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BROOKE ARMY MEDICAL CENTER

BROOKE ARMY MEDICAL CENTER. Brooke Army Medical Center, at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, one of the health facilities under the United States Army Health Services Command, provides primary, secondary, and tertiary health care to its eligible population in a 450-bed facility, which also includes clinics in most medical specialties and subspecialties. Activities at Brooke cover almost every aspect of health care, postgraduate medical education, medical training, and medical research. Located within Brooke is the Army Burn Center, operated by the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research.

In 1870, when the Post of San Antonio was established on the Texas frontier, Brooke began as a small medical dispensary in a log cabin. Two temporary buildings served as the post hospital until 1886, when the first permanent hospital was built on what is now Staff Post Road. That structure still stands and is used as quarters for visiting dignitaries. In 1903 the army decided to enlarge the hospital and in 1907 completed a new hospital with eighty-four beds. During the next decade an additional 1,000 beds were added in fifty temporary wooden ward structures, but after World War I these buildings fell into disuse.

During ensuing years Brooke was called the post hospital and was housed in a variety of buildings, all of which led up to the construction in 1936–37 and grand opening in 1938 of the main hospital. The facility was named Brooke General Hospital in 1942 in honor of one of its previous commanders, Brig. Gen. Roger Brooke. Other units were added as the years progressed. Beach Pavilion was used primarily for convalescent purposes during and after World War II, and Chambers Pavilion was added as a psychiatric facility. Brooke has been a medical center since 1946 and at one time was responsible for all of the medical training in the army. In 1990 Brooke was one of the top medical centers in the nation for treatment, teaching, and research. Construction of a new Brooke Army Medical Center began in 1987. As part of its mission Brooke supports the Army Burn Center, the Fort Sam Houston Dental Activity, and the Area Dental Laboratory, all three also located at Fort Sam Houston.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Corpus Christi Caller, September 12, 1976. San Antonio Express, May 15, 1977. San Antonio Express News, October 10, 1965. San Antonio Light, November 2, 1945. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio Hospitals).

Ray Dery

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Ray Dery, "BROOKE ARMY MEDICAL CENTER," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qnb01), accessed October 24, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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