Livermore Veterans Affairs Facilities Likely to Be Relocated, Nursing Home Officials Say
The Veterans Affairs nursing home in Livermore likely will be relocated, possibly to the Central Valley, the Contra Costa Times reports.
As part of a nationwide restructuring of VA services, former VA Secretary Anthony Principi last year called for 40,000 square feet of outpatient clinic space in Livermore to be relocated to a new 75,000-square-foot space in the East Bay and larger facilities in the Central Valley. In addition, Principi recommended relocating the Livermore facility's 30 short-term beds and some specialty services to the VA hospital in Palo Alto (Brewer, Contra Costa Times, 4/26).
Officials have not found a location for the new clinics (Brewer, Contra Costa Times, 4/25).
VA spokesperson Kerri Childress said an advisory panel and consultants plan to propose as many as 20 different location options. The final decision, subject to the federal budget process, would be made by VA Secretary Jim Nicholson.
"If all goes perfectly smoothly ... the very soonest we possibly could begin building a new nursing home is 2009-10" with completion in 2012, Childress said. She added, "The current nursing home will stay exactly where it is, with no changes, until a new nursing home is built. No veteran will lose health care" (Contra Costa Times, 4/26).
"There are a lot of options on the location, but we know where the indigent populations are and the access roads," Jason Nietupski, facilities planner for the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, said. "We are working with some cities and their economic development offices, but until there are funds it's premature to start identifying where."
A public meeting to discuss the location and size of a future nursing home is set for 9 a.m. May 13 at the VA's Livermore facility. VA officials, a local advisory panel and representatives from PricewaterhouseCoopers will be present (Contra Costa Times, 4/25).
In related news, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously voted to lease an eight-acre site next to San Joaquin General Hospital for $1 per year in an effort to persuade the VA to relocate the its nursing home in Livermore to the county, the Oakland Tribune reports (Mahler, Oakland Tribune, 4/27).
The proposal calls for the VA to build a 60,000-square-foot outpatient regional clinic and a 200-bed, 80,000-square-foot nursing home on the San Joaquin General Hospital's campus, the Stockton Record reports (Carroll, Stockton Record, 4/26).
San Joaquin County Health Care Director Ken Cohen said the county would benefit if the nursing home were relocated there.
According to an Economics and Planning Systems report, the county would gain 400 jobs and take in $11 million in employees' compensation (Oakland Tribune, 4/27).
"I don't see how anyone could turn down this offer," board Chair Steve Gutierrez said, adding, "I don't know why they would say 'no.' We've stepped up to the plate faster and sooner than anyone else" (Stockton Record, 4/26).