November 7, 2011

Stanford School of Medicine Website Reviews VA Palo Alto Construction Projects

The Stanford School of Medicine website has written an article reviewing the numerous construction projects at the VA Palo Alto Hospital campus and how these projects will impact their students.  Excerpts from the article follow below:

Image: Rendering of the front of the new Blind Rehabilitation
Center and Polytrauma Building planned for the Palo Alto Campus

'Huge VA Project to Boost Med School Mission'
October 24, 2011

'A dozen state-of the-art buildings that will advance the medical school’s clinical, educational and research missions are beginning to rise, but Stanford isn’t leading the effort.

With a construction budget of more than $1 billion, the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, or VAPAHCS, has launched an ambitious building project on its flagship campus on Miranda Avenue in Palo Alto, leaving almost no spot of the 93-acre site untouched. The plan includes a new mental health center; the Department of Veterans Affairs’ largest rehabilitation center, which will combine polytrauma and blind rehabilitation; additional research space; and additional lodging facilities for veteran patients and family members.

The project is driven by an emphasis on patient-centric care and concerns about seismic safety. The project is also part of a broader shift by the VA and health care in general toward more outpatient services, concentrating the most advanced tertiary care services at flagship facilities, such as the Palo Alto site. VAPAHCS, in addition to revamping and expanding its outpatient facilities outside the Palo Alto campus, is taking steps to ensure that its main campus continues to offer the latest treatment modalities and meet new and pressing needs, such as those of the increasing numbers of veterans who have suffered multiple injuries, including traumatic brain injury. As part of that process, VAPAHCS is enhancing its 50-year affiliation with the School of Medicine, adding space for the education of Stanford doctors who treat veterans and the research by Stanford faculty on injuries and illness that affect veterans and others.
“Our success is predicated in part on the success of Stanford medical school,” said Jason Nietupski, the VAPAHCS director of planning and development. “The more successful Stanford is, the more successful our programs are.”

VAPAHCS spans a 10-county, 13,500-square mile region encompassing 275,000 veterans. It had research expenditures of approximately $75 million in 2010, the second- largest research program in the national VA network, supporting 200 principal investigators, including about 90 faculty members from the medical school. This year, VAPAHCS is training 750 residents and fellows and 211 medical students from the School of Medicine. It has more Centers of Excellence — programs with special emphasis — than any other VA health-care system nationwide, and thousands of veterans are referred each year from outside its catchment area to benefit from the expertise, and specialized services it offers...

The Palo Alto campus is one of five facilities in the country designated by the VA to provide intensive rehabilitative care to veterans and service members who have multiple traumas. At 174,000 square feet, the new building will be the largest rehabilitation center in the federal government, with 24 beds for polytrauma/physical medicine and rehabilitation, or PM&R, patients; 32 beds for the blind rehabilitation program; and 12 beds for the polytrauma transitional program, which teaches disabled veterans such daily activities as driving and cooking. The new facility will co-locate inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs including PM&R, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and polytrauma and blind rehabilitation within a single state-of-the-art treatment center.

This new rehabilitation center will consolidate providers of polytrauma and vision rehabilitation, who are now distributed around the Palo Alto campus into the same facility.

“The entire system of care for polytrauma and vision-loss patients will be in one building, and that in itself will augment the care we provide,” said Odette Harris, MD, an associate professor of neurosurgery and the VAPAHCS associate chief of staff for polytrauma, who is also director of the Palo Alto site of the Department of Defense-supported Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center...

When completed in 2014, the building will also impact the Stanford trainees in the physical medicine and rehabilitation residency, who provide care for the polytrauma patients. “It’s a top-notch residency, and this building will only make it better,” said Harris.'

CLICK HERE for a link to the FULL ARTICLE

CLICK HERE for more information about the Rehabilitation Center Plans

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