WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the award of a $92 million contract to construct a new mental health facility at the VA medical center at Bay Pines, Fla., to expand care and services for Florida’s Veterans.
“A top priority for VA is providing greater access to VA’s health care system and the highest quality care for our nation’s Veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “This new facility will help VA better serve Florida Veterans while also investing in the local economy. America’s Veterans have kept their promises to our Nation and they have earned the very best this nation has to offer.”
The contract provides $91.9 million to Archer Western/Demaria JV II, of Chicago. The contract calls for construction of a multi-story 156,000 square-foot addition to the main hospital building at Bay Pines. It will be a mixed facility that provides residential rehabilitation, acute inpatient mental health services and outpatient mental health services.
In 2010, the outpatient mental health programs that will be located in the new mental health building had nearly 150,000 visits (an 18 percent increase over the previous year).
It is estimated there will be 211,784 annual visits by 2029 (42 percent patient increase from 2009). The mental health building will also allow the facility to increase the number of inpatient acute psychiatric beds from 33 to 40. In 2010, the facility averaged 125 mental health admissions per month.
VA selected Bay Pines VA Healthcare System as the 2010 recipient of the Robert W. Carey Circle of Excellence Award, the department’s top honor for quality achievement.
Last year, VA spent more than $8 billion in Florida on behalf of the state’s 1.7 million Veterans. VA operates eight major medical centers in the state, more than 40 outpatient clinics, 24 Vet Centers and seven national cemeteries.