In the United States, Brooke Army Medical Center is considered the largest military hospital, located on Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. BAMC is a premier and academic medical institution and center with a massive 425-bed capacity for patients. The Medical Center is also known as the largest Level 1 Trauma Center for the Department of Defense. The medical center is made up of 10 different entities centered around the Army's largest in-patient hospital, which includes local treatment centers. BAMC employs over 8,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Contractors, Airmen, and Civilians who provide treatment to injured Service Members and the general public in San Antonio.
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The history of the medical center dates back to 1879 when it was established as the first Post Hospital in a mediocre-sized stand-alone building. Soon after, a more permanent structure was constructed in 1886 that allowed access to more patients. About 20 years later, a larger Station Hospital was established on the west side of the building that offered a total of 84 beds.
General Roger Brooke, a U.S. Army Medical Corps officer and American surgeon, took over Station Hospital in 1929 and was responsible for establishing the first chest X-ray in the military. Station Hospital went through a renovation that cost a total of $3 million and upgraded the beds almost five times the capacity of 418 beds. The renovation couldn’t have happened at a better time with the overwhelming number of patients that flowed in as a result of World War II in 1941. The following year, the hospital was renamed Brooke General Hospital in honor of General Robert Brookes.
The United States Army Medical Field Service School was relocated to Fort Sam Houston in 1946 and Brooke General Hospital was renamed Brooke Army Medical Center combining both medical research and training. after the Army decided to consolidate its medical research and training in one place. The official opening for the newly constructed hospital took place in September 1987.
Since then, more facilities have opened in and around the Hospital including a new parking garage, dining halls, upgraded medical equipment, and more.
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