PRESS RELEASE: District Of Columbia Hospital Association Releases Its Vision For Expanding Access And Ensuring Sustainability Of The Health Care System On The City’s East End

Justin Palmer, Vice President, Government Relations



October 16, 2017

Washington, DC – Today, the District of Columbia Hospital Association released a position paper outlining its vision for a health care system on the city’s East End. The document outlines our views and highlights the aspects we believe are critical to making health services for residents of Wards 7 & 8 sustainable. We have been very clear that a new acute care facility is not the cure all for the health system on the East End. The solution must encompass a hub model where specialists, primary care doctors, acute and sub-acute services work in concert to ensure that the system is all encompassing.

To that end, we support the current effort by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Mayor to address the delivery of health services to all District residents, and the immediate need to deliver health services to residents of Wards 7 and 8. Individuals living in these Wards are over-represented among the District’s most vulnerable populations.  In fact, multiple reports commissioned by the District government and conducted over the past decade chronicle the turbulent history of health care delivery to residents east of the Anacostia River – from the bankruptcy of Greater Southeast Community Hospital and numerous acquisitions and restructurings, to present efforts to stabilize United Medical Center.  While this may have offered residents a consistent source of medical care, it did not establish a community-wide infrastructure that integrated multiple levels of health care delivery – including preventive, appropriate specialty and post-acute care – with community and social services.

The District of Columbia now has an opportunity to transform the delivery of health care on its East End and improve the standard of care for its most vulnerable and underserved residents.  As such, it is DCHA’s position that any East End Health Care Strategy must include elements that will stabilize and improve the delivery of and access to health services in a long-term and sustainable way. A persistence to push forward change efforts, regardless of challenges and opposition, will be critical to this strategy’s success.

We have collective agreement and commitment that any East End Health Care Strategy should include:

  • An integrated and sustainable health care system that includes a right-sized acute care facility, other appropriate services and leverages existing health care partners and resources.
  • Appropriate primary, specialty, diagnostic, emergency, acute and post-acute care services based on the current and future needs of the community and market dynamics.
  • Education and training for future health care professionals.
  • Recognition of the need and inclusion of appropriate resources to address the social determinants of health that create barriers to achieving better health outcomes.

As the process for developing a complete health system on the city’s East End continues, DCHA is a committed partner with the District to ensure that any investment will meet the needs of the residents of Wards 7 & 8 and be sustainable.

DCHA Position Paper: Health Care Services on the District’s East End: A Vision for Access and Sustainability



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