VA suggests consolidating, adding veterans’ care locations across DC-area

The Department of Veterans Affairs has suggested consolidating and relocating several healthcare centers across D.C., Maryland and Virginia after a nationwide, multi-year Asset and Infrastructure Review.

The department said that it released its report to mark the start of an “in-depth deliberative process.”



“VA came to these recommendations by asking ourselves one question above all else: what’s best for the Veterans we serve? Because that is our number one goal, today and every day,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough said in a statement. “That’s what our Asset and Infrastructure Review recommendations are all about.”

The department said that it spent several weeks and months in discussion with employees, unions, states, Congress and other Veteran organizations before sharing these recommendations.

Among the changes for each region are:

Washington, D.C.

  • The VA seeks to construct a replacement medical center with several services in the vicinity of the District.
    • The plan also includes relocating the aging community living center to a different, stand-alone location and closing the current medical center location when a new one is available.
    • VA also recommended that the D.C. facility gain a new stand-alone rehab program and create a stronger partnership with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
    • Recommendations included relocating all the services in Southeast’s outpatient clinic and closing that location. Those services would be relocated to Prince George’s County or another VA care center.

Maryland

  • Modernize Baltimore, Loch Raven and Perry Point’s VA clinics.
    • In Baltimore, recommendations include relocating primary, outpatient mental health, and outpatient specialty are to other facilities.
    • At Perry Point, plans include relocating urgent care services to other community providers to limit the number of urgent care patients
  • To help, the VA hopes to establish outpatient clinics near Westminster, Bethesda, Bel Air, and Baltimore. They also plan to create replacement outpatient clinics for Cambridge and Glen Burnie.
  • The VA recommends relocating the Prince George’s County—Andres Air Force Base outpatient clinic to a new location with more space.

Virginia

  • The VA recommends building a set of new outpatient clinics in Dale City, Leesburg, and Fairfax to help offload high volume in the District’s VA clinics.
  • Fredericksburg’s Health Care Center will also consolidate primary and outpatient care from the existing clinic and the Spotsylvania County clinic.

Senator Mark Warner was among the Senators praising the investment for access to quality and timely health care

“I’m pleased to see the Department of Veterans Affairs issue these critical recommendations as a preliminary but notable step in meeting its obligations under the VA MISSION Act of 2018 – legislation I was proud to support,” Warner said.

More information on their complementary strategies can be found in the full report. The AIR Commission plans to hold public hearings while reviewing the VA’s recommendations. They will head to President Joe Biden’s desk for further review in 2023.

Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up