by Mary Dillinger, Public Affairs Officer, Northern Arizona VA Health Care System
NAVAHCS serving veterans in “Everybody’s Hometown”
Northern Arizona VA Health Care System (NAVAHCS) is proud to serve more than 29,600 veterans. More than 34% of the staff are veterans, and it is an honor to care for the veterans in this amazing community. NAVAHCS is a Joint Commission-accredited health care facility that provides a continuum of primary and secondary level medical, rehabilitative and long-term care to veterans living in northern Arizona. Our Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day/seven days a week. The VA Medical Center is located in Prescott. The medical center’s catchment area covers more than 65,000 square miles.
The Prescott campus is beautiful, with so much history. More than 75% of the buildings are on the historical registry, many of which need some upgrading. NAVAHCS is dedicated to improving patient care areas while still maintaining the historical integrity of the buildings. Earlier this year, an enhanced-use lease was approved. The enhanced lease will allow NAVAHCS to renovate six of the former officer quarters buildings and 3 acres of adjacent land on the southwestern portion of the campus as homes for our homeless veterans. The lease will be funded externally through private organizations without VA funding.
Two major construction projects were recently completed. The new laboratory and pharmacy building is 18,000 square feet and is located next to the main hospital entrance. The new space offers veterans more privacy during their blood draw and more open environment in the pharmacy.
New equipment was installed that enhances the dispensing of medications while reducing potential for human error and wait time. The new pharmacy opened Jan. 27, and the new laboratory opened on March 9.
The new rehab medicine building was completed in January 2020. It is 17,000 square feet, located across the street from the canteen service and it will house the sterile processing service and central supply as well. This new building will offer veterans a large space for their physical rehabilitation and provide all new equipment, including lifts for wheelchair and non-ambulatory veterans during their appointments. The space will be available to treat veterans in the springtime.
Other projects on the horizon are the radiology expansion as well as the primary care renovation. The radiology expansion will add an additional 8,000 square feet to the current laboratory area. It will create a modern radiology clinic with improved patient flow, better privacy and upgraded security. Four of the officer quarters buildings will be converted to mental health wellness areas to treat veterans. A space will be expanded for the new medical residency program to attract medical students and residents to NAVAHCS.
The current pharmacy space will be used for the new primary care design. A new warehouse will be built at the back of the campus near the baseball field. The current warehouses will be repurposed into a new training center, library and credit union. Construction on the new warehouse is scheduled to begin at the end of 2020.
In spring 2020 a veteran resource center will be designed using existing space in building 117. The area will be renovated to meet the demand to assist veterans with: enrollment and eligibility, billing, scheduling, beneficiary travel and much more. It will be a one-stop shop with trained staff to provide customer service and resolve issues onsite.
All of these projects will increase space while creating opportunities to improve already existing areas to make them more efficient for patient care.
If you are a veteran or you know a veteran who is not registered for care at the VA, please stop by the Eligibility and Enrollment office Monday-Friday between 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., located in building 117 just past the information desk. Bring your DD214 and two forms of ID. Enrolled veterans will receive their first initial appointment immediately after registration. Thank you to our Veterans for choosing VA and thank you to all veterans for your service.