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071406 Patient care transferred as naval

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					Patient care transferred as naval, VA hospitals unite
Navy Times
July 14, 2006

By Chris Amos
Times staff writer

Inpatient medical care for more than 30,000 military personnel and dependents in the
Chicago area has been transferred to a veterans hospital as a planned consolidation — the
most extensive of its kind in the nation — goes forward.

Doug Shouse, spokesperson for the North Chicago Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said
inpatient care and pediatric outpatient care that had been performed at the Naval Station
Great Lakes hospital will now be done at the VA medical center.

The transfer comes after a $13 million renovation added four emergency rooms and six
intensive care beds to the veterans hospital, which is less than two miles from the naval
hospital.

The renovations were completed in June.

Naval Station Great Lakes’ inpatient mental health services were transferred to the
veterans hospital in 2003.

Outpatient care for service members and their adult dependents is scheduled to transfer to
the VA center after a 200,000-square-foot medical clinic next to the existing veterans
hospital opens in 2010.

At that point, the naval hospital is scheduled to close.

Shouse said funding for demolishing the hospital has been included in the clinic’s $130
million construction cost, but Navy officials said a final decision has not been made
about the hospital’s fate.

The $130 million tab also includes a parking garage and surface parking lots for the
clinic.

Shouse said the consolidation was recommended by a 2001 panel that studied the cost of
replacing the 45-year-old Navy hospital with a new facility.

He said the two hospitals’ proximity and their history of sharing medical staff made
consolidation attractive.

A separate Navy study found that the consolidation would save more than $10 million in
construction costs and an additional $4 million in annual operating costs.
Shouse agreed. “This is going to save the taxpayers money,” he said. “It is cheaper to
operate two hospitals than one.”

				
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