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D.C. Reaches Deals For 2 New Hospitals On St. Elizabeths Campus, Georgia Avenue

An aerial rendering of the mixed-use town square project Redbrick has planned for St. Elizabeths East.

D.C. is moving forward with plans to build two new hospitals as it looks to address inequities in the city's healthcare access. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser reached an agreement with George Washington University to build a 136-bed hospital on the St. Elizabeths East campus, she announced Wednesday, along with a separate deal with Howard University Hospital for a new, 225-bed hospital on its Georgia Avenue campus. The deals still must be approved by the D.C. Council. 

“While D.C. continues to battle this pandemic, our team has remained committed to delivering hope and a better D.C. through a more equitable health care system,” Bowser said in a release. “With these new agreements, we will deliver high quality, integrated care and transform our health care system by promoting equity in care, access, and outcomes."

The $306M St. Elizabeths East hospital, operated by Universal Health Services in partnership with GWU, would have the potential to expand to 196 beds and is expected to open in fall 2024.

The deal also includes plans for a $69M abulatory center on the campus expected to open in 2023. Additionally, UHS plans to spend $21M to build two new urgent care centers in Wards 7 and 8, expected to open in 2021 and 2022. The United Medical Center in Southeast D.C. would close after the new hospital is completed. 

Also on the St. Elizabeths East campus, Whitman-Walker Health in November signed a lease to build a 116K SF health center. Redbrick LMD, the development partner for that project, is also planning a 567K SF mixed-use town square on the campus. 

The GWU Hospital deal had previously been announced in August 2018, but it encountered issues with the D.C. Council passing a series of hiring requirements and the hospital threatening to pull out. The latest deal, a definitive agreement, does not include the hiring requirements, the Washington Business Journal reports

The Howard University Hospital deal would include a $225M tax abatement from the District for the $450M project, built by the university and its operating partner, Adventist Healthcare. The hospital would serve as a Level 1 trauma center and an academic teaching hospital for the university. The team expects to open the hospital by 2026, and Howard would close its existing hospital facility after that. 

In addition to the tax abatement, the Howard deal would include a $25M infrastructure investment from D.C. and another $26.6M to create five Centers of Excellence focused on sickle cell disease, women's health, oral health, substance abuse, and trauma and violence prevention. 

“This partnership with the city to support building a new facility will strengthen Howard University’s healthcare system, which is important to preserve our mission to serve the community," Howard University President Wayne Frederick said in a statement. "Because of Howard’s role as the primary pipeline of African American healthcare professionals, this investment in the hospital is also an investment in the future of the healthcare profession and its diversity.”