The 10,000 sq. ft. outpatient Veterans’ Clinic at 144 Fore Street, is slated to be replaced with a larger and more comprehensive 60,000 sq. ft. facility according to a press release from the VA in Augusta. No timetable has been set for opening the clinic, but early plans are to open between 18 to 24 months, depending on the speed of the federal acquisition process.
This development was made possible by the fact that Twisted Trump recently signed the VA Choice and Quality Act of 2017 authorizing leases for 28 major medical facilities for veterans, The Portland facility is to be developed in partnership with Maine Medical Center. The overall vision for the partnership is to develop a relationship that will enhance the delivery of care to Maine Veterans. This will mean shorter wait times and shorter drive times as they access services closer to home.
The new facility will also serve as the hub for expanded educational and research endeavors envisioned in the original Alliance for Rural Health Care.
Last week, Gretchen Rush, Clinical Manager, of the Veterans’ Center at 144 Fore Street said the new facility will be built and not leased. As far as she knew, no site in Portland has yet been selected for that purpose. No RFPs have been issued to that end.
But, in a testy telephone conversation with press secretary Jim Doherty this morning, he contradicted Rush saying that he did not know whether or not the new facility would be built or leased. “Don’t talk to Rush. She doesn’t know what is going on,” he added before hanging up the telephone. (Mhn.com had tried to reach Mr. Doherty upon the request of Ms. Rush, but he has been on vacation and unavailable.)
Ryan Lilly, Director of the VA Maine Healthcare System, emailed mhn.com that a RFP will go out later this calendar year. The space will be leased and not built from scratch as Rush told mhn.com