Lebanon VA Medical Center opens building that goes beyond health care

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Aug 28, 2015 3:27 PM

Photo by Ben Allen/witf

U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald speaks at the ribbon-cutting for the Lebanon VA Medical Center's new Center for Veterans Enterprise. He calls the Lebanon VA a model for other facilities.

(Lebanon) -- Criticism about wait times and care at some VA facilities is starting to fade. And so, the Lebanon V-A is celebrating a new building that expands its services beyond just health care.

Veterans will be able to get a variety of services at the Center for Veterans Enterprise - from job training to help with substance abuse disorder to cooking classes.

The $9 million building also includes classrooms and comfortable counseling lounges.

It's located at the Lebanon VA, one of the facilities that didn't face many accusations about delayed care during last year's scandal.

HACC, Lebanon County Career and Technology Center, and the state's Careerlink will also work with the Lebanon VA at the new facility.

During a visit to the midstate, U.S. Secretary for Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald says the new space proves the department is going beyond others in providing help.

"Here, veterans suffering from mental health conditions can find peace and solace. Here, veterans who have suffered substance use disorders may find a path to healing and a better future," says McDonald.

"What veteran wants to go to a private-sector doctor when they have traumatic brain injury? So these are the reasons I think the VA is essential not just for veterans, but for the American people," 

McDonald also praises the Lebanon VA for keeping wait times for primary care appointments below the national average.

He says the facility is one of the better in the country, and he's actually borrowing one of its leaders to address the homeless veterans issue in Los Angeles.

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