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Maryland VA Hospitals Plan Major Expansion

Seeking to address an increased demand for health care services, the Veterans Affairs (VA) Maryland Health Care System plans to spend $41 million on construction and renovation projects at several facilities in the Baltimore area this summer.
 
The project includes a renovation to the atrium of the system’s downtown location and construction of a linear accelerator for cancer treatment. Linear accelerators generate high-energy electrons and X-rays. A new rehabilitation and robotics center and an extensive addition to an existing building are planned at the system’s location off Loch Raven Road in Baltimore. 
 
The upgrades are part of a statewide renovation project for the health care system that includes three inpatient facilities and six outpatient clinics throughout the state.
 
The system offers medical, surgical, rehabilitative, mental health, and outpatient care to more than 52,000 veterans annually in Maryland.
 
The construction projects will also add new clinical programs to benefit Veteran patients and increase clinical and administrative space, says chief of public and community relations at the VA Maryland Healthcare System, R. David Edwards. 
 
At the Baltimore VA Medical Center at 10 N. Greene St., construction and renovations are planned to improve patient access and expand clinical programs. The new space will be used by 400 patients each week, officials say. 

 Construction is ongoing on the linear accelerator suite that will be central to the center's new radiation oncology program. Officials expect construction to be completed by next summer.
 
Additional administrative and clinical space at the center will be created through a 20,000 square-foot addition to the center's front atrium and a 20,000 square-foot renovation to existing space. A robotics space and a modern media center will be added and is projected to be completed by early fall.
 
Construction is underway at the Loch Raven VA Outpatient Clinic in north Baltimore which is the site for a new,15,000-square-foot rehabilitation research center. Designed to better serve Maryland veterans who are stroke survivors or in need of physical rehabilitation, the $8.1 million center will include specialized equipment and gym spaces.
 
At the Loch Raven VA Community Living and Rehabilitation Center, a 23,000 square-foot addition to the facility currently underway will add multi-purpose rooms and expand hospice and therapy areas.
 
A rise in military enrollments following the 9/11 attacks and conflicts in the Middle East has precipitated a rise in demand for post-service health care services. The VA is also responding to the increasing numbers of women veterans now coming into the system, officials say. 
 
A recent report from the Associated Press says 45 percent of American's newest veterans, those from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, file for disability benefits for injuries they say are service-related.
 
 
Source: R. David Edwards, chief of Public and Community Relations at the VA Maryland Health Care System, Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System. 

Writer: Alexandra Wilding, alexandra@bmoremedia.com

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