Groundbreaking Ceremony Held For New Museum Building at Fort Detrick-Forest Glen in Silver Spring, Maryland

Groundbreaking for new museum

Maj. Hugh Darville (left to right), Deputy District Engineer, Baltimore District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Col. Judith D. Robinson, Commander, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Detrick; Dr. Florabel Garcia Mullick, Director, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology; Dr. Adrianne Noe, Director, National Museum of Health and Medicine; and David Costello, President, Costello Construction; prepare to break ground May 21 on the museum's new facility to be built on the Fort Detrick's Forest Glen Annex in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Photo by Dave Rolls, Visual Information, US Army Garrison Fort Detrick

Washington, D.C. – June 8, 2010: A groundbreaking ceremony for the National Museum of Health and Medicine was held on May 21, 2010, on the site of its new building at Fort Detrick-Forest Glen in Silver Spring, Maryland. Construction is set to begin within weeks with completion due in summer 2011. NMHM is a Department of Defense museum and an element of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, located on the campus of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

The brief ceremony was led by three speakers, including Dr. Florabel Mullick, Director, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology; the Museum's director Dr. Adrianne Noe; and Colonel Judith Robinson, Commander, US Army Garrison, Fort Detrick of Frederick, Maryland. Representing the project management team from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District was Major Hugh Darville, Deputy District Engineer. David Costello, owner of Costello Construction Management of Columbia, Maryland, also participated in the program. In attendance were Museum staff and volunteers, commanders and directors of tenant agencies at the Forest Glen Annex, as well as personnel from the various organizations and agencies central to the building project.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held on the 148th anniversary of the founding of the Army Medical Museum, which was remarked upon by Dr. Noe:

"One hundred forty-eight years ago to this day the Army Medical Museum was founded—not merely to examine anatomical specimens and medical instruments for teaching, but to assemble and study objects to improve the care of the wounded and sick in novel ways. That persistent role sets us apart from every museum and research institution in the land. The only tri-service [Department of Defense] museum, our function as a military medical research asset transcends the familiar legacy role to embrace a collections-based agenda with a purpose that is uniquely valuable to the Department of Defense and the nation. But as old as we are, our orientation is squarely toward the future. We collaborate with complex research organizations and collect prospectively. We explore our collections with the tools of supercomputing. And we partner with educational organizations to help design the artificial organs and the imaging technologies of the future."

"The museum has had a long history ... but it's not just a museum," said COL Robinson of Fort Detrick. "It's about groundbreaking research that takes the past and brings it into the future."

"We are creating a new home, and a beautiful one, for one of our most visionary museums," said Dr. Mullick of the AFIP.

The USACE Baltimore District awarded a design/build contract to Costello Construction of Columbia, Maryland in December 2009.

All questions and comments may be directed to Tim Clarke, Jr., NMHM Deputy Director for Communications, phone (202) 782-2672, e-mail

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