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LRMC wants VA clinic on campus

Hospital by land for expansion even without clinicq

POSTED: February 4, 2009 11:41 a.m.
Courier file photo/

Liberty Regional Medical Center is on Highway 196 West in Hinesville, near the highway's intersection with Gen. Screven Way.

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The Liberty County Hospital Authority recently bought about an acre of land for $260,000 in hopes of luring a proposed VA clinic to the Liberty Regional Medical Center campus.
There is no assurance the Department of Veterans Affairs will go along with the local plans. But the VA has been authorized by Congress to establish the clinic, which will be operated by the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, S.C. A LRMC official, however, says that even without the clinic, the hospital will eventually need the land.
The VA plans to rent office/clinic space and is reopening the lease bidding it originally advertised in September, according to representative Tonya Lobbestael.
“We’re going to have to send out a revised solicitation that will be a completely different bid and it’s really because there’s so much growth in the veteran population,” she said.
The Charleston, S.C.-based center already operates four outpatient clinics, including one in Savannah.
“We were originally planning for a 10,000 square foot building and it looks like we’re going to need to double the size of that clinic,” Lobbestael said.  
Led by their facilities strategic planner, the clinic uses a formula to determine the size of new clinics.
“This is the right time to make sure these decisions are made correctly so we’re thankful we got a good handle on the data,” Lobbestael said.
“It’s really important to us to size this [Hinesville] clinic appropriately to meet the need of veteran patients there.”
No hard date has been set for the reopening the bidding but Lobbestael said “it should be, hopefully, fairly soon.”
“Because we have not opened that facility yet, we’re really at a prime juncture to make sure we can do the very best we can to plan not only for today but for many years to come,” Lobbestael said.
The authority purchased about an acre, right next
to the hospital on the cor-ner of Highway 196 and Schoolhouse Road from Allen Dasher of Savan-
nah. The deed was filed Jan. 7.
Land development is
still to be determined, according to LRMC Chief Financial Officer Sam Johnson.
“We purchased [the land] just to have in reserve because the need for our services are growing,” Johnson said. “Even if we don’t establish a VA clinic there, there are other services that we’ll probably have to offer.”
 

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