The Burn Center | MedStar Washington Hospital Center | MedStar Health

A history of excellence and a vision for the future of burn care

With 50 years of experience in specialty treatment of burns, the Burn Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center is the region’s first and only dedicated burn care institution. Every year we deliver life-saving care to more than 1,200 burn-injured patients. The center provides an outpatient-specific, comprehensive care approach for issues from minor burns to surgical burn treatment, reconstructive surgery, and burn rehabilitation.

On September 11, 2001, an airplane flown by terrorists crashed into the Pentagon, causing a mass casualty incident with 189 deaths and 106 persons treated for injuries in local hospitals. Nine burn victims and one victim with an inhalation injury were transported to the burn center hospital. The Burn Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center admitted and treated the acute burn patients while continuing its mission as the regional burn center for the Washington, D.C., region.

Our vision for the future of burn care involves an extensive renovation to our Burn Center that would incorporate state-of-the-art technology with redefined treatment and research spaces. Philanthropy is essential to our ability to amplify our industry-leading work and is integral to moving our vision to reality.

Thanks to the support of our grateful patients, their families, and our community, philanthropic partnerships continue to positively impact the planning and redesign of our new Burn Center. The newly redesigned space will feature:

  • Intensive Care Unit: a new 10-bed intensive care unit dedicated to the needs of burn patients, which will house a specialized burn operating room.
  • Inpatient Unit: an inpatient wing with a next-generation versatile space to treat infection control and complex patient care. It will house new private patient rooms, specialized showers, and restrooms.
  • Outpatient Unit: an area to separate patients by severity of burn and stage of care, enhance privacy and comfort for family members, and provide a space for mass casualty events.
  • Rehabilitation gym: Expand our inpatient and outpatient support services by building a larger, more advanced rehabilitation gym and enhancing our survivorship and aftercare programs.

The Burn Center serves as a vital source of specialized burn care, crucial research, and innovative advancements to improve patient care and outcomes regionally and nationally. Philanthropic partnerships continue to help the advancement of our leadership in the fields of burn care and disaster response.

Lifesaving Care Leads to Lasting Commitment

Ballowe James
A fire in the kitchen of James Ballowe’s Alexandria home could have claimed his life. Instead, thanks to the dedicated team of providers in the Burn Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the 63-year-old is living such a normal life that most people would never suspect what he went through.

Ballowe was in the ICU and on life support for nearly a week. He subsequently had three reconstructive surgeries followed by nearly two years of outpatient rehab therapy. “Being a burn patient is not easy,” he notes. “But the care I received at the Burn Center throughout the long process was excellent.”

Additional information

To partner with us and learn more about philanthropy within the Burn Center, contact Mika K. Standard, CFRE, FCEP, vice president and chief philanthropy officer at 202-877-6557 or email