Construction started today on a new Level I Veterans Affairs (VA) Polytrauma at the Audie Murphy VA Hospital in San Antonio, TX, that is set to be completed in 2011. According to the San Antonio Express, the new facility “merges the familiar look of Audie Murphy VA Hospital with the modern indoor features of the Center for the Intrepid.”
When complete, the $66 million, 84,000-square-foot Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center will be one of only five Level I centers in the country that specializes in acute treatment and recovery for our country’s wounded or ill Soldiers and Veterans. In addition to having much of the same innovative treatment and rehabilitation equipment as the Center for the Intrepid, the polytrauma center also will place an emphasis providing support and services for mental and emotional illnesses and injuries such as depression and traumatic brain injuries.
The article quotes the project’s architect, Carlos Moreno, on how the building’s design will inspire a welcoming and healing environment for Soldiers, Veterans, and Families:
As visitors enter the three-story center, their eyes will be drawn up to an atrium with perimeter glass walls that project a silhouette of live oaks in shades of green and brown, Moreno said. At night, light will filter through for starlight effect.
The building, set for completion in late 2011, also will have a café and an interior courtyard with elms, oaks and benches. It will house 12 inpatient beds and 12 transitional apartments where disabled veterans can re-learn daily living skills.
“As with the CFI (Intrepid), there will be some severely physically disfigured people who don’t want to show themselves, but want the freedom to walk about,” Moreno said.
San Antonio was chosen as the location for the new Level I polytrauma center because more than 4,300 out of the over 16,000 servicemembers that have been wounded in the Global War on Terrorism have received treatment at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston.
During AW2′s Annual Training, I had an opportunity to tour the Center for the Intrepid, and it is a beautiful facility with a wide-array of innovative technologies and a truly amazing staff that have done amazing things for our country’s most severely wounded and ill Soldiers and Veterans. Having more facilities like the Center for Intrepid is a positive step to ensuring that all wounded or ill Soldiers and Veterans get the treatment and rehabilitation that they need and deserve.