Construction has been completed on a new veteran’s clinic in Zephyrhills, but the grand opening isn’t expected until late Spring or early Summer.
It’s been a long road for the new Zephyrhills veteran’s clinic; however, the end is in sight.
Officials at Tampa Veterans Affairs (VA) at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, which oversees 16 clinics, including the one in Zephyrhills, said it’s just a matter of time before the 14,000-square-foot facility opens.
“The Zephyrhills team is working diligently to open by late Spring (or) early Summer 2023,” Tampa VA officials told The Laker/Lutz News. “We, at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, are eager to provide expanded health care options to our Zephyrhills veterans.”
Like many construction projects nationwide, the clinic has been experiencing supply chain issues.
Additionally, the Tampa VA had unprecedented concurring construction activities that have swamped officials with a logjam of projects. The main hospital unveiled a Bed Tower of 240,000 square feet and 150 beds on Jan. 21, the VA clinic in New Port Richey expanded to serve up to 24,000 veterans and Lakeland broke ground on a new 93,000-square-foot facility in April 2022.
The new Zephyrhills clinic, at 37827 Eiland Blvd., broke ground on June 7, 2019 and cost $16 million to build.
It replaces the older clinic, which will help address the health needs of veterans in Zephyrhills, the county’s largest municipality.
“The new VA clinic in Zephyrhills will be a game-changer for veterans in East Pasco,” Zephyrhills native and executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs Danny Burgess said at the 2019 groundbreaking ceremony. “The expansion will provide increased access to quality health care. We are so excited for this commitment to our community by USDVA (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs); and FDVA (Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs) looks forward to growing our strong relationship with our federal partners.”
The clinic is designed to accommodate people with disabilities, and will offer new services such as Podiatry and Physical Therapy. Additional services offered include Hearing Aid Repair, Social Work, Food and Nutrition, and Tele-health Services.
Each patient will have an assigned patient-aligned care team that will consist of a physician, nurse, social worker and a mental health provider.
Patients will be referred to and treated at the James A. Haley hospital for surgeries and extensive therapy.
Ten rooms are devoted to primary care, while six rooms are used for treating mental health, which is part of the VA’s efforts to provide more access to psychiatric care services.
Those without transportation will be able to take advantage of a service that will provide free rides to their appointments.
“I’m excited about the new clinic because it’s going to enhance the patient experience for our veterans,” Chief Medical Officer of Zephyrhills Community Based Outpatient Clinic Dr. Scott Knoeppel said in a statement to The Laker/Lutz News. “The new clinic will be nearly triple in size, so we now have the capacity to add some high-demand specialty care services, such as Physical Therapy, Podiatry and Hearing Aid repair. Additionally, our Mental Health providers will be seeing patients in the new building, as well. Offering these services in one building will be of convenience to our veterans. Lastly, we will be expanding parking capacity, which had been a challenge at the previous location.”
Published January 25, 2023