Howard University Hospital

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Howard University Hospital
Howard University Healthcare
Location 2041 Georgia Ave., NW
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Coordinates 38°55′03″N 77°01′12″W / 38.9175°N 77.02°W / 38.9175; -77.02Coordinates: 38°55′03″N 77°01′12″W / 38.9175°N 77.02°W / 38.9175; -77.02
Hospital type Private, nonprofit
Affiliated university Howard University College of Medicine
Emergency department Level I Trauma Center
Beds 300
Founded 1862; 154 years ago (1862)
Website HU Hospital

Howard University Hospital, previously known as Freedmen's Hospital, has served the black community in the District of Columbia for over 150 years, having been established in 1862 to cater for the medical needs of the thousands of African Americans who came to Washington during the Civil War, seeking their freedom.[1] The first hospital of its kind to provide medical treatment for former slaves, it later became the major hospital for the area's African-American community.[2]


Howard University Hospital (HUH) is a private, nonprofit institution in Washington, D.C., affiliated with Howard University. HUH is the nation's only teaching hospital on the campus of a historically black university.[3] It offers medical students a superior learning environment and opportunities to observe and participate in groundbreaking clinical and research work with professionals who are changing the face of health care.

Physicians and other health professionals are engaged weekly in activities and services in the local community, including medical presentations, free health screenings, educational workshops, and health fairs. HUH’s community-based programs include the Diabetes Treatment Center, a facility that service the medical needs of diabetic patients through a multidisciplinary approach to patient care. Specialized services include endocrinology, ophthalmology, podiatry, diabetes education, pharmacy services and nutrition services. Counseling is tailored to the patient's goals, education and lifestyle.

HUH functions as a DC Level 1 Trauma Center under the Division of Trauma and Critical Care.[4] It handles more than 1,300 admissions annually and became the primary trauma center for District residents after the closure of District of Columbia General Hospital. HUH trauma leadership includes Dr. Edward E. Cornwell, III, the renowned trauma surgeon, author and community activist, has devoted his career to work in urban communities.[5] His work in the operating room and his outreach to Black males has been featured in Black Enterprise magazine and by ABC News. The Division of Trauma is also noted for the high research productivity of its surgeons, with more than 50 trauma articles published in peer-reviewed journals in the past three years.

HUH, along with the Division of Health Sciences and the Howard University Office of University Communications, publishes a quarterly health newsletter called The Check Up.[6]


Freedmen's Hospital and Asylum was first established in 1862 on the grounds of the Camp Barker, 13th and R Streets, NW, and cared for freed, disabled and aged blacks. In 1863, it was placed under the charge of Dr. Alexander Augusta, the first African American to head a hospital.[2] After the Civil War, it became the teaching hospital of Howard University Medical School, established in 1868, while remaining under federal control.

Howard University Hospital (HUH) is a private, nonprofit institution in Washington, D.C., affiliated with Howard University. HUH is the nation's only teaching hospital on the campus of a historically Black university.[7] Early in the 20th century, Congress authorized the construction of a new hospital, which was completed in 1909. When Abraham Flexner visited the District of Columbia that year, he was impressed by the new, 278-bed Freedmen's Hospital and thought only Howard University Medical School in the city had a promising future.

In 1967, Freedmen's Hospital was transferred to Howard University and used as a hospital until 1975. The University Hospital is now located in a modern facility at 2041 Georgia Avenue, NW, the former site of Griffith Stadium, the home venue of the Washington Senators and Redskins. The original Freedmen's building (Bryant and 6th Streets) still stands and now houses Howard University's John H. Johnson School of Communications. Freedmen's Hall, a permanent museum located at the University Hospital, is devoted to the history of medical education and health care at Howard University.[8]


Anesthesiology - The Department of Anesthesiology provides healthcare services to surgical, obstetric and emergency and pain management patients.

Community Health and Family Medicine - The Department of Community Health and Family Medicine provides comprehensive, family-centered care —from adult medicine to pediatrics.

Dentistry - The Department of Dentistry provides complete specialty services to patients, including comprehensive evaluation and treatment, planning, oral cancer screenings, surgery and more.

Dermatology - The Department of Dermatology offers comprehensive services in treating diseases of skin, hair and nails. It specializes in dermatological diseases of African Americans and other ethnic groups with dark skin.

Emergency Medicine - The Department of Emergency Medicine provides full service emergency care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It receives more than 60,000 patient visits annually.

Internal Medicine--The Department of Internal Medicine deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of adult diseases.

Neurology - The Department of Neurology provides neurological care across a wide range of ailments. It focuses on neurological disorders that primarily affect the African-American population and other minorities.

Obstetrics and Gynecology - The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology's mission is to provide competent, state-of-the-art care, which includes prevention, identification and care for the patients at risk and treatment of patients with the ob/gyn condition in question.

Ophthalmology - The Department of Ophthalmology provides comprehensive eye care services at one convenient location to patients of all ages.

Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation - The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation offers a full range of surgical and nonsurgical treatments of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system: bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves.

Pathology - The Department of Pathology and its laboratories provide comprehensive clinical services relating to testing and diagnosing various life-threatening diseases, including cancers of the liver, throat, breast, reproductive system, respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract.

Pediatrics and Child Health - The Department of Pediatrics and Child Health provides a wide range of services to children and adolescents, including neonatal and nursery services, preventive medicine through immunizations and certifications for school.

Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences - The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences provides state-of-the-art, evidence-based services for the diagnosis and treatment of severely mentally ill patients and those with life issues, treatment of the deaf and mentally challenged and the diagnosis and treatment of addictive disorders. The Mood and Anxiety Behavioral and Neuroscience Center researches ways to prevent post-traumatic stress disorders, treats bipolar illnesses and provides treatment-resistant depression modalities. The Department of Neurology has been distinguished for excellence in the treatment of stroke outcomes, ranking in the top five percentile in the nation.

Radiology - The Department of Radiology provides diagnostic imaging services to patients from newborn to geriatric whether they are inpatient or ambulatory.

Surgery - The Department of Surgery provides the complete range of surgical services, including surgical oncology, cardiovascular surgery, urological surgery, podiatry surgery, vascular and endovascular surgery, trauma surgery and neurosurgery.

The New Freedmen's Clinic - In 2009, Howard University Hospital began offering free medical treatment in a new clinic that is designed to care for low-income, uninsured patients. It is run, staffed and funded by medical students from the College of Medicine. Currently serving adults only, it opens weekly on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Medical students, overseen by physicians, treat patients by appointment and those referred by the hospital's Emergency Department.[9]


  • Certificate of Licensure, District of Columbia Department of Health
  • U.S. Joint Commission Accreditation
  • U.S. Joint Commission Advanced Certification as a Primary Stroke Center
  • U.S. Joint Commission Advanced Certification in Impatient Diabetes
  • American College of Surgeons Verified Level 1 Trauma Center
  • College of American Pathologists Accreditation, Department of Pathology
  • Diabetes Self-Management Education Certificate, American Diabetes Association
  • U.S. News and World Reports, Best of 57 Washington, DC Metropolitan Hospitals for Kidney Disorders, 2011

In April 2007, HUH ranked number one among selected area hospitals on 19 quality measures published by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Freedmen's Hospital: Exploring Howard University's Roots", NLM In Focus, National Library of Medicine, February 29, 2008.
  2. ^ a b "Freedmen’s Hospital/Howard University Hospital (1862-- )",
  3. ^ "About Howard University Hospital". Howard University. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  4. ^ Queen, Monica; Mann, Rachel. "Howard University Hospital Trauma Center Recertified by the American College of Surgeons". Howard University. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  5. ^ Pryor, J.J. "Howard University Announces Nationally Renowned Trauma Surgeon as Chairman of Surgery". Howard University. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  6. ^ Howard University Hospital (Fall 2014). "Howard University Health Newsletter". Check Up XXX. 
  7. ^ "Howard University Hospital". Howard University. Retrieved 24 April 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  8. ^ Historical Medical Sites in the Washington, DC Area.
  9. ^ "Departments". Howard University Hospital. Retrieved 26 April 2015.  External link in |website= (help)

External links[edit]