St. Elizabeths Campus in Southeast (Courtesy photo)
St. Elizabeths Campus in Southeast (Courtesy photo)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser championed a partnership she says will bring high-quality medical care to the new hospital at St. Elizabeths East.

The partnership, which has the support of several local leaders and organizations that include The George Washington University Hospital and the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, will provide comprehensive health care service for adults at the 136-bed facility as well as two new urgent/ambulatory facilities to open in Wards 7 and 8.

GWU will also provide physician leadership and medical direction for all health care activities, according to Bowser’s office, which added that the new hospital will feature a wide spectrum of medical services that will include maternal and child health, behavioral health, primary care, and advanced surgical services.

“With this agreement, we are making good on our commitment to deliver a high-quality system of care to the St. Elizabeths East campus and the surrounding communities,” Bowser said in statement. “We know that right now too many residents travel across town to access their health care. With the talented medical professionals from GW staffing the new hospital, thousands of Washingtonians will be able to get the right care at the right time in a world-class hospital close to home.

“This is a monumental step toward transforming our health care system, attacking long-standing disparities in health outcomes, and building a healthier, more equitable Washington, D.C.,” the mayor added.

The agreement, which also partners with the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, additionally provides for the establishment of a family medicine residency that will focus on the health care needs of residents of Ward 7 and Ward 8, the mayor’s office said.

“This is a momentous day for The George Washington University, the GW SMHS, the GW MFA, as well as for the citizens of the District,” said GW President Thomas LeBlanc. “With a long tradition of collaboration during GW’s 200-year history, the work of the University has been an important thread in the tapestry of this dynamic city. This partnership reflects GW’s high value to the city and its deep commitment to the citizens of the District.”

Bowser announced last month that an agreement had been reached between Universal Health Services and Children’s National for pediatricians, nurses, physician assistants and other medical staff to provide infant and pediatric care at Children’s National. Specifically, Children’s National staff will operate the pediatric emergency department and neonatal intensive care unit, according to her office.

“We are proud to already partner closely with GW and The GW MFA to care for residents throughout the region. Through this enhanced partnership, and in conjunction with the District, we will create an fully integrated, comprehensive academic medical network that will be positioned to provide the highest-quality care at the right level and in the right setting for all residents across the District,” says Kimberly Russo, George Washington University Hospital CEO and UHS group vice president of the D.C. region. “We look forward to bringing these vital services East of the Anacostia River as we remain steadfastly committed to improving health access, equity and outcomes for all individuals living in our nation’s capital.”

The new hospital’s construction is being funded by the District with a groundbreaking scheduled for early 2022. The facility is expected to open in late 2024.

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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