VA Groundbreakings on two new veterans health facilities in Florida
May 18, 2022
Since 2018, GSA has partnered with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on a pilot program to deliver six Community Based Outpatient Clinics and one supporting office facility. In April, VA and GSA's Southeast Sunbelt Region broke ground on two of these new facilities in Florida.
Alison Avezedo, deputy commissioner for GSA's Public Buildings Service, represented GSA at groundbreaking ceremonies for the Lakeland VA Health Clinic and the Tampa VA Mental Health and Domiciliary. While each of these new facilities will meet different, specific local needs, they share an important element.
"The most important aspect of both of these projects is who they serve," said Avezedo. "There are few higher callings in our nation than military service, and I am honored to be part of these important projects that will offer access and convenience that our veterans need and deserve." Both facilities will enhance and expand services and access to the region's growing veteran population.
Tampa VA Mental Health and Domiciliary
On April 19, Avezedo joined U.S. Representative Kathy Castor, Temple Terrace Mayor Andy Ross, and senior Tampa VA officials to break ground on this new facility that will allow the VA to consolidate, enhance and expand mental health services into a state-of-the-art, energy efficient health care facility, including a 60-bed domiciliary and 800 parking spaces.
"I am proud to say that in addition to better serving Tampa's veteran community, this new clinic provides significant savings to taxpayers," said Avezedo. "By consolidating three facilities into a single medical center, the new agreement will save an estimated $15 million over the lease term."
Construction completion is expected in late 2023, with the first patients expected in early 2024.
Lakeland VA Health Clinic
On April 21, Avezedo joined U.S. Representative Scott Franklin, former U.S. Representative Dennis Ross, and senior Tampa VA officials in Tampa for a second groundbreaking ceremony.
The 120,000-square-foot outpatient clinic will provide audiology, an eye clinic, mental health services, physical therapy, prosthetics, home-based primary care, a lab, a pharmacy as well as CT, X-Ray, mammography, MRI and ultrasound technologies.
"This new facility will not only provide much-needed services to Lakeland area veterans, but will provide these services all in one place," said Avezedo. The new clinic will serve the more than 23,000 veterans in Polk and Hillsborough counties.
The project is expected to be complete and operational in 2024.
Meeting Biden Administration's Priorities
"It's hard to say which one I like better – a groundbreaking or a ribbon-cutting ceremony," said Avezedo. "I love the anticipation of starting something new and these new facilities feel like the start of building back this country."
Avezedo added that these projects represent the Biden Administration's climate, economic recovery, and equity priorities. (Photo credit: Tampa VA Medical Media Team)