San Diego

Veterans Affairs to Break Ground on New $27 Million South Bay Health Clinic

Veterans Affairs is expected to break ground on a new health clinic in Chula Vista Thursday in an effort to serve more of those who served San Diego.

The new Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) facility will begin construction at 353 H Street, at the corner of H and 3rd streets in Chula Vista, following a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday.

The new facility will replace the current clinic at 865 3rd Avenue, which opened in December 2015.

The project will cost about $27 million to construct, the VASDHS said. Once completed. the clinic will be a two-story, 31,000-square-feet facility with 236 parking spaces -- three times the size of the current clinic.

The VASDHS said the facility will have expanded capacity for appointments and  a staff of about 100 will aid veterans with primary care, integrated mental health, laboratory and pathology, audiology, tele-medicine, optometry and podiatry services.  

In December, nurses demonstrated outside the VA's La Jolla Hospital to callon the VA to address concerns about under-staffing and patient care problems. 

VA administrators, who watched the protest from the sidelines, insisted they were listening to nurses concerns, and working hard to improve conditions and patient care.

The South Bay clinic may address their concerns. 

"This is a big step toward getting the facilities and staff we need in the South Bay to meet our Veteran needs in that area, and it aligns with the VA Major Initiatives: improve Veterans mental health, enhance the Veteran experience and access to health care," VASDHS Director Dr. Robert M. Smith said.

The VA Chula Vista Clinic currently provides care to more than 9,000 veterans living in the South Bay and had more than 30,000 visits in 2017.

Construction is expected to be completed by December 2019 with a projected opening date in early 2020.

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