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Mayor Bowser and Universal Health Services Break Ground on New Cedar Hill Regional Medical Center, GW Health at St. Elizabeths East in Ward 8, First Hospital Built in the District in Over 20 Years

Thursday, February 17, 2022
New Full-Service Hospital and Integrated Health Care System Is Scheduled to Open in 2024

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Universal Health Services (UHS) along with George Washington University and Children’s National Hospital broke ground on the new Cedar Hill Regional Medical Center, GW Health in Ward 8 at the St. Elizabeths East Campus. The $375 million project includes a state-of-the-art 136-bed, full-service hospital, ambulatory pavilion for physician offices, clinics and community space, a 500-car garage, and a helipad for emergency transports. When it opens its doors to patients in December 2024, the new Cedar Hill Regional Medical Center, GW Health will be the first inpatient facility to open in the District in over 20 years. 

“This is the start of a new chapter for health care in Washington, DC, especially for our neighborhoods east of the river,” said Mayor Bowser. “And I hope the message we’re sending is loud and clear: while DC Government is rightfully getting out of the business of running a hospital, we are fully present at St. Elizabeths East and fully committed to all the Washingtonians who will come to the Cedar Hill Regional Medical Center GW Health to get world-class care.”

Services at the new 365,000 square foot medical center will include:

  • Newborn delivery with a neonatal intensive care unit: For five years in a row, the Children’s National neonatology program has been ranked #1 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Members of the team will operate the neonatal care unit at the new hospital. UHS expects over 2,500 new Washingtonians to be born at the new hospital in its first year of operation.
  • Academic Medicine and Pediatric Care: Physicians and graduate medical students from the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates and George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Children’s National Hospital and community physicians will provide care to patients.
  • Women’s Health Services to include: Gynecology, Maternal, Breast Care, Pelvic Floor Care, Fibroid and Menstrual Disorders, Gynecologic Oncology, Neonatal Intensive Care, and High Risk Pregnancy-Maternal Fetus Medicine.
  • Adult and Children 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. These new health assets and investments, combined with the existing network of high-quality providers and clinics serving residents of Wards 7 and 8 can change the trajectory of health for the District’s communities of color whose health outcomes are consistently lower: a resident born today in Ward 8 has a life expectancy that is 15 years less than a resident born today in Ward 3. 

“We are thrilled to be embarking on the development of these vital health services East of the Anacostia River so that we can better serve all residents across the District of Columbia,” said Kimberly Russo, MBA, MS, Group Vice President of the Washington, DC Region for UHS and Chief Executive Officer of GW Hospital. “Through this new hospital and the creation of an integrated, academic medical network, we will enhance health access, equity and outcomes and elevate healthcare in our nation’s capital.”

As previously announced by the Mayor last fall, 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).

“The George Washington University is honored to partner with the District to develop a new hospital to deliver high-quality comprehensive health care services to the citizens of Ward 7 and Ward 8,” said President Mark S. Wrighton. “Our university faculty of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the GW Medical Faculty Associates are committed to providing world-class, patient-centered care while addressing disparities in health outcomes and expanding our teaching, research, and clinical footprint in the District.”

“This new medical center is a win for the people of southeast D.C. as the District continues improving access to high-quality community health for children and families,” said Kurt Newman, M.D., President and CEO of Children’s National. “We are proud of our role at this new hospital, which gives us even more opportunities to serve children and families in our community.”

In addition to health services, the construction of the 365,000 square foot project, completed by Turner Construction and MCN Build Joint Venture, is required to meet the District's Project Labor Agreement, CBE and First Source requirements. Construction is estimated to result in nearly $100 million being spent with District Certified Business Enterprises. Over its nearly three years of construction, the project will support nearly 2,000 jobs and create at least 50 apprenticeships, with more than 300 workers on-site daily at its peak.

“Building this new regional medical center and creating a comprehensive health system for all District residents, but most importantly for Ward 7 and 8 residents who currently lack equitable access to high quality, integrated care in their community is paramount,” said Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent C. Gray. “I want to thank Mayor Bowser and her team for their leadership, Universal Health Services, George Washington University, and Children’s National Hospital for their commitment to this generational opportunity to improve residents lives.”

“Health equity and access to care are fundamental human rights,” said Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White. “Residents must have access to the health services they need, when and where they need them. The new full-service hospital east of the Anacostia brings us a step closer to providing equitable health care access to all Washingtonians, especially residents in Wards 7 & 8.”

This generational health care project builds on Mayor Bowser’s continued investments in Ward 8. In just the last year, the Mayor opened the new 801 East Men’s Shelter and broke ground on the new Whitman-Walker Clinic and the Townhomes at St. Elizabeths East. 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.