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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Howard makes pitch to move its hospital and health colleges to Walter Reed

Howard University has submitted a $1.1 billion plan to move its hospital and health sciences operation to the nearby Walter Reed Army Medical Center campus after the facility closes next year.

University officials say the ambitious proposal would bring a top-notch teaching hospital to an underserved area.

"We're very excited about the possibility," said Eve Higginbotham, senior vice president and executive dean for Health Sciences. "We believe it would be a win-win for the District." A recommendation is expected to be made to the military in June or July.

Higginbotham said that if the bid is successful, the project would be built in three phases, starting in 2012 and ending in 2017.

The new hospital would probably be financed through a partnership with a private hospital management company, according to the proposal. Other money would come from fundraising, leveraging non-core assets and other means.

The university is one of 23 organizations, including charter schools, arts programs and food pantries, that have expressed interest in the land.

When Walter Reed closes, its medical operations will be shifted to a campus at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda and an Army hospital being built at Fort Belvoir.


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