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VA Puget Sound Health Care System

 

VA Puget Sound pushing boundaries of health care

Keith Allen, acting director of VA Puget Sound Health Care System, holds up a commemorative coin and a model of a patient’s kidney for the audience to see during the grand opening ceremony for VA Puget Sound’s new $121.6 million, 220,000 square foot mental health and research building.

Keith Allen, acting director of VA Puget Sound Health Care System, holds up a commemorative coin and a model of a patient’s kidney for the audience to see during the grand opening ceremony for VA Puget Sound’s new $121.6 million, 220,000 square foot mental health and research building. The items were created using 3D printing technology; the coin contains the same lattice material that will be used in custom orthotics for Veterans, and the anatomical models provide physicians with a precise tool to use in surgical planning. The new facility is scheduled to begin accepting patients March 18, 2019. (Photo by Chris Pacheco)

By Jeremy Croft, VA Puget Sound Public Affairs Office
Friday, March 15, 2019

SEATTLE – March 15, 2018 –VA Puget Sound Health Care System today announced the opening of its new $121.6 million, 220,000-square-foot facility on its Seattle campus. The new facility, which welcomes its first patient March 18, underscores VA Puget Sound’s commitment to caring for both the physical and mental health care needs of its nation’s heroes.

Ten years in the making, the new facility expands all outpatient mental health care services, from medication management and psychosocial case management to Dialectical Behavior Therapy and evidence-based individual, family and group psychotherapy for all major mental health diagnoses. Additionally, consolidating most of its research programs in one central location enhances collaboration and the VA’s ability to push the boundaries of medicine in areas from lower limb prosthetic design and engineering, Alzheimer’s Disease and PTSD to rehabilitative medicine, suicide prevention and oncology.

“VA Puget Sound researchers and their colleagues have created a remarkable record of achievement on behalf of Veterans, their families, and all Americans,” said Carolyn Clancy, VHA deputy under secretary for discovery, education and affiliate networks. “The VA Centers of Excellence located at VA Puget Sound are pushing the boundaries of medicine to ensure that our nation’s Veterans receive the best care possible.”

More than 100 leaders from federal and local government, academia, health care and research attended VA Puget Sound’s grand opening event. Speakers included U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene; Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs Director Lourdes “Alfie” Alvarado-Ramos; King County Director of Veterans Affairs for U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, Chelsea Clayton; Director of Veterans Integrated Service Network 20 Michael Murphy; and VA Puget Sound leaders, Deputy Director Keith Allen, Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development William Banks, and Acting Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health Jesse Markman.

VA Puget Sound provides comprehensive care to more than 110,000 Veterans across its nine facilities in the Pacific Northwest. It has the 5th largest research program within the national VA system and seven Centers of Excellence (in areas from limb-loss prevention and prosthetic engineering to primary care education and substance abuse treatment). More than 2,000 individuals participate in its undergraduate and graduate training programs each year. The new Mental Health and Research facility represents an investment that brings the Seattle Division on par with the expert patient-centered care VA Puget Sound has been delivering to Veterans for the past 96 years. For more information visit www.pugetsound.va.gov.

Lourdes E. “Alfie” Alvarado-Ramos, director of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, experiences a demonstration of the medical and surgical applications of virtual reality technology at VA Puget Sound.

Lourdes E. “Alfie” Alvarado-Ramos, director of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, experiences a demonstration of the medical and surgical applications of virtual reality technology at VA Puget Sound, facilitated by Dmitry Levin, research scientist at the Center for Cardiovascular Innovation, University of Washington. Virtual reality can be used in surgical planning, physical therapy, pain management, treatment of phantom limb pain, and staff training. VA Puget Sound held a grand opening ceremony for its new $121.6 million, 220,000 square foot facility on March 15, 2019, where Alvarado-Ramos was one of the honored guest speakers. (Photo by Chris Pacheco)

“As the daughter of a World War II Veteran who received care at the VA, I’ve seen firsthand how critical the VA is to ensuring the men and women who bravely served our country get the care and support they need not only to live, but to thrive,” said U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “The opening of VA Puget Sound’s new mental health and research facility is another great step toward fulfilling our promise to take care of those who have sacrificed to defend our freedoms, and I applaud VA for all of their hard work to make today’s celebration a reality.”

The building design focus was on blending the latest technologies with environmentally sustainable elements to enhance patient care and promote a welcoming and healing environment for our nation’s Veterans and the staff who care for them.

“The health and well-being of the Nation’s women and men who have served in uniform is the highest priority for VA along with our commitment to provide timely access to high-quality, Veteran-centered, evidence-based mental health care,” said VHA executive director of the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention David Carroll. “This new building creates wonderful spaces and opportunities to deliver the full spectrum of care that we are committed to provide using the latest technologies and working as a team with the Veteran at the center.”

Research and Development at VA Puget Sound is an integral part of the health care system’s affiliation with the University of Washington, bringing that institution’s premier academic medicine program to VA Puget Sound and ensuring that the professional staff and quality of care is of the highest caliber. The cohesiveness and strength of this research community is felt throughout the Northwest.

The new facility is also home to a state-of-the-art prosthetic lab with motion analysis, custom fabrication and fitting capabilities so VA Puget Sound patients can be fitted and receive their prosthetic in one location.

To showcase one example of how VA Puget Sound is advancing change and positively disrupting the way America delivers health care, a 3D commemorative coin using the same 3D printing technology it uses for organ models used for pre-surgical planning, dental implants and prosthetics was provided to guests. The soft lattice structure in the center of the coin was made from the same lattice design being explored for applications in 3D printing of custom orthotic insoles to help patients avoid preventable amputations related to diabetes.

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