VA suggests consolidating, adding veteran care locations in DC area
The Department of Veterans Affairs suggested consolidating and relocating several health care centers in DC, Maryland and Virginia after a multi-year asset and infrastructure review report.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has suggested consolidating and relocating several health care centers in DC, Maryland and Virginia after a nationwide, multi-year review of assets and infrastructure.
The ministry said it released its report to mark the start of a “thorough deliberative process”.
“VA arrived at these recommendations by asking us one question first and foremost: what is best for the veterans we serve? Because it is our number one goal, today and every day,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough said in a statement. “That’s what our asset and infrastructure review recommendations are for.”
The department said it spent several weeks and months talking with employees, unions, states, Congress and other veterans’ organizations before sharing those recommendations.
Among the changes for each region are:
- The VA is looking to build an alternative medical center with multiple services near the District.
- The plan also includes relocating the aging Community Living Center to a different, self-contained location and closing the current medical center location when a new one becomes available.
- VA also recommended that the DC facility get a new self-help rehabilitation program and create a stronger partnership with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
- Recommendations included relocating all services to the South East Outpatient Clinic and closing that location. These services would be transferred to Prince George’s County or another VA care center.
- Upgrade the VA clinics in Baltimore, Loch Raven and Perry Point.
- In Baltimore, recommendations include transferring primary, outpatient, and outpatient specialty mental health to other facilities.
- At Perry Point, plans include relocating urgent care services to other community providers to limit the number of urgent care patients
- To help, the VA hopes to establish outpatient clinics near Westminster, Bethesda, Bel Air and Baltimore. They also plan to create replacement outpatient clinics for Cambridge and Glen Burnie.
- The VA recommends moving the Prince George’s County Outpatient Clinic – Andres Air Force Base to a new location with more space.
- The VA is recommending the construction of a set of new outpatient clinics in Dale City, Leesburg and Fairfax to help offload the high volume at VA clinics in the district.
- The Fredericksburg Health Care Center will also consolidate primary and ambulatory care from the existing clinic and the Spotsylvania County Clinic.
Senator Mark Warner was among senators praising the investment for access to quality and timely health care
“I am delighted to see the Department of Veterans Affairs releasing these critical recommendations as a preliminary but significant step in meeting its obligations under the VA MISSION Act of 2018 – legislation that I was proud to support,” Warner said.
Further information on their complementary strategies is available in the full report. The AIR Commission plans to hold public hearings while considering the VA’s recommendations. They will travel to President Joe Biden’s office for further examination in 2023.
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