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Deal For New GWU Hospital At St. Elizabeths Campus At Risk Of Collapsing

A rendering of the St. Elizabeths East development

The agreement the District announced with George Washington University Hospital in August to build a new hospital in southeast D.C. appears to be falling apart. 

Following the D.C. Council's passage of a series of requirements for the hospital's opening, GWU Hospital CEO Kimberly Russo wrote a letter to city officials saying that the hospital would not move forward with the deal unless the provisions were removed, the Washington Post reports

The hospital, planned for the St. Elizabeths East campus in Congress Heights, would replace the struggling United Medical Center in an attempt to improve healthcare access in the city's lowest-income neighborhoods. The deal also included an expansion of GWU Hospital's existing facility in Foggy Bottom

The bill had been pushed by Ward 7 Council Member and former Mayor Vincent Gray to accelerate the hospital's construction, but amendments added to it by other council members included requirements the hospital viewed as too onerous. The amendments required the hospital employ nurses and other workers from United Medical Center, honor union contracts and enter into a deal to allow Howard University medical students to work at the hospital.

The hospital did not fully exit the deal following the bill's passage Tuesday, but said plans can only move forward if the requirements were taken away. 

Mayor Muriel Bowser said the council should not have forced specific terms on the hospital that could have been better handled in negotiations, but she said her administration remains committed to delivering a new hospital. 

The 180-acre St. Elizabeths East Campus is also planned to include 1.8M SF of office space, 1,300 residential units, 206K SF of retail, at least two hotels and the Sports and Entertainment Arena that opened this year.