We are a 912-bed, major teaching and research hospital. We also are the largest private, not-for-profit hospital in the nation’s capital, among the 100 largest hospitals in the nation, and a major referral center for treating the most complex cases.
We are the busiest and largest hospital in Washington, D.C. and surrounding area. Our services help our community’s residents get and stay healthy, and help to improve patients’ quality of life by managing chronic illness.
A reputation for medical excellence
Here are some of our areas of specialty.
We operate the region’s only adult Burn Center, recognized as a national model in burn care therapies.
Heart and vascular care
The services we provide through MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute continually receive national recognition for excellence and outstanding clinical outcomes. We are consistently ranked a Top 50 hospital for Cardiology and Heart Surgery by U.S. News & World Report, and our cardiac surgery program has earned the highest designation–three stars–from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
We are proud to have the most advanced diagnostic and treatment options in the region.
Each year, nearly 350 medical and surgical residents and fellows train at MedStar Washington’s 40 fully accredited clinical residency and fellowship programs.
Patient and community care
We are a not-for-profit hospital that is a major referral hub for the region's most complex cases, as well as a safety-net hospital for the most vulnerable patients in our community, providing approximately $85 million annually in unsponsored care (charity care and bad debt) in FY20.
Renowned healthcare teams
We are fortunate to work with an internationally renowned multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including medical/dental and surgical staffs.
We operate a robust research program that has paved the way forinnovative new treatments—and the opportunity for patients to participate in leading-edge therapy.
The hospital operates the Washington region’s first Comprehensive Stroke Center and the District’s only Cardiac Ventricular Assist Device program, both certified by The Joint Commission.
The hospital is also home to MedSTAR Trauma Center, a nationally verified level I trauma center with a state-of-the-art fleet of helicopters and ambulances.
Our mission, vision, and values
MedStar Washington Hospital Center, a valued member of MedStar Health, is dedicated to delivering exceptional patient-firsthealth care. We provide the region with the highest quality care, thanks to thelatest medical advances in education and research.
Vision To be the trusted leader in caring for people and advancing health.
To treat each patient as we would a member of our own family by providing the best medical treatment with caring and compassion. Through this achievement, we will be recognized as a national model for excellence in patient care.
Service: We strive to anticipate and meet the needs of our patients, physicians, and co-workers.
Patient First: We strive to deliver the best to every patient every day. The patient is the first priority in everything we do.
Integrity: We communicate openly and honestly, build trust, and conduct ourselves according to the highest ethical standards.
Respect: We treat each individual, those we serve and those with whom we work, with the highest professionalism and dignity.
Innovation: We embrace change and work to improve all we do in a fiscally responsible manner.
Teamwork: System effectiveness is built on collective strength and cultural diversity of everyone, working with open communication and mutual respect.
Facts and figures
MedStar Washington Hospital Center has proudly carried out its mission to provide top quality patient first medical care and to forge its clinical and research legacy as "the first, the most, and the only" in service to the District, the region, and in memory of those who had the vision to make it possible.
For fiscal year 2020
Licensed beds ................................................................912
Advanced practice providers .......................................356
Medical education and research
Residency/fellowship programs ....................................40
Clinical research studies ...............................................334
Inpatient admissions................................................ 34,419
Cancer outpatient visits........................................... 60,557
Cardiac surgeries ........................................................1,544
Ventricular assist device procedures.............................80
Neuro admissions .......................................................2,340
ED visits..................................................................... 86,674
Charity care.....................................................$36.9 million
Bad debt .........................................................$72.4 million
The history of MedStar Washington Hospital Center began with an act of Congress.
In May of 1946, the Washington Metropolitan Hospital Council revealed the deplorable condition of the three hospitals in the District—Episcopal, Garfield, and The Central Dispensary and Emergency.
On August 9, 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed the Hospital Center Act into law. The bill authorized spending $35 million and merged the three District hospitals, creating a new medical facility in a new location.
Twelve years later, on March 10, 1958, the Washington Hospital Center opened its doors.
In gratitudeThe new hospital center would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of many people. Two of the earliest proponents for change were Eleanor Tydings (later known as Eleanor Tydings Ditzen) and Elysabeth Barbour. They formed a Hospital Center Committee in late 1943.
With support from their husbands, Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland and Senator Warren Barbour of New Jersey, they helped spearhead the effort to raise awareness and the support needed for a new hospital.
The founding hospitals
1871 - The Central Free Dispensary opens its doors in April to provide treatment and medicine to the poor of the Federal City. It is operated by six young recently graduated physicians in a two-room building at the corner of 10th and E Streets, with money loaned by the Georgetown Medical College. In its first year it treats 511 patients.
By 1882, the hospital adds an emergency department that treats those injured in collisions involving motor cars and horse-drawn wagons, a theater roof collapses by the weight of snow, and a runaway train that crashed into Union Station. The name of the institution changes to the Central Dispensary and Emergency Hospital, and, by 1928, the hospital has a nine-story wing with 280 beds.
1881 - President James A. Garfield is shot by an assailant on July 2; he dies 2 months later in September. Garfield's death prompts renewed interest in establishing a general hospital in the city to provide free care to honor the "long and patient suffering of the wounds that caused his (Garfield's) death."
1884 - The 32-bed Garfield Memorial Hospital is dedicated and the Garfield School of Nursing opens. The new hospital is a major surgical center, furnished with the latest medical and surgical appliances and staffed with experienced physicians, surgeons and nurses. By 1919, Garfield is a leader in new X-ray treatment of cancer and diseases such as malaria and typhoid fever.
1897 - The 15-bed Episcopal Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital is founded as a specialty hospital with the help of the Episcopal diocese at 17th and L Streets. It has a full operating room and a combined medical staff of 11.
In its first year Episcopal treats 1,279 patients, makes 6,237 visits and performs 220 operations for diseases of the eyes, ears and throat. During World War I, the hospital examines 3,000 troops for duty readiness in the Aviation branch of the Signal Corps.
1944 - Senator Millard Tydings (D-MD) introduces the Hospital Center Act in the U.S. Senate. The bill authorizes $35 million to improve the city's voluntary hospitals. He, his wife, Eleanor Tydings (now Eleanor Tydings Ditzen), and Elysabeth Barbour play a key role in planning and rallying support for a new hospital.
1946 - A survey, commissioned by the Washington Metropolitan Health Council, reports "the hospitals in the area are characterized by obsolescence of a rather high degree." Soon after, the House of Representatives passes the Hospital Center Act and President Harry S. Truman signs it into law.
1953 - Groundbreaking for the new Washington Hospital Center takes place. The facility merges three ill-equipped, outdated medical facilities Episcopal Eye, Ear and Throat and two general hospitals, Garfield Memorial and The Central Dispensary and Emergency. In what is considered an engineering feat for the time, Episcopal's chapel is moved intact to be later installed at the Hospital Center.
1954 - Standard Construction Company, 1010 Vermont Avenue NW, receives the principal contract for construction of Washington Hospital Center.
March 10, 1958 - After 15 years of planning and construction, Washington Hospital Center opens. It is one of the first fully air-conditioned hospitals in the country. News reports call it a "miracle building" and a "dream come true," providing an intercom system in each patient room, the most current X-ray technology, the first tissue bank, the first private hospital eye bank, and the largest private psychiatric service in Washington, D.C.
1958 - The Garfield School of Nursing becomes Washington Hospital Center School of Nursing. Many of the new graduates take jobs at the new hospital.
1958 - The Hospital Center appoints a Director of Medical Education, a first in the District.
1958 - The first issue of Center Line, Washington Hospital Center's news and features magazine is published.
1958 - The first Gold-Headed Cane Award is given at Washington Hospital Center. The tradition dates back to 17th century London when a court physician presented his own gold-headed cane to his protégé and successor. The annual award is given to a Hospital Center staff member for excellence in medical practice and teaching. Garfield Memorial Hospital, one of the three hospitals that merged to form Washington Hospital Center, brought the tradition to the Hospital Center.
1958 - The Needy Sick Fund is created at the Hospital Center "to help thrifty, responsible, and independent" people pay bills incurred because of catastrophic illness.
1959 - Washington Hospital Center's Blood Donor Center opens.
1959 - The Eye Bank and Research Foundation Building is dedicated.
1959 - The first Harry H. Kerr Award is made at Washington Hospital Center to the house physician who writes the best scientific paper of the year.
1959 - The Hospital Center has 1,600 employees and 365 beds.
1960 - Washington Hospital Center receives the deed and title to its 47-acre campus from the federal government.
1962 - Washington Hospital Center is the 10th busiest hospital in the United States according to the American Hospital Association.
1962 - The Hospital Center introduces a mechanized system to dispense doses of medication.
1962 - The Hospital Center names its first clinical chair in the Department of Medicine.
1963 - Washington Hospital Center opens its first intensive care unit (ICU).
1963 - Hospital Center physicians are the first in the area to use direct current defibrillators to correct abnormal heart rhythms.
1963 - Three seriously injured patients are transported by police helicopter to Washington Hospital Center. This is the first time patients arrive by air for medical treatment.
1963 - The George Hyman Memorial Research Building opens.
1963 - The Hospital Center names a chair in the Department of Surgery.
1964 - Washington Hospital Center opens the metropolitan area's first coronary care unit (CCU); the nation's first such unit opened one year earlier in Kansas.
1964 - The Hospital Center names a chief in the Cardiovascular Laboratory.
1964 - The Hospital Center installs a direct dial Centrex® system to handle more than 8,500 incoming phone calls each day.
1964 - The Hospital Center opens a pulmonary function laboratory.
1965 - Washington Hospital Center is the first area hospital to develop Code Blue as the rapid medical response system for patients who have heart attacks.
1965 - The Hospital Center boasts three specially designed ICUs, the first and most extensive intensive care system in the District.
1965 - Washington Hospital Center names a director of the Research Foundation.
1965 - The Women's Division, the fund-raising organization at the Hospital Center, becomes the Women's Auxiliary.
1965 - Veterans Affairs Medical Center opens adjacent to the Hospital Center campus.
1966 - Washington Hospital Center invites the press to a demonstration of how medevac helicopters could speed medical treatment of District patients.
1966 - Cardiologists at Washington Hospital Center are treating more than 1,000 patients each year who have had 'coronaries,' later called heart attacks.
1966 - The Hospital Center participates in the first District-wide disaster drill.
1967 - Physicians Office Building I opens on the Hospital Center campus.
1968 - Washington Hospital Center opens its 'special procedures' lab, which later is known as the Cardiac Catheterization Lab or "Cath Lab."
April 4, 1968 - Washington Hospital Center treats more than 300 patients injured in the riots that erupted following the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
1968 -The Hospital Center opens a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
1968 - Washington Hospital Center opens its VIP wing, 12 spacious, soundproof suites with luxury hotel amenities, such as a private chef, china, crystal table settings, and sofa beds for family members.
1968 - The Hospital Center has 2,000 employees.
1970 -The Hospital Center names a chair of Obstetrics and expands specialty services to include high-risk mothers.
1970 - Washington Hospital Centers opens the metropolitan area's largest and most comprehensive Nuclear Medicine program and names a chair to the department.
1971 - The Hospital Center opens an alcohol treatment program.
1971 - The Federal Aviation Administration clears the way for a designated medevac landing zone for Washington Hospital Center.
1971 - The Hospital Center is the first hospital in the District to screen blood for hepatitis.
1972 - Washington Hospital Center opens one of largest intensive care towers in the United States. The state-of-the-art tower has 74 beds and houses special units for medical, surgical, cardiovascular, renal, pulmonary, and psychiatric patients.
1972 - The Department of Thoracic Surgery opens at the Hospital Center.
1972 - The first open-heart surgery in the District is performed by physicians at Washington Hospital Center.
1972 - The region's only adult burn center opens, providing state-of-the-art medical care to burn patients.
1972 - Washington Hospital Center officially enters the era of the air ambulance when it accepts a patient arriving by helicopter from Pennsylvania.
1972 - Washington Hospital Center researchers demonstrate prednisone therapy is effective in treating myasthenia gravis.
1972 - The Hospital Center begins to use ultrasound to determine pregnancy advancement.
1972 - Washington Hospital Center hires a new group of medical practitioners called technicians. This marks a new career path for medical professionals in cardiovascular and acute patient care.
1972 - The Hospital Center has 2,500 employees.
1973 - The Department of Dermatology opens at Washington Hospital Center.
1973 - Washington Hospital Center studies the use of radioactive substances in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease and detection of cancerous tumors.
1974 - The world's first atomic (nuclear powered) pacemaker is implanted by physicians at Washington Hospital Center.
1974 - Physicians perform the first kidney transplant at Washington Hospital Center.
1974 - The Hospital Center installs its first helipad for air ambulance transport.
1974 - Washington Hospital Center appoints a director of Medical Affairs.
1974 - Washington Hospital Center establishes a Dataphone® link to hospitals in Leonardtown and LaPlata, Md. to remotely monitor and provide expert cardiac assistance to local doctors treating cardiovascular patients.
1974 - The Hospital Center establishes a Speakers Bureau.
1974 - Washington Hospital Center creates its stroke counseling program.
1975 - The Hospital Center is one of three hospitals in the United States to participate in a clinical trial using UV light to treat patients with psoriasis.
1975 - Washington Hospital Center introduces vitreous surgery to remove damaged tissue from the eye.
1975 - The Hospital Center is one of the first hospitals in the country to adopt a Patient's Bill of Rights.
1975 - Washington Hospital Center holds its first health fair.
1976 - The Hospital Center acquires its first whole-body CT scanner.
1976 - Washington Hospital Center establishes a Shock/Trauma Medicine program.
1977 - Hospital Center orthopedic surgeons begin to perform arthroscopic surgery.
1977 - Washington Hospital Center inaugurates a Code Yellow response system for shock/trauma.
1977 - Physicians at Washington Hospital Center deliver its first set of quadruplets.
1977 - Washington Hospital Center receives accreditation as a renal/kidney transplantation and dialysis center.
1977 - The Hospital Center is using a computerized brain scanner to diagnose tumor and stroke.
1977 - Washington Hospital Center goes live on its own closed circuit television system.
1977 - Children's National Medical Center opens on the Hospital Center campus.
1977 - The District's first intensive care ambulance, Mobile 25, is based at the Hospital Center.
March 9, 1977 - A dozen Hanafi Muslims, armed with knives and pistols, seize 134 hostages downtown at the District Building; one person is killed. Among the 12 wounded is then City Council member Marion Barry. Barry is rushed to Washington Hospital Center for treatment.
1977 - Washington Hospital Center has 3,175 employees and 125 departments.
1977 - Washington Hospital Center is the first medical facility in the District to install two-way communication between physicians and paramedics.
1978 - The Hospital Center opens birthing rooms in the Labor & Delivery wing to provide a more home-like atmosphere for patients.
1978 - Washington Hospital Center adds an advanced remote fluoroscopy suite and angiographic procedure room in its Cardiac Catheterization Lab.
1978 - The Hospital Center is called the busiest cardiac facility in the metropolitan area by the Metropolitan Coordinating Group and Tertiary Task Force.
1978 - Washington Hospital Center introduces a new security system that requires employees to wear picture identification badges. Computerized door controls are installed.
1979 - MedSTAR, Washington Hospital Center's Medical Shock/Trauma Acute Resuscitation unit, opens earning a national reputation for excellence in trauma care. The $1.6 million unit will treat critically ill and injured patients. MedSTAR is now separate from the Emergency Department and has its own full-service operating room, built in X-ray equipment, six resuscitation bays, and two helipads. In September, MedSTAR is designated the District's official trauma center.
1979 - The Hospital Center's Burn Unit opens the region's first and only skin bank.
1979 - Washington Hospital Center hires its first nurse practitioner.
1979 - Nurse midwives are given approval to work at the Hospital Center under a physician's supervision.
1979 - Washington Hospital Center hires new highly trained nursing professionals called nurse intensivists to work in its newborn neo-natal intensive care unit.
1979 - The Hospital Center launches a nursing preceptorship program and initiates nursing grand rounds.
1979 - Washington Hospital Center opens its second cardiac catheterization procedure suite.
1979 - Transplant surgeons perform Washington Hospital Center's 100th kidney transplant.
1979 - The Hospital Center offers outpatient laser eye surgery for glaucoma patients.
1980 - Washington Hospital Center researchers demonstrate that central pontine myelinolysis is caused by deranged sodium metabolism.
1980 - The Hospital Center pioneers in-house higher education programs for employees.
1980 - The Hospital Center opens an intermediate care, step-down burn unit and a burn rehabilitation unit.
March 30, 1981 - Metropolitan Police Department Officer Thomas Delahanty is wounded during an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. Delahanty is rushed to Washington Hospital Center for treatment of gunshot wounds.
1981 - Washington Hospital Center physicians perform first electrophysiology ablation procedure.
1982 - The Hospital Center has 3,600 employees.
1982 - Washington Hospital Center Health System is established.
1982 - Washington Hospital Center's medical and dental staff establishes a Bioethics Committee.
January 13, 1982 - MedSTAR cares for many of those injured in two separate incidents on this date. Air Florida flight 114 with 80 people aboard crashes into the Potomac River during take-off in a late afternoon snowstorm. Forty-five minutes later, a rush-hour Metro train derails and 16 of the injured are brought to the Hospital Center.
1982 - The Hospital Center's School of Nursing closes, after 93 years of providing nursing education and graduating 3,500 students.
1983 - The Hospital Center's Ophthalmology Department becomes the Washington National Eye Center.
1983 - Washington Hospital Center purchases its first air ambulance, a twin-jet helicopter, and establishes its own air ambulance program, MedSTAR Transport. The transport program draws patients from a five-state area (DE, MD, DE, PA, VA, and WV) and the District of Columbia.
1983 - An increase in the number of patients at the Hospital Center prompts construction of Parking Pavilion I, an 885-space parking garage.
1983 - The Center for Ambulatory Surgery, the only such licensed facility in the District, becomes affiliated with Washington Hospital Center.
1984 - The Washington National Eye Center begins using YAG laser for some of the first anterior segment laser procedures in the Washington area.
1985 - Washington Hospital Center opens the first Cardiac Arrhythmia Center and implants the first intra-cardiac device in the metropolitan Washington area.
1985 - The Hospital Center opens a new medical oncology unit.
1986 - Washington Heart, one of the nation's premier cardiovascular programs, is established.
1986 - National Rehabilitation Hospital, the region's first hospital dedicated to comprehensive rehabilitation of the physically disabled, opens on the Washington Hospital Center campus.
1986 - The Home Caring program opens at Washington Hospital Center.
1986 - Washington Healthcare Corporation becomes Medlantic Healthcare Group.
1986 - Hospital Center physicians perform the first cardiac electrophysiology ablation procedure.
1987 - The District's first heart transplant is performed by Washington Hospital Center physicians.
1987 - The Hospital Center installs the metropolitan area's first magnetic resonance imager (MRI), a state-of-the-art diagnostic tool.
1988 - The first left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in the mid-Atlantic region is implanted by physicians at Washington Hospital Center.
1988 - Washington Hospital Center opens the North Addition, housing 18 new operating rooms, an emergency department, six patient units, and a cardiac services wing.
1989 - The Washington region's first cytoreductive surgery with heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy is done at Washington Cancer Institute at Washington Hospital Center.
Only a handful of surgical oncologists in the world are trained to perform the unique surgery used to treat malignancies of the abdominopelvic area. The Hospital Center would continue to be one of the few facilities in the nation to pioneer and perform the procedure.
1989 - One of the nation's first kidney-pancreas transplants is performed by physicians at Washington Hospital Center.
1989 - Washington Hospital Center opens the Oncology Infusion Center to provide outpatient cancer treatment services.
1990 - The Hospital Center's Diabetes Treatment Center opens.
1990 - Groundbreaking for the new 62,000-square-foot Washington Cancer Institute takes place.
1990 - Washington Hospital Center is one of the few cardiac programs in the nation to offer experimental left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) as a bridge to heart transplant.
1991 - The first implantable insulin pump in the metropolitan area is implanted by physicians at Washington Hospital Center.
1991 - Washington Hospital Center interventional cardiologists perform 6,900 cardiac catheterizations.
1991 - The Washington National Eye Center opens a new comprehensive clinic.
1991 - The Hospital Center's Cardiac Catheterization Lab now has five procedure rooms.
1991 - The Hospital Center's Oncology Clinical Information Center is created. The oncology data collected helps physicians determine and evaluate cancer treatments.
1992 - Washington Cancer Institute opens, offering comprehensive outpatient oncology services in a single building. It is the only facility in the region with two matching dual linear accelerators with electron beam capability. This allows beams to be directed to tumors deep in the body to maximize their effect.
1992 - HospiceCare of D.C. opens a satellite office at Washington Cancer Institute.
1992 - Washington Hospital Center opens another state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization suite.
1992 - The Washington Hospital Center Foundation is established to raise funds for Hospital Center programs.
1992 - The Hospital Center launches its teen-parenting program called Teen Alliance for Prepared Parenting (TAPP).
1993 - Washington Hospital Center's kidney transplant program is one of the largest in the region. More than 1,500 transplants have been performed.
1993 - Washington Cancer Institute establishes the Peritoneal Surface Malignancies program to treat cancer of the abdominopelvic area.
1993 - The Hospital Center receives a grant to participate in the National Youth Mentoring Program.
1994 - Washington Cancer Institute provides the region's only ultrasound-guided transperineal radioisotope seed implantation treatment for prostate cancer and the only stereotactic radiotherapy for treatment of brain tumor. The Institute expands its cancer program with the addition of a Thoracic Oncology Center to treat tumors of the lung, esophagus, trachea, heart, and chest wall.
1994 - The Hospital Center establishes the Office of Continuing Medical Education, which offers medical staff training in the latest techniques and procedures.
1994 - Washington Cancer Institute launches the Cancer Preventorium. The first program of its kind in the world, the Preventorium's goal is to expand cancer prevention education throughout the world.
1995 - Physicians perform Washington Hospital Center's 100th heart transplant.
1995 - The Hospital Center's Cardiac Catheterization Lab ranks as one of the busiest in the nation, implanting more than 2,000 stents each year.
1995 - Three oncology centers are added at Washington Cancer Institute to treat oncology/hematology, skin cancer, and melanoma. The Melanoma Center is the only one of its kind in the metropolitan area. The Institute is the site of 33 National Cancer Institute and pharmaceutical clinical trials.
1995 - The Hospital Center opens a new labor and delivery recovery wing with state-of-the-art surgical suites in a comfortable, home-like setting.
1995 - The Primary Care Network is established at Washington Hospital Center.
1995 - Washington Hospital Center physicians are named principal investigators in the national Women's Health Initiative research study.
1995 - The Hospital Center opens a new Pain Management Center.
1995 - Washington Hospital Center launches a pilot program called Insight. It is a computerized patient information database that provides physicians with a patient's past and present medical information at the click of a mouse.
1995 - The Hospital Center has 2,665 births.
1996 - The new Women's Services wing opens at the Hospital Center.
1996 - The Pavilion at Washington Hospital Center opens. The deluxe suites patient unit offers four-star accommodations and concierge services in a private setting.
1996 - Washington Cancer Institute is the only area hospital to perform transanal endoscopic microsurgery. The Institute offers painless stereotactic radiotherapy to treat brain tumors and minimally-invasive stereotactic core biopsy to examine suspicious abnormalities in the breast. The Institute also opens its Patient Education and Resource Center.
1996 - The Hospital Center's transplant team performs its first minimally-invasive laparoscopic kidney transplant. The patient goes home after five days in the hospital.
1996 - Washington Hospital Center achieves a score of 96, from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).
1996 - Laser vision correction is offered through a joint venture with The Washington National Eye Center and 20/20 Laser Services.
1996 - Washington Hospital Center cardiac surgeons begin to perform and teach minimally invasive coronary artery bypass surgery (MIDCAB).
1996 - The Hospital Center launches "Listen to Your Heart: Women at Risk" one of the first campaigns in the United States aimed at making women aware of the gender differences in cardiac symptoms and treatment.
1996 - Washington Hospital Center establishes the Clinical Diabetes Program in response to the increasing volume of patients diagnosed with the disease.
1996 - The Hospital Center has 4,580 employees.
1997 - Washington Hospital Center opens the North Tower of the Physicians Office Building and Parking Pavilion 2. The new tower houses private physician's offices, labs, a radiology department, and hospitality suites.
1997 - The Washington National Eye Center celebrates its 100th anniversary.
1997 - The Hospital Center's Continuing Medical Education program receives national accreditation.
1997 - Washington Hospital Center establishes Washington Physician Partners.
1997 - The Hospital Center's Emergency Department treats a record number of more than 50,000 patients each year.
1997 - Washington Cancer Institute initiates one of the first peripheral blood stem cell transplantation programs in the area to treat a range of cancers including leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and Hodgkin's disease. The Institute records 61,100 outpatient visits.
1997 - Washington Hospital Center offers carotid endarterectomy to clear blood vessels to the brain.
1998 - On May 7, 1998, Medlantic Healthcare Group, the Hospital Center's not-for-profit parent company, merges with Helix Health, a group of four Baltimore-based hospitals, making the combined company the largest healthcare provider in the mid-Atlantic region. The new entity is called Helix/Medlantic.
1998 - Washington Hospital Center opens the Cardiovascular Training and Education Center (CTEC), a state-of-the-art satellite telecommunications facility that links physicians and staff to other medical entities performing cardiovascular procedures around the world.
1998 - The Washington Cancer Institute transplants the first ten cases in its peripheral blood stem cell program.
1999 - On February 1, 1999, Helix/Medlantic is renamed MedStar Health, the parent company of Washington Hospital Center.
1999 - Washington Cancer Institute opens its state-of-the-art Breast Imaging Center and participates in the STAR trial, a breast cancer prevention clinical study of tamoxifen and raloxifene.
1999 - Washington Cancer Institute establishes the Lung Cancer Institute.
1999 - Washington Hospital Center prepares for Y2K with water trucks, flashlights for all, 12-hour shifts, and installation of special phones.
1999 - Washington Hospital Center opens its Sleep Center to diagnose and treat patients with sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.
1999 - Washington Hospital Center has 5,100 employees.
2000 - Washington Hospital Center offers one-day comprehensive medical examinations through its Executive Health Assessment program. The single medical appointment includes blood tests, skin cancer and hearing screenings, ECG, cardiac stress test, abdominal ultrasound, ophthalmology exam, and nutritional and internal medicine consultations.
2000 - Washington Hospital Center’s MedSTAR Transport adds global positioning satellite (GPS) systems to its air ambulances to enhance flight capabilities during inclement weather.
2000 - Washington Cancer Institute is the only facility in Washington to use photodynamic therapy (PDT) to treat obstructions that occur in bronchial or esophageal cancer.
2000 - Washington Hospital Center establishes a separate electrophysiology (EP) lab for implantation of pacemakers, defibrillators and implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs). The new lab has four procedure rooms and one holding area.
2000 - The Cancer Institute opens the region's only cryosurgical procedure center which uses extreme cold to treat prostate, liver, and orthopedic cancer.
2000 - An expressive arts program is established at the Washington Cancer Institute to help patients and families relay feelings they are unable or are difficult to communicate.
2000 - The Cancer Institute is one of the first in the area to use a three-dimensional computer simulation system to target and treat cancers with radiation.
2000 - The Melanoma Center tests a new technology called "mole mapping" to diagnose melanoma at an earlier stage and make some biopsies unnecessary.
2000 - Washington Hospital Center's cardiac and cardiac surgery, hormonal disorders and neurology and neurosurgery programs are ranked among the best in the United States by U.S. News and World Report.
2001 - Washington Hospital Center acquires a cardiac magnetic resonance imager (MRI). This non-invasive imaging procedure allows doctors to view the heart and detect defects in anatomy and function.
2001 - Washington Cancer Institute opens a medical teleconferencing facility to share information and medical technologies with colleagues at other cancer treatment centers in the region.
2001 - Washington Hospital Center physicians perform the first deep brain stimulation (DBS) procedure in the metropolitan area. The procedure alleviates tremor in some patients with Parkinson disease.
2001 - Washington Hospital Center’s cardiac and cardiac surgery, cancer, ear, nose and throat, hormonal disorders, neurology and neurosurgery and urology programs are ranked among the best in the United States by U.S. News and World Report
September 11, 2001 - Washington Hospital Center plays a major role as first responder and primary caregiver following the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. MedSTAR Transport is one of the first air ambulances to arrive on the scene to transport critically burned survivors from the Pentagon to the hospital's Burn Unit. By the end of the day, all of the most critically injured patients will be brought to the Hospital Center for emergency care.
2001 - Washington Hospital Center installs a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner to detect and diagnose cancer and to monitor effectiveness of cancer treatment.
2002 - Washington Hospital Center’s cardiac and cardiac surgery, hormonal disorders and urology programs are ranked among the best in the United States by U.S. News and World Report.
2002 - Washington Hospital Center’s Burn Unit is verified by the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons and the American Burn Association.
2002 - Washington Hospital Center achieves a score of 96, from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).
2002 - Washington Hospital Center’s computerized Insight (now called AZYXXI) database allows physicians to retrieve ECGs in an instant. In the next 2 years, the system will develop into an electronic patient hospitalization file system and include images, scans, angiograms, labs, medications, and written orders. AZYXXI will be distributed throughout the MedStar Health system.
2002 - Washington Hospital Center launches a Cancer Residency Program for Spiritual Caregivers. The program brings together spiritual leaders across all faiths to the Hospital Center for comprehensive sessions on bioethics, palliative care, and the healing process.
2002 - Washington Cancer Institute celebrates its 10th anniversary. The center now offers 11 site-specific cancer centers, diagnoses more than 1,400 new cancer cases each year, and treats more than 70,000 outpatients.
2002 - Washington Hospital Center opens The Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery; the acquisition of a Gamma Knife treats patients with cancer lesions of the neck and head without a scalpel or a hospital stay.
2002 - Washington Hospital Center launches an international nurse recruitment effort, hiring nurses from the Philippines.
2002 - Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson visits Washington Hospital Center for a briefing on the planned "emergency department of the future," the all-risks ready "EROne" program.
2002 - Washington Hospital Center joins the Mama and Baby Bus collaborative. This mobile medical facility brings pre- and post-natal care to pregnant women and their infants, providing better health care to District moms and their babies.
2002 - Washington Hospital Center opens the Center for Breast Health, a comprehensive breast care center.
2003 - Washington Hospital Center’s imaging capability grows with the addition of a CT simulator that provides 3D images and two state-of-the-art linear accelerators in Radiation Oncology.
2003 - Washington Hospital Center’s kidney dialysis unit is one of the largest and busiest in the country, treating more than 11,000 patients each year.
2003 - Washington Hospital Center is the primary site in the United States for transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) to remove flat polyps in the rectum. The procedure helps in the early detection of rectal cancer.
2003 -Washington Hospital Center-based MedSTAR Transport air ambulance program celebrates 20 years of service to the community without a single incident.
2003 - Washington Hospital Center opens the mid-Atlantic region's only intermediate care (IMC) unit for neurosurgical and neurology patients.
2003 - Washington Hospital Center’s cardiac, cardiac surgery, urology and hormonal disorders programs are ranked among the top in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.
2004 - Washington Hospital Center partners with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish stroke protocols with NIH stroke neurologists on site at the hospital; the Hospital Center opens its Stroke Center.
2004 - Washington Hospital Center acquires two 16-slice cardiac CT scanners that produce high-definition views of the heart allowing physicians to detect narrowing or obstruction of the coronaries.
2004 - Washington Hospital Center partners with Unity Clinics to provide District-wide obstetrics and gynecological services to women.
2004 - The Washington National Eye Center introduces a Mobile Eye Testing Station that brings quality eye care to uninsured and low income residents in Washington, D. C.
2004 - Washington Hospital Center’s cardiac, cardiac surgery, and hormonal disorders programs are ranked among the top in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.
2005 - Washington Hospital Center opens a new unit specifically designed to care for the needs of heart failure patients.
2005 - Washington Hospital Center’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab begins 24/7 operation with an in-house medical team ready to treat heart attack patients around the clock.
2005 - Washington Hospital Center is the third facility in the United States to install a Statscan, a digital X-ray system that scans the whole body in 14 seconds.
2005 - Washington Hospital Center opens Washington Heart Medical Fitness and Wellness Center, the District's only comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program, on the grounds of Trinity University. The state-of-the-art center offers individualized exercise "prescriptions" under the supervision of specially-trained exercise physiologists and physicians plus educational classes on nutrition, smoking cessation, and managing blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
2005 - Washington Hospital Center has 5,300 employees.
2005 - Washington Hospital Center acquires a 64-slice CT scanner that produces high-quality 3D images of the heart to help physicians detect coronary artery disease.
2005 - Washington Hospital Center joins with Children's National Medical Center to establish the Washington Adult Congenital Heart Defect program, the only medical service in the region to provide the full range of specialized care for those with congenital heart defects from birth through adulthood.
2005 - Washington Hospital Center’s cardiac, cardiac surgery, and hormonal disorders programs are ranked among the top in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.
2005 - Washington Hospital Center researchers study whether injections of a growth factor called VEGF can spur new blood vessels in the heart and decrease pain caused by angina.
2005 - Nurse teams in the Coronary Care Unit are among the first in the nation to use a non-invasive hypothermal therapy designed to save brain function in some patients following cardiac arrest.
2006 - Following high-risk maternal-fetal treatment and surgery, conjoined twin boys are safely delivered and stabilized at Washington Hospital Center. The twins are rushed to Children's National Medical Center where, a few months later, they are successfully separated.
2006 - Washington Hospital Center is recognized as one of the Best Hospitals in the country for heart and heart surgery, kidney disease, and geriatrics by U.S. News and World Report.
2006 - A team of interventional cardiologists successfully repairs a mitral valve in the heart without open heart surgery as part of Everest II clinical trial. A catheter-based therapy delivers a clip through a small incision in the leg to the mitral valve. The clip is attached to the existing valve, creating a more effective open-close action.
2006 - Washington Hospital Center is the principal site of a "first in man" clinical study of an innovative method of lowering bad cholesterol. Using the HDL Selective Delipidation process, which appears much like a blood donation and subsequent transfusion, good cholesterol is enhanced and designed to reverse the amount of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream.
2006 - Washington Hospital Center is recognized for its efforts to increase organ donations by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Working closely with patient families, the hospital was acknowledged for increasing donation rate by 75%.
2006 - AZYXXI, the computerized clinical database created by three Hospital Center Emergency Medicine physicians, is sold to Microsoft. In the agreement, the hospital remains the real life research and development facility for the system.
2007 - Washington Hospital Center opens its Simulation and Training Laboratory aimed at providing training and experience in performing procedures and in diagnosing illness and injury in patients using simulators, online training modules, and experiential 'serious' games.
2007 - Washington Hospital Center is providing congestive heart patients with a new treatment option as a bridge to heart transplant. It is a fully implantable left ventricular assist device called HeartMate II.
2007 - Washington Hospital Center is one of a handful of hospitals to acquire a new brain imaging device called a flat detector. The system is used in the hospital's neurointerventional suite to better identify the shape and location of blood vessel malformations such as aneurysms. The 3D imaging system allows neurointerventionalists to have a "window into the brain" that results in better treatment and patient outcome without invasive surgery.
2007 - Washington Hospital Center researchers test a new investigational device designed to screen out the risk of stroke for those with atrial fibrillation. The device, which is called "Watchman" is delivered via catheter and acts as a plug, sealing off the left atrial appendage of the heart, where 90% of stroke-causing blood clots form.
2007 - Washington Hospital Center is recognized as one of the best hospitals in the country for heart and heart surgery, kidney disease, and geriatrics by U.S. News and World Report.
2007 - MedStar Washington becomes the third site in the country to study an experimental aortic valve that is deployed without open heart surgery. As part of the PARTNER trial, 600 participants will be enrolled to determine the safety and effectiveness of the new valve.
2007 - Washington Hospital Center joins Children's National Medical Center is opening a medical liaison office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The goal of the office is to share medical expertise, education, and research.
2007 - Washington Cancer Institute at Washington Hospital Center opens the Women's Oncology Center. It is the first such facility in the region specifically designed for treatment of women with breast and gynecological cancers.
2007 - Washington Hospital Center performs the first robot-assisted hysterectomy using the new da Vinci® S™ Surgical System. The Hospital Center is the first facility in the Washington region to offer the new surgical option for women undergoing complex gynecological procedures.
2007 - Women's and Infants' Services staff at Washington Hospital Center incorporate the use of patient simulators to train for obstetrical emergencies and complications.
2007 - MedSTAR Transport and Alexandria Fire and EMS conduct their first training exercise with each other to test medical responses during high-risk situations. The drill scenario involved the rescue, treatment, and helicopter transport of two pedestrians after a hit and run car accident.
2008 - Washington Hospital Center opens The Bridge to ER One, a state-of-the-art section of the Emergency Department. This marks the first time that innovative technologies and design concepts developed for ER One, an all-risks ready emergency care facility, are used in patient care.
2008 - Washington Hospital Center cardiac surgeons are the first in North America to implant an experimental third generation left ventricular assist device (LVAD) called HeartWare®. This tiny new heart pump is designed to be 'wearless,' pumping blood from the left ventricle to the aorta without coming into contact with a single moving part.
2008 - Washington Hospital Center cardiac surgeons remove a left ventricular assist device from a young man whose badly damaged heart had returned to its normal condition while on the device. It is the first such "recovery" procedure performed in the Washington area.
2008 - Washington Hospital Center is recognized as one of the top 20 heart and heart hospitals in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report. The Hospital Center is also ranked among the best in treating geriatric patients and those with endocrine and respiratory disorders.
2008 - With a $700,000 community academic grant from Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Washington Cancer Institute at Washington Hospital Center launches a 3-year program to reduce breast cancer treatment disparities among low income and minority women in the area. Breaking Down Barriers is a collaboration involving four well-established community organizations to help women overcome barriers to treatment and increase participation in breast cancer clinical trials.
2008 - Washington Hospital Center uses the new Trilogy™ linear accelerator to eradicate once inoperable cancers in less time and with fewer complications. It is the fastest, most powerful and accurate radiation therapy available, allowing patients to spend less time on the treatment table. It is the only medical facility in Washington offering the technology.
2008 - The MedStar Diabetes Institute at Washington Hospital Center launches an innovative program to help people with diabetes better manage their condition and reduce repeat visits to the Emergency Department. STEP-DC takes the novel approach of beginning medical therapy and diabetes education in the ED for certain patients with uncontrolled blood sugars.
2008 - MedSTAR Transport and DC Fire and EMS conduct their first training exercise with each other to test medical responses during high-risk situations. The drill scenario involved the rescue, treatment and helicopter transport of a patient burned in a building fire.
2008 - Washington Hospital Center celebrates its 50th anniversary in providing healthcare services in the nation’s capital.
2008 - Washington Hospital Center partners with Georgetown University Medical Center to launch an accelerated 16-month nursing scholarship program. The program offers college graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher in another field the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 16 months.
2008 - MedStar Washington’s ventricular assist device (VAD) program becomes the first and only program in the Washington region to be certified by The Joint Commission.
2008 - Washington Hospital Center’s Physician Imaging Center opens in College Park. The new facility offers state-of-the-art digital imaging in computerized tomography, magnetic resonance, and ultrasound, as well as general radiology services.
2008 - Washington Hospital Center goes tobacco-free.
2008 - The Sleep Apnea and Snoring Clinic opens at Washington Hospital Center. It is the area’s only combined otolaryngology and oral surgery facility.
2008 - The Stroke Center at Washington Hospital Center is the recipient of a Bronze Level Performance Achievement Award by the American Heart Association® and the American Stroke Association®.
2008 - In partnership between Washington Hospital Center, Executive Office of the Mayor and the Office of Victim Services, women and men have access to state-of-the-art care and a coordinated follow-up through a program called Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE). The SANE program provides a comprehensive response to victims of sexual assault.
2008 - Washington Hospital Center acquires a 256-slice CT scanner, the only medical facility in the Washington region and only the third in the world, to install the machine.
2009 - In July, Washington Hospital Center partners with its sister hospital, Georgetown University Hospital, for the groundbreaking paired kidney exchange to take place in one city. The exchanges involved seven donors and seven recipients.
2009 - In December, Washington Hospital Center collaborates again with Georgetown University Hospital in the world’s largest kidney exchange. Thirteen people with serious kidney disease received life-saving kidney transplants from 13 donors over a 6-day period.
2009 - The first research laboratory in the Washington area to focus on burn injuries opens at Washington Hospital Center.
2009 - Washington Hospital Center offers Titan Large MRI to accommodate patients who weigh up to 550 pounds. Titan is also equipped with the largest breast coil technology available. Women with extra large or dense breasts, for whom mammography is not an option, are able to undergo evaluation for breast cancer. It is one of only five systems in the United States.
2009 - The Center for Breast Health at Washington Hospital Center receives a 3-year, full accreditation designation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).
2009 - Washington Hospital Center’s Stroke Center receives a 2009 Silver Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Program.
2009 - Washington Hospital Center’s Stroke Center earns the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval as a primary stroke center, and receives recertification.
2009 - Washington Hospital Center’s Podiatry Residency program celebrates its 20th anniversary. It is one of the nation’s largest programs.
2009 - U.S. News & World Report ranks Washington Hospital Center as one of the best hospitals in the country for heart and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrine disorders, geriatrics, and ear, nose and throat.
2009 - The Medical House Call program at Washington Hospital Center marks its 10th anniversary. The program provides comprehensive care to frail elders in select areas of the District.
2009 - Washington Hospital Center opens the Orthodontic Clinic, which provides the latest treatments to straighten teeth and correct other dental irregularities, and fees are a fraction of those charged by non-hospital-based orthodontic practices.
2010 - Washington Hospital Center becomes the third hospital in the U.S., to inject stem cells into a heart failure patient’s damaged myocardium, in a study that aims to determine if stem cells can regenerate healthy tissue.
2010 - Washington Hospital Center’s Radiology Department becomes the first in the nation to implement Clarity® CT solution software that creates remarkably clear images using lower doses of radiation.
2010 - Washington Hospital Center is the only institution in the nation’s capital designated as a NICHE–designated facility. The NICHE (Nurses Improving Care of Healthsystem Elders) designation indicates the hospital’s commitment to elder care excellence.
2010 - The Stroke Center receives the 2010 American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award. Washington Hospital Center is the only facility in the District to be recognized with the Gold Plus distinction.
2010 - Washington Hospital Center’s Department of Continuing Medical Education receives a 3-year, full re-accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medication Education.
2010 - In June, 28 people participate in the world’s largest paired kidney exchange. The transplants were performed on nine different days by transplant teams at Washington Hospital Center, Georgetown University Hospital, Children’s National Medical Center and Inova Fairfax Hospital.
2010 - Washington Hospital Center’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab was the first in the nation to use Optical Coherence Tomography to evaluate a patient’s coronary arteries before angioplasty.
2010 - The Washington Cancer Institute receives a 3-year accreditation with commendation, the highest level of approval by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer (CoC).
2010 - The Joint Commission recertifies the region’s only ventricular assist device (VAD) program at Washington Hospital Center.
2010 - Consumer Reports, in collaboration with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, awards Washington Hospital Center with its highest rating of three stars for the hospital’s cardiac surgery program.
2010 - Washington Hospital Center’s Burn Center receives a 3-year re-verification from the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons. This is the third re-verification for the region’s only adult burn facility.
2010 - Washington Hospital Center agrees to partner with United Medical Center to provide both clinical and administrative oversight of UMC’s Maternal/Child Services.
2010 - In November, 32 people become part of the world's largest paired kidney exchange, breaking a former world record set in June at Washington Hospital Center and Georgetown University Hospital.
2010 - Washington Hospital Center’s Ob/Gyn residency program merges with Georgetown University Hospital’s Ob/Gyn residency program. As part of the merger, Virginia Hospital Center, long affiliated with Georgetown’s program, will be integrated into the new merged program to be called MedStar Washington’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program.
2011 - Washington Hospital Center opens the Lawrence B. Taishoff Center for Endovascular Surgery, the first dedicated hybrid OR suite for minimally invasive endovascular surgery.
2011 - In March, Washington Hospital Center is ranked the #1 hospital in the Washington region by U.S. News & World Report in its first-ever best hospitals metropolitan rankings.
2011 - Washington Hospital Center achieves the prestigious Excellence Award for Quality Improvement from the Delmarva Foundation of the District of Columbia.
2011 - Washington Hospital Center pilots the Hazard Alerting Loop, or HAL, in five ICUs to improve the way physicians, nurses, and caregivers focus on communications while caring for patients in the ICU.
2011 - In July, Washington Hospital Center maintains its status as the #1 ranked hospital in the Washington region by U.S. News & World Report, with four nationally ranked programs and eight high-performing specialties.
2011 - Washington Hospital Center performs trans-oral robotic surgery for oral and throat cancers using the da Vinci® S™ Surgical System.
2011 - Becker's Hospital Review recognizes Washington Hospital Center as one of "70 Hospitals with Great Cardiology Programs.”
2011 - The Joint Commission recertifies the Stroke Center at Washington Hospital Center as a Primary Stroke Center.
2011 - The Department of Radiation Safety, which oversees and monitors all the radiation equipment and radioactive material at Washington Hospital Center, passes its recertification by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
2011 - Washington Hospital Center, in collaboration with AT&T®, unveils "CodeHeart," a highly secure mobile application to speed diagnosis of patients having heart attacks.
2011 - Washington Hospital Center cardiac surgeon Steven Boyce, MD, develops a website (MyLVAD.com) designed to help improve the quality of life and outcomes for people living with left ventricular assist devices.
2011 - Washington Hospital Center becomes the first facility in the Washington, D.C. region to perform robot-assisted coronary angioplasty.
2011 - Washington Hospital Center becomes the region’s first hospital and one of a handful of U.S. medical centers to perform the convergent procedure to restore normal heart rhythm in patients with atrial fibrillation.
2012 - MedStar Health launches a new system-wide brand strategy to evolve the MedStar Health corporate signature to all hospitals and entities. Washington Hospital Center becomes MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
2012 - MedStar Washington becomes the first facility in the national capital region to use a newly approved heart stent for use in patients with diabetes.
2012 - The National Center for Advanced Pelvic Surgery at MedStar Washington is designated as a Center of Excellence: Continence Care for Women by the National Association for Continence.
2012 - U.S. News & World Report ranks MedStar Washington as one of the best hospitals in the country for Cardiology & Heart Surgery. It also cites the hospital’s nine specialties as high-performing.
2012 - MedStar Women’s Specialty Center opens at 5454 Wisconsin Ave., in Chevy Chase, Md. It offers women’s health experts from MedStar Washington and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
2012 - MedStar Heart Institute physicians implant the first-of-its-kind “leadless” defibrillator that can shock the heart, in cases of life-threatening arrhythmias to restore normal rhythm.
The John J. Lynch. MD Center for Ethics
In 1982, John “Jack” Lynch, the first medical oncologist in Washington, DC founded the hospital’s first Ethics Committee. A few years later, driven by the needs of the hospital, its providers, patients and families, a dedicated Center for Ethics was developed. Today, the John J. Lynch, MD Center for Ethics serves as MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Department of Bioethics, whose consultative section responds to approximately 400 calls per year. The Center’s academic section produces internationally recognized and accredited bioethics education programming and publishes the Journal of Hospital Ethics, the only peer-reviewed and research-indexed publication from MedStar Health. The Center is additionally involved in both theoretical and clinical research resulting in policy development for the immediate institution, and continuous, leading contributions to the professional field.