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Rehab facility dedicated at VA Medical Center

Department of Veterans Affairs officials on Tuesday dedicated a new $7.4 million residential rehabilitation and recovery center at the Lebanon VA Medical Center.

The 43-bed center will provide state-of-the-art, high-quality residential rehabilitation and treatment services for veterans with mental-health and substance-abuse disorders, medical concerns and/or psychosocial needs such as homelessness and unemployment, according to a release.

Gary Devansky, acting director of Veterans Integrated Service Network 4 (of which the Lebanon VA is a part), said he is familiar with these types of centers from his time as director of the Coatesville VA Medical Center.

"They're very, very successful in assisting veterans to get back on their feet, leading to stable employment, so this is a fantastic building for the veterans of the Lebanon community and beyond," he said.

The 22,219-square-foot center will provide an environment that is recovery-focused, evidence-based and outcome-directed. An intensive program will focus on providing comprehensive care and rehabilitation services for any veterans.

The center will take into consideration each veteran's unique needs, Devansky said.

"The treatment provided in this new facility will be holistic, and it's based on a recovery model of care with emphasis on the development of individualized treatment plans that each veteran is unique," he said. "Their needs are unique, their family members, their needs are unique, and we can never forget that."

The facility is not entirely complete but should be finished by the end of the year. Veterans will be able to move in within the next two weeks.

Robert Callahan Jr., director of the Lebanon VA, said one of the buildings that is still taking shape will become the Center for Veterans Enterprise. That facility will focus on vocation and employment outcomes, he said.

"There are many new facilities emerging on our campus which constantly remind us of the reason why we are here: the health and speedy recovery of America's noble guardians," he said. "America depended on them, and now this new recovery center demonstrates the ongoing commitment of the Lebanon VA and our staff to provide our very best to care for America's heroes."

Callahan said the idea for the recovery center began with a simple veterans focus group. He said he asked the veterans, "If you had no boundaries, what would you need to recover?"

One veteran said he needed a real place to live while he recovered, Callahan recalled, while other veterans expressed a desire for clinical programming tailored to their specific needs.

"These veterans' hopes and desires, their very dreams, were built into the foundation of this recovery center," Callahan said. "This is the heart of how the Lebanon VA delivers world-class veteran-centered care."

The facility was funded as part of the VA minor-construction modernization efforts. Arthur Funk and Sons of South Lebanon Township was the primary contractor.

It is not, however, the only construction underway at the South Lebanon Township campus. There is a total of $58 million worth of construction going on, including a new ambulatory surgical center, new mental-health care facilities and a new radiology center.

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