HOUSTON - A new hospital wing is in the works for the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC). The project, scheduled to begin in September, will allow the Dermatology and Urology Clinics to relocate into much needed, larger spaces late next year.
“Our Veteran population is particularly susceptible to certain skin diseases,” said J. Kalavar, M.D., Medical Center Chief of Staff. “While on active duty, Servicemembers may be subject to extreme temperatures, extensive sun exposure, unsanitary living conditions, poor nutrition, combat wounds, chemical agents, and many other challenges known to contribute to skin disease.”
Additionally, prostate cancer is the most common noncutaneous cancer among males. Although prostate cancer can be a slow-growing cancer, thousands of men die of the disease each year. Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in males. Veterans, particularly Vietnam Veterans, have a higher than average incidence of prostate cancer than the general population.
“We strive to continuously improve access to health care for our Nation’s heroes,” said Bryan T. Bayley, M.H.A., F.A.C.H.E., acting medical center director. “We are excited to soon have enhanced facilities for Veterans who need medical treatment for dermatology and urology issues.”
The new wing, located on the second floor of the hospital, will be approximately 22,000 square-feet. Each new clinic will be about 8,000 square-feet. The new Urology Clinic will have six exam rooms and four rooms intended for procedures and treatment; the Dermatology Clinic, eight exam rooms, four procedure rooms, two laser rooms, and one light therapy room. The remaining space on the wing will be used to expand the nearby Prosthetics Department.
The project will be completed in two phases. The first phase will encompass the structure and outer walls. The second phase focuses on the interior with finished walls and utilities. The estimated completion date is September 2013.
When vacated, the current space occupied by the Urology Clinic and Dermatology Clinic will be used to expand the hospital’s surgical operating suite and primary care, respectively.
In the last ten years, outpatient visits to the VA hospital in Houston have more than doubled. The new wing is yet another demonstration of MEDVAMC’s commitment to provide the best care anywhere to Veterans in southeast Texas.
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