Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio is part of the United States Army Medical Command. It is a University of Texas Health Science Center and USUHS teaching hospital and contains the Army Burn Center. BAMC has a history which dates back to 1879 when the first Post Hospital opened as a small medical dispensary located in a single story wooden building. During the early years the Post hospital was in temporary structures, and it was not until 1886 that the first permanent hospital was built. In 1907 an 84-bed Station hospital was constructed on the west side of the post.
In 1929, Brigadier General Roger Brooke assumed command of the Station Hospital, a position he held until 1933. Brooke is credited with instituting the first routine chest X-ray in military medicine. In July 1936, the cornerstone was laid for the construction of a replacement Station Hospital. By November 1937, the new 418-bed hospital was operational, having cost $3 million dollars. The new hospital was the first in a series of moves which changed Fort Sam Houston from an Infantry to a medical Post.
In 1941, BAMC prepared for an overwhelming flow of casualties from World War II battlefields by converting a 220-person enlisted barracks into additional patient wards. This facility provided care to wounded soldiers and would later become BAMC Headquarters. In 1942, the Station Hospital was renamed Brooke General Hospital in Brooke's honor. In 1944, BAMC converted a Cavalry Battalion barracks into a convalescent unit to accommodate the flow of casualties from the war. This building later became Beach Pavilion. Beach housed a substantial portion of BAMC assets to include patient wards and specialty clinics.
In 1946, Fort Sam Houston was chosen as the new site for the U.S. Army Medical Field Service School. The decision to centralize the Army's medical research and training at one location resulted in the re-naming of Brooke General Hospital to Brooke Army Medical Center. In September 1987, the official groundbreaking took place for the construction of a new hospital.
On July 18, 1995, ownership of the replacement hospital was given to the BAMC Commander by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the key turnover ceremony. On March 14, 1996, the new facility was officially dedicated and on April 13, BAMC opened for business with the transfer of inpatients from the "old" BAMC to the “new” BAMC.
The hospital today is a 450-bed TJC-accredited facility, expandable to 653 beds in the event of a disaster. Services include general medical and surgical care, adult and pediatric primary care clinics, 24-hour Emergency department, specialty clinics, clinical services, wellness and prevention services, veterinary care, and environmental health services.
BAMC is a Level I trauma center, the only one in the MEDCOM, and is part of the Southern Regional Medical Command (SRMC).
- 1870 to 1875 - City of San Antonio donates 92 acres (370,000 m2) for an Army post.
- 1879 - temporary wooden (board and batten, not log) 12-bed hospital built.
- 1886 - permanent, brick 12-bed hospital built to replace the temporary one.
- 1908 - Station Hospital built to accommodate 84 beds.
- 1910 - two wings added to Station Hospital, increasing its capacity by 68 beds.
- 1912 - an isolation ward and a maternity ward added to Station Hospital.
- 1936 - construction begins on new Station Hospital building, on the site of the old Camp Travis Base Hospital.
- 1938 - new Station Hospital opens with a 418-bed capacity.
- 1941 to 1945 - Station Hospital expands by converting barracks to hospital wards.
- 1942 - Station Hospital named Brooke General Hospital.
- 1942 - psychiatric ward built in Old Station Hospital area.
- 1945 - 15th Field Artillery Barracks become Annex IV, increasing capacity to 7,800 beds.
- 1946 - the Medical Field Service School (MFSS) is moved to Fort Sam Houston. The medical entities are reorganized and designated Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC).
- 1959 - Annex IV is designated Beach Pavilion.
- 1959 - psychiatric ward is designated Chambers Pavilion.
- 1975 - added to the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing property of the Fort Sam Houston Historic District.
- 1983 - design authority issued for a facility to replace BAMC's 59 separate buildings.
- 1985 - concept design started for the new BAMC.
- 1992 - construction of new BAMC starts.
- 1996 - new BAMC opens.
- 2001 - added individually to the National Register of Historic Places
- 2005 - BRAC 2005 recommends (172 Med 10) the realignment of inpatient services and related specialty care from Wilford Hall Medical Center (WHMC) to Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC).