Houston VA Builds New Hospital Wing
HOUSTON - A new hospital wing is in the works for the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). The project, scheduled to begin in September, will allow the Dermatology and Urology Clinics to relocate into much needed, larger spaces late next year.
“Our Veteran population is particularly susceptible to certain skin diseases,” said J. Kalavar, M.D., Medical Center Chief of Staff. “While on active duty, Servicemembers may be subject to extreme temperatures, extensive sun exposure, unsanitary living conditions, poor nutrition, combat wounds, chemical agents, and many other challenges known to contribute to skin disease.”
Additionally, prostate cancer is the most common noncutaneous cancer among males. Although prostate cancer can be a slow-growing cancer, thousands of men die of the disease each year. Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in males. Veterans, particularly Vietnam Veterans, have a higher than average incidence of prostate cancer than the general population.
“We strive to continuously improve access to health care for our Nation’s heroes,” said Bryan T. Bayley, M.H.A., F.A.C.H.E., acting medical center director. “We are excited to soon have enhanced facilities for Veterans who need medical treatment for dermatology and urology issues.”
The new wing, located on the second floor of the hospital, will be approximately 22,000 square-feet. Each new clinic will be about 8,000 square-feet. The new Urology Clinic will have six exam rooms and four rooms intended for procedures and treatment; the Dermatology Clinic, eight exam rooms, four procedure rooms, two laser rooms, and one light therapy room. The remaining space on the wing will be used to expand the nearby Prosthetics Department.
The project will be completed in two phases. The first phase will encompass the structure and outer walls. The second phase focuses on the interior with finished walls and utilities. The estimated completion date is September 2013.
When vacated, the current space occupied by the Urology Clinic and Dermatology Clinic will be used to expand the hospital’s surgical operating suite and primary care, respectively.
In the last ten years, outpatient visits to the VA hospital in Houston have more than doubled. The new wing is yet another demonstration of MEDVAMC’s commitment to provide the best care anywhere to Veterans in southeast Texas.
Awarded re-designation for Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Services in 2008, the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center serves as the primary health care provider for more than 130,000 Veterans in southeast Texas and provides some of the most complex care within the VA Health Care System. The DeBakey VA employs nearly 3,600 staff and is one of 49 institutions within the prestigious Texas Medical Center, one of the largest health and research centers in the world. The DeBakey VA is home to a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinic; Network Polytrauma Center; award-winning Cardiac and General Surgery Program; Liver Transplant Center; Epilepsy and Cancer Centers of Excellence; Substance Abuse Disorder Quality Enhancement Research Initiative; Health Services Research & Development Center of Excellence; Rehabilitation Research of Excellence focusing on mild to moderate traumatic brain injury; Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center; $26.8 million Research and Development Program; and Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Center. The hospital offers sophisticated, cutting-edge technology such as PET/CT imaging, the Evident™ microwave ablation system, a CyberKnife®, a Varian Trilogy linear accelerator, a Philips Wide Bore Computed Tomography Simulator, the OR•Control System, the Abiomed Impella 2.5 catheter-based heart pump, and the Sapien heart valve. For more than 60 years, the DeBakey VA has served as the primary teaching facility for our major affiliate, Baylor College of Medicine and operates one of the largest VA residency programs in the nation. Each academic year, more than 2,179 students are trained through 194 affiliation agreements with institutions of higher learning. Including the outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Galveston, Houston, Lufkin, Richmond, and Texas City, MEDVAMC outpatient clinics logged almost 1.3 million outpatient visits in fiscal year 2011.
Photo: From left, Acting Medical Center Director Bryan T. Bayley, Urology Chief Donald P. Griffith, M.D., Facilities Management Executive Jeanette Butler, Construction Chief Mouris Ibrahim, and Dermatology Chief Theodore Rosen, M.D. look over the plans for the new hospital wing. PHOTO: Regit Sasser, AV Specialist