Madigan looks to expand

Tacoma – Madigan Army Medical Center officials hope to break ground soon on a center specializing in women’s and children’s medicine, the largest expansion of the Fort Lewis hospital since 1992.

The $205 million facility would be the first of its kind in the military and one of just a few such centers that would focus on care for both women and children anywhere in the United States, the chairman of Madigan’s obstetrics and gynecology department said.

The new 140,000-square-foot facility would provide an array of services including obstetrics, women’s oncology, gynecology, breast disease, infertility, endocrinology, a neonatal intensive care unit and child psychiatry.

The new building – the largest addition to Madigan since the new hospital building opened 17 years ago – is several years away. Pentagon officials are still finalizing the 2010 fiscal year budget; included in it is a $2 million earmark that U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., added to pay for the planning and design.

If all goes smoothly, the construction money could be included in the fiscal 2011 budget. Up to 40 new jobs could be created.