FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 26, 2011
SCHUMER ANNOUNCES ROCHESTER VETERANS CLINIC SET TO MAKE MAJOR EXPANSION, WILL MOVE INTO LARGER FACILITY, CONSOLIDATE EXISTING CLINICS, AND IMPROVE SERVICES TO AREA VETERANS
New Veterans Facilities Bill Set To Become Law Will Allow Rochester Veterans Clinic To Consolidate Existing Facilities Into Building With 33% More Space, Secure Twenty-Year Lease
Schumer-Backed Bill Will Allow Rochester VA To Serve Growing Vets Health Care Demand In Rochester
Schumer: Rochester Area Vets Will Now Get Even Better Care
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the Rochester Veterans Clinic will be able to make major improvements and expand veterans’ care in the Rochester area, thanks to legislation that has passed the House and Senate and is set to become law. The Schumer-backed bill, the Veterans Health Care Facilities Capital Improvement Act of 2011, authorizes over $9.2 million that will allow the Rochester Veterans’ Clinic to secure a new 20-year lease, secure space that is 33% larger than its current size, and better serve the changing veterans population in the Rochester Finger Lakes region.
“This is a total game changer for Rochester veterans,” said Schumer. “The Rochester veterans clinic will soon be able to consolidate their services into a single location, making it easier for veterans to receive care. They’ll be able to grow by a third, and better serve the rapidly changing veterans population in the Rochester-Finger Lakes region. Taking care of our veterans when they come home is one of our most solemn obligations, and these improvements will help us do exactly that.”
The existing VA Clinic space is inadequate to meet the near-term needs of Rochester’s veterans population over the coming two decades. Currently, the VA’s Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) is spread between the 49,000 sq ft leased facility on Westfall Road, a 6,300 sq ft leased facility on Mt. Hope Avenue, and a 8,000 sq ft leased space at Clinton Crossings. The current lease on the Westfall Road Clinic expires in 2016 and the building owner has indicated the lease cannot be renewed. Moreover, a recent Strategic Capital Investment Plan (SCIP) conducted by the VA determined the current separate facilities were inadequate and inefficient and contributed to workload and space gaps to several programs currently provided at the Rochester Outpatient Clinic such as ambulatory primary care, geriatrics, and urgent care; medical and other non-surgical specialties; mental health programs; surgical specialties; dental clinic; laboratory and pathology; and radiology and nuclear medicine. Plus, inadequate and inconvenient parking at these facilities has often presented challenges to an aging veteran population that relies on easy access to receive care.
At the same time, more veterans are using the Rochester Outpatient Clinic than any other clinic in New York State. The Rochester clinic has the highest enrollment rate of any VA Outpatient Clinic statewide. In addition, the VA estimates that over the next twenty years the demand for Ambulatory Stops in the Rochester area will increase by 10% while the demand for Mental Health services will increase by 13%.
To address this situation, by 2015 the VA will execute a new 20-year lease to house a combined and expanded VA Clinic to replace their current facilities. The new facility will be 33% larger at 84,000 sq ft and more than double current parking from 332 spaces to 672 spaces. Plus, with the changing demographics of the U.S. veteran population over the next few decades, the new facility will be better able to meet the needs of Rochester veterans and offer better primary care, mental health, and specialty care serves to complement the care offered through its parent facility at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center.
The VA anticipates awarding leases on a new facility by January 2013, completing construction by January 2015, and beginning occupancy in March 2015. The new facility will house primary care functions, women's health, Operation Enduring Freedom / Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF), mental health, homeless outreach, home-based primary care (HBPC), specialty services, ancillary services, compensation and pension (C&P), research, residency programs with local affiliates, Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), Veteran Service Organizations (VSO), and volunteer programs.