GW Hospital operator ‘no longer provides for needs of community,’ LeBlanc says

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University spokeswoman Crystal Nosal said the University needs a new agreement with its hospital operator to ensure the hospital's long-term success.

Amid disagreement over a planned expansion of GW Hospital, officials may seek a new deal with the hospital’s operator, Universal Health Services.

University President Thomas LeBlanc said GW’s agreement with UHS, which owns an 80 percent stake in GW Hospital, “no longer provides for the needs of the community” despite “repeated attempts to make improvements,” according to an internal staff email obtained by the Washington City Paper. The decision follows backlash from officials and neighborhood residents over UHS’ plan to construct a 220-bed tower in Foggy Bottom to serve more patients.

The planned expansion was part of the East End Health Equity Act, a D.C. Council bill that permitted UHS to expedite the construction of a new hospital tower in exchange for opening a hospital east of the Anacostia River. D.C. Councilmembers repealed the bill last May following the adverse reaction from officials and residents.

University spokeswoman Crystal Nosal told Washington City Paper that the school originally reached its agreement with UHS to ensure faculty and students would have access to opportunities for research and teaching and “strong clinical programs.” She added that the hospital operator was not honoring its promises to the University, Washington City Paper reported Wednesday.

“After many conversations over many years, these undertakings simply aren’t being upheld by UHS,” Nosal said in a statement.

Nosal told the Washington City Paper that the University needs a new agreement that would empower physicians to “drive continuous improvement in quality of care in the hospital” and “positions us for long-term success as a nationally recognized academic health system in clinical, research and educational activities.”

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