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History of Brooke Army Medical Center

Mission: We protect the Nation by ensuring Total Force Readiness through innovative, high quality care and the development of elite healthcare professionals.

Vision: To be the pinnacle of military healthcare -- Anytime, Anywhere!

Brooke Army Medical CenterBrooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) serves as the largest and most robust military healthcare organization within the Department of Defense (DOD). Both inpatient and outpatient services are provided by approximately 8,500 staff members, including active duty military personnel from each of our uniformed services, federal civilian employees and contractors.

Our medical center provides safe, quality, evidence-based care for up to 483 military and civilian inpatients.

BAMC providers care for more than 4,000 patients each day during visits to its five separate outpatient clinics, including: Westover Medical Home, CPT Jennifer M. Moreno Primary Care Clinic, McWethy Troop Medical Clinic, Taylor Burk Clinic at Camp Bullis, the Schertz Medical Home, and the Corpus Christi Occupational Health Clinic.

BAMC facilities provide comprehensive care for more than 240,000 military beneficiaries living throughout the San Antonio metropolitan area.

Since 2001, BAMC has played a crucial role in the provision of care for combat casualties wounded in either Afghanistan or Iraq. As the sole verified Level I Trauma Center within the DOD, BAMC simultaneously provides emergency services during 80,000 emergency department visits annually and serves the premier medical readiness training platform for both the Army and the Air Force; care extends throughout the globe as military providers continue to deploy to combat zones throughout the world.

Forty of the hospital’s beds are designated for the US Army Institute for Surgical Research (USAISR) Burn Center. The Burn Center – verified jointly by the American Burn Association (ABA) and the ACS-COT – serves alongside the Level I Trauma Center to provide emergency services for residents from 22 separate counties in South Texas.

Prominent on the hospital campus, and surrounded by four Fisher Houses, the four-story Center for the Intrepid (CFI) stands as a preeminent extremity injury rehabilitation center. Dedicated in 2007, the CFI was designed to advance rehabilitation and recovery of many of our most severely injured combat casualties. Monumental advances in prosthetic care for amputees and functional restoration for patients undergoing limb salvage are among the hallmarks of the CFI.

Scholarship in Action is witnessed daily throughout the medical campus as fellows, residents, and trainees at all levels of medical education and training receive mentorship from an integrated clinical faculty. Graduate medical education is implemented through the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium (SAUSHEC), responsible for overseeing more than 30 ACGME-approved programs.

Our integrated team of Army, Air Force, Civilians, Contractors and Volunteers live up to, and role model, who we are. We are part of a rich history here at BAMC that dates back to 1879 when the first Post Hospital opened as a small medical dispensary located in a single-story wooden building. During the early years, the Post Hospital was in temporary structures, and it was not until 1886 that the first permanent hospital was built. In 1908, an 84-bed Station Hospital was constructed on the west side of the post.Fort Sam Houston changed from an Infantry to a medical Post.

In 1929, Brig. Gen. Roger Brooke assumed command of the Station Hospital, a position he held until 1933. Brooke is credited with instituting the first routine chest X-ray in military medicine. In July 1936, the cornerstone was laid for the construction of a replacement Station Hospital. By November 1938, the new 418-bed hospital was operational, having cost $3 million dollars. The new hospital was the first in a series of moves which changed Fort Sam Houston from an Infantry to a Medical Post.

In 1941, BAMC prepared for an overwhelming flow of casualties from World War II battlefields by converting a 220-person enlisted barracks into additional patient wards. This facility provided care to wounded Soldiers and would later become BAMC Headquarters. In 1942, the Station Hospital was renamed Brooke General Hospital in Brooke's honor. In 1945, BAMC converted a field artillery barracks into a convalescent unit to accommodate the flow of casualties from the war. This building later became Beach Pavilion which housed a substantial portion of BAMC assets to include patient wards and specialty clinics.

In 1946, Fort Sam Houston was chosen as the new site for the U.S. Army Medical Field Service School. The decision to centralize the Army's medical research and training at one location resulted in the re-naming of Brooke General Hospital to Brooke Army Medical Center.

In September 1987, the official groundbreaking took place for the construction of a new hospital.

On July 18, 1995, ownership of the replacement hospital was given to the BAMC commander by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, during the key turnover ceremony.

On March 14, 1996, the new facility was officially dedicated and on April 13, BAMC opened for business with the transfer of inpatients from the "old" BAMC to the "new" BAMC.

On Dec. 8, 2008, a groundbreaking was held to recognize the commencement of 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) construction and renovation of BAMC to build the 760,000-square-foot consolidated tower, 1,800,000-square-foot parking garage, and 22,400-square-foot central Energy Plant and renovate approximately 288,000 square feet of the existing BAMC facility.

Sept. 15, 2011, the San Antonio Military Health System began operations. The new organization will provide oversight to BAMC and WHASC and will have rotating Air Force and Army general officers as director and deputy director.


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Brooke Army Medical Center: A Historical Review