Hospital Center Milestones

The Founding Hospitals

1871 - The Central Free Dispensary opens its doors in April to provide treatment and medicine to the poor of the Federal City. It is operated by six young recently graduated physicians in a two-room building at the corner of 10th and E Streets, with money loaned by the Georgetown Medical College. In its first year it treats 511 patients. By 1882, the hospital adds an emergency department that treats those injured in collisions involving motor cars and horse-drawn wagons, a theater roof collapse by the weight of snow, and a runaway train that crashed into Union Station. The name of the institution changes to the Central Dispensary and Emergency Hospital, and, by 1928, the hospital has a nine-story wing with 280 beds.

1881 - President James A. Garfield is shot by an assailant on July 2; he dies two months later in September. Garfield's death prompts renewed interest in establishing a general hospital in the city to provide free care to honor the "long and patient suffering of the wounds that caused his (Garfield's) death."

1884 - The 32-bed Garfield Memorial Hospital is dedicated and the Garfield School of Nursing opens. The new hospital is a major surgical center, furnished with the latest medical and surgical appliances and staffed with experienced physicians, surgeons and nurses. By 1919, Garfield is a leader in new x-ray treatment of cancer and diseases such as malaria and typhoid fever

1897 - The 15-bed Episcopal Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital is founded as a specialty hospital with the help of the Episcopal diocese at 17th and L Streets. It has a full operating room and a combined medical staff of 11. In its first year Episcopal treats 1,279 patients, makes 6,237 visits and performs 220 operations for diseases of the eyes, ears and throat. During World War I, the hospital examines 3,000 troops for duty readiness in the Aviation branch of the Signal Corps.

The 1940s

1944 - Senator Millard Tydings (D-MD) introduces the Hospital Center Act in the U.S. Senate. The bill authorizes $35 million to improve the city's voluntary hospitals. He, his wife, Eleanor Tydings (now Eleanor Tydings Ditzen), and Elysabeth Barbour play a key role in planning and rallying support for a new hospital.

1946 - A survey, commissioned by the Washington Metropolitan Health Council, reports "the hospitals in the area are characterized by obsolescence of a rather high degree." Soon after, the House of Representatives passes the Hospital Center Act and President Harry S. Truman signs it into law.

The 1950s

1953 - Groundbreaking for the new Washington Hospital Center takes place. The facility merges three ill-equipped, outdated medical facilities Episcopal Eye, Ear and Throat and two general hospitals, Garfield Memorial and The Central Dispensary and Emergency. In what is considered an engineering feat for the time, Episcopal's chapel is moved intact to be later installed at the Hospital Center.

1954 - Standard Construction Company, 1010 Vermont Avenue NW, receives the principal contract for construction of Washington Hospital Center.

March 10, 1958 - After 15 years of planning and construction, Washington Hospital Center opens. It is one of the first fully air-conditioned hospitals in the country. News reports call it a "miracle building" and a "dream come true," providing an intercom system in each patient room, the most current x-ray technology, the first tissue bank, the first private hospital eye bank and the largest private psychiatric service in Washington, D.C.

1958 - The Garfield School of Nursing becomes Washington Hospital Center School of Nursing. Many of the new graduates take jobs at the new hospital.

1958 - The Hospital Center appoints a Director of Medical Education, a first in the District.

1958 - The first issue of Center Line, Washington Hospital Center's news and features magazine is published.

1958 - The first Gold-Headed Cane Award is given at Washington Hospital Center. The tradition dates back to 17th century London when a court physician presented his own gold-headed cane to his protégé and successor. The annual award is given to a Hospital Center staff member for excellence in medical practice and teaching. Garfield Memorial Hospital, one of the three hospitals that merged to form Washington Hospital Center, brought the tradition to the Hospital Center.

1958 - The Needy Sick Fund is created at the Hospital Center "to help thrifty, responsible and independent" people pay bills incurred because of catastrophic illness.

1959 - Washington Hospital Center's Blood Donor Center opens.

1959 - The Eye Bank and Research Foundation Building is dedicated.

1959 - The first Harry H. Kerr Award is made at Washington Hospital Center to the house physician who writes the best scientific paper of the year.

1959 - The Hospital Center has 1,600 employees and 365 beds.

The 1960s

1960 - Washington Hospital Center receives the deed and title to its 47-acre campus from the federal government.

1962 - Washington Hospital Center is the 10th busiest hospital in the United States according to the American Hospital Association.

1962 - The Hospital Center introduces a mechanized system to dispense doses of medication.

1962 - The Hospital Center names its first clinical chair in the Department of Medicine.

1963 - Washington Hospital Center opens its first intensive care unit (ICU).

1963 - Hospital Center physicians are the first in the area to use direct current defibrillators to correct abnormal heart rhythms.

1963 - Three seriously injured patients are transported by police helicopter to Washington Hospital Center. This is the first time patients arrive by air for medical treatment.

1963 - The George Hyman Memorial Research Building opens.

1963 - The Hospital Center names a chair in the Department of Surgery.

1964 - Washington Hospital Center opens the metropolitan area's first coronary care unit (CCU); the nation's first such unit opened one year earlier in Kansas.

1964 - The Hospital Center names a chief in the Cardiovascular Laboratory.

1964 - The Hospital Center installs a direct dial CentrexÓ system to handle more than 8,500 incoming phone calls each day.

1964 - The Hospital Center opens a pulmonary function laboratory.

1965 - Washington Hospital Center is the first area hospital to develop Code Blue as the rapid medical response system for patients who have heart attacks.

1965 - The Hospital Center boasts three specially designed ICUs, the first and most extensive intensive care system in the District.

1965 - Washington Hospital Center names a director of the Research Foundation.

1965 - The Women's Division, the fund-raising organization at the Hospital Center, becomes the Women's Auxiliary.

1965 - Veterans Affairs Medical Center opens adjacent to the Hospital Center campus.

1966 - Washington Hospital Center invites the press to a demonstration of how medevac helicopters could speed medical treatment of District patients.

1966 - Cardiologists at Washington Hospital Center are treating more than 1,000 patients each year who have had 'coronaries', later called heart attacks.

1966 - The Hospital Center participates in the first District-wide disaster drill.

1967 - Physicians Office Building I opens on the Hospital Center campus.

1968 - Washington Hospital Center opens its 'special procedures' lab, which later is known as the Cardiac Catheterization Lab or "Cath Lab."

April 4, 1968 - Washington Hospital Center treats more than 300 patients injured in the riots that erupted following the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

1968 -The Hospital Center opens a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

1968 - Washington Hospital Center opens its VIP wing, 12 spacious, soundproof suites with luxury hotel amenities, such as a private chef, china & crystal table settings and sofa beds for family members.

1968 - The Hospital Center has 2,000 employees.

The 1970s

1970 -The Hospital Center names a chair of Obstetrics and expands specialty services to include high-risk mothers.

1970 - Washington Hospital Centers opens the metropolitan area's largest and most comprehensive Nuclear Medicine program and names a chair to the department.

1971 - The Hospital Center opens an alcohol treatment program.

1971 - The Federal Aviation Administration clears the way for a designated medevac landing zone for Washington Hospital Center.

1971 - The Hospital Center is the first hospital in the District to screen blood for hepatitis.

1972 - Washington Hospital Center opens one of largest intensive care towers in the United States. The state-of-the-art tower has 74 beds and houses special units for medical, surgical, cardiovascular, renal, pulmonary and psychiatric patients.

1972 - The Department of Thoracic Surgery opens at the Hospital Center.

1972 - The first open-heart surgery in the District is performed by physicians at Washington Hospital Center.

1972 - The region's only adult burn center opens, providing state-of-the-art medical care to burn patients.

1972 - Washington Hospital Center officially enters the era of the air ambulance when it accepts a patient arriving by helicopter from Pennsylvania.

1972 - Washington Hospital Center researchers demonstrate prednisone therapy is effective in treating myasthenia gravis.

1972 - The Hospital Center begins to use ultrasound to determine pregnancy advancement.

1972 - Washington Hospital Center hires a new group of medical practitioners called technicians. This marks a new career path for medical professionals in cardiovascular and acute patient care.

1972 - The Hospital Center has 2,500 employees.

1973 - The Department of Dermatology opens at Washington Hospital Center.

1973 - Washington Hospital Center studies the use of radioactive substances in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease and detection of cancerous tumors.

1974 - The world's first atomic (nuclear powered) pacemaker is implanted by physicians at Washington Hospital Center.

1974 - Physicians perform the first kidney transplant at Washington Hospital Center.

1974 - The Hospital Center installs its first helipad for air ambulance transport.

1974 - Washington Hospital Center appoints a director of Medical Affairs.

1974 - Washington Hospital Center establishes a Dataphone © link to hospitals in Leonardtown and LaPlata, Md. to remotely monitor and provide expert cardiac assistance to local doctors treating cardiovascular patients.

1974 - The Hospital Center establishes a Speakers Bureau.

1974 - Washington Hospital Center creates its stroke counseling program.

1975 - The Hospital Center is one of three hospitals in the United States to participate in a clinical trial using UV light to treat patients with psoriasis.

1975 - Washington Hospital Center introduces vitreous surgery to remove damaged tissue from the eye.

1975 - The Hospital Center is one of the first hospitals in the country to adopt a Patient's Bill of Rights.

1975 - Washington Hospital Center holds its first health fair.

1976 - The Hospital Center acquires its first whole-body CT scanner.

1976 - Washington Hospital Center establishes a Shock/Trauma Medicine program.

1977 - Hospital Center orthopedic surgeons begin to perform arthroscopic surgery.

1977 - Washington Hospital Center inaugurates a Code Yellow response system for shock/trauma.

1977 - Physicians at Washington Hospital Center deliver its first set of quadruplets.

1977 - Washington Hospital Center receives accreditation as a renal/kidney transplantation and dialysis center.

1977 - The Hospital Center is using a computerized brain scanner to diagnose tumor and stroke.

1977 - Washington Hospital Center goes live on its own closed circuit television system.

1977 - Children's National Medical Center opens on the Hospital Center campus.

1977 - The District's first intensive care ambulance, Mobile 25, is based at the Hospital Center.

March 9, 1977 - A dozen Hanafi Muslims, armed with knives and pistols, seize 134 hostages downtown at the District Building; one person is killed. Among the 12 wounded is then City Council member Marion Barry. Barry is rushed to Washington Hospital Center for treatment.

1977 - Washington Hospital Center has 3,175 employees and 125 departments.

1977 - Washington Hospital Center is the first medical facility in the District to install two-way communication between physicians and paramedics.

1978 - The Hospital Center opens birthing rooms in the Labor & Delivery wing to provide a more home-like atmosphere for patients.

1978 - Washington Hospital Center adds an advanced remote fluoroscopy suite and angiographic procedure room in its Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

1978 - The Hospital Center is called the busiest cardiac facility in the metropolitan area by the Metropolitan Coordinating Group and Tertiary Task Force.

1978 - Washington Hospital Center introduces a new security system that requires employees to wear picture identification badges;computerized door controls are installed.

1979 - MedSTAR, Washington Hospital Center's Medical Shock/Trauma Acute Resuscitation unit, opens earning a national reputation for excellence in trauma care. The $1.6 million unit will treat critically ill and injured patients. MedSTAR is now separate from the Emergency Department and has its own full-service operating room, built in x-ray equipment, six resuscitation bays and two helipads. In September, MedSTAR is designated the District's official trauma center.

1979 - The Hospital Center's Burn Unit opens the region's first and only skin bank.

1979 - Washington Hospital Center hires its first nurse practitioner.

1979 - Nurse midwives are given approval to work at the Hospital Center under a physician's supervision.

1979 - Washington Hospital Center hires new highly trained nursing professionals called nurse intensivists to work in its newborn neo-natal intensive care unit.

1979 - The Hospital Center launches a nursing preceptorship program and initiates nursing grand rounds.

1979 - Washington Hospital Center opens its second cardiac catheterization procedure suite.

1979 - Transplant surgeons perform Washington Hospital Center's 100th kidney transplant.

1979 - The Hospital Center offers outpatient laser eye surgery for glaucoma patients.

The 1980s

1980 - Washington Hospital Center researchers demonstrate that central pontine myelinolysis is caused by deranged sodium metabolism.

1980 - The Hospital Center pioneers in-house higher education programs for employees.

1980 - The Hospital Center opens an intermediate care, step-down burn unit and a burn rehabilitation unit.

March 30, 1981 - Metropolitan Police Department Officer Thomas Delahanty is wounded during an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. Delahanty is rushed to Washington Hospital Center for treatment of gun shot wounds.

1981 - Washington Hospital Center physicians perform first electrophysiology ablation procedure.

1982 - The Hospital Center has 3,600 employees.

1982 - Washington Hospital Center Health System is established.

1982 - Washington Hospital Center's medical and dental staff establishes a Bioethics Committee.

January 13, 1982 - MedSTAR cares for many of those injured in two separate incidents on this date. Air Florida flight 114 with 80 people aboard crashes into the Potomac River during take-off in a late afternoon snowstorm. Forty-five minutes later a rush hour Metro train derails and 16 of the injured are brought to the Hospital Center.

1982 - The Hospital Center's School of Nursing closes, after 93 years of providing nursing education and graduating 3,500 students.

1983 - The Hospital Center's Ophthalmology Department becomes the Washington National Eye Center.

1983 - Washington Hospital Center purchases its first air ambulance, a twin-jet helicopter, and establishes its own air ambulance program, MedSTAR Transport. The transport program draws patients from a five-state area (DE, MD, DE, PA, VA and WV) and the District of Columbia.

1983 - An increase in the number of patients at the Hospital Center prompts construction of Parking Pavilion I, an 885-space parking garage.

1983 - The Center for Ambulatory Surgery, the only such licensed facility in the District, becomes affiliated with Washington Hospital Center.

1984 - The Washington National Eye Center begins using YAG laser for some of the first anterior segment laser procedures in the Washington area.

1985 - Washington Hospital Center opens the first Cardiac Arrhythmia Center and implants the first intra-cardiac device in the metropolitan Washington area.

1985 - The Hospital Center opens a new medical oncology unit.

1986 - Washington Heart, one of the nation's premier cardiovascular programs, is established.

1986 - National Rehabilitation Hospital, the region's first hospital dedicated to comprehensive rehabilitation of the physically disabled, opens on the Washington Hospital Center campus.

1986 - The Home Caring program opens at Washington Hospital Center.

1986 - Washington Healthcare Corporation becomes Medlantic Healthcare Group.

1986 - Hospital Center physicians perform the first cardiac electrophysiology ablation procedure.

1987 - The District's first heart transplant is performed by Washington Hospital Center physicians.

1987 - The Hospital Center installs the metropolitan area's first magnetic resonance imager (MRI), a state-of-the-art diagnostic tool.

1988 - The first left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in the mid-Atlantic region is implanted by physicians at Washington Hospital Center.

1988 - Washington Hospital Center opens the North Addition, housing 18 new operating rooms, an emergency department, six patient units and a cardiac services wing.

1989 - The Washington region's first cytoreductive surgery with heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy is done at Washington Cancer Institute at Washington Hospital Center. Only a handful of surgical oncologists in the world are trained to perform the unique surgery used to treat malignancies of the abdominopelvic area. The Hospital Center would continue to be one of the few facilities in the nation to pioneer and perform the procedure.

1989 - One of the nation's first kidney-pancreas transplants is performed by physicians at Washington Hospital Center.

1989 - Washington Hospital Center opens the Oncology Infusion Center to provide outpatient cancer treatment services.

The 1990s

1990 - The Hospital Center's Diabetes Treatment Center opens.

1990 - Groundbreaking for the new 62,000-square-foot Washington Cancer Institute takes place.

1990 - Washington Hospital Center is one of the few cardiac programs in the nation to offer experimental left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) as a bridge to heart transplant.

1991 - The first implantable insulin pump in the metropolitan area is implanted by physicians at Washington Hospital Center.

1991 - Washington Hospital Center interventional cardiologists perform 6,900 cardiac catheterizations.

1991 - The Washington National Eye Center opens a new comprehensive clinic.

1991 - The Hospital Center's Cardiac Catheterization Lab now has five procedure rooms.

1991 - The Hospital Center's Oncology Clinical Information Center is created; the oncology data collected helps physicians determine and evaluate cancer treatments.

1992 - Washington Cancer Institute opens, offering comprehensive outpatient oncology services in a single building. It is the only facility in the region with two matching dual linear accelerators with electron beam capability. This allows beams to be directed to tumors deep in the body to maximize their effect.

1992 - HospiceCare of D.C. opens a satellite office at Washington Cancer Institute.

1992 - Washington Hospital Center opens another state-of-the-art cardiac catheterization suite.

1992 - The Washington Hospital Center Foundation is established to raise funds for Hospital Center programs.

1992 - The Hospital Center launches its teen-parenting program called Teen Alliance for Prepared Parenting (TAPP).

1993 - Washington Hospital Center's kidney transplant program is one of the largest in the region. More than 1, 500 transplants have been performed.

1993 - Washington Cancer Institute establishes the Peritoneal Surface Malignancies program to treat cancer of the abdominopelvic area.

1993 - The Hospital Center receives a grant to participate in the National Youth Mentoring Program.

1994 - Washington Cancer Institute provides the region's only ultrasound-guided transperineal radioisotope seed implantation treatment for prostate cancer and the only stereotactic radiotherapy for treatment of brain tumor. The Institute expands its cancer program with the addition of a Thoracic Oncology Center to treat tumors of the lung, esophagus, trachea, heart and chest wall.

1994 - The Hospital Center establishes the Office of Continuing Medical Education which offers medical staff training in the latest techniques and procedures.

1994 - Washington Cancer Institute launches the Cancer Preventorium. The first program of its kind in the world, the Preventorium's goal is to expand cancer prevention education throughout the world.

1995 - Physicians perform Washington Hospital Center's 100th heart transplant.

1995 - The Hospital Center's Cardiac Catheterization Lab ranks as one of the busiest in the nation, implanting more than 2,000 stents each year.

1995 - Three oncology centers are added at Washington Cancer Institute to treat oncology/hematology, skin cancer and melanoma. The Melanoma Center is the only one of its kind in the metropolitan area. The Institute is the site of 33 National Cancer Institute and pharmaceutical clinical trials.

1995 - The Hospital Center opens a new labor and delivery recovery wing with state-of-the-art surgical suites in a comfortable, home-like setting.

1995 - The Primary Care Network is established at Washington Hospital Center.

1995 - Washington Hospital Center physicians are named principal investigators in the national Women's Health Initiative research study.

1995 - The Hospital Center opens a new Pain Management Center.

1995 - Washington Hospital Center launches a pilot program called Insight. It is a computerized patient information database that provides physicians with a patient's past and present medical information at the click of a mouse.

1995 - The Hospital Center has 2,665 births.

1996 - The new Women's Services wing opens at the Hospital Center.

1996 - The Pavilion at Washington Hospital Center opens. The deluxe suites patient unit offers four-star accommodations and concierge services in a private setting.

1996 - Washington Cancer Institute is the only area hospital to perform transanal endoscopic microsurgery. The Institute offers painless stereotactic radiotherapy to treat brain tumors and minimally-invasive stereotactic core biopsy to examine suspicious abnormalities in the breast. The Institute also opens its Patient Education and Resource Center.

1996 - The Hospital Center's transplant team performs its first minimally-invasive laparoscopic kidney transplant. The patient goes home after five days in the hospital.

1996 - Washington Hospital Center achieves a score of 96, from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

1996 - Laser vision correction is offered through a joint venture with The Washington National Eye Center and 20/20 Laser Services.

1996 - Washington Hospital Center cardiac surgeons begin to perform and teach minimally invasive coronary artery bypass surgery (MIDCAB).

1996 - The Hospital Center launches "Listen to Your Heart: Women at Risk" one of the first campaigns in the United States aimed at making women aware of the gender differences in cardiac symptoms and treatment.

1996 - Washington Hospital Center establishes the Clinical Diabetes Program in response to the increasing volume of patients diagnosed with the disease.

1996 - The Hospital Center has 4,580 employees.

1997 - Washington Hospital Center opens the North Tower of the Physicians Office Building and Parking Pavilion 2. The new tower houses private physician's offices, labs, a radiology department and hospitality suites.

1997 - The Washington National Eye Center celebrates its 100th anniversary.

1997 - The Hospital Center's Continuing Medical Education program receives national accreditation.

1997 - Washington Hospital Center establishes Washington Physician Partners.

1997 - The Hospital Center's Emergency Department treats a record number of more than 50,000 patients each year.

1997 - Washington Cancer Institute initiates one of the first peripheral blood stem cell transplantation programs in the area to treat a range of cancers including leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma and Hodgkin's disease. The Institute records 61,100 outpatient visits.

1997 - Washington Hospital Center offers carotid endarterectomy to clear blood vessels to the brain.

1998 - On May 7, 1998, Medlantic Healthcare Group, the Hospital Center's not-for-profit parent company, merges with Helix Health, a group of four Baltimore, Md.-based hospitals, making the combined company the largest health care provider in the mid-Atlantic region. The new entity is called Helix/Medlantic.

1998 - Washington Hospital Center opens the Cardiovascular Training and Education Center (CTEC), a state-of-the-art satellite telecommunications facility that links physicians and staff to other medical entities performing cardiovascular procedures around the world.

1998 - The Washington Cancer Institute transplants the first ten cases in its peripheral blood stem cell program.

1999 - On February 1, 1999, Helix/Medlantic is renamed MedStar Health, the parent company of Washington Hospital Center.

1999 - Washington Cancer Institute opens its state-of-the-art Breast Imaging Center and participates in the STAR trial, a breast cancer prevention clinical study of tamoxifen and raloxifene.

1999 - Washington Cancer Institute establishes the Lung Cancer Institute.

1999 - The Hospital Center prepares for Y2K with water trucks, flashlights for all, 12-hour shifts, installation of special phones.

1999 - Washington Hospital Center opens its Sleep Center to diagnose and treat patients with sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.

1999 - The Hospital Center has 5,100 employees.

The 2000s

2000 - Washington Hospital Center offers one-day comprehensive medical examinations through its Executive Health Assessment program. The single medical appointment includes blood tests, skin cancer and hearing screenings, ECG, cardiac stress test, abdominal ultrasound, ophthalmology exam and nutritional and internal medicine consultations.

2000 - The Hospital Center's MedSTAR Transport adds global positioning satellite (GPS) systems to its air ambulances to enhance flight capabilities during inclement weather.

2000 - Washington Cancer Institute is the only facility in Washington to use photodynamic therapy (PDT) to treat obstructions that occur in bronchial or esophageal cancer.

2000 - Washington Hospital Center establishes a separate electrophysiology (EP) lab for implantation of pacemakers, defibrillators and implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs). The new lab has four procedure rooms and one holding area.

2000 - The Cancer Institute opens the region's only cryosurgical procedure center which uses extreme cold to treat prostate, liver and orthopedic cancer.

2000 - An expressive arts program is established at the Washington Cancer Institute to help patients and families relay feelings they are unable or are difficult to communicate.

2000 - The Cancer Institute is one of the first in the area to use a three-dimensional computer simulation system to target and treat cancers with radiation.

2000 - The Melanoma Center tests a new technology called "mole mapping" to diagnose melanoma at an earlier stage and make some biopsies unnecessary.

2000 - The Hospital Center's cardiac and cardiac surgery, hormonal disorders and neurology and neurosurgery programs are ranked among the best in the United States by U.S.News and World Report.

2001 - Washington Hospital Center acquires a cardiac magnetic resonance imager (MRI). This non-invasive imaging procedure allows doctors to view the heart and detect defects in anatomy and function.

2001 - Washington Cancer Institute opens a medical teleconferencing facility to share information and medical technologies with colleagues at other cancer treatment centers in the region.

2001 - Hospital Center physicians perform the first deep brain stimulation (DBS) procedure in the metropolitan area. The procedure alleviates tremor in some patients with Parkinson disease.

2001 - The Hospital Center's cardiac and cardiac surgery, cancer, ear, nose and throat, hormonal disorders, neurology and neurosurgery and urology programs are ranked among the best in the United States by U.S.News and World Report

September 11, 2001 - Washington Hospital Center plays a major role as first responder and primary caregiver following the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. MedSTAR Transport is one of the first air ambulances to arrive on the scene to transport critically burned survivors from the Pentagon to the hospital's Burn Unit. By the end of the day all of the most critically injured patients will be brought to the Hospital Center for emergency care.

2001 - Washington Hospital Center installs a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner to detect and diagnose cancer and to monitor effectiveness of cancer treatment.

2002 - The Hospital Center's cardiac and cardiac surgery, hormonal disorders and urology programs are ranked among the best in the United States by U.S.News and World Report.

2002 - Washington Hospital Center's Burn Unit is verified by the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons and the American Burn Association.

2002 - Washington Hospital Center achieves a score of 96, from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

2002 - The Hospital Center's computerized Insight (now called Azyxxi) database allows physicians to retrieve ECGs in an instant. In the next two years, the system will develop into an electronic patient hospitalization file system and include images, scans, angiograms, labs, medications and written orders. Azyxxi will be distributed throughout the MedStar Health system.

2002 - Washington Hospital Center launches a Cancer Residency Program for Spiritual Caregivers. The program brings together spiritual leaders across all faiths to the Hospital Center for comprehensive sessions on bioethics, palliative care and the healing process.

2002 - Washington Cancer Institute celebrates its 10th anniversary. The center now offers 11 site-specific cancer centers, diagnoses more than 1,400 new cancer cases each year and treats more than 70,000 outpatients.

2002 - Washington Hospital Centers opens The Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery; the acquisition of a Gamma Knife treats patients with cancer lesions of the neck and head without a scalpel or a hospital stay.

2002 - The Hospital Center launches an international nurse recruitment effort, hiring nurses from the Philippines.

2002 - Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson visits Washington Hospital Center for a briefing on the planned "emergency department of the future", the all-risks ready "EROne" program.

2002 - The Hospital Center joins the Mama and Baby Bus collaborative. This mobile medical facility brings pre- and post-natal care to pregnant women and their infants, providing better health care to District moms and their babies.

2002 - The Hospital Center opens the Center for Breast Health, a comprehensive breast care center.

2003 - Washington Hospital Center's imaging capability grows with the addition of a CT simulator that provides 3-D images and two state-of-the-art linear accelerators in Radiation Oncology.

2003 - The Hospital Center's kidney dialysis unit is one of the largest and busiest in the country, treating more than 11,000 patients each year.

2003 - Washington Hospital Center is the primary site in the United States for transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) to remove flat polyps in the rectum. The procedure helps in the early detection of rectal cancer.

2003 - The Hospital Center-based MedSTAR Transport air ambulance program celebrates 20 years of service to the community without a single incident.

2003 - Washington Hospital Center opens the mid-Atlantic region's only intermediate care (IMC) unit for neurosurgical and neurology patients.

2003 - The Hospital Center's cardiac, cardiac surgery, urology and hormonal disorders programs are ranked among the top in the nation by U.S.News and World Report .

2004 - Washington Hospital Center partners with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish stroke protocols with NIH stroke neurologists on site at the hospital; the Hospital Center opens its Stroke Center.

2004 - Washington Hospital Center acquires two 16-slice cardiac CT scanners that produce high-definition views of the heart allowing physicians to detect narrowing or obstruction of the coronaries.

2004 - The Hospital Center partners with Unity Clinics to provide District-wide obstetrics and gynecological services to women.

2004 - The Washington National Eye Center introduces a Mobile Eye Testing Station that brings quality eye care to uninsured and low income residents in Washington, D. C.

2004 - The Hospital Center's cardiac, cardiac surgery, and hormonal disorders programs are ranked among the top in the nation by U.S.News and World Report .

2005 - Washington Hospital Center opens a new unit specifically designed to care for the needs of heart failure patients.

2005 - The Hospital Center's Cardiac Catheterization Lab begins 24/7 operation with an in-house medical team ready to treat heart attack patients around the clock.

2005 - Washington Hospital Center is the third facility in the United States to install a Statscan, a digital x-ray system that scans the whole body in 14 seconds.

2005 - The Hospital Center opens Washington Heart Medical Fitness and Wellness Center, the District's only comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program, on the grounds of Trinity University. The state-of-the-art center offers individualized exercise "prescriptions" under the supervision of specially-trained exercise physiologists and physician plus educational classes on nutrition, smoking cessation and managing blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

2005 - Washington Hospital Center has 5,300 employees.

2005 - The Hospital Center acquires a 64-slice CT scanner that produces high quality 3-D images of the heart to help physicians detect coronary artery disease

2005 - The Hospital Center joins with Children's National Medical Center to establish the Washington Adult Congenital Heart Defect program, the only medical service in the region to provide the full range of specialized care for those with congenital heart defects from birth through adulthood.

2005 - Washington Hospital Center's cardiac, cardiac surgery, and hormonal disorders programs are ranked among the top in the nation by U.S.News and World Report .

2005 - Hospital Center researchers study whether injections of a growth factor called VEGF can spur new blood vessels in the heart and decrease pain caused by angina.

2005 - Nurse teams in the Coronary Care Unit are among the first in the nation to use a non-invasive hypothermal therapy designed to save brain function in some patients following cardiac arrest.

2006 - Following high-risk maternal-fetal treatment and surgery, conjoined twin boys are safely delivered and stabilized at Washington Hospital Center. The twins are rushed to Children's National Medical Center where, a few months later they are successfully separated.

2006 - Washington Hospital Center is recognized as one of the Best Hospitals in the country for heart and heart surgery, kidney disease and geriatrics by U.S.News and World Report .

2006 - A team of interventional cardiologists successfully repairs a mitral valve in the heart without open heart surgery as part of Everest II clinical trial. A catheter-based therapy delivers a clip through a small incision in the leg to the mitral valve. The clip is attached to the existing valve, creating a more effective open-close action.

2006 - Washington Hospital Center is the principal site of a "first in man" clinical study of an innovative method of lowering bad cholesterol. Using the HDL Selective Delipidation process, which appears much like a blood donation and subsequent transfusion, good cholesterol is enhanced and designed to reverse the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood stream.

2006 - The Hospital Center is recognized for its efforts to increase organ donations by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Working closely with patient families, the hospital was acknowledged for increasing donation rate by 75%.

2006 - AZYXXI, the computerized clinical database created by three Hospital Center Emergency Medicine physicians, is sold to Microsoft. In the agreement, the hospital remains the real life research and development facility for the system.

2007 - Washington Hospital Center opens its Simulation and Training Laboratory aimed at providing training and experience in performing procedures and in diagnosing illness and injury in patients using simulators, online training modules and experiential 'serious' games.

2007 - The Hospital Center is providing congestive heart patients with a new treatment option as a bridge to heart transplant. It is a fully implantable left ventricular assist device called HeartMate II.

2007 - Washington Hospital Center is one a handful of hospitals to acquire a new brain imaging device called a flat detector. The system is used in the hospital's neurointerventional suite to better identify the shape and location of blood vessel malformations such as aneurysms. The 3-D imaging system allows neurointernventionalists to have a "window into the brain" that results in better treatment and patient outcome without invasive surgery.

2007 - Hospital Center researchers test a new investigational device designed to screen out the risk of stroke for those with atrial fibrillation. The device, which is called "Watchman" is delivered via catheter and acts as a plug, sealing off the left atrial appendage of the heart, where 90% of stroke-causing blood clots form.

2007 - Washington Hospital Center is recognized as one of the best hospitals in the country for heart and heart surgery, kidney disease and geriatrics by U.S.News and World Report .

2007 - The Hospital Center becomes the third site in the country to study an experimental aortic valve that is deployed without open heart surgery. As part of the PARTNER trial, 600 participants will be enrolled to determine the safety and effectiveness of the new valve.

2007 - Washington Hospital Center joins Children's National Medical Center is opening a medical liaison office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The goal of the office is to share medical expertise, education and research.

2007 - Washington Cancer Institute at Washington Hospital Center opens the Women's Oncology Center. It is the first such facility in the region specifically designed for treatment of women with breast and gynecological cancers.

2007 - Washington Hospital Center performs the first robot-assisted hysterectomy using the new da Vinci® S™ Surgical System. The Hospital Center is the first facility in the Washington region to offer the new surgical option for women undergoing complex gynecological procedures.

2007 - Women's and Infants' Services staff at Washington Hospital Center incorporate the use of patient simulators to train for obstetrical emergencies and complications.

2007 - MedSTAR Transport and Alexandria Fire and EMS conduct their first training exercise with each other to test medical responses during high-risk situations. The drill scenario involved the rescue, treatment and helicopter transport of two pedestrians after a hit and run car accident.

2008 - Washington Hospital Center opens The Bridge to ER One, a state-of-the-art section of the Emergency Department. This marks the first time that innovative technologies and design concepts developed for ER One, an all-risks ready emergency care facility, are used in patient care.

2008 - Washington Hospital Center cardiac surgeons are the first in North America to implant an experimental third generation left ventricular assist device (LVAD) called HeartWare®. This tiny new heart pump is designed to be 'wearless', pumping blood from the left ventricle to the aorta without coming into contact with a single moving part.

2008 - Hospital Center cardiac surgeons remove a left ventricular assist device from a young man whose badly damaged heart had returned to its normal condition while on the device. It is the first such "recovery" procedure performed in the Washington area.

2008 - Washington Hospital Center is recognized as one of the top 20 heart and heart hospitals in the country, according to U.S.News and World Report. The Hospital Center is also ranked among the best in treating Geriatric patients and those with Endocrine and Respiratory Disorders.

2008 - With a $700,000 community academic grant from Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Washington Cancer Institute at Washington Hospital Center launches a three-year program to reduce breast cancer treatment disparities among low income and minority women in the area. Breaking Down Barriers is a collaboration involving four well-established community organizations to help women overcome barriers to treatment and increase participation in breast cancer clinical trials.

2008 - Washington Hospital Center uses the new Trilogy™ linear accelerator to eradicate once inoperable cancers in less time and with fewer complications. It is the fastest, most powerful and accurate radiation therapy available, allowing patients to spend less time on the treatment table. It is the only medical facility in Washington offering the technology.

2008 - The MedStar Diabetes Institute at Washington Hospital Center launches an innovative program to help people with diabetes better manage their condition and reduce repeat visits to the Emergency Department. STEP-DC takes the novel approach of beginning medical therapy and diabetes education in the ED for certain patients with uncontrolled blood sugars.

2008 - MedSTAR Transport and DC Fire and EMS conduct their first training exercise with each other to test medical responses during high-risk situations. The drill scenario involved the rescue, treatment and helicopter transport of a patient burned in a building fire.