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VAMC healing center: A journey of recovery

February 2, 2011

Visitors get their first look at the VA Medical Center's new “Veteran Healing Center,” a facility designed to help military veterans dealing with homelessness, substance abuse and mental illness problems, after ceremonies opening the facility Tuesday. (HERALD photo/Steve Reagan)

The VA Medical Center's new Veteran's Healing Center offers more than just treatment to vets suffering from homelessness, substance abuse, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and mental illness — hope and home are also on the menu.

Open house and dedication for the new 40-bed facility was held Tuesday and officials touted it as an entirely new way to help treat veterans suffering from the above-listed conditions. The center is the direct result of a federal review conducted several years ago.

The review, entitled CARES (Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services) was designed to plan where the VA should expand and where it should reduce healthcare services. The results documented a defined need in this area for expanded mental health and residential services to veterans.

Dr. Jesse Bugard, director of mental health services at the medical center, said the mission of the center will be to allow veterans to undergo a “journey of recovery,” and noted that journey will involve more than medical and psychological treatment — it will involve making the veterans feel welcome and giving them a sense of hope and home while they are in the program.

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