The Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, a 125-bed medical treatment facility, is based at Fort Gordon, located near Augusta, Georgia and previously served as the headquarters of the Army's Southeast Regional Medical Command, or SERMC. SERMC oversees the Army's hospitals and clinics within the southeastern United States and Puerto Rico. SERMC was renamed Southern Regional Medical Command and was relocated to San Antonio in 2009.
The hospital started as Camp Gordon Station Hospital in 1941, caring for World War II casualties and dependents. It was closed in 1946, but reopened as Camp Gordon became the more permanent Fort Gordon during the Cold War. The hospital's current building, opened for patients in 1976, replaced sprawling, outdated buildings from the World War II era. During the building's dedication a year prior its opening, it was dedicated in honor of former General of the Army and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who made his farewell address to the Army at Fort Gordon in 1961. President Eisenhower frequented nearby Augusta, Georgia and played golf at the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament.
Active-duty personnel and their TRICARE beneficiaries use the hospital and clinics as their primary hospital center. Numerous military retirees in the Augusta, Georgia area use the hospital's pharmacy and facilities. The hospital has also been involved in the growing field of disaster medicine and hosts disaster-drill training events on Fort Gordon involving the civilian medical community and the local region of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The hospital command is also host to the 'Center for Total Access', which features lifelike electronic dummies that respond to stimuli and the effects of administering certain kinds of care and medication in a battlefield situation. The hospital is a training hospital for military doctors, and partners with the Medical College of Georgia and Augusta Veterans Affairs Medical Center in training programs and patient care. For example, TRICARE dependents in need of obstetrics services are sent to Trinity Hospital of Augusta, while the Augusta VA runs a spinal-cord rehabilitation unit and an active duty rehabilitation unit, which has hosted many veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In return, civilian, non-TRICARE dependent patients are often sent to Eisenhower for use of its hyperbaric chamber.
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