PHOENIX — Military veterans, health care providers and government officials celebrated together on Wednesday June 22 at the ribbon cutting of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Phoenix Outpatient Clinic, a facility that will host more than 500,000 patient visits per year.
In addition to performing a ceremonial cutting of the ribbon, celebrators also observed the singing of the national anthem and heard remarks from The Honorable Donald Remy, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA). A prayer was offered by VA Chaplain Daniel Butler.
“There is no greater mission than the mission to serve our veterans,” Remy told those present. “Cutting this ribbon is about delivering world-class health care to our veteran community.”
The recently completed Veterans Affairs Phoenix Outpatient Clinic is a comprehensive facility offering patients primary care, mental health treatment, radiology services, OB-GYN care, pharmacy services and more. Staff work in an open office configuration to enhance collaboration and communication in support of the VA’s Patient-Aligned Care Teams (PACT) team-based care initiative. The building stands five stories tall and covers 280,000 square feet. With 460 exam and consult rooms, it is one of the largest VA facilities ever built, filling a large need for Arizona veterans.
“Every Jacobsen project starts with, ‘Why?’ We cannot think of a better, nobler answer to that all-important question than Building Hope and Healing for Veterans. This was our tagline, mission and motivation in building this exceptional outpatient clinic,” said Jacobsen Construction Project Director Greg Albertson.
The building’s programmatic layout emphasizes the centrality of mental health treatment in veterans’ health care, with the entire second floor dedicated to mental health services. The clinic was designed and built to maximize natural daylight, creating a feeling of wellness and connection to the outdoors, and is registered as a Two Green Globes project because of the high sustainability standards met by its energy-efficient building systems.
“This is an exciting day for the VA, and for the veterans it will serve,” Michael Welsh, interim executive director of the Phoenix VA Health Care System, said at the ribbon cutting. “Thank you to the team for getting this clinic ready — the engineers, the architects and the construction crew who made this happen.”
The clinic has also been a welcome addition to downtown Phoenix, contributing to the stability, commerce and development of its neighborhood. As a centralized location for many types of health care, it will be a heavily used resource for the large and growing community of military veterans who live in Arizona, who number in the hundreds of thousands.
“Every day, 298 people move into Maricopa County and a large portion of those are veterans,” said RimaAnn Nelson, assistant under secretary for health operations at the VA, in remarks given at the ribbon cutting. “This facility will help serve their needs.”
Albertson said he looks forward to seeing the positive impact the clinic will have on the wellbeing of men and women who have made personal sacrifices out of love for their country.
“We could not be more happy to know that the result of this project will lead to shorter travel distances and wait times for veterans, and will give them better access to the latest advancements in health care,” he said. “Serving those who have so selflessly served us was an honor.”