VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki has announced the signing of a lease that will dramatically expand VA services offered to veterans in the Cleveland area."Through community partnerships and innovative business practices, we will provide more veteran-focused services, ensuring Ohio's veterans have access to 21st-century care," Shinseki said.Creating nearly 24,000 new construction and permanent jobs, the agreement calls for VA to lease its Brecksville campus to Veterans Development LLC. The facility will be used for medical research, offices and higher education.In exchange for the lease, VA will be able to use 115,000 square feet of office space, 2,000 parking spaces and 122 housing units for homeless veterans – all adjacent to VA's Wade Park campus. Savings from the transaction will be used to fund a new blindness-rehabilitation center, a comprehensive rehabilitation center, a spinal-cord injury nursing home, expanded polytrauma services and an outpatient clinic in Parma, Ohio.The consolidation stems from the comprehensive VA plan called CARES, or Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services, announced May 7, 2004, to modernize and improve VA's health-care system.
Last year, VA spent more than $4.1 billion in Ohio on behalf of the state's 960,000 veterans. In addition to the two facilities affected by the announcement, VA operates major medical centers in Chillicothe, Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, plus about 30 outpatient clinics, five vet centers and two national cemeteries in Ohio.