The Department of Veterans Affairs has commissioned SmithGroup, along with consultants The Innova Group and Booz Allen Hamilton, to perform comprehensive, integrated planning services for the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 16. The firms will collaborate to create a plan to address a broad spectrum of veterans’ needs at a time when the healthcare industry is undergoing significant change.
VISN 16 consists of three geographic market areas in the south central U.S. that cover parts of Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. More than 445,000 Veterans annually seek care from VISN 16's ten medical centers and 40 community-based outpatient clinics. The services and facility planning will encompass all three Veterans Affairs Administrations – the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and National Cemetery Administration (NCA) -- which operate and maintain facilities within the VISN.
The integrated planning process will include the development of market health service delivery plans and facility master plans, as well as VISN, VBA and NCA planning reports. The various reports will inform the VA during its annual strategic capital investment planning process and the VHA’s capital asset master plan process. The study is scheduled to be complete by July 2015.
“The opportunity to work with the VA on this enterprise-wide approach is a game changer. Veterans healthcare is undergoing such a transformation; the fact that we get to be a part of that effort is truly gratifying,” said William Kline, AIA, LEED AP, EDAC, who leads the SmithGroup Health Studio in Washington, DC. Kline has led many of the firm’s Veterans Affairs and military projects, including the new Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center at the Audie L. Murphy Veterans Hospital, San Antonio, Texas. SmithGroup also designed the award-winning National Intrepid Center of Excellence, Bethesda, Maryland, which opened in 2010 to treat service members with traumatic brain injury and psychological health issues.
Department of Veterans Affairs (www.va.gov) operates the nation's largest integrated healthcare system, with more than 1,700 hospitals, clinics, community living centers, domiciliaries, readjustment counseling centers and other facilities.
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