History of Darnall Medical Center

Fort Hood Medical Facility circa 1945

Darnall Army Community Hospital opened in 1965, replacing the World War II era Fort Hood Hospital, a long group of one-story buildings connected with covered walkways. Darnall was the first of three permanent Army hospitals of the 200-300 bed size to open. Constructed in the latest military design of that time, the original building cost $6 million and was furnished with $6 million of equipment. Ground was broken for the hospital on 5 April 1963, with dedication ceremonies conducted on 16 April 1965.

Built to support a one-division installation of 17,000 troops, the original structure was soon outgrown as Fort Hood expanded to a full-fledged Corps. In order to meet the growing medical needs, a massive addition and reconstruction project began in 1979 and was completed Dec. 13, 1984. With the completion of the $49.7 million addition/renovation project, Darnall doubled in size. Outpatient clinic space tripled, the number of operating rooms increased from five to six, the number of delivery room from two to fours, and a Same-Day-Surgery Center with two smaller operating rooms was added. In addition, the entire interior of the original building was upgraded.

By 1984, Darnall supported 39,000 active-duty personnel, 45,000 family members and 88,000 retired personnel and their family members residing in Fort Hood's 175 county support area.

Darnall Medical Center as it appears today

As Fort Hood continues to be the Army's power projection platform, Darnall today supports the 1st Cavalry Division and the 3d Cavalry Regiment. Overall the hospital supports more than 42,000 active duty personnel and more than 145,000 family members and retirees within a 40-mile radius. In 2004 it supported the deployment of the Texas National Guard and then its redeployment in December 2005. Since early 2003, more than 2,200 wounded and ill Soldiers evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan have passed through Darnall, the highest total nationally for a Army hospital and third highest facility in the country behind Walter Reed and Eisenhower medical centers.

Today, Darnall medical staff stays busy delivering Americas next generation. An average seven births a day are expected at the hospital. Also on an average day, the staff at Darnall handle 3,867 out patient visits, 26 surgeries, 31 admissions, 170 Emergency Room visits and fill 5,000 prescriptions.

On 1 May 2006, the hospital was officially redesignated as Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center.


page last modified on: 3/27/2017

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