Health
3:57 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

New VA Facility to Streamline Services

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

In a space that was until recently a parking lot now stands the newest addition to the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

It took more than a decade for it to come together, but the new facility in Oakland is being touted as the future of veteran-centered health care.

New features include 78 private beds for psychiatric care in the same building as an outpatient primary-care center that providers hope will streamline services.

“We believe that when you co-locate behavioral health and primary care health it helps destigmatize mental health services,” said Jeffrey Peters, Associate Chief of Staff for Behavioral Health at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

The Consolidation Building, which will open this summer, will combine three buildings into two and will subsequently close the Highland Drive VA. The VA in Aspinwall will remain open.

Last year, more than 65,000 veterans used the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, a number officials say has been steadily increasing.

At a ceremony on Wednesday, officials said the new facility will be able to accommodate the needs of veterans from World War II to veterans just returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The building cost $75.8 million dollars to construct.