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Fort Bragg Touts New Digital Hospital

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FORT BRAGG — Fort Braggis showing off a brand new state-of-the-art medical facility.

Construction is a little behind at $250 million Womack Army Medical Center, but there is already a lot of new medical equipment moving in.

The new hospital will have 187 beds, and when it opens in late fall, officials say access to medical care will be a lot easier for soldiers and their families.

Parking and accessibility are the two biggest complaints at the current Womack Army Medical Center. The new Womack has more than triple the amount of parking spaces, and 10 different medical buildings will now all be located under one roof.

"Currently they're driving from one location to another," says Maj. Don Brocker, the transition officer chief. "This allows them to come to one spot and basically access their specialty all in one location."

Over the next five years the hospital will become completely digital, and some of that equipment has already arrived. Womack has the busiest pharmacy in the Army, filling 4,500 prescriptions a day. They will now be filled by robots.

"As soon as the doctor enters the prescription, automatically it transfers here via computer, and automatically it will fill it before the patient arrives," says Col. Mike Berndt, chief of pharmacy.

The hospital has been under construction for more than four years. When completed, it will service 168,000 people within a 40-mile radius. Plans are already in the works for the old Womack. The 18th Airborne Corps is considering using the building for a Soldier Support Center.

Members of the transition office say the most challenging part of relocating will be offering continuous care. They will move their outpatient facilities first, then inpatient.


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