Plans Announced to Expand Washington DC Medical Center

By HCO Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C.—On Sept. 21, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Universal Health Services (UHS) announced a plan to expand the size of the new Cedar Hill Regional Medical Center, GW Health in Ward 8 on the St. Elizabeths East Campus.

The expansion is made possible through a $17 million investment from Universal Health Services and will allow an additional fourth patient floor and larger diagnostic and treatment to be included in the new hospital. The new floor will be able to accommodate 48 additional beds in the future, as need arises – increasing the total number of beds from 136 to 184. The additional beds and diagnostic space will provide flexibility in responding to future health and regional emergencies. When it opens its doors to patients in early 2025, the new Cedar Hill Regional Medical Center, GW Health will be the first inpatient facility to open in the District in over 20 years. The state-of-the-art, full-service hospital also includes a trauma center, ambulatory pavilion for physician offices, clinics and community space, a 500-car garage, and a helipad for emergency transports.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8C (adjacent to the new hospital) and Councilmember Vincent Gray, Chair of the Health Committee, are in support and the required regulatory commissions have approved of an expanded facility. Expanding the hospital will require moving the opening of the new hospital from December 2024 to early 2025.  The additional floor is estimated to cost $11.5 million, paid for entirely by UHS. The expanded diagnostic and treatment area is estimated to cost $11 million and will be shared between UHS and the District, at $5.5 million each. The additions add 58,000 square feet to the hospital, for a total of 407,000 square feet.

Services at the new 407,000-square-foot Cedar Hill Regional Medical Center, GW Health will include:

  • Full service inpatient facility: The new hospital will open with 136 beds, with the ability to expand to 184 to meet the District’s future health needs.
  • Newborn delivery with a neonatal intensive care unit.
  • Academic medicine and pediatric care.
  • Women’s health services.
  • Adult and pediatric emergency departments: Over 40,000 patients will be treated in the emergency departments. Children’s National will operate the pediatric emergency medicine department.
  • A certified trauma center: The first trauma center east of the Anacostia River to ensure patients injured in severe accidents, blunt trauma and penetrating trauma can be treated in the community.
  • Behavioral and mental health: 16 behavioral health beds to provide voluntary and involuntary behavioral health services.
  • Operations: Operating rooms to support a full range of planned and emergency health procedures.
  • Full range of specialty care: Physician offices for a range of specialties, including but not limited to, orthopedic, liver, heart, kidney, brain, bones and joint care.
  • Outpatient services: Physical therapy, dialysis, and chemotherapy infusion. Thirty-six physician exam rooms.
  • Solar power: Solar panels on the garage will provide energy assistance to over 200 households in the adjacent community.
  • Staffing: 550 full time professionals when facility opens.

Named after Frederick Douglass’s historic residence in Anacostia, Cedar Hill Regional Medical Center, GW Health will be fully integrated with two new urgent care facilities, existing providers, and the George Washington University Hospital to establish a robust system of care for all District residents and in particular, communities east of the Anacostia River.

As previously announced by the Mayor, practitioners, physicians, and academic medicine at the new medical center will be provided by the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates and the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Children’s National Hospital pediatricians, nurses, and physician assistants will provide infant and pediatric care. Specifically, Children’s National staff will operate the pediatric emergency department and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Last year, the hospital design, completed by HOK and McKissack & McKissack, was approved by the United States Commission of Fine Arts and received its Certificate of Need from the State Health Planning and Development Agency.