ODESSA--A new VA hospital is scheduled to open around Fall of 2013 according to VA hospital officials. Last month, the Big Spring VA Hospital and Medical Health Care system teamed were approved for a bid to begin construction on a new VA hospital in Odessa.
"We are very excited and hope to break ground by November of 2012, and then we hope to have the clinic completed and ready to open by late 2013 or early 2014," Carol Durham, Associate Administrator of Medical Health Care System.
Veterans in Odessa, Midland and other surrounding areas have been making the hour or more long drive to Big Spring for health care.
It will still be easier for those veterans because they can stay on the loop and head out on 191," said Iva Jo Hanslik, VA Communication Relation Coordinator.
The new VA hospital will be for outpatient care only, however, with the larger space and larger range of services, officials hope the new space will make things more convenient.
"We will offer some audiology services for the hearing impaired, we'll offer some optometry and ophthalmology services for veterans needing eye glasses or eye tests, some of the therapy's. Some of the prosthetic services will be available over therem," said Hanslik. She went on to say, "So by expanding more and more services that will eliminate the need for them to have to travel to Big Spring as often.
Along with the upgrades, the project won't cost citizens anything.
Durham said, "Medical Center Health Center is going to fund this building with reserves that we currently have, but what we're gonna have to do is pay that back to ourselves over the next five years."
The VA hospital says, it's difficult purchasing land, so it will be leasing the building from the MCHS.
Hanslik said, the new building will be built with the VA's imput and up to their specifications.
With those new specification, officials hope to provide vets more updated equipment and health care technology.
When the project is complete, the hospital will be connected to the Center for Health and Wellness building in Odessa. The hospital will have 100 parking spaces and 20 additional handicap spaces.