Courtesy of the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System
GAINESVILLE/OCALA, Fla. — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded three leases for Community Based Outpatient Clinics located in Gainesville and Ocala. The major leases were authorized Sept. 30, 2019 under the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017 (“Choice 2.0”) and will expand and enhance health care services for veterans.
The two Gainesville leases will include a 70,849 net usable square foot primary care facility. The new health care facility will be co-located with a 39,932 net usable square foot mental health facility. This will allow VA to enhance and expand services into state-of-the-art, energy efficient health care buildings.
The mental health project will consolidate three existing mental health leases located in the Gainesville area into a single lease.
The new mental health space will be designated for Mental Health Intensive Case Management, Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center, Suicide Prevention, Mental Health Screenings, Local Recovery Coordination and programs related to eliminating veteran homelessness.
“These efforts will assist with decompressing the main Malcom Randall VA Medical Center and will move Primary Care and Mental Health services to a new, off-site leased location that is projected to service approximately 43,671 veterans in our market,” said North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System Director Thomas Wisnieski.
In addition to the expansion in Gainesville, a 45,499 net usable square foot facility with 350 parking spaces will be built in the Ocala area. The new lease will replace the current Ocala Community Based Outpatient Clinic and the Ocala West Specialty Clinics location.
“The new Ocala facility will expand its Primary Care and Mental Health services, as well as improve continuity of care by integrating existing Specialty Care services into a single location,” added Chad Adams, Assistant Director for the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System.
The new location will include administrative office space for the Home-Based Primary Care Team, dedicated space for telemedicine clinics to provide additional care modalities, and properly sized rooms for patient care and laboratory functions. The consolidation would generate operational efficiencies and accommodate the projected workload increases in the Ocala area.
“Our efforts to modernize VA facilities for veterans is a priority for our organization. It is our job to do what is in the best interest of our veteran patients by improving our facilities to meet their need,” said Wisnieski. The estimated building completion and activation of these three leases is scheduled for 2022.