50th Anniversary

50th Anniversary

50 Years of Caring: A history of MedStar Washington Hospital Center interactive timeline


Fifty years ago - on March 10, 1958 - Washington Hospital Center opened its doors to widespread praise and excitement. One headline read: The Washington Star Welcomes the Beginning of a New Era in the Medical History of Washington.

At the time, the "new era" heralded such advancements as air conditioning and oxygen outlets in every room. But throughout the next 50 years, visionary men and women led the hospital to achieve goals that were unheard of in 1958:

  • The city's first Code Blue system and Coronary Care Unit;
  • A dedicated Burn Center;
  • One of the largest concentrations of Intensive Care Units in the nation;
  • The nationally heralded MedSTAR;
  • One of the country's busiest Cardiac Cath Labs; and
  • The city's busiest Cancer Institute.

From the compassionate care and service provided to millions of people, to supporting our nation's capital during its most trying and terrifying moments, MedStar Washington Hospital Center plays an indispensable role in our region. During the past half-century, the Hospital Center has emerged as an internationally renowned clinical, teaching and research facility, and as we celebrate our past, we also now look toward the development of the new Hospital Center of the Future.

We welcome you to visit the following pages to learn more, to join us for our Golden Gala and to enjoy the historical reflections of staff and the community.

50 Years of Caring