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October 1, 2014

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VA ready to lift wraps on new $600 million medical center in North Las Vegas

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Leila Navidi

The new VA Medical Center in North Las Vegas seen on Friday, August 3, 2012.

VA medical center to open soon

KSNV reports that the new Veterans Affairs Medical Center will open soon in North Las Vegas, Aug. 3, 2012.

VA Medical Center North Las Vegas

The new VA Medical Center in North Las Vegas seen on Friday, August 3, 2012. Launch slideshow »

VA Medical Center

For decades, tens of thousands of Southern Nevada veterans seeking medical care through the Department of Veterans Affairs had to navigate a complex web of primary care, ambulatory care and specialist offices spread across 20 locations throughout the valley. The VA shared a hospital with the Air Force at Nellis Air Force Base, and some veterans had to travel as far as Southern California to receive needed care.

By the end of the year, the long drives and headaches should be a thing of the past, as the VA’s services are consolidated to its new, 151-acre campus in North Las Vegas.

After six years of construction, the $600 million Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 6900 N. Pecos Road, will begin taking patients on Aug. 14.

“It’s going to change (veterans’) opportunity for health care. Every service that we currently offer is going to be expanded,” said John Bright, director of the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System. “We’ll have a whole litany of new services that will be in-house that we’ve never had before. ... There’s almost nothing we won’t be able to do inside these walls.”

Specialty clinics on the first floor of the six-story building, which covers more than 1 million square feet, will open first; other services will come online throughout the year.

The VA currently serves about 46,000 of Southern Nevada’s 240,000 veterans and is expected to serve 60,000 when the hospital opens.

Although the building is finished, equipment is still being moved in and tested, Bright said. Officials hope that by January, the 90 in-patient beds at the hospital will be filled and the operation will be running at full capacity.

“Over the last few months it’s just been fast and furious bringing things through the door,” Bright said. “It’s going to take a while to get everything open. ... By the first of the year, we expect to be a fully functioning hospital.”

It will be the first-ever VA hospital in Southern Nevada and the first new VA hospital to open in nearly 20 years. Similar VA hospitals are under construction in New Orleans, Denver and Orlando, Fla.

Nevada’s state-of-the-art facility will be able to offer surgery, specialty care, mental health services, rehabilitation and extended care. The complex also includes a 120-bed skilled nursing home care facility and an ambulatory care center.

The medical center will be the hub of a health care network that also includes four new primary care centers located in the northwest, northeast, southeast and southwest corners of the valley. The clinics offer patient care, pharmacies, X-rays, labs, social workers and some mental health attention.

In all, about $1 billion was spent on the hospital, the primary care centers, equipment and staffing, Bright said.

The VA will have a dedication ceremony for the new hospital at 9:30 a.m. Monday. The event is open to the public, but space is limited and attendees are advised to arrive early, Bright said.

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  1. Obama Built this!

  2. For those not informed, the VA has the highest patient care satisfaction rate of any medical system in America, at HALF the per capita cost per patient. (You can look it up!) It is the most cost-effective health care system in the US, and better than most of the world. It is amazing. And it is socialized medicine. The GOVERNMENT owns all the hospitals and clinics, the doctors are govt employees, and the COST is half of private health care and 40% lower than Medicare. Socialized medicine. What Americans can do when they get their act together and stop being stupid.

  3. Yes, this VA Hospital was built during the Obama administration. It's good to hear reasonable people give the President credit for supporting our veterans.

  4. The VA still won't be able to get good doctors because their children won't have good schools to attend. I am in no way connected to schools, teachers, and my children are grown and attended good schools when we lived in another state. I am a disable vet. If you have ever been to other VAs in the country you know LV VA quality of care leaves much to be desired. A building doesn't provide solid medical care. Good doctors do!

  5. Las Vegas is in Desperate Need of a Medical University Research Facility. Part of any Quality Medical Care System is the Need to have enough Health Care Professionals.
    It does not matter if it's Socialized (at Half the For Profit Model Costs) like Medicare or the VA or Private. Of course when Republicans saw the Billions of Dollars that President Obama had for ramping up staffing with his affordable Health Care Act (Still run by Private Insurance Companies) they CUT the Funds. So in 2014 when Millions of additional Americans Finally get to see a Doctor - there will be lines. And for that You will be able to Thank Republicans - who strive to take Medical access away from all but the Wealthiest. Their Plan is Like the Movie - The More Money You have The Longer You get to live.

  6. If I was a bitter person, I would love to see everyone have this kind of medical care. I have been attempting to obtain an appointment with my assigned Doctor at the Primary Care Clinic for the past 2 months and am still unable to obtain an appointment. I just called them Friday and they still are not able to make September appointments. And I am considered to be a Priority One user due to my service connected disability rating.

    To those of you with the kind words about our veterans service, I thank you. For those that think our veterans don't deserve the medical care that we do receive, there isn't anything I can say to make you understand.

  7. Donald, call first thing in the morning and you have a good chance of getting a same day appointment. Call as soon as they open.

  8. Steve, I have tried the same day appointment and the Northwest clinic just recommends to use the Emergency room at the Federal Hospital. And as chazbean said, it just doesn't occur anymore. Normally they have the calendars available 45 days out but I am guessing with the hospital opening this month they are all confused again. I saw the same thing with appointments when they were moving the primary care clinics around.

    But when the new VA hospital opens it will only be about a mile and a half away from me. Sort of makes up for living in North Las Vegas.

  9. I am always amazed at the audacity of the left and the liberals. Apparently, they didn't read the part where it has been under construction for 6 years. Even new math liberals should be able to subtract 3 1/2 from 6. Obama ,as usual, built nothing and takes everything, including credit for someone else's labor.

  10. It truly takes a village to built a hospital or change a life. There are many many good, kind folks and Lawmakers involved with envisioning, planning, and coordinating the manifestation of this benevolent project for our Veterans. With heartfelt appreciation I wish to extend my thanks and acknowledgement to THEM.

    There are two political figures that stand out in my mind, that have supported this new Veteran's Hospital from the very beginning: Senator Harry Reid and Congresswoman Shelley Berkley. Over the years, I have watched Eye on Washington on CBS, and have heard them speak of their concern for our Vets and their support of this hospital and enhanced medical care project. Commenter Chris Altrichter is right about the math, because this project has been brewing for quite a while.

    I truly hope that those who need critical care appointments get priority, because they certainly have had to wait. God bless our US Servicemen and Servicewomen and their families, and all of the good people who support them!

    Blessings and Peace,
    Star