A major medical research facility that promises to produce nearly 1,000 new jobs is opening on the campus of the historic Walter Reed Army Medical Center in upper Northwest D.C.
Mayor Muriel Bowser and John Falcicchio, the deputy mayor for Planning and Economic Development, toured the new Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus on Wednesday.
It's described as a one-of-a-kind innovation and research hub where Children’s National Hospital, Johnson & Johnson, as well as Virginia Tech will all have facilities.
"Wowser, I love it,” Bowser said while on a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities. “I am just delighted to be here to officially welcome Children’s National and JLABS to the Walter Reed campus.”
The facility will focus on new ways to treat children for a wide range of health issues. Dr. Kurt Newman, the president and CEO of Children’s National Hospital, explained that that means early benefits for children in the region.
The research planned for the new facility includes childhood cancer, genetic disorders, pharmaceuticals and healthcare technology.
“The first recipients of the benefits of that will be the children and families here, whether it’s participating in clinical trials, the latest advances or the great doctors that are working here that can provide those discoveries directly to those children,” Newman said.
The location of the facility is also good news for those looking for employment in the District.
“These are jobs in science and research that typically would not be in Washington, D.C. So that helps, as the mayor said, build a vibrant, healthier community,” Newman said.
This is the first phase of what will eventually be more than a million square feet of research space. It will share the Walter Reed campus with residential and retail development, which is also underway.
It was five years ago that Bowser signed a deal with the federal government to take over the campus.
"When we look back on this campus 20 years from now and see how well it’s being preserved, we all will have had a role in that and we’re all going to be very proud of it,” she said.