ort Leonard Wood held an official groundbreaking ceremony Monday, June 22, for the new General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital (GLWACH). The construction of the hospital campus is anticipated to be completed in the fall of 2024.
"Today is a dream come true for this military community and for the entire region," said Army Maj. Gen. Donna Martin, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, who labeled the event a "historic moment for Fort Leonard Wood."
This new 235,400-square-foot hospital will be located on 52 acres just northeast of the existing cantonment-style hospital. The campus will feature 193,300-square-feet of clinic, central utility plant, emergency backup generators, five-bay ambulance garage, expanded and improved intensive care unit, helipad, and supporting facilities.
Upon completion, the existing hospital, which was completed in 1965, will be demolished, with renovation of the existing optical fabrication lab and parking improvements to follow.
Army Lt. Gen. Raymond Scott Dingle, U.S. Army surgeon general, explained the importance of building a hospital in order for the Army to continue caring for the local beneficiary population of soldiers, family members, recruits, and civilians; and ensuring medically ready force.
"The new hospital will have all the capabilities of our current facility," said Army Col. Kimberlie Biever, GLWACH commander. "It will be more efficient in terms of function, it will be more cost-effective to maintain, and it will be a beautiful facility where people want to work and where our patients will be welcomed in a therapeutic environment."
“The mission here is a tremendous mission, because it provides the Army its lifeline, its bloodline of bringing in new recruits,” explained Dingle. “In order for us to continue to provide the innovative, world-class health care – the new facilities’ time is now.”
The current GLWACH provides inpatient and outpatient care to more than 36,000 beneficiaries and is staffed by 900 medical, dental, nursing, and administrative personnel.
“The Department of Defense and the Department of the Army are committed to continuing to have a hospital here at Fort Leonard Wood, but now it has to be recapitalized in a way that serves the purpose of delivery health care now and in the two-thousand twenties,” added Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, director, Defense Health Agency.
Fort Leonard Wood trains more than 80,000 uniformed service members and civilians annually, and is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School.
In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and basic combat training for new soldiers.