New William Beaumont Army Medical Center | Photo courtesy WBAMC

WBAMC provides an update on new hospital; July 11th set as new move in date

FORT BLISS  – William Beaumont Army Medical Center is nearing completion of several upgrades to its new facility and has determined July 11 as the new move-in date for staff and inpatients.

These upgrades are required to comply with life safety standards before patients and staff move in to the replacement hospital and will ensure that WBAMC will be able to provide its usual level of outstanding care.

“I want everyone in the El Paso community to know that the safety of our patients and staff is our number one priority. Throughout this process, we have made deliberate, careful decisions about moving into the facility to ensure that we maintain our strong reputation for safe, quality care,” said the hospital commander, Col. Michael S. Oshiki.

In March 2021, the hospital announced a delay in occupying the new facility due to some life safety concerns identified during training by hospital personnel, and in surveys by external agencies. Hospital leadership, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the Health Facilities Planning Agency (HFPA) have worked diligently to correct life safety deficiencies, including those identified by a registered fire protection engineer.

The engineer’s report identified a fire risk in the high density shelving units located in several places throughout the facility, including environmental services, the Sterile Processing Division, medical records, and the library.

FILE: Col. Michael S. Oshiki briefs William Beaumont Army Medical Center staff about the expectations and goals for Day In the Life (DIL) exercise, March 10, 2021, at the hospital replacement facility. Staff from many departments such as Maternal Child Services, Emergency, Pharmacy, Labs and security, practiced patient-care and processes and tested equipment to ensure safe patient care. | Photo by Amabilia Payen |

The report summary recommended a sprinkler system re-design and retrofit to address the concern. Since the report, the fire suppression system installed has been determined to be in compliance with National Fire Protection Association 101.

The report summary identified about 500 other, more minor deficiencies. Many have been corrected by the organizations involved in the hospital construction, and remediation of the remaining issues is nearly complete.

“All of the stakeholders involved in this project have been working diligently, and are confident that the life safety deficiencies have been addressed. We are looking forward to opening the new hospital on July 11,” said Oshiki.

Now that a new date has been determined, a final Day In the Life training event will occur on June 16, setting the stage for the hospital staff to transition all activities and patient care to the new facility.

“My staff and I are grateful for the patience of our beneficiaries. While there is much to do from now until July 11, I am confident that we are up to the task,” said Oshiki. “We want to share with the community the pride of opening the newest most technologically advanced medical center in the Military Health System.”

Author: Amabilia Payen – William Beaumont Army Medical Center