VA fast-tracked retrofitting Garland VA Medical Center, a 140-bed capacity shuttered hospital, in a matter of weeks to treat COVID-19 Veteran patients. The rapid deployment of the facility included completing technology installations and IT equipment provisioning to ensure Garland VAMC can begin caring for patients as soon as possible amid the pandemic. Garland VAMC is a facility donated to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help lower average wait times at Veterans’ health facilities in North Texas.
Led by Area Manager Odell Brown, the Office of Information Technology IT Operations and Services (ITOPS) and End User Operations (EUO) teams mobilized and coordinated critical infrastructure and operations activities to prepare the new VAMC for its opening. Opening a new facility is no small feat. Opening one during a global health crisis presents its own unique set of challenges.
Mr. Brown and his team used an all-hands-on-deck approach to quickly ramp-up operations so VA can begin accepting COVID-19 patients at this location. From supplying equipment like laptops, desktops, and monitors, to outfitting local and wide area network connections and IT equipment, they put the systems in place to support clinical staff. His team’s coordination helped put the infrastructure in place to open the doors at Garland VAMC during a time when Veterans need critical care the most.
“Every part of OIT engaged in this effort has given us outstanding support and service to establish initial operations at the Garland VAMC. Standing up the hospital within weeks will allow us to respond quickly to area needs and care for Veterans infected with COVID-19,” said Territory 2 Director of Operations, Robert J. Finigan.
Baylor Scott & White and Tenet Healthcare originally donated the shuttered hospital to VA to support Veterans in North Texas. The facility is now opening its doors within weeks as an emergency response to provide 100 beds for Veterans in the area infected with the coronavirus.
The 470,000-square-foot VA Medical Center will eventually create up to 5,000 local jobs, provide Veteran outpatient services, and serve as a specialty care clinic for the 184,000 Veterans living in North Texas. The Dallas VA Medical Center is the largest Veterans health facility in the Dallas—Fort Worth region. When Garland VAMC transitions from caring for COVID-19 Veteran patients to its original intent, it will offer Veterans another accessible option to receive care in North Texas.