The first expansion of Fort Stewart’s Winn Army Community Hospital since the 360,000-square-foot facility opened 29 years ago officially got under way Monday morning with a groundbreaking ceremony.
“When this hospital opened its doors in 1983, it was said to be the most ultra-modern military hospital in the world,” said Col. Ronald J. Place, commander of Medical and Dental Activities Command for Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield and Winn ACH. “Back then it had 65 hospital beds. But things have changed since then. We try very hard not to keep people in the hospital anymore. Winn’s going to see more changes over the next four or five years.”
Place explained this first phase of expansion adds 65,000 square feet to the hospital, plus another 1,000 square feet will be altered and renovated. He said the first floor of the new wing will house musculoskeletal functions, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, orthopedics and podiatry. The second floor will include a Behavior Health Clinic and Social Work Services, he said.
He invited military and community leaders attending the groundbreaking to return for the ribbon cutting ceremony on the new addition in September 2013 and told everyone to try to imagine what the next ultra-modern health care facility looks like.
Col. Christopher Hughes, 3rd Infantry Division deputy commanding general for support, followed Place, first passing on congratulations from Maj. Gen. Robert Abrams, Stewart-Hunter and 3rd ID commander, who was unable to attend due to preparations for his August deployment to Afghanistan.
Describing himself as a military brat who later joined the Army, Hughes said he has always been under the medical care of military doctors.
“Trust is the critical cornerstone to who we are in the Army,” he said. “This groundbreaking ceremony helps to reinforce our trust in military medical care, which helps us be ready for or recover from war.”
Read more in the Jan. 28 edition of the News.