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VA Butler Healthcare getting new assisted-living center

Work on a new $16 million assisted-living center at VA Butler Healthcare has started and will be finished in two years.

The Community Living Center, as the nursing home is known, is located at the 88-acre Veterans Administration Healthcare site three miles north of Butler. It will have 60 beds.

"We are extremely pleased with the design concepts," said VA Butler Healthcare's director Patricia Nealon. "The new facility will enable us to better meet the needs of our veterans now and in the future."

The single-level building replaces two floors of the neighboring Butler VA Hospital and will connect to the hospital's rehabilitation therapy center.

"This makes it much easier and convenient to run -- having the whole facility on one floor and having it connected to other buildings," said Paula McCarl, a spokeswoman for VA Butler Healthcare. "The new facility also allows residents to have single rooms. Many patients have to share rooms (now)."

The building was designed by Radelet McCarthy, a Downtown architectural firm. The construction contract was awarded to Jack Gibson Construction of Warren, Ohio.

VA Butler Healthcare provides primary care, behavioral health, specialized extended care, physical rehabilitation medicine and residential substance abuse treatment for more than 18,000 veterans in Western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.

In addition to nursing home care beds, the Butler hospital has 66 for beds for medical and surgical care.

VA Butler Healthcare operates four community-based outpatient clinics for veterans in Clarion, Lawrence, Armstrong and Mercer counties.

Its outpatient programs generate about 125,000 visits per year.

VA Butler Healthcare has applied for funding for the new nursing home for each of the past three years.

"We are competing not only against other VA facilities in our own network but others across the country. So, it can take some time to have a request approved," McCarl said.

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