CHESAPEAKE, Va. — For the more than 120,000 military veterans who live on the South-side of Hampton Roads, it is a game-changer.
The U.S. General Services Administration announced this week it has awarded a lease for a Department of Veterans Affairs Community Based Outpatient Clinic to be constructed on a 25-acre parcel of land on the Chesapeake Regional Hospital campus.
The new 196,000-square-foot facility is designed to improve veterans' access to outpatient services such as primary care, mental health and eye clinic services, as well as new specialty care and advanced imaging services, and reduce drive times by eliminating the Hampton Roads and Monitor-Merrimack Bridge-tunnels from the equation, since the vets will no longer have to drive to Hampton for routine appointments.
"We have one of the largest growing populations of veterans in the country," said Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Virginia, 2nd District). "And the fact that veterans are going to get care closer to home without battling that traffic, and we can expand care as our veteran population grows is monumental."
It is estimated that 59,000 veterans live in Virginia Beach, 31,000 veterans live in Chesapeake and 31,000 veterans live in Norfolk.
We know that most of our veterans reside on the Chesapeake-Virginia Beachside," said John Rogers, Hampton VA Medical Center spokesman. "So, this will give us an opportunity to allow them greater access and improve their patient satisfaction. On top of that, it is going to relieve some of the pressure we have on the main campus here."
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2022, with substantial completion expected in spring 2024.
The VA anticipates occupancy and opening to the community in the fall, 2024.
The Hampton VA Medical Center" dates back to 1872.
Since 2013, the number of veterans who access Hampton, VA has grown by more than 16%.
The current wait time for primary care appointments is 27 days.