National Naval Medical Center
Overview
 
The National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) in Bethesda, Maryland
Bethesda, Maryland
Bethesda is a census designated place in southern Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, just northwest of Washington, D.C. It takes its name from a local church, the Bethesda Meeting House , which in turn took its name from Jerusalem's Pool of Bethesda...

, USA — commonly known as the Bethesda Naval Hospital — was for decades the flagship of the United States Navy's
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 system of medical center
Medical facility
A medical facility is, in general, any location at which medicine is practiced regularly. Medical facilities range from small clinics and doctor's offices to urgent care centers and large hospitals with elaborate emergency rooms and trauma centers. The number and quality of medical facilities in a...

s. A federal institution, it conducted medical and dental research as well as providing health care for American leaders, including the president and his family. Beneficiaries included current and retired servicemembers from all military services.

In September 2011, the NNMC was merged with Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
The Walter Reed Army Medical Center was the United States Army's flagship medical center until 2011. Located on 113 acres in Washington, D.C., it served more than 150,000 active and retired personnel from all branches of the military...

 (WRAMC) to create the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is a tri-service military medical center located on the Bethesda, Maryland, USA campus of the former National Naval Medical Center.-Leadership:Commander:Rear Admiral Alton L. Stocks, MD...

 (WRNMMC), a modernized joint-forces central medical facility created by expanding the current NNMC facility.
In 1938, the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 appropriated funds for the acquisition of land for the construction of a new Naval medical center, and President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Franklin D.
Encyclopedia
The National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) in Bethesda, Maryland
Bethesda, Maryland
Bethesda is a census designated place in southern Montgomery County, Maryland, United States, just northwest of Washington, D.C. It takes its name from a local church, the Bethesda Meeting House , which in turn took its name from Jerusalem's Pool of Bethesda...

, USA — commonly known as the Bethesda Naval Hospital — was for decades the flagship of the United States Navy's
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 system of medical center
Medical facility
A medical facility is, in general, any location at which medicine is practiced regularly. Medical facilities range from small clinics and doctor's offices to urgent care centers and large hospitals with elaborate emergency rooms and trauma centers. The number and quality of medical facilities in a...

s. A federal institution, it conducted medical and dental research as well as providing health care for American leaders, including the president and his family. Beneficiaries included current and retired servicemembers from all military services.

In September 2011, the NNMC was merged with Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
The Walter Reed Army Medical Center was the United States Army's flagship medical center until 2011. Located on 113 acres in Washington, D.C., it served more than 150,000 active and retired personnel from all branches of the military...

 (WRAMC) to create the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is a tri-service military medical center located on the Bethesda, Maryland, USA campus of the former National Naval Medical Center.-Leadership:Commander:Rear Admiral Alton L. Stocks, MD...

 (WRNMMC), a modernized joint-forces central medical facility created by expanding the current NNMC facility.

Early history

In 1938, the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 appropriated funds for the acquisition of land for the construction of a new Naval medical center, and President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Franklin D. Roosevelt selected the present site in Bethesda, Maryland, on July 5, 1938.

Ground was broken by John McShain
John McShain
John McShain was a highly successful American building contractor known as "The Man Who Built Washington."...

 Builders for the Naval Medical Center on June 29, 1939 by Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. It is generally regarded as the lowest of the "admiral" ranks, which are also sometimes referred to as "flag officers" or "flag ranks"...

 Percival S. Rossiter, MC, USN, (Ret.). President Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of the Tower on Armistice Day
Armistice Day
Armistice Day is on 11 November and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day...

, November 11, 1940.

The original Medical Center was composed of the Naval Hospital, designed to hold 1,200 beds, and the Naval Medical School, the Naval Dental School (now the National Naval Dental Center) and the Naval Medical Research Institute. In 1945, at the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, temporary buildings were added to accommodate up to 2,464 wounded American Sailors
Sailors
Sailors is the plural form of Sailor, or mariner.Sailors may also refer to:*Sailors , a 1964 Swedish film*Ken Sailors , American basketball playerSports teams*Erie Sailors, baseball teams in Pennsylvania, USA...

 and Marines.

Past Commanders

1935-1936: CAPT Ulys R. Webb, MC, USN.

1936-1938: RADM C.S. Butler, MC, USN.

1938-1941: RADM H.W. Smith, MC, USN.

1941-1942: RADM C.M. Oman, MC, USN.

1942-1944: RADM C.W.O. Bunker, MC, USN.

1944-1944: CAPT John Harper, MC, USN.

1944-1946: RADM W.M. Chambers, MC, USN.

1946-1948: RADM T.C. Anderson, MC, USN.

1948-1951: RADM M.D. Willcutts, MC, USN.

1951-1951: RADM C.A. Swanson, MC, USN.

1951-1952: RADM W.J.C. Agnew, MC, USN.

1952-1953: RADM B. Groesbeck, Jr., MC, USN.

1953-1955: RADM L.O. Stone, MC, USN.

1955-1956: RADM H.L. Pugh, MC, USN.

1956-1956: CAPT E.C. Kenney, MC, USN.

1956-1959: RADM T.F. Cooper, MC, USN.

1959-1960: RADM B.E. Bradley, MC, USN.

1960-1962: RADM F.P. Kreuz, MC, USN.

1962-1963: RADM R.B. Brown, MC, USN.

1963-1965: RADM C.C. Galloway, MC, USN.

1965-1966: RADM C.L. Andrews, MC, USN.

1966-1968: RADM G.M. Davis, MC, USN.

1968-1969: RADM R.O. Canada, MC, USN.

1969-1973: RADM F.P. Ballenger, MC, USN.

1973-1975: RADM R.G.W. Williams, MC, USN.

1975-1976: RADM D.E. Brown Jr., MC, USN.

1976-1981: RADM J.T. Horgan, MC, USN.

1981-1984: RADM Q.E. Crews, MC, USN.

1984-1985: COMO R.G. Shaffer, MC, USN.

1985-1987: RADM R.G. Shaffer, MC, USN.

1987-1988: RADM Donald L. Sturtz, MC, USN.

1988-1991: RADM Donald F. Hagen, MC, USN.

1991-1994: RADM Davis M. Lichtman, MC, USN.

1994-1997: RADM Richard I, Ridenour, MC, USN.

1997-1999: RADM Bonnie B. Potter
Bonnie Burnham Potter
Rear Admiral Bonnie Burnham Potter was the first female physician in the Navy Medical Corps to be selected for flag rank. She served as the commanding officer of the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Maryland and Chief of the Navy Medical Corps....

, MC, USN.

1999-2002: RADM Kathleen L. Martin
Kathleen L. Martin
Rear Admiral Kathleen L. Martin served as Deputy Surgeon General of the Navy/Vice Chief, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery from October 2002 until her retirement in September 2005. She also held the position as the 19th Director of the Navy Nurse Corps from August 1998 to August 2001.-Navy Nurse...

, MC, USN.

2002-2004: RADM Donald C. Arthur
Donald Arthur
Donald Caldwell Arthur, Jr. is a retired U.S. Navy medical corps vice admiral . He entered the Navy in 1974 and eventually served as the 35th Surgeon General of the United States Navy...

, MC, USN.

2004-2007: RADM Adam M. Robinson
Adam M. Robinson, Jr.
Adam Mayfield Robinson, Jr. is a United States Navy vice admiral who currently serves as the Surgeon General of the United States Navy.-Biography:...

, MC, USN.

2007-2008: RADM Richard R. Jeffries, MC, USN.

2008-Current: RADM Matthew L. Nathan, MC, USN.

Kennedy assassination

In November 1963, the autopsy of U.S. President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy autopsy
The autopsy of President John F. Kennedy was performed, beginning at about 8 p.m. and ending at about midnight EST, on November 22, 1963, the day of his assassination, at the then Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. The choice of autopsy hospital in the Washington, D.C. area was made at...

 was performed at Bethesda. On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was shot and killed while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Dallas is the third-largest city in Texas and the ninth-largest in the United States. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the largest metropolitan area in the South and fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States...

 with his wife, Jacqueline
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier "Jackie" Kennedy Onassis was the wife of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, and served as First Lady of the United States during his presidency from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. Five years later she married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle...

, Texas Governor John Connally
John Connally
John Bowden Connally, Jr. , was an influential American politician, serving as the 39th governor of Texas, Secretary of the Navy under President John F. Kennedy, and as Secretary of the Treasury under President Richard M. Nixon. While he was Governor in 1963, Connally was a passenger in the car in...

, and his wife, Nellie. The wounded president was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital
Parkland Memorial Hospital
Parkland Memorial Hospital is a hospital located at 5201 Harry Hines Boulevard, just west of Oak Lawn in Dallas, Texas . It is the main hospital of the Dallas County Hospital District and serves as Dallas County's public hospital.- History :The original hospital opened in 1894 in a wooden...

, where he was pronounced dead. The Parkland doctors and local coroner insisted that they perform the autopsy, since he had been murdered in Dallas County
Dallas County, Texas
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,218,899 people, 807,621 households, and 533,837 families residing in the county. The population density was 2,523 people per square mile . There were 854,119 housing units at an average density of 971/sq mi...

. However, with concern for the security of the new president, Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

, the Secret Service
United States Secret Service
The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...

 demanded that the assassinated president's body would be taken to Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 immediately aboard Air Force One
Air Force One
Air Force One is the official air traffic control call sign of any United States Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States. In common parlance the term refers to those Air Force aircraft whose primary mission is to transport the president; however, any U.S. Air Force aircraft...

. This decision was made to overrule Texas law. An autopsy was performed at Bethesda Naval Hospital during the evening of November 22, 1963. The manner in which the autopsy was conducted and photographic analysis of it have become the subject of controversy.

U.S. Presidential visits to NNMC

When NNMC was dedicated in 1942, its original intention was to provide medical care to military personnel only. But since Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 had paralysis of his lower extremities, the medical center immediately offered to provide the president with any medicine or treatment necessary to keep him physically fit for the presidency. With that, an official White House doctor was appointed by the president to sort out medical issues with him. Since FDR, most presidents have used a military hospital close to Washington, D.C., either Bethesda or Walter Reed AMC, as the primary facility for them and their immediate family to receive medical care. The president pays for any of his medical expenses personally.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 selected the site of the hospital, laid the cornerstone, and made formal dedication remarks at the hospitals opening on November 11, 1940.

Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, on July 13, 1985, underwent surgery to remove polyps
Polyp (medicine)
A polyp is an abnormal growth of tissue projecting from a mucous membrane. If it is attached to the surface by a narrow elongated stalk, it is said to be pedunculated. If no stalk is present, it is said to be sessile. Polyps are commonly found in the colon, stomach, nose, sinus, urinary bladder...

 from his colon
Colon (anatomy)
The colon is the last part of the digestive system in most vertebrates; it extracts water and salt from solid wastes before they are eliminated from the body, and is the site in which flora-aided fermentation of unabsorbed material occurs. Unlike the small intestine, the colon does not play a...

. He sent a letter transferring power to then vice president George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

, deliberately invoking the Acting President
Acting President of the United States
Acting President of the United States is a reference to a person who is legitimately exercising the Presidential powers even though that person does not hold the office of the President of the United States in his own right....

 clause of the 25th Amendment, and on January 5, 1987, Reagan underwent surgery for prostate cancer
Prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Most prostate cancers are slow growing; however, there are cases of aggressive prostate cancers. The cancer cells may metastasize from the prostate to other parts of the body, particularly...

 which caused further worries about his health. At this time, Reagan was 76 years old.

First Lady Nancy Reagan
Nancy Reagan
Nancy Davis Reagan is the widow of former United States President Ronald Reagan and was First Lady of the United States from 1981 to 1989....

, on October 17, 1987, underwent a mastectomy
Mastectomy
Mastectomy is the medical term for the surgical removal of one or both breasts, partially or completely. Mastectomy is usually done to treat breast cancer; in some cases, women and some men believed to be at high risk of breast cancer have the operation prophylactically, that is, to prevent cancer...

 due to breast cancer
Breast cancer
Breast cancer is cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk. Cancers originating from ducts are known as ductal carcinomas; those originating from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas...

.

Modernization

In August 1960, a $5.6 million expansion project was initiated and consisted of two five-story wings attached to the main building's east side. Completed in the summer of 1963, Buildings 7 and 8 provided space for 258 beds and replaced the World War II temporary ward buildings.

In January 1973, the mission of the Naval Medical Center was modified to include the provision: "to provide coordinated dispensary health care services as an integral element of the Naval Regional Health Care System, including shore activities, as may be assigned." This change established the National Naval Medical Center Region and placed all naval health care facilities within the Naval District Washington under the authority of the commanding officer
Commanding officer
The commanding officer is the officer in command of a military unit. Typically, the commanding officer has ultimate authority over the unit, and is usually given wide latitude to run the unit as he sees fit, within the bounds of military law...

 of the Medical Center.

The new inpatient buildings and the Naval Medical Center were consolidated into one command on September 1, 1973 to form National Naval Medical Center. In 1975, an extensive renovation began which included the construction of two new buildings: Building 9, a three-story outpatient structure, and Building 10, a seven-story, 500 bed inpatient facility, with a combined area of more than 880,000 square feet (82,000 m²).

In 1979, the remaining temporary buildings were replaced with a multi-level staff-parking garage. This addition made National Naval Medical Center one of the largest medical facilities in the country. The original Naval Medical Center tower was since listed on the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

 by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

BRAC 2005

On August 25, 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure Committee
Base Realignment and Closure, 2005
The preliminary 2005 Base Realignment and Closure list was released by the United States Department of Defense on May 13, 2005. It is the fifth Base Realignment and Closure proposal generated since the process was created in 1988. It recommends closing 33 major United States military bases and...

 (BRAC) recommended that the Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
The Walter Reed Army Medical Center was the United States Army's flagship medical center until 2011. Located on 113 acres in Washington, D.C., it served more than 150,000 active and retired personnel from all branches of the military...

 (WRAMC) be closed, and that its operations be merged with the NNMC to create the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is a tri-service military medical center located on the Bethesda, Maryland, USA campus of the former National Naval Medical Center.-Leadership:Commander:Rear Admiral Alton L. Stocks, MD...

 (WRNMMC), a modernized joint-forces central medical facility created by expanding the current Bethesda Naval Hospital.

Tenants

In addition to the WRNMMC hospital complex, the installation hosted a number of other related activities and organizations.
  • The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
    Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
    The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences is a health science university run by the U.S. federal government. The primary mission of the school is to prepare graduates for service to the U.S. at home and abroad in the medical corps....

  • The Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute

Leaders

  • Current Commander: Alton L. Stocks, Rear Admiral, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

  • Current Chief of Staff- Operations: Charles Callahan, Colonel, Medical Corps, U.S. Army, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

  • Current Chief of Staff- Integration: David A. Bitonti, DMD, Captain, Dental Corps, U.S. Navy, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

  • Current Command Senior Enlisted Leader: Sherman E. Boss, CMDCM(SS/SW/FMF), U.S. Navy, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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