Department of Defense officials participated in a ground-breaking ceremony to begin construction of the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) at the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) in Bethesda today.
“Our warriors are our country’s most important resource and when they return injured or ill from war, we must care for them without fail,” said Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England. “This new joint facility will provide America’s heroes and their families the most advanced medical care in the world.”
The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended the relocation of certain WRAMC activities from D.C. to Bethesda. The new medical center will provide tertiary, sub-specialty and complex medical services. The $970 million project will add or renovate 2.5 million square feet. Also, a new 120-bed community hospital at Fort Belvoir, Va., will provide non-tertiary care services to the Northern Virginia area. The Base Realignment and Closure law requires construction of the two facilities to be completed by Sept. 15, 2011.
“The exterior design of the new Walter Reed medical center will be in keeping with the design President Franklin Roosevelt sketched in 1937 for the Bethesda military medical campus,” said Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical Commander Rear Adm. John Mateczun. “However, while the walls on the outside reflect the Medical Center’s historic look, the inside will house the most state-of-the-art the medical resources in the world.”
The Commander National Capital Region Medical is chartered to oversee, manage, and direct all inter-service actions between the Navy, Army, and Air Force to accomplish the BRAC actions in the National Capital Region, and implement an efficient, integrated health care delivery system bringing the “best of the best” together to work in concert on behalf of warriors, retirees and their families.