Madigan could house facility for women, children

U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced today that she has included $2 million in the Senate Military Construction Appropriations Bill to begin planning and design of a Women and Children’s Center at Madigan Army Medical Center.

If approved, the center would provide health care and services to Fort Lewis’ large and growing population of women and newborns. It would also be the Army’s first of its kind.

According to Sen. Murray, the bill passed the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee July 6. The bill will be considered by the full Appropriations Committee July 7 and will then be sent to the full Senate for consideration.

“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 Sen. Murray. “And 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 provides “top-notch” maternity and health care to those on base, and serves as a resource to the surrounding community, she added.

“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 Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “This facility will offer greater access to quality healthcare for our soldiers and their families.”

The project will expand access to 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. The project will also bring 35 to 40 new, full-time, long-term, healthcare 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. It has the largest troop population at a base with a teaching medical center. It is also ranked third in the nation among Army Medical Centers in births.