VA fast tracking new North Texas medical center

Julia LeDoux
August 29, 2020 - 8:18 am

Depatment of Veterans Affairws

The Department of Veterans Affairs is fast-tracking a donated facility in North Texas in order to treat veterans with COVID-19..

The Garland VA Medical Center is housed in a  470,000 square foot building which closed its doors in 2018, was donated by Baylor, Scott & White, according to a VA blog post, and will eventually serve as an outpatient and specialty care clinic for some of the 184,000 North Texas area veterans enrolled in VA health care. The Garland VA Medical Center will also serve as an in-patient overflow unit for North Texas vets needing care for COVID-19 with a capacity for over 208 beds.

“We are preparing in case we need to take some load off the main hospital in Dallas and have the extra space to take care of those critical patients,” said Crystal Crews, nurse manager for VA North Texas Health System’s Home Telehealth Program

VA North Texas nurses from various outpatient and specialty clinics recently attended refresher training as they prepared to care for patients who will receive care at the new facility.

 “These nurses are coming from ambulatory care so we don’t take from the critical care, acute care, and emergency department areas.” said Crews.

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VA’s Office of Information and Technology fast-tracked retrofitting Garland VA Medical Center, including completing technology installations and IT equipment provisioning much faster than normal.

“Every part of OIT engaged in this effort. They gave us outstanding support and service to establish initial operations at the Garland VAMC. Standing up the hospital within weeks allows us to respond quickly to area needs and care for Veterans infected with COVID-19,” said Territory 2 Director of Operations, Robert J. Finigan.

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“We know we’re in the middle of a fight. These are our patients and we will do whatever it takes to get them healthy,” she said. “Nurses are a family and so are our veterans.”

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