Considerable progress was made during fiscal year 1958 in the Army's long-range hospital construction program started 6 years ago to replace outmoded permanent structures and mobilization facilities built before and during World War II. The first two Army hospitals under this program were dedicated in fiscal year 1957. During the past year, three more were completed, a fourth was nearing completion, and several other were under construction or in the planning stage. Under the policy initiated in fiscal year 1957, all of these new hospitals are in commemoration of medical personnel who made noteworthy contributions to the Army Medical Service. Overseas, a newly completed Army hospital on Okinawa was dedicated during the fiscal year. These new hospitals as well as others under construction or in the planning stage are discussed below.
Fort Riley, Kans.-The new Army hospital at Fort Riley, dedicated on February 1958, was designated the Irwin Army Hospital in memory of Brig. Gen. Bernard John Dowling Irwin, 'The Fighting Doctor,' gallantry in action against the Apaches under Cochise merited
him the Congressional Medal of Honor. He served with distinction in the Civil War and later was surgeon at Fort Riley. The Irwin Army Hospital was constructed on an expandible chassis; that is, it now has 250 beds, but central-core medical facilities were included in the construction to permit expansion to 500 beds.
Fort Monmouth, N.J.-The Patterson Army Hospital at Fort Monmouth, which was dedicated on 24 April 1958, is a 100-bed hospital on a 200-bed chassis. It was named in honor of the late Maj. Gen. Robert Uric Patterson, who was The Surgeon General from 1931 to 1935. He was an honor graduate of the Army Medical School, 1902, served in the Philippine Islands, and, during World War I, was medical director of several Federal bureaus. He was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal and the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster.
Fort Benning, Ga.-Construction of the new 500-bed hospital on a 1,000-bed chassis at Fort Benning was completed, and 1 July 1958 was set as the date for dedication. It has been named the Martin Army Hospital in memory of Maj. Gen. Joseph I. Martin, Medical Corps officer who, in a distinguished career of 37 years in the Army, held many important posts, including that of Chief Surgeon, U.S. Army Forces, Europe. While serving as Surgeon, Fifth U.S. Army, during the North African and Italian campaigns of World War II, he developed many medical practices that became standard procedures in the Army Medical Service. He was awarded many honors, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the U.S. Typhus Commission Medal, as well as citations from the French, British, Brazilian, Italian, Czechoslovak, and Polish Governments.
Fort Bragg, N.C.-The Womack Army Hospital is nearing completion at Fort Bragg. Dedication is scheduled for 3 August 1958. The hospital, a 500-bed structure on a 1,000-bed chassis, is the first hospital under this program to be named in commemoration of an Army Medical Service enlisted man-Private First Class Bryant H. Womack, Medical Company, 14th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, who received the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for conspicuous gallantry in action on 12 March 1952 near Sokso-ri, Korea. The courage he displayed under heavy fire, while attached to a night patrol as medical aidman, provided an inspiring example to his comrades.
Okinawa.-Dedication ceremonies for the new U.S. Army Hospital at Camp Kue, Ryukyu Islands, were held on 5 April 1958. This hospital at present has a capacity of 250 beds, but central-core medical facilities were constructed to permit expansion to a 500-bed installation.
Fort Leavenworth, Kans.-Construction of a 90-bed hospital on a 190-bed chassis started in April 1958 at Fort Leavenworth. Completion is scheduled for April 1960.
Fort Dix, N.J.-Construction of a 500-bed hospital on a 1,000-bed chassis which began in January 1957 at Fort Dix is now expected to be finished in May 1960. The estimated cost, including complete air conditioning, is $12,152,000.
Fort George G. Meade, Md.-A contract for construction of a 150-bed hospital on a 300-bed chassis at Fort Meade was awarded late in June 1958.
Fort Lee, Va.-Congress appropriated $3,132,000 in the fiscal year 1958 Military Construction, Army Program, for a 134-bed hospital on a 200-bed chassis at Fort Lee. This project is in the design stage, with the construction contract due to be let in fiscal year 1959.
Fort Jackson, S.C.-Although Congress has appropriated $7,500,000 for a 500-bed hospital on a 1,000-bed chassis at Fort Jackson, the Bureau of the Budget has not yet released the funds requested by the Department of Defense so that the design can be started. The current estimated cost of the hospital is $10,434,000.
At Brooke Army Hospital, Fort Sam Houston, Tex., the first phase of a project to provide 100-percent air conditioning of the main building covering the west wing and central chilling unit, was completed in fiscal year 1958. The second phase, covering the east wing and central section, was placed under contract on 7 March 1958 and is scheduled for completion in February 1959. Modernization of the central materiel section of the main building was assured when the Secretary of Defense approved the project and authorized the use of fiscal year 1958 funds.
Rehabilitation and modernization continued at Letterman Army Hospital, Presidio of San Francisco, Calif., with alterations and modifications to building 1044, department of surgery. The project, currently under contract, was approved by the Secretary of Defense, and funds were provided by the Comptroller of the Army. Earlier modernization of the same building included construction of a postoperative
recovery ward and an addition to surgery. Earlier modernization also included alterations and additions to the centralized materiel section, building 1043.
A contract was awarded in June 1958 to improve medical facilities at the Madigan Army Hospital, Fort Lewis, Tacoma, Wash., by constructing a centralized materiel section.
Contracts were awarded in June 1958 for installing air conditioning in 31 buildings of the Walter Reed Army Hospital, Washington, D.C., and for constructing a substation and electrical distribution system. Presently under design is a new wing to the main building of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. The contract is tentatively scheduled for award in the fall of 1958. Construction of the new chapel and chaplains' office at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center was begun in July 1957 and is scheduled for completion in July 1958.
The proposed construction at the Forest Glen Section, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, of a building to be known as the Army Medical Research Institute has again been deferred by the Department of the Army pending approval by the Congress of a request for a deficiency appropriation in the fiscal year 1959 Military Construction Program.
Quarters for Female Officers
Repeated efforts by The Surgeon General to obtain adequate modern quarters for female officers, primarily Army nurses, have culminated in approval by the Secretary of Defense of garden-type, two-storied units for company- and field-grade officers. The approved unit for company officers consists of a joint living room, bath, and kitchen, but separate bedrooms, while that for field-grade officers has a separate living room, bedroom, and bath, but a joint kitchen. A pilot model with 76 spaces was placed under construction on 7 March 1958 at the Ireland Army Hospital, Fort Knox, Ky., and is scheduled for completion in August 1959. Following his approval of the pilot model, the Secretary of Defense authorized the construction of the new-type quarters for 44 nurses at Fort Belvoir, Va.; for 48 nurses at Fort Riley, Kans.; and for 120 nurses at Fitzsimons Army Hospital, Denver, Colo. The building of quarters for 30 female officers at the U.S. Army Hospital, Fort Meade, Md., was deferred by the Department of the Army until fiscal year 1959.
Capehart Housing Program
The primary objective of the Capehart Housing Program is to provide family housing for military personnel and key civilians at permanent military installations. The Capehart housing project of 125 family units at William Beaumont Army Hospital was concurred in by the Federal Housing Administration, approved by the Secretary of Defense, and included in the fiscal year 1959 military construction program submitted to Congress for approval. The project has been designed and is ready for issuing invitations for bids. The Department of the Army
had planned to include the project in the fiscal year 1958 Execution Program but was unable to do so because of changes required to keep the estimated cost within the mortgage limitation of $16,500 per unit.
To date, the Capehart housing project for William Beaumont Army Hospital is the only Army Medical Service project of its kind that has been approved by the Secretary of Defense. A project of 92 family units for Walter Reed Army Medical Center, to be located at the Forest Glen Section, Md., has the concurrence of the Federal Housing Administration and the Secretary of the Army has recommended to the Secretary of Defense that it be approved.