District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser has signed a bill that will allow The George Washington University Hospital (GW Hospital) to pursue construction of a helipad. This final approval follows unanimous votes in support of the bill from the District of Columbia Council and its Committee of the Whole in June. GW Hospital’s helipad will expand access to its lifesaving critical care services including its Level I trauma care and comprehensive stroke care, ensuring this care is available to more individuals across the region.
“We are thrilled to have official approval to add this vital enhancement in healthcare access to the D.C. area,” says Kimberly Russo, Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director at GW Hospital. “We would like to thank everyone who assisted us through this important pursuit including our patients, their loved ones, our community partners, city and federal government representatives, as well as all of our employees and providers.”
In addition to the vote in June, the District of Columbia and its Committee of the Whole both unanimously approved the first round of votes for the helipad in May 2018. Over the past year, the hospital has been working closely with community representatives and government officials to obtain support for the effort.
“For trauma, stroke, heart attack and other critically ill patients, it is pivotal that they receive care as quickly as possible in order to have the best outcome. As one of only a few designated Level I Trauma Centers in the District of Columbia, GW Hospital is equipped to care for the most critically ill and severely injured individuals,” says Babak Sarani, MD, Director of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery at GW Hospital. “This helipad will assist us in providing this emergent, high level of care to all who need it. Ultimately, this helipad will reduce unnecessary deaths across the region.”
GW Hospital is also one of less than three percent of U.S. hospitals to be designated a Comprehensive Stroke Center, the highest level possible, by the Joint Commission.
Construction on the helipad is expected to begin this year with completion in spring 2019. A formal ribbon cutting will occur at that time.
Learn more about the Center for Trauma and Critical Care >