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Histories for Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center

The Fitzsimons Army Medical Center
The Fitzsimons Army Medical Center (formerly the Fitzsimons Army Hospital) was a medical facility of the United States military during the 20th century located on 577 acres (2.3 km?) in Aurora, Colorado. The facility closed in 1999 and the grounds are currently being redeveloped for civilian use as the Fitzsimons Medical Campus. The facility was founded by the United States Army during World War I arising from the need to treat the large number of casualties from chemical weapons in Europe. Denver's reputation as a prime location for the treatment of tuberculosis led local citizens to lobby the Army on behalf of Denver as the site for the new hospital. Army Hospital 21, as it was first called, was formally dedicated in the autumn of 1918 in Aurora, which at the time had a population of less than 1,000. In July 1920, the facility was formally renamed the Fitzsimons Army Hospital after Lt. William T. Fitzsimons, the first U.S. casualty in World War I. The facility was used heavily during World War II to treat returning casualties and became one of the Army's premier medical training centers. In the 1950s, Dwight Eisenhower received treatment at the facility three separate times for his heart condition while he was president. In September 1955, while on vacation at his in-laws' house in Denver, he suffered a myocardial infarction and was placed in an oxygen tent at the facility. In 2000, a suite of rooms on hospital's eighth floor was restored to appear as it did when Eisenhower was recovering there. United States Senator and 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry was born at the facility on December 11, 1943, while his father was receiving treatment for tuberculosis. In July 1995, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended the closure of the facility, with the exception of the Edgar J. McWhethy Army Reserve Center, and the closure was completed in 1999. The $744-million redevelopment of the facility into civilian use includes the construction of the University of Colorado Hospital's $110-million Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion, and the $509-million Children's Hospital. The medical campus also includes the Ben Nighthorse Campbell Center for Native American Research, named in honor of the U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado.

Posted by Ricky Thomas
Aug 03 2007 06:53:32:000PM

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