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VA Sec. McDonald: It’s A Great Day For Central Florida Veterans


Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald called it a great day for central Florida veterans at the official opening of the new VA medical center in Lake Nona.

Secretary McDonald said things are getting better for America’s veterans: fewer of them are on waiting lists, and more are getting timely mental health care. And he points to Orlando’s new medical center as an innovation hub that will help veterans across the country.

“We’re going to come up with innovations here that will not only help our veterans but will help the American public,” said McDonald. “If you think about the innovation that’s occurred at the VA, the VA invented the nicotine patch, the shingles vaccine, VA did the first liver transplant, first implantable pace maker.”

The Lake Nona VA Hospital includes 134 patient beds, access to primary care, dental care and mental health services. Congressman John Mica said the hospital is opening just in time. “We’re getting more and more veterans moving back into Florida, the economy is getting better, the aging population is growing, and we’re gonna have even greater needs to serve our veterans.," said Mica.

The new medical center was years in the making, and won’t be fully operational until the end of the year.