History of the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity (MEDDAC)|
Fort George G. Meade
The MEDDAC’s roots extend back to Camp Meade Hospital, organized in July 1917, as part of the original post. Originally consisting of temporary wooden buildings and tents, Camp Meade Hospital was located along what is now Rock Avenue, about 1/2 mile south of Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center.
In 1930, Camp Meade Hospital was moved to building 4411, on Llewellyn Avenue, which is presently occupied by the U.S. Army Claims Service and the Center for Health Protection and Preventive Medicine-North. This building accommodated 80 patients and all of the outpatient services required by the Camp’s personnel and their dependents.
With the outbreak of WWII, construction was begun immediately on a cantonment hospital of 545 beds on the northern portion of Fort Meade, where Meade High School is currently located, and the Fort Meade Station Hospital services were moved to their new temporary structures in April 1942. Building 4411 was used during the war as an induction station and again after the war as an outpatient services annex for the Fort Meade Hospital until 1972.
July 6, 1950, U.S. Army Hospital at Fort Meade was organized as a subordinate unit to Second U.S. Army.
June 29, 1961, U.S. Kimbrough Army Hospital, a 145-bed acute care community hospital, was dedicated in honor of Colonel James Claude Kimbrough, the “Father of U.S. Army Urology,” and a veteran of both world wars. The cantonment hospital was closed, and except for five buildings that were used as warehouses for the installation’s medical supplies, was converted to administrative areas and classrooms for other installation activities.
April 1, 1968, U.S. Kimbrough Army Hospital was transferred to First U.S. Army.
September 1, 1968, U.S. Army Dispensary and Dental Clinic, Fort Detrick, MD, was organized and assigned to U.S. Kimbrough Army Hospital.
November 5, 1969, U.S. Kimbrough Army Hospital was re-designated and reorganized to U.S. Army Medical Department Activity (MEDDAC), Fort George G. Meade.
In 1971, a 9-bed Intensive Care/Coronary Care Unit was added, and in 1972, a 44,000 square foot clinical area were added, which replaced the old hospital outpatient annex located in building 4411.
July 1, 1973, the MEDDAC was transferred to U.S. Army Health Services Command.
August 13, 1978, the MEDDAC was reorganized and its authorized strength was dramatically increased from 550 to 982. This was the year that the MEDDAC acquired the rest of it’s outlying U.S. Army health clinics (USAHCs): Kirk USAHC (formerly USAMEDDAC, Aberdeen Proving Ground), Dunham USAHC (formerly USAMEDDAC, Carlisle Barracks), Fort Ritchie USAHC, Fort Indiantown Gap USAHC, Letterkenny USAHC, New Cumberland USAHC, and Tobyhanna USAHC.
The Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) of 1995 was responsible for several major changes in the MEDDAC’s structure: U.S. Kimbrough Army Hospital was downgraded to an outpatient clinic. This change occurred on July 1, 1996, when Kimbrough closed it’s emergency room and became Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center. U.S. Kimbrough Army Hospital was officially discontinued as an organization on October 1, 1996; however, on that date it was officially reestablished as Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center. Fort Ritchie USAHC was closed by the BRAC. The clinic ceased operations on August 31, 1998; its personnel were transferred to the Fort Detrick USAHC, and it was inactivated on October 1, 1998, along with the rest of Fort Ritchie.
February 18, 2000, the Fort Detrick USAHC was re-designated Barquist USAHC when it moved into its newly constructed facility at Fort Detrick.
October 1, 2000, Tobyhanna USAHC was transferred to the West Point MEDDAC.
Colonel James Claude Kimbrough
Colonel James Claude Kimbrough, the “Father of U.S. Army Urology,” was a native of Madisonville, Tennessee, and received his medical degree in 1916 from Vanderbilt University.
After entering the Army in 1917, he served with the American Expeditionary Force in France and Germany until 1921. Following a period of varied assignments at Army Hospitals, he completed special training in urology at the Mayo Foundation in 1928.
He was awarded the Bronze Star for his performance of duty as Chief of the Professional Services Division, Office of the Surgeon General, European Theater of Operations from June 1942 to February 1945, and the Legion of Merit for his outstanding contributions in the area of convalescent recovery while Commanding Officer, Percy Jones Convalescent Hospital from April 1945 to June 1946.
In recognition of his eminence in the special field of urology and his personal contribution to the medical service, Colonel Kimbrough was appointed Consultant in Urology to Walter Reed Army Medical Center by Special Act of the 83d Congress, immediately following his retirement from active duty in August 1953. He died on August 19, 1956, at the age of 68.