VA Maryland Health Care System
Letter to the Editor: Baltimore VA Medical Center's 20th Anniversary
September 25, 2012
With the help of 400 pounds of explosives, the Fayette Street Garage was demolished in 1987 to make way for the construction of the new Baltimore Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, a state-of-the-art acute care facility that replaced the VA medical center on Loch Raven Boulevard. The new facility, which is adjacent to the University of Maryland Medical Center, was designed and constructed to provide additional clinical space, cutting edge technology and an environment conducive to patient care and recovery. Dedicated on October 4, 1992, the Baltimore VA Medical Center is now celebrating its 20th anniversary.
The anniversary of the Baltimore VA Medical Center marks more than the addition of a new building and a change to the city’s skyline. It represents a 20-year long commitment to excellence in health care and research in serving the needs of our nation’s Veterans. It also represents a 20-year commitment to educating the next generation of health care providers through an active affiliation with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and other local colleges and universities. We are proud of our role in training more than 1,100 residents, interns and students from various disciplines annually. Many of these students have gone on to become first-rate clinicians who have chosen to continue serving Veterans as health care providers throughout the VA Maryland Health Care System.
In the past 20 years, the Baltimore VA Medical Center has also led the way with its innovative research studies and medical advances, including the launch of the world’s first filmless radiology department and the introduction of the Anklebot and other robotics for stroke rehabilitation. Having one of the largest funded research and development programs in the national VA health care system has enhanced the medical center’s ability to provide the best and latest medical technology and treatments to Maryland’s Veterans.
Twenty years ago, no one could have anticipated the 9-11 terror attacks or the surge of young men and women who enlisted for military service. No one could have predicted the current conflicts that return our young service men and women with visible and invisible injuries. No one could have anticipated that women would be the fastest growing segment of the Veteran population. We are proud of our new Women Veterans Clinic and our comprehensive Women Veteran’s Health Care Program that are dedicated to serving this growing population. We proudly serve Veterans from all combat eras, who range in age from 21 to 101, by providing essential services that meet their specialized health care needs.
Twenty years ago, no one could have anticipated that we would outgrow our one million square- foot replacement facility, which led to the opening of the new Baltimore VA Annex a few blocks away and a build out of additional clinical and administrative areas within our front and back atriums. Despite the physical changes to the Baltimore VA Medical Center over the past 20 years, what has remained constant is our mission: to honor America’s Veterans as heroes by providing the highest quality health care. Help us celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Baltimore VA Medical Center by reminding Veterans of every combat era, especially women Veterans, to enroll for VA health care by calling our Enrollment Center at 1-800-463-6295, ext. 7324, visiting a VA medical center or outpatient clinic, or clicking on “Become A Patient” on our web page at www.maryland.va.gov.
Dennis H. Smith
Director, VA Maryland Health Care System