FORT BELVOIR, Va., Oct. 28, 2011 -- After five years of complex interagency and interservice collaboration, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital officially cut the ribbon today to celebrate completion of one of the largest and most involved medical BRAC projects.

Staff breathed life into the project with their unwavering commitment, leveraging cutting edge technology with evidence-based design to enhance clinical operations for military service members, retirees and their families, said Vice Adm. John M. Mateczun, commander of Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical.

For the last year, the Belvoir Hospital team maintained operations at Dewitt Army Community Hospital with a patient satisfaction survey of greater than 90 percent, while simultaneously planning, training, rehearsing, and executing transition operations for the new $1.03 billion facility. Within days of opening, medical staff "adjusted fire" to meet the challenges of a joint occupancy as well as the curveballs mother nature delivered to include an earthquake, hurricane, and regional flooding.

"This transition was a herculean effort fueled by innovation, adaptability, and motivation unlike any I have experienced in my 30 years of service," noted Col. Susan Annicelli, commander of Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.

About four years ago, officials broke ground for the new facility, which was constructed in just over three years -- half the time it normally takes to build a facility of its magnitude.
"This is America's newest, most extraordinary, most technically advanced facility, and we are proud to have it in the military health system," said Mateczun.

Construction crews removed some 200,000 cubic yards of soil, and used 85,800 tons of concrete and 5,300 tons of steel to construct the building. Roughly 92 percent of the waste materials were recycled, and two trees were transplanted for every tree that was removed from the site to accommodate the project.

"This truly is a landmark facility for military medicine," Mateczun said. "They accomplished something many people thought couldn't be done, and did it by doing things that had never been done before. You never missed a beat, always keeping patient care as your number one priority."