Local hospitals celebrate key milestones


The May 16 renaming and memorialization ceremony at Fort Belvoir's hospital

Two hospitals along the Richmond Highway corridor held ceremonies May 16 to commemorate significant events.

At Fort Belvoir, the Defense Health Agency officially renamed the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital as the Alexander T. Augusta Military Medical Center (ATAMMC) in honor of the late Lt. Col. (Dr.) Augusta who was the first African American physician in the U.S. Army and the first Black professor of medicine in the U.S.

During the renaming and memorialization ceremony held in front of the 1.3 million-square-foot facility, emergency medicine physician Dr. Richard Repeta, a nearly 20-year employee, recounted the development of the hospital, which opened in 2011. Among other features, the hospital has healing gardens, extensive natural lighting and a commitment to environmental sustainability.

“I was surprised to learn that at the time, we were the largest LEED Gold-certified healthcare facility in the world,” said Repeta.

ATAMMC Director Col. Kathy Spangler highlighted the many career achievements of Augusta who was the first Black hospital administrator, a leader in the fight against racial injustice, and the first Black Army officer to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

“Our hospital motto, ‘We Lead...One Team,’ signifies our unified efforts to achieve a culture of excellence, and we pledge to continue to lead as Dr. Alexander T. Augusta did within his civilian and military career,” said Spangler.

Toward the end of the ceremony, service members representing various services changed the unit colors (flags), removing the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital flag and replacing it with the ATAMMC flag. Military health officials then unveiled a portrait of Augusta, which will be displayed in the hospital lobby.

Military health officials unveil the portrait of Lt. Col. (Dr.) Alexander T. Augusta, which will adorn the lobby of the military medical center.

The full renaming and memorialization ceremony can be viewed on the hospital’s Facebook page.

Just over five miles north of Fort Belvoir, a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital for its new post-acute care facility. Known as the Inova Select Specialty Hospital, the 32-bed facility is the first of its kind in Northern Virginia, according to an Inova press release, offering specialized treatment to critically ill patients who require an extended stay but no longer need the intensive care provided in an acute care hospital.

Inova and Select Medical officials celebrated the opening of Inova Mount Vernon's new post-acute care facility with local elected officials and community members on May 16.

Located within the four walls of Inova Mount Vernon, the specialty hospital will serve patients with specialized needs and provide ongoing treatment for patients with certain health conditions and disorders.

The new facility, built in partnership with Select Medical, will open to patients May 23.

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