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Construction on $295 million hospital complex set for completion in 2024

U.S. Army officials, legislators and others gathered to break ground June 22 on the new General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital, a $295 million, state-of-the-art, 52-acre hospital complex that, when completed in 2024, will replace the current hospital facility.

“Today is a dream come true for this military community and for the entire region,” said Maj. Gen. Donna Martin, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, who described the event as a “historic moment for Fort Leonard Wood.”

When completed, the new complex will include a 235,400-square-foot hospital facility along with a 193,000-square-foot clinic, a central utility plant, emergency back-up generators, five-bay ambulance garage, helipad and supporting facilities.

“The new hospital will have all the capabilities of our current facility,” said Col. Kimberlie Biever, GLWACH commander. “It will be more efficient in terms of function, it will be more cost-effective to maintain, and it will be a beautiful facility where people want to work and where our patients will be welcomed in a therapeutic environment. The clinical locations were thoughtfully planned to ensure patients can navigate through the hospital easily and efficiently and receive needed health care. There will be convenient patient parking after the project is complete, and during the period of construction upon relocating to the new facility, GLWACH staff will continue to provide excellent medical care in a kind and compassionate environment.”

Despite recently being ranked No. 1 in outpatient efficiency by U.S. Army Medical Command, the current hospital, built in 1965, is the oldest in the Army system, and has presented several challenges to health-care providers, Biever said.

Lt. Gen. Scott Dingle, the 45th Surgeon General of the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Medical Command commanding general, praised the current GLWACH command and staff for their response during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, adding that their commitment illustrated the fact that “military readiness and military health care are inextricably linked.”

Likewise, he said, the modernization of the hospital facilities would benefit the missions here.

“The hospital is the same age as I am, and as modernization is always occurring, as medical technology is always occurring, the hospital obviously has been modernized and upgraded,” Dingle said. “However, in order for us to keep pace with the beneficiary population, the care to support the readiness of our Soldiers and family members and civilians, it’s time for us to give them the equipment, the facility, that can support the requirements. So, I believe it’s long overdue. The mission here is a tremendous mission for the Army, because it provides the Army its lifeline. That’s why it’s such an honor to be here to do the groundbreaking.”