New specialty care facility opens at VA in Leeds

Hampshire County

LEEDS, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been a difficult time for veterans to get the care they need during the pandemic but a new space has opened at the VA in Leeds to provide the best care during this difficult time.

A new specialty care facility has opened at the VA of Central and Western Massachusetts, which now includes state-of-the-art technology. It’s a $6 million project which is part of a more than $100 million infrastructure and construction improvement of the post-WWI campus.

“We are still here and still providing services that are in need, we are still making progress on construction and opening new spaces,” said Director Duane Gill.

The renovated space updated and completely transformed the previous 30-bed community living center. It now has a total of 77 rooms, including 8 optometry rooms which has equipment that is similar to any university medical eye center.

Optometry Chief Michelle Miranda told 22News, “A lot of this technology goes beyond the old fashion conventional hand magnifiers. A lot of it is video magnifiers for people with really limited acuity. We’re talking about technology that is voice activated talk to text.”

The facility in Leeds serves more than 100,000 Veterans in the Pioneer Valley. Staff say the renovations are much needed and the new space gives patients the care they need to live a long and healthy life.

“We’re really excited about having these services for our veterans, begin able to provide it in a patient center way, in a modern facility. It’s really great for our staff that they have the room and the space to work in now,” said Nicole Kirchen, Specialty Care at the VA.

Blind Rehabilitation, Neurology, and General Specialty care is also provided within the new wing.

The healthcare system will have invested more than $100 million by its 100th anniversary in 2024.

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