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Parkview partnership, new outpatient clinic in the works at Fort Wayne VA hospital

Saturday, March 9, 2013 - 7:19 am

By 2015, a new facility serving as an outpatient clinic for veterans will be established in Fort Wayne -- likely created in a partnership with Parkview Health.

Officials of the VA Northern Indiana Healthcare System met Friday with reporters to provide an update on the phased-in resumption of inpatient services at the VA's Fort Wayne medical center, 2121 Lake Ave. Although they could not release details of the new facility, Director Denise M. Deitzen said that a location has been chosen for the new facility. Plans call for construction to begin this year, with this annex being ready for patients in 2015.

Later Friday, a news release from Parkview Health said a partnership between Parkview and the VA would be announced Monday in a press conference at 2500 E. State Boulevard -- a location a short distance east of Parkview Hospital Randallia. Officials from Parkview and the VA are scheduled to appear at the announcement, along with U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd.

Chief of Staff Dr. Ajay Dhawan said that there is no rigid schedule for the future phases of ramping up the complexity of care it provides.

Last month, the VA reopened six inpatient beds and begin treating patients there with more complex medical needs. That was the second phase of reopening. The VA reopened its inpatient Acute Medical Unit on Dec. 3 as the first phase of its resuming care. During that first phase that began in December, only blood transfusion and chemotherapeutic infusion patients were treated.

In October, the VA “paused” providing inpatient care to allow the health-care system "to review our processes, provide training to our staff, and ensure our continued ability to maintain the most flexible systems and highest standard of care for our veterans."

The next phase of resuming inpatient care will entail patients whose conditions require monitoring – telemetry – of their vital signs, Dhawan said. A fourth phase will involve resuming care for the most critically ill patients, such as those in an intensive care unit.

As always, some patients will be referred to other health-care providers for specialized care. “We will always have patients we share with the community,” Deitzen said.

Also Friday, VA officials showed off patient rooms in a recently renovated area of the facility, with new floor coverings, furniture and color schemes. The net effect is to create “a much more warm, patient-centered environment,” said Associate Director Helen M. Rhodes.