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Army Medical Center
General Dwight David Eisenhower

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Gen Dwight D. Eisenhower Eisenhower Army Medical Center is the military medical center of the Southeast. The $60M, 300 bed facility, is now the specialized treatment center for DoD Region 3 TRICARE. The Southeast Regional Medical Command, a headquarters facility for the southeastern United States, is also part of Fort Gordon's medical complex.

The hospital is now focused on supporting the managed care program instituted by the Department of Defense referred to as TRICARE. The medical center is also a medical teaching facility for residents in both surgical and primary care specialties with emphasis on research and state-of-the-art specialty care.

The hospital traces its roots to World War II when it was the Camp Gordon Station Hospital built in 1941. During 1941 it expanded to 1600 beds to care for World War II casualties and their dependents. By the end of 1944, the station hospital provided medical services for nine dispensaries on post in addition to the dental clinics. World War II ended and times changed as did the installation's mission. The station hospital, one of the first functioning facilities, closed in August 1946. By the end of 1947 the installation was virtually a "ghost town".

The old hospital had 139 single story wooden buildings on 80 acres of land and nearly 3.5 miles of corridors connected the buildings.

The advent of the cold war saw the reopening of Fort Gordon and subsequently the hospital. During the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, the hospital grew and shrunk in bed capacity as deemed necessary, and Army officials began planning to replace the World War II era buildings that had long outlived their intended use. By the end of the Korean war, the hospital had shrunk to 300 beds. In 1966 with the beginning of the Vietnam conflict, the bed capacity increased to 750 beds.

Medical and dental detachments present since Gordon's beginning increased and were redesignated to a more formal status in 1956. The U. S. Army Hospital Station Component 3441 became Headquarters, U. S. Army Hospital 3441. Other changes were made in the medical detachment, dental detachment, and medical holding detachment designations. It was big news for the installation and Augusta on 21 March 1956 when the camp was designated Fort Gordon making it a permanent part of the Army's readiness posture.

In April 1963 the 18th Surgical Mobile Army Hospital was attached to the U. S. Army Hospital, Fort Gordon. By 1966 all facilities were redesignated the U. S. Army Hospital Specialized Treatment Center. Its capacity was expanded to 750 beds. That same year planning began for a new hospital to replace the old World War II era buildings that had long outlived their intended usefulness. Formal groundbreaking for the new structure was held on 23 April 1971. Although the main building was dedicated 24 April 1975, it was not opened for patient use until April 1976.

Not only was a new home for the hospital being built but a new mission was approved as well. In March 1973 the hospital became a medical center with teaching and research missions to go along with the traditional role of patient care. At the time of its dedication in 1975, it was renamed the Dwight David Eisenhower Army Medical Center in honor of the former General of the Army and President of the United States. In naming the center after the former President, the Army Medical Department broke a long standing tradition of naming its hospital after renowned soldier physicians, such as Walter Reed and Jonathan Letterman. The decision to name the new center after "Ike" was made because of his love for and close ties with the Augusta, Georgia community. The President and Mrs. Eisenhower were frequent visitors to this golf and garden capital of the Southeast, both during and after his presidency. It was at Fort Gordon on 7 January 1961 that President Eisenhower made his farewell address to the Army. As a tribute to their friend and frequent guest, the citizens of the Augusta area raised $4,500 to have a memorial to President Eisenhower. That memorial, a 7-ton black granite block engraved with excerpts from Ike's farewell address, stood in the second floor lobby until it was moved on 10 January 1999 to Freedom Park at Ft. Gordon.

Additions to the medical complex included a $2.1M 36-chair dental care and research facility which was dedicated in November 1974. A $2.6M housing unit, Petrarca Hall, opened in 1975 to house more than 500 bachelor enlisted men and women assigned to the medical center. In 1983 a $2.4M Area Dental Lab was dedicated. Also in October 1983 a 30-bed Residential Treatment Facility, mainly for active duty, but also for dependents and retirees was developed to treat primary alcoholism and various drug addictions.

Eisenhower Army Medical Center is in close proximity to the Medical College of Georgia and the Augusta VA Medical Center. The affiliation with these two institutions has enhanced the training programs at both institutions as well as valuable medical research. Now with the recent implementation of TRICARE, Eisenhower Army Medical Center's mission is to continue to provide quality Medicare care for all DOD beneficiaries within the Southeastern United States.



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