Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders announces the selection of a contractor to build a new $2.6 million community-based outpatient clinic for veterans in Burlington which will serve about 4,000 veterans.
The Senator is a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and at a recent interview, he said the need for health care service has outgrown the Colchester facility and the new VA facility in Burlington will replace that clinic.
The VA uses a similar approach to Veterans Health care as the Albany VA hospital here in New York. There are clinics around the state which provide primary care, specialty treatment and mental health services. Each operates as a satellite of the VA medical center in White River Junction. Vermont will now have three new facilities including the two that opened earlier this year, one in Rutland and one in Newport.
The Colchester clinic, the busiest in the state, will be replaced by a new facility almost twice as large. The new clinic will be housed in an old cotton mill located at 128 Lakeside Ave. in Burlington. The construction contract with Fortieth Burlington LLC calls for facility that will occupy more than 16,000 square feet in the refurbished building. The construction project will create an estimated 75 jobs. Once the facility is completed in early 2013, the VA will pay an annual rent of approximately $350,000.
The VA last year spent $329 million providing health care, benefits and services to Vermont’s 52,000 Veterans.
The VA operates one of the nation’s largest integrated health care systems. With a health care budget of about $50 billion, VA expects to provide care to 6.1 million patients supporting 920,000 hospitalizations and nearly 80 million outpatient visits this year. VA’s health care network includes 152 major medical centers and more than 800 community-based outpatient clinics.