Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a member of the Senate Military Construction Appropriations Committee, announced that the $2 million she included to begin planning and design of a Women and Children’s Center at Madigan Army Medical Center has passed the full Senate. The Women and Children’s Center is necessary to provide health care and services to Fort Lewis’ large and growing population of women and newborns. The facility would be the Army’s first Women and Children’s Center. The funding was included in the Senate Military Construction Appropriations Bill, which passed the full Senate today by a vote of 100-0.
“We owe it to our soldiers and their families to ensure that Madigan keeps up with the changing needs of the Fort Lewis community,” said Senator Patty Murray. “With the number of women and newborns on base growing, it’s time for an expanded facility that meets their unique needs. This funding will begin the process of building a facility that not only provides top-notch maternity and health care to those on base, but also serves as a valuable resource to the surrounding community. This project recognizes that the health and well being of our soldiers is directly connected to the health of their families.”
“Pierce County greatly values its relationship with the military, and I am very pleased to support the creation of a Women and Children’s Center at Madigan Army Hospital,” said Pat McCarthy, Pierce County Executive. “Once completed, this facility will offer greater access to quality healthcare for our soldiers and their families.”
The project will expand access to quality health care to the female soldiers and Army families who are stationed at these bases as well as members of the Army National Guard and Reserve and their families in the greater Washington state area. It will serve soldiers through pre- and post- deployment and their families during deployments. Establishing a women and children’s care facility at Madigan Army Medical Center will fulfill the Army’s commitment to families and address the healthcare needs outlined in the Army Family Covenant. The project will also bring 35 to 40 new, full-time, long-term, health care related jobs to Piece County.
- By 2013 the Madigan Army Medical Center will serve the third largest troop population in the country as Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base complete the base merger required by the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment.
- Fort Lewis enrolls over 126,000 soldiers and family members and projects over 2,700 births annually.
- Fort Lewis has the largest troop population at a base with a teaching medical center.
- Fort Lewis is ranked third in the nation among Army Medical Centers in births.
- Maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology, GYN oncology, pediatric surgery, medical genetics, and pediatric subspecialties have an existing and long-term presence at Madigan.
- Madigan is home to the only Department of Defense fellowships in developmental pediatrics and maternal-fetal medicine.
The funding was included in the fiscal year 2010 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding bill, which having passed both the House and the Senate will now go to a conference committee. Senator Murray is a senior member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations subcommittee.