Showing posts with label Lake Nona. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lake Nona. Show all posts

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Open House at Lake Nona Orlando VA Hosptial

Today was the Open House for veterans and families at the Lake Nona VA in Orlando so that veterans could see their hospital. This hospital was built after hearing from veterans what they wanted.

The parking garage for veterans is attached to the hospital, so no getting caught in the rain or blistering heat.  There is a separate garage for employees.

There is a state of the art outpatient pharmacy with several windows instead of just two you're used to seeing at Lake Baldwin. They are geared to handle 1,600 prescriptions a day.

Coming in July is the Patriot Cafe projected to serve 3,000 a day. Plus there will be a Starbucks on the main floor.

Women veterans will have their own area on the 4th floor along with the library, auditorium, simulation labs, medical and educational services.

There will be two mental health units.

Everything other hospitals have, this one has it all but unlike other hospitals, this one is for veterans.
Florida Department Veterans Affairs
Radiology Department with several different X-Ray machines
MRI Suites
One with view of the stars
Another with view of the sky
Emergency Department
Nurses area
Emergency room
View from ICU
As the morning went on, more and more veterans came to see their hospital.
Mobile Veterans Center
According to the VA everything should be in place and fully operational by the end of this year but they have already moved in many different departments.  More coming soon.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Miller Forgets History Has A Long Memory on Veterans Issues

Ok, so the story goes like this. Congress decides to fund construction for VA hospitals, then slams the VA. Oh, wait, they only do it when the head of the VA is appointed by the opposing party.

The latest boatload of BS is about the Denver VA Hospital going over budget.

Cost of New Denver-Area VA Hospital Swells Fivefold to $1.73 Billion
Here are a couple of quotes from the AP report.
"The VA couldn't lead starving troops to a chow hall when it comes to managing a construction project," U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican from Aurora, said Tuesday. "The VA's mismanagement of this project is beyond belief and brings into question the competence of their leadership at every level."

On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller -- a Florida Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs -- called the Aurora project "the biggest construction failure in VA history."

Here is Florida we have our own mess to deal with. Back in 2008 I attended the groundbreaking shindag complete with a high price caterer and best part was they handed out engraved shovels with the date on it, 10/24/08 a month before the election, but they thought no one would notice that. We sure noticed the shovel and there were a lot of jokes about that since they were not even planning to start construction until 2010.

The Orlando Sentinel reported this way back in 2007.
Veterans hospital comes to Lake Nona
An agreement brings the $553 million facility to Orlando's new medical campus.
Harry Wessel Sentinel Staff Writer
December 19, 2007

The two-decadelong dream of a VA hospital in Central Florida took a big step toward reality Tuesday when the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Tavistock Group signed an agreement to bring the long-awaited facility to a planned "medical city" in the southeast corner of Orlando.

"Finally, the largest metropolitan area not serviced by a VA medical center will now have a facility at Lake Nona," said U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Oviedo, who said he would push for full funding of the VA hospital in the federal government's fiscal 2008 budget.

Congress has previously authorized money for the Orlando VA hospital, including $35 million to purchase the property. Terms of the agreement Tuesday were not disclosed, though Feeney's office noted the authorization amount had not changed and that the total amount for the VA hospital "will be over $377 million."

It should be well over that. The total bill for the VA-hospital project will be an estimated $553 million, according to a letter sent Tuesday from U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez to Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. James Peake.

These guys actually think we believe them?

The House approved $220 million in August of 2008. But a month later the information from just a year before turned into this.
The 65-acre parcel in southeast Orlando will house the $656 million, 314-bed VA facility, one of the crown jewels in a 600-acre "medical city" at Lake Nona being pieced together by the Tavistock Group. The purchase price for the property was about $39 million, said Barry Stanley, spokesman for the Orlando VA Medical Center.

Construction is set to begin next year, and the state-of-the art facility would open its doors to Central Florida's 400,000 veterans in 2012.

Guess we were right to make fun of the shovel. Here it is 2015 and we still don't have a VA hospital.

In 2012 they were saying it would happen in 2013.
Construction delays and design errors have pushed the opening of the new $665 million medical center from October to the summer of 2013 — at the earliest, VA officials told the Sentinel on Tuesday.

The best part of all of this is what Representative Jeff Miller said about this back in 2012 in his press release as Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. (Yep he had the job back then too)
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, issued the following statement regarding the construction of the new Orlando Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, which will serve approximately 300,000 veterans and is already two years behind schedule:

“VA has painted a rosy picture for the public and the veterans of Florida for the past two years regarding the construction of the long-overdue Orlando Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. VA’s confidence in the timely and on-budget completion of this project was so great that it devoted ‘bid savings’ from this project for use elsewhere around the country. Needless to say, that confidence has given way to a somber reckoning of serious delays and potential cost-overruns.

“A Contract Cure Notice issued today by the Department of Veterans Affairs has the potential to stop construction at the Orlando site and increase the costs moving forward exponentially, if a resolution is not reached. The Committee was assured by VA officials on March 27, and again on May 18 of this year, that VA was working collaboratively with the contractor to ensure issues surrounding the construction of the facility would be resolved and the new timeline set forth by VA would be met. That was clearly not the case.

“This project has been a multi-million dollar debacle, and a failure of this magnitude deserves accountability at the highest level. Unfortunately, we have seen this pattern before. VA management and oversight of large construction and IT projects across the country has been sorely lacking and fraught with incompetence.

“The current situation in Orlando is inexcusable. Pointing fingers and laying blame will not build the medical center the veterans of Central Florida deserve. I expect answers immediately from VA on the status and cost of this project, and the implication of today’s decision on the delivery of care and services to our veterans.”

This is 2015 so who did he think was going to be fixing this? All this would really be funny unless you're a veteran waiting to be able to get the care you were promised when you served the country and ended up paying for it with your health. But it isn't funny at all to the 400,000+ veterans and family members in Central Florida.

The rest of the hospital isn't opened but already in September of 2014 there was this report.
The Orlando Veterans Affairs Community Center opened in December, and it's the only part of the behind-schedule hospital project that's finished.

"It's isolated to this facility. Good news of it is two patients did recover. Unfortunately one person did pass away, but that person had underlying health conditions," said Dain Weister, with the Orange County Health Department.

Guess Miller has forgotten a few things. Like it was President Bush in the chair when this started and Democrats controlled the House and the Senate. They were not happy with James Peake, the then head of the VA after James Nicholson and Anthony Principi.

Their control ended in 2011 after losing the House in the 2010 election. Ever since then the Republicans have controlled the House and yes, the Veterans Affairs Committee. Do you think they could have fixed all this by now if they wanted to? This is how veterans get screwed all the time. They remember risking their lives but politicians can't remember what they were supposed to fix before it got even worse!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Veterans Welcomed Home At Lake Nona VA Hospital

Lake Nona VA Hospital Welcome Home February 28, 2015
Welcome Home at the New Orlando VA Medical Center, Lake Nona!  Sat. Feb. 28 - The Orlando VA Medical Center presents its 2015 Welcome Home and Cruisin' Event, at the new Lake Nona VA Hospital and Clinic, 13800 Veterans Way, Orlando, FL   32827.   
Make plans to attend on Sat. Feb. 28, from 10 am to 2 pm.   The event will host Employers & VA Resources; a display of vintage cars, Motorcycles & Trucks; Tours of the New VA Hospital & Clinic; Raffle Prizes; Fun for the Entire Family.  
And then drizzle turned into rain
Janet Murray Ph.D Clinical Psychologist, Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator