D.C. Lawmakers Approves Construction Of New Howard University Hospital

Howard University will receive $276.6 million in public financing towards building a $450 million academic teaching hospital. Photo by Wikicommons.

By Alexis McCowan, Howard University News Service

After being approved by the D.C. council, Howard University will receive $276.6 million in public financing towards building a $450 million academic teaching hospital. This hospital will replace the current Howard University Hospital. 

Projected to open by 2026, the hospital will have 225 beds. Adventist Healthcare will manage the new facility. 

Before the hospital received approval, there were questions of conflicts of interest. Former government administrator, Rashad Young, was the lead negotiator on the Howard deal to provide public financing for the hospital. In the same time frame, Young was pursuing a job with Howard University. 

D.C. mayor, Muriel Bowser, requested an ethics board review of Young’s conduct. The board ruled that while Young committed “inadvertent” violations, he did not act improperly while carrying out hospital negotiations. He was fined $2,500.

The ethics board said, “In retrospect, the Respondent should have recused himself from matters involving the University on July 14, 2020 after that meeting, even though he believed that his work on the matter had formally ceased and he could not make any substantive changes to the legislation.”

Strengthening Health Outcomes

The new hospital will seek to promote better health outcomes in the District. The hospital will provide a more advanced training building for medical school students and physicians, conduct biomedical research, and provide adequate health care to all DC residents specifically underserved and vulnerable communities. 

“The role that Howard University Hospital plays in providing healthcare to the citizens of Washington, DC, and especially to those most vulnerable, is a sacred one,” said Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA, President of Howard University. 

“This partnership with the City to support building a new facility will strengthen Howard University’s healthcare system, which is important to preserve our mission to serve the community. Because of Howard’s role as the primary pipeline of African American healthcare professionals, this investment in the hospital is also an investment in the future of the healthcare profession and its diversity.”

The dean of Howard University’s College of Medicine, Dr. Hugh Mighty said the new hospital will “modernize” facilities and bring in new services. 

“We have been delivering care for 150 plus years to the District of Columbia,” said Mighty.

“One of our missions is to make sure that we have a space to educate our students in the health sciences.” Mighty continued, “We want to make sure the new facility can accommodate that.”

“It’s going to bring new services, more modern and efficient hospitals, and better facilities for training,” said Mighty. 

The hospital is “bringing us [D.C. community] forward into the new era,” said Mighty.