The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) is working to transform and improve the delivery of care for Veterans through initiatives aimed at modernizing facilities, programs and services. The work is direct result of intensive strategic planning and feedback from Veterans, their loved ones, and other stakeholders from an array of methods available to capture, “the voice of the customer.”

One such initiative is the complete renovation and upgrade to existing acute medical/surgical wards located at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center.

Activation of 5D, an acute inpatient ward and now home to the stroke unit, has been completed. The newly renovated ward opened to serve Veterans in May 2018. The new unit creates efficiency for both patients and staff, promotes an environment where patients can focus on their well-being and treatment, and provides additional patient privacy.

“We must transform our delivery of care to ensure that we are able to provide for our nation’s heroes.”

The 24-bed inpatient unit features both private and semi-private rooms, state-of-the-art medical equipment, decentralized nurse stations, computers for charting in each patient’s room, home-like furnishings, upgraded telemetry capabilities and guest Wi-Fi. The patient rooms are also fully equipped with an interactive patient education and entertainment system.

In addition, the new unit contains six negative pressure rooms and provides access to a family room, two consult rooms for interdisciplinary team use with families and caregivers, a conference room and an equipment room with two accessible areas to enter from either side of the unit to help with expediting patient care needs.

According to Alyssa Mailly, activations coordinator, Bay Pines VAHCS, the new ward will help develop new and efficient ways of providing care for Veterans.

“A lot of thought went into the overall design of this unit,” she explained. “Patient-centered care, the Veteran’s overall experience, and additional privacy were some of our most important considerations.”

5D was the second major ward renovation completed in the main hospital building in the last two years. Ward 3D was the first to undergo the transformation in May 2016. Watch a video about the 3D activation.

An aerial photo of the Mental Health Center located at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center

Aerial photo of the Mental Health Center located at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center (Photo Credit: Jason Dangel, Public Affairs Officer)

Ongoing Work and Improvements at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center

One of the most significant improvements at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center campus is the new 155,000 square foot Mental Health Center. The new facility features three patient care floors and a wide array of services for Veterans seeking mental health care. Outpatient services and residential programs located on the first and second floors opened to serve Veterans in late 2017. Watch a video about the grand opening.

Activation of the inpatient psychiatry unit located on the third floor is expected to occur later this summer. The third floor will provide Veterans and staff with access to administrative spaces, clinics, units for acute patients and support spaces.

On the north side of the campus, a new 17,375 square foot cancer infusion/chemotherapy center is currently being constructed. The new center will augment and be connected to the existing radiation oncology center. The new facility will feature 26 chemotherapy stations and an onsite compounding pharmacy. Construction is expected to be completed in fall 2018. When construction is complete, that part of the medical center campus will effectively become a “one-stop shop” for cancer care where Veterans can receive a full range of state-of-the-art cancer treatment.

On the west side of campus, construction of a new 12,440 square foot research addition is nearly complete that will allow for the expansion of the Bay Pines VAHCS’s Research and Development programs. Construction of the new building is scheduled to be complete this summer with activation occurring in the months following.

Another enhancement at the medical center campus includes an upgraded feature to the health care system’s existing VetLink kiosk system. The new feature allows family and friends to monitor a Veteran patient’s progression through a procedure or surgery taking place at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center Operating Room or Outpatient Surgery Center (OSC). Read more about the VetLink kiosk surgery feature.

Expanding and Improving Community Based Outpatient Clinics

Another modernization effort being tackled by the health care system is the relocation and expansion of the Naples Community Based Outpatient Clinic.

In October 2016, the health care system entered into a new 10-year lease agreement that will relocate the clinic from its current location at 2685 Horseshoe Drive South to 800 Goodlette Road North. The new building is more than double the size of the existing clinic and is expected to open later this summer. Read more about the new facility.

All health care services currently available at the Naples CBOC will transition to the new facility. These services include primary care, mental health, women’s health, anticoagulation clinic, electrocardiograms (EKG), nutrition counseling, phlebotomy (blood draws and specimen collection), social work and pharmacy consultation.

Modernization is a Priority

Suzanne Klinker, director, Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, continues to emphasize the importance of modernizing the health care system for Veterans.

“As Veterans are presented with new health care options, we must transform our delivery of care to ensure that we are able to provide for our Nation’s heroes. That is why modernizing the health care system is so important,” she said.

“Partnering with patients and providing personalized and patient-driven health care is essential in the health care industry. It is what health providers need to do to stay relevant to patients, create better patient relationships and long-term outcomes and provide timely, safe and effective care. We continue to make significant progress for the heroes we serve across southwest Florida.”

To learn more about Bay Pines VA Healthcare System’s modernization efforts, please visit, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Related post: Bay Pines VA modernizing for Veterans

Melanie L. Thomas, MBA, is the Public Affairs Specialist at the Bay Pines VA Health Care SystemMelanie L. Thomas, MBA, is the Public Affairs Specialist at the Bay Pines VA Health Care System

Photo Credits: Jason Dangel, Public Affairs Officer, Bay Pines VA Health Care System

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Published on Jul. 27, 2018

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