Walter Reed is a medical center operated by the US Army. It is the medical flagship for this branch of the American forces. It spreads over about 110 acres in Washington D.C. And hosts over 150000 individuals. It is named in the memory of a doctor who proved that the yellow fever was not actually transmitted through a direct contact, but by particular species of mosquitoes. His discovery had a major role in the Panama Canal construction, which was ceased due to the wrong beliefs regarding the yellow fever. Reed’s work completely turned around the world of epidemiology. The medical center is among the facilities with the most impressive growth over the years. If in its first years it could barely hosts 80 beds, these days its bed capacity is around 5500 units.
The center origins date back to the times of Fort Lesley J. McNair, which is actually the third oldest fort in the United States of America. The site was excellent for the defense of Washington D.C., therefore it was constantly improved and used as an arsenal and as a federal prison. The actual history as a medical center began in the first years of the 20-th century. The first patients were sent there in the spring of 1909. William Cline Borden was the one responsible with all the initiative tasks, from planning to organization. In its first years, the place was often referred to as Borden’s Dream, since it was basically one of the things he always fought for.
By 1977, the place was continuously improved. Every new building was assigned with a number. The general hospital was Building 1. Multiple such buildings and facilities were built over the years to maintain the Walter Reed medical center among the most advanced ones in the world. These days, the center is the common option of the most important people in the country, including the US president and vice president. The center is included in a particular health care network that covers 10 more similar facilities. However, none of them beats this one in size and importance.
In 2007, the leadership adopted a new form of therapy based on protons, after an agreement with the University of Pennsylvania. During the same year, the press published a multitude of articles related to the incapability of Walter Reed. It seems the soldiers and their families had to go through a nightmare before getting the care they needed. No one seemed to care about anything else but the bureaucratic papers. At the same time, the buildings and facilities were in a neglectful shape and physical damage. Many of the hospital leaders were fired or suspended.
In 2005, the BRAC commission recommended the relocation of this hospital to Maryland.
There are around 10 permanent units hosted at the Walter Reed medical center. Some of them include the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research or the National Museum of Health and Medicine.