The Bowser Administration announced the release of a site study for the construction of a new hospital east of the Anacostia River. The site study recommends that the District construct the new acute care hospital on the East campus of St. Elizabeths.
“The site selection study is the next necessary step in the planning and design phase of a new acute care facility east of the Anacostia River,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “St. Elizabeths campus was chosen after an analysis of six available potential building sites within Wards 7 and 8, using ranking factors that were carefully selected by the District. This report moves the District closer to its goal of finding a sustainable, efficient solution that ensures residents in every ward have access to high-quality and affordable health care options.”
The study, conducted by Healthcare Business Solutions (HBS), began early this year and included an initial evaluation of six potential sites that had been previously identified by the District as potential locations for the new facility. HBS then conducted a more detailed review and assessment of the three highest scoring sites – United Medical Center, St. Elizabeths, and Fletcher Johnson. Each of the three sites received a SWOT analysis (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) and was scored from 1 to 5 using 16 ranking factors.
The next phase of HBS’s work includes an engineering, design, and structure study of the St. Elizabeths campus. HBS’s analysis complements the work of Huron, a firm that is currently developing a comprehensive proposal on design, financing, and partnership recommendations for the new facility.
The St. Elizabeths East campus is a large development project in Ward 8 at the site of the now closed St. Elizabeths Hospital. The first phase of the project included the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center and G8WAYDC, an urban park and marketplace pavilion that hosts a variety of events for residents.
The St. Elizabeths site will also house an Entertainment and Sports Arena that will serve as the future home of the Washington Mystics and a training facility for the Washington Wizards. Other development plans include affordable family-sized apartments, home ownership town homes, and an office building with ground floor retail.
When the Bowser Administration took office in 2015, the United Medical Center Not-For-Profit Corporation (UMC) was in the middle of a downward spiral that required UMC officials to request $17 million from the District over a 12-month period to meet payroll and pay its vendors. In response, the Administration funded outstanding obligations from existing wage contracts and directed hospital officials to work with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer and the Department of Health Care Finance to develop a restructuring plan that focused on stabilizing operations to avoid the need for future subsidies from the city. Meanwhile, the Administration put forward a budget for the existing hospital that called for smart capital investments while it pursued a partnership model with high-quality care providers. The Administration will now move to identify a partner interested in owning and operating the planned new acute care hospital.