BUMED to Unveil Historical Marker at Old Naval Hospital 150th Anniversary Event

Story Number: NNS160930-15Release Date: 9/30/2016 11:40:00 AM
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By Steve Van Der Werff, U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery public affairs

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (NNS) -- The Naval Order, Hill Center and U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Old Naval Hospital with a dedication and unveiling of a historical marker, Oct 1.

The event, which is open to the public, will include remarks by Rear Adm. Paul D. Pearigen, BUMED liaison to the Defense Health Agency and chief, Medical Corps, music performed by the Navy ceremonial brass band, a reception with guided tours of the facility. Civic dignitaries will also be in attendance.

During the dedication, Pearigen will pay tribute to the hospital's historical link to today's modern Navy Medicine.

To document the hospital's rich history, the Naval Order, Society for the History of Navy Medicine and the BUMED historian worked together to prepare and get approval for putting the marker in place.

According to Andre Sobocinski, BUMED historian, the hospital was the first permanent naval hospital in the capital region.

"In 1864, three years into the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed an Act of Congress 'for erecting a naval hospital at Washington City' that would serve the Navy's needs beyond the war's end," said Sobocinski. "Construction of the 50-bed facility was completed in 1866. Prior to its completion, the Navy operated a series of hospitals in makeshift structures in and around the Washington Navy Yard."

For 40 years, the hospital catered to hundreds of sick and wounded Sailors and Marines stationed in and around the city. It remained as the Naval Hospital until 1906 when it was relocated to the campus of the Naval Medical School at the Old Naval Observatory where it operated until 1942.

"In its place, the Navy School of Instruction, the first enlisted Hospital Corps training school, relocated from its original home in Portsmouth, Virginia," Sobocinski said. "From 1907 to 1911, the facility operated as the Navy School of Instruction, a forerunner to the Hospital Corps school of today."

The building is now operated by the Hill Center, an educational center for children and adults and provides a variety of services and programs for D.C.-area residents.

Navy Medicine is a global health care network of 63,000 personnel that provides health care support to the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, their families and veterans in high operational tempo environments, at expeditionary medical facilities, medical treatment facilities, hospitals, clinics, hospital ships and research units around the world.

For more news from Navy Medicine, visit www.navy.mil/local/mednews/.

For more news from Navy Medicine, visit www.navy.mil/local/mednews/.

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