Bishop Breaks Ground on New Martin Army Hospital
Fort Benning, GA – Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) joined distinguished members of the military today at Fort Benning to break ground on the new Martin Army Community Hospital. Rep. Bishop took part in the ceremony with Colonel Koji Nishimura, the commander of Martin Army Community Hospital; Lieutenant General Eric Schoomaker, the Surgeon General of the Army; Brigadier General Joseph Caravalho, the Commander of the Southern Regional Command; and Mr. Shannon Hines, the Vice President of Turner Construction. The new hospital is scheduled to open in 2014.
"If we ask our service members to put themselves in harm's way to defend our country, we have an obligation to provide them with the best resources and facilities when they return home," said Rep. Bishop. "The new Martin Army Community Hospital will provide state-of-the-art medical care to our soldiers, their families and our veterans at Fort Benning, and I was proud to help secure the funding for the construction of this new facility."
Rep. Bishop helped secured $350 million to fund the construction of a new Martin Army Community Hospital in the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill of 2008. Named for the late Major General Joseph I. Martin, Medical Corps, the original Martin Army hospital opened in 1958. As the demand for outpatient health care grew, a 59,000 square foot ambulatory care wing was added in 1975, and the emergency room underwent a major renovation in 1990. However, conditions at the hospital could not be improved without a full-scale reconstruction.
The new facility will be 745,000 gross square feet, nearly double the size of the current Martin Army hospital. It will contain 70 inpatient beds, four Acuity Adaptable ICU's, four Step Down ICU's, 24 Medical Surgical Beds, 14 Mother Baby Beds, and 24 Psychiatric Beds. In addition, the new ICU will contain eight rooms with the capability to expand up to 24 Acuity Adjustable Beds.
Rep. Bishop has also repeatedly called for making the new Martin Army Community Hospital a joint facility with the Department of Veterans Affairs. On several occasions, he has pressed the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, General Eric Shinseki, and the Department of Defense to determine whether establishing a joint facility at Fort Benning is possible.
"As Fort Benning adds thousands of personnel, dependent families, and departments in the BRAC process, it is essential that we have a great medical facility here at Martin Army Community Hospital," said Rep. Bishop. "I hope that the new Martin Army Community Hospital will be a joint facility between DoD and the VA, and I look forward to the day when the new facility provides the high-quality care our soldiers, their families and our veterans deserve."