Virginia VA hospital rebrands, drops name of Confederate surgeon

The Department of Veteran Affairs is changing the name of Richmond, Va.-based Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center, named for a surgeon who served under Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, to Richmond VA Medical Center, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Jan. 19.

Construction of the hospital began in 1943 and bore Dr. McGuire's name when it opened. The new name was chosen due to a lack of options; the VA can't name a facility after an individual without an act of Congress. 

However, the department can change the name of its facilities to match the geographical location where they are located.

Dr. McGuire served as the president of the American Medical Association and helped found part of the medical college of Virginia Commonwealth University. He was a white supremacist and expressed racist views in his writings. The name change had broad support from veterans, employees and hospital administration, according to the report.

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