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New Orlando VA Hospital Ready for Debut

May 26, 2015
Originally published on May 26, 2015 8:56 am

The head of the Veterans Administration is in Orlando today to dedicate the new VA hospital in Lake Nona. VA Secretary Bob McDonald will be the keynote speaker at an event, which will include elected officials.

The $620 million dollar facility broke ground seven years ago, and has been plagued with delays. The clinic began seeing patients in February, and the hospital will continue opening in phases through the rest of 2015.

Navy veteran Tom Pokorski said the new facility is an improvement over the VA clinic at Lake Baldwin, which is old and over-crowded.

“Lake Baldwin didn’t necessarily have all the types of services,” Pokorski said. “If you needed an MRI, you couldn’t get it there, they’d send you out somewhere in town to get it. But here it’s all self contained. So it’s kind of a one-stop shop type thing.”

The new hospital is in the process of hiring hundreds, with the biggest demand for 500 nursing jobs. Check the slideshow for a look inside the hospital.

Abe Aboraya is a reporter with WMFE in Orlando. Health News Florida receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.