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Washington Healthcare

A prominent hospital in Washington DC is Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the US Army's premier medical centre on the east coast. The 5,500-bed Walter Reed provides care for dependents, active-duty and retired personnel from all branches of the armed forces, as well as the President, Vice President and Congressmen. The hospital, however, is scheduled to move to a newer and larger facility in nearby Bethesda, Maryland, forcing its closure in 2011.

Armed Forces veterans also receive care at the Veterans' Affairs Medical Center in the grounds of the Old Soldier's Home.

Washington Hospital Center is the largest hospital campus in DC, and both the largest private and largest non-profit hospital in the Metropolitan Area. It is consistently ranked among the top hospitals in the United States, notably by HCIA and US News and World Report.

Immediately adjacent to the Washington Hospital Center campus in central Washington are the National Rehabilitation Hospital, and Children's National Medical Center (although Children's has satellite centres scattered across the city). Both, like WHC, are among the highest-ranked hospitals in the nation. The Specialty Hospital of Washington is a long-term acute care facility, established in 1995 in Northeast DC.
Three of the universities in Washington have associated medical schools: George Washington, Georgetown and Howard University. All three are teaching hospitals and are highly regarded institutions. In particular, George Washington University Medical Center is noteworthy as the medical centre whose doctors saved the life of President Ronald Reagan when he was shot in 1981. The GWU Emergency Room facility, in fact, is named for Reagan. Georgetown University Medical Center is home to the Lombardi Cancer Center, which is the sole comprehensive cancer centre in the Washington DC region.

The oldest continuously operating hospital in the city is Providence Hospital in Northeast DC, chartered by Abraham Lincoln in 1861. There are three additional private, non-profit community hospitals in Washington: Sibley Memorial Hospital in upper Northwest, Hadley Memorial, a long-term acute care facility in lower Southwest, and Greater Southeast Community Hospital in Southeast, which generally serves the population east of the Anacostia River.

Until 2001, DC General Hospital operated near Capitol Hill as the city's only public healthcare facility. Mayor Anthony A. Williams had the hospital (which lost several million dollars a year) shut down in an attempt to manage the city's recovery from bankruptcy. The majority of its patient base has since been picked up by Greater Southeast and Prince George's Hospital in Maryland. Mayor Williams in 2005 proposed a new state-of-the-art facility, the National Capital Medical Center, be built on the DC General campus as a joint project of the city and Howard University. However, higher-than-expected cost analyses and questions about the proposed hospital's public healthcare capacity caused support for the project to dwindle rapidly. In 2006, the Mayor instead announced support for a $72 million 'healthplex' on the DC General grounds.

In addition, there are three psychiatric hospitals in Washington DC: Riverside Hospital, Saint Elizabeth's Hospital and the Psychiatric Institute of Washington.





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