Fort Wayne, Ind. – Monday, March 11, 2012 — Parkview officials today were joined by elected officials and members of the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System in announcing a new partnership. After months of discussion and planning, work will soon begin on the VA Fort Wayne Outpatient Clinic located on the Parkview Hospital Randallia campus and veterans from around the region will have access to an outpatient mental health facility tailored to meet their specific needs.
“Parkview Health has been dedicated to offering mental health services for years and we understand the growing needs facing the VA’s current mental health facility,” said Sue Ehinger, president of Parkview Hospital and affiliates. “Providing this facility, customized to meet the needs of the VA, it’s a wonderful opportunity and we’re excited to be a part of the solution.”
The VA Fort Wayne Outpatient Clinic will be housed in a vacant building where Parkview’s Cancer Center was previously located. Parkview is committing $5 million to the renovation of what will be a 27,000-square-foot outpatient clinic. The facility will grow to nearly 33,000-square-feet, giving the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System nearly 6,000-square-feet for office space. The VA will lease the facility from Parkview Health for 20 years and will handle the day-to-day operations which will include a staff of 97 mental health and health administration personnel.
“We are pleased to partner with Parkview on the VA Fort Wayne Outpatient Clinic project,” said Denise Deitzen, director, VA Northern Indiana Health Care System. “This outpatient clinic will provide the additional space needed to expand our current operations and accommodate the growing number of Veterans we serve.”
“We know that the scars of war are not always visible,” said Congressman Marlin Stutzman. “Access to mental health care is critical for men and women suffering from wounds like post-traumatic stress disorder. With more and more heroes returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, this annex will help fill that need. This is an important step forward for our veterans.”
Johnson Development is the selected real estate firm handling the renovations. They specialize in the planning, financing, development and management of medical office buildings and outpatient facilities. The current building will undergo total renovation. Using the VA’s design guidelines for outpatient clinics, Johnson Development will design-build a custom healthcare clinic. Virtually all of the building’s interior will be replaced with new built-out clinic space customized for patient care needs. Additionally, the building will be expanded by nearly 50-percent with a 8,000 square foot addition. This addition allows the building to fully meet the space needs of the VA.
“We all have a duty to support those who have sacrificed so much to protect and defend our country,” said Senator Dan Coats. “I applaud Parkview Health and the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System for answering that call and committing to provide the care and support our veterans need. Thanks to this partnership, Hoosier veterans will be able to access a modernized, outpatient mental health facility in Fort Wayne.”
“Our veterans have borne an incredible burden on our behalf, and I am focused on ensuring their access to the resources they need,” added Senator Joe Donnelly. “That the VA and Parkview Health are adding mental health capacity in Fort Wayne is welcome news for our veterans and their families as we seek to offer them the same loyalty and care that they have showed our nation through their service.”
“I applaud the successful partnership between Parkview Health and the VA, providing mental health care services for our deserving Hoosier veterans in Northern Indiana,” said Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. “The opening of this facility is a step in the right direction as we work toward improving health care and accessibility for customized veteran’s services.”
Congresswoman Susan Brooks also added her thoughts to the achievement. “There’s no greater duty than supporting and caring for those who risked everything to protect our freedom,” she said. “The VA Fort Wayne Outpatient Clinic will make a positive difference in the lives of Hoosier veterans throughout northern Indiana. I offer my heartfelt congratulations to everyone who lent a helping hand to this effort.”