Visitors to the new VA Outpatient Clinic in South Toledo will be greeted by a large atrium near the entrance, a light-filled space with a patriotic mural that adorns all four walls.
Patients in the waiting area will be surrounded by images of American flags, the White House, the Washington Monument, and several quotations, such as that attributed to Thomas Jefferson: "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
The mission of the Veterans Health Administration is also prominently displayed on the wall: Honor America's veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being.
The new clinic won't open until next month, but VA staff gave a media tour of the facility Wednesday.
The current clinic, at 3333 Glendale Ave., will close Sept. 14.
The clinic will reopen Sept. 19 at the new location at 1200 S. Detroit Ave.
The new facility expands a number of services now offered. There's additional space to allow more patients to be seen in the dental clinic and eye clinic, and there are expanded mental health services.
There's also state-of the-art physical therapy equipment such as an underwater treadmill and an occupational therapy center with a mock kitchen and bathroom to aid in the relearning of daily tasks by veterans recovering from injury or a stroke.
Toledo's clinic is part of the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, and local veterans now travel to the Ann Arbor clinic's campus for in-patient treatment and speciality services not offered locally.
The new clinic is about the twice the size of the existing facility. Construction on the 99,850-square-foot building started in March, 2011. Construction finished a month ahead of schedule, said Amy Murbach, project manager.
The clinic has outgrown its current space, said Robert McDivitt, director of the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.
"It is our desire to be wherever veterans are and to move services as close to veterans as possible," said Mr. McDivitt on Wednesday.
The facility will continue to offer daily bus service to Ann Arbor.
The current outpatient clinic opened in 1978. It serves eight Ohio counties -- Lucas, Ottawa, Fulton, Sandusky, Henry, Seneca, Wood, and Hancock, and patients who live in Monroe and Lenawee counties in Michigan. The VA rents its current space from the University of Toledo; it will lease the new space from the building's developer, Carnegie Management and Development Co. of Westlake, Ohio.
VA staff members also plan on using the new building to display at least 1,500 photos of local veterans. The staff is asking the community for photos, which will be copied onto tiles for display along a 40-foot hallway.
"It reinforces the theme of honoring America's veterans that we want every veteran who comes through the door to feel," Mr. McDivitt said.
Contact Kate Giammarise at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6091 or on Twitter @KateGiammarise.41.61745 -83.60051
South Toledo outpatient facility to open next month.