Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center opens hospice unit

AR-140109652CALN – The Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center recently opened an 11,000-square-foot hospice unit, replacing the former medical center operating as a hospice.

A space specifically designed for the needs of veterans, the new medical unit – which was extended from the current Community Living Center (CLC) – optimizes the staffs’ ability to care for veterans as they spend their final moments with their family members.

Jonathan Eckman, VA acting Medical Center Director, said it’s difficult to imagine the facility when described, but when it was constructed the needs of the veterans were put into the design.

“The space is beautiful, the size is fantastic and it’s laid out appropriately,” Eckman said. “It’s very suiting for the needs of the veterans we have in hospice and the view we have are fantastic. So when you couple that all together it’s a continuation of the high-class health care we provide.”

He said a combination of the usable space for veterans and family members, as well as the caring nature of the staff set the facility apart from the average hospice medical unit.

The organization spent $5 million to build the medical unit, which has eight individual suites. Each suite includes a ceiling lift to transport patients from their bed to the bathroom, a kitchenette, a small living room with a TV and sleeper couch, and a private patio. The building space also includes a large common area with a kitchen, extra-wide hallways and doors, and two nurses’ stations.

“Everything is integrated, so the space was specifically designed for the veterans’ needs,” he said, complimenting the staff on their ability to make the veterans and their families feel comfortable during this time. “The building is great but the staff is what makes it special.”

Hospice Unit Manager Patricia O’Rourke said there are four certified nurses staffed for the day shift, three for half of the evening and three on nights. She said the current unit is not only a comfortable place for veterans and their families, but the space and equipment provides a safer, more efficient environment for staff.

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