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Irwin Army Community hospital

Fort Riley was officially established in 1853 by War Department General Order No. 17, dated June 27, 1853 proclaiming Fort Riley as a permanent Post. The Army appropriated $65,000 for the erection of temporary buildings at the new post. In 1854 Fort Riley had it’s first hospital erected on a site near the present day Cavalry Museum and Patton Hall. This hospital boasted a staff of one surgeon, one hospital steward, three male soldier attendants, a soldier cook, and hospital matron.


First Permanent Hospital
Construction on the first permanent hospital at Fort Riley was completed in 1855, slightly southwest of the temporary hospital built in 1854. The previous hospital was converted into quarters for the hospital steward. The new hospital was constructed out of native limestone and was two stories tall with a wooden porch and surrounded by a picket fence. Shortly after the completion of the second permanent hospital, the building housed the Cavalry Administration and became Post Headquarters. In 1890 the clock tower was added to the building, along with other extensive renovations. Later, the building was remodeled and is now the Post / Cavalry Museum.


Second Permanent Hospital
In February 1888, a board of officers was appointed to find a suitable site for a new hospital due to an increase in the garrison population. A location was selected north of the main post. In April 1888, a contract was let to begin construction on the new hospital. An appropriation of $300,000 was approved for the construction of the new hospital. The north wing of the hospital was completed in 1888. In 1890 additional buildings were built behind the hospital to accommodate laundry, dead house, and quarters for the hospital steward . In 1906 a three story limestone wing was added to the south side of the Post Hospital. These buildings served as the Post main medical facility until 1957. This building later became Post headquarters, now building 500.


Cantonment Hospital W.W.II
With the prospect of another World War an ominous probability, the Cantonment Hospital, later called the Station Hospital, was built at Camp Whitside, located at the present day site of the Post Softball Complex. Work was started on December 8, 1940 and the hospital began receiving patients in March 1941. Construction of the Station Hospital was completed in 1942 and consisted of eighty four contonment- type buildings, occupying eighty acres of Camp Whitside. The hospital had thirty eight wards and a 1000 bed capacity. The old hospital was designated a surgical annex and was used as a medical facility until 1957 when it was converted into the current Post headquarters.


Irwin Army Community Hospital
Construction of the new post hospital began on July, 19 1955. Over 43 million pounds of concrete were poured to erect the 250 bed facility at a cost of $6 million. At the time of it’s dedication Irwin Army Community Hospital boasted the latest medical technology of the day. The new hospital was dedicated on February 7, 1958 and named Irwin Army Hospital in honor of Brigadier General Bernard John Dowling Irwin " The Fighting Doctor" who won the Congressional Medal of Honor for distinguished gallantry in action during an engagement with the Chiricahua Indians near Apache Pass Arizona in February 1861. In August 1975 the construction was begun for a new outpatient clinic wing. Construction was completed in June 1978 at a cost of $21.108 million. Currently, 17 of the 23 outpatient clinics at IACH are housed in the outpatient wing.