Walter Reed to close after more than a century
WASHINGTON (AP) — Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Army's flagship hospital where privates to presidents have gone for care, is closing its doors after more than a century.
Hundreds of thousands of the nation's war wounded from World War I to today have received treatment at Walter Reed, including 18,000 troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
President Dwight Eisenhower died there. So did Gens. John J. Pershing and Douglas MacArthur.
Washington (CNN) -- Time is up for the six-year process of closing Walter Reed, the century-old Army hospital in Washington.
And now the Army says the cost of closing that hospital and consolidating it with Bethesda Naval Medical Center in suburban Maryland has more than doubled to $2.6 billion since the plan was announced in 2005 by the Base Realignment and Closing Commission (BRAC).
The new combined hospital will have 345 beds for medical and surgical patients, 50 intensive care beds and 20 operating rooms.
Under law the transition must be completed by September 15. Mateczun said patients would be moved from Walter Reed by the end of August, with one trial run of patient transfers by ambulances already completed and another set for coming weeks.
"We are in the final phase," he said.
As part of the realignment, a new hospital has been built at Fort Belvoir, in Fairfax County, Virginia, that will absorb some Walter Reed functions as well as replace the DeWitt Army Community Hospital.