Logosm.gif (1927 bytes)
navlinks.gif (4688 bytes)
Hruler04.gif (5511 bytes)

Back to Public Benefit Corporation main pageBack to Mayor’s office main page

Mayor Anthony A. Williams
Letter to Residents of the District of Columbia on
Health Issues
March 28, 2001




Dorothy Brizill
Bonnie Cain
Jim Dougherty
Gary Imhoff
Phil Mendelson
Mark David Richards
Sandra Seegars


DCWatch Archives
Council Period 12
Council Period 13
Council Period 14

Election 1998
Election 2000
Election 2002

Election 2004
Election 2006

Government and People
Anacostia Waterfront Corporation
Boards and Com
Campaign Finance
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Management Officer
City Council
Control Board
Corporation Counsel
DC Agenda
Elections and Ethics
Fire Department
FOI Officers
Inspector General
Housing and Community Dev.
Human Services
Mayor's Office
Mental Health
Motor Vehicles
Neighborhood Action
National Capital Revitalization Corp.
Planning and Econ. Dev.
Planning, Office of
Police Department
Property Management
Public Advocate
Public Libraries
Public Schools
Public Service Commission
Public Works
Regional Mobility Panel
Sports and Entertainment Com.
Taxi Commission
Telephone Directory
University of DC
Water and Sewer Administration
Youth Rehabilitation Services
Zoning Commission

Issues in DC Politics

Budget issues
DC Flag
DC General, PBC
Gun issues
Health issues
Housing initiatives
Mayor’s mansion
Public Benefit Corporation
Regional Mobility
Reservation 13
Tax Rev Comm
Term limits repeal
Voting rights, statehood
Williams’s Fundraising Scandals


Appleseed Center
Cardozo Shaw Neigh.Assoc.
Committee of 100
Fed of Citizens Assocs
League of Women Voters
Parents United
Shaw Coalition



What Is DCWatch?

themail archives


March 28, 2001

Dear District Resident:

I am writing to you because there is a health crisis in our city and I'd like to share with you my determination to address the challenge.

With the help of elected officials, health care experts and community representatives, I'm building a better health care system that puts the health of you and your family at the top of the city's agenda.

The nation's capital should be the healthiest city in America. Instead, the life expectancy of its African American men is 10 years lower than the rest of America's, and the city has the country's highest rates of infant mortality, diabetes and HIV infection. Obviously, the District's health care system is failing and needs reform.

Rumors have left some residents fearful and angry about the future of medical care and services in our city. Please allow me to set the record straight.

Of the 140,000 annual visits to D.C. General Hospital, only about 10,000 are inpatient admissions. About 4,000 of the patients admitted are uninsured, and local taxpayer dollars must pay for their care.

D.C. General will not be closing. Its emergency room will maintain 24-hour full-service capability for most of the more than 50,000 annual visits, which include more than 12,000 ambulance runs. Two advanced cardiac-life-support ambulances will support this emergency center.

But the large number of people who visit D.C. General but do not require hospitalization shows that many of the hospital's patients are using the emergency room as their primary care provider, which is both an expensive and ineffective way to provide health care. Emergency rooms don't provide the care people need to live healthier lives.

Therefore, the centerpiece of our health services reform plan is to change that practice by providing a network of more than 100 primary care locations. These locations will provide 30 percent more primary care, specialty and inpatient services than the current system. For the first time, thousands of uninsured residents will have ready access to regular health care. Meanwhile, inpatient and trauma care for the most seriously injured will be maintained at D.C. General until Greater Southeast Community Hospital is capable of delivering these services.

D.C. General staff, including trauma staff, will be offered hiring preference by Greater Southeast. And let me be clear -- Greater Southeast will be held to its commitment to provide the same level of trauma services now offered at D.C. General within three months. Only then will trauma services move from D.C. General to Greater Southeast.

The media have reported that D.C. General's CEO backed a plan to build a new hospital on the D.C. General site that would require no capital investment by the city. But no such plan was submitted for evaluation by the city.

The plan that was supported by the Public Benefits Corp., which has been operating D.C. General, was fully reviewed by evaluators appointed by the D.C. Council, my office and the financial control board. The unanimous decision of these evaluators was to select the Greater Southeast proposal, which included the commitment to build the network of neighborhood-based primary care providers. The Greater Southeast proposal received more than twice the points of the Public Benefits Corp. plan, which would have continued inpatient operations at D.C. General.

Some believe that closing D.C. General is part of the National Capital Planning Commission's 1997 redevelopment plan, but the land on which the hospital sits is federally owned and designated for the provision of health care and human services. Further, I am committed to maintaining the site as a health care campus.

Finally, our health initiative places the responsibility for the reform plan with the District's department of health, not with any for-profit company. The health department has proven expertise in the management and oversight of large health services contracts.

The management of Greater Southeast has been in place for more than a year and has turned a failed institution into a safe and effective facility. However, the District will have specific contractual power to conduct reviews of this contractor's ability to deliver upon its commitments in order to protect the interests of patients and taxpayers.

I am confident that our community will come together to ensure that this reform leads to a substantially improved health care system for the District's neediest citizens.

I look forward to your suggestions. If you need more information or would like to help put into action our Health Care Services Reform Plan, please call the Department of Health at 202-4429195 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You may also learn more about health reform by visiting our website at www.washingtondc.gov.

Anthony A. Williams


Health Services Reform Comparison Chart
Frequently Asked Questions

Back to top of page

Send mail with questions or comments to webmaster@dcwatch.com
Web site copyright ©DCWatch (ISSN 1546-4296)