.
“It will be the first public-private partnership to join in meeting the health care needs of the District, and the first new hospital to open in Washington, D.C., since the opening of GW Hospital’s Foggy Bottom location almost 20 years ago,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said during a press conference Friday. “This new hospital and health complex will bring our care closer to the homes and into the community of many of our patients.”
The new complex, slated to open in 2023, may include urgent care, outpatient surgery, diagnostic imaging and physician offices and is designed to improve access and outcomes that will better the health of all D.C. residents, GW Hospital CEO Kim Russo said during an announcement made Friday morning in Southeast D.C.
“We are proud to partner with the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the GW Medical Faculty Associates to provide academic research-based care,” she said. “Our mission at the GW Hospital is to provide the highest quality care, advanced technology and world-class service to our patients in an academic medical center dedicated to education and research.”
The hospital's bed count will be finalized based on assessment of community need but is tentatively expected to be between 100 and 125 beds. In addition, the Southeast location will work in coordination with the Foggy Bottom campus, which will continue to provide tertiary critical care services.
“As the first medical school in the District of Columbia, we are proud to be an important part of the history of this great city and an important part of the fabric of this community,” said Jeffrey S. Akman, M.D. ’81, vice president for health affairs, Walter A. Bloedorn Professor of Administrative Medicine and dean of SMHS.
“Throughout our history, GW has responded to the growing needs of our own community and society at large through our commitment to finding solutions to local, national and global problems. GW looks forward to working with the District on the final agreement with the goal of improving health care and achieving health equity with the residents of Wards 7 and 8 and the entire District of Columbia,” he said.
Since July 1997, GW Hospital has been jointly owned and operated by a partnership between George Washington University and a subsidiary of Universal Health Services Inc. (UHS), a King of Prussia, Pa., business that is one of the nation's largest health care management companies. Under the terms of this partnership, named The District Hospital Partners, LP, UHS holds an 80 percent interest and the university holds a 20 percent interest.