What buildings help the nation's largest healthcare provider care for its patients?

Providing care for more than 9 million Veterans each year, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the nation’s largest integrated health care system. Throughout its history, the VHA has been a healthcare leader, fostering advancements that include the first cardiac pacemaker, new prosthetics technology, and research collaborations to support innovative treatments for traumatic brain injuries and cancer.

The VHA relies on its more than 1,200 facilities throughout the United States to support delivery of health care services.  Building projects are diverse and include inpatient, long-term care, spinal injury care, mental and behavioral health among a range of outpatient clinics, support spaces, infrastructure and security.

For the past 13 years, AE Works has supported the VHA on projects in 26 states, totaling over $500 million in construction. This recent Behavioral Health and Primary Care Clinic incorporates best practices following the pandemic to support patient care on the Lebanon, PA campus. 

Location:
Veterans Health Administration, Lebanon, PA

Size:
20,000-SF Addition
Estimated $10 million

Services:
Architecture
Interior Design
Planning
Building Systems Engineering 
Security Risk Management

Year / Status:
2020
Design phase

Our Approach

This new outpatient clinic builds on AE Works’ history on the Lebanon, PA campus that spans campus-wide electrical upgrades, multi-building security improvements, restoration of historic building facades, and outpatient clinics.  Applying this first-hand knowledge, AE Works supported the VHA with the design of a new behavioral health and primary care clinic. Multiple studies of single and two-story building configurations were developed to explore how to best integrate with the existing campus.

Making patients feel comfortable upon entering the space was an important focus of this project. Responding to these needs, the design focuses on clear circulation and a natural flow throughout the space. Daylighting, color palette, acoustics and building materials work together to further embody a calming environment.

Impact

Immediately visible from the main South Lincoln Avenue entrance, the new clinic is positioned prominently within the central campus hub to enable access and circulation throughout the site. The new addition integrates seamlessly with the facades of the campus’ historic buildings while bringing a modern appearance. Considering the long-term needs of the VA, the addition was designed to support a future two-story vertical expansion.

Designed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the building solution explores how physical space can help with infection control to stop or slow the spread of a pandemic. Design and operational strategies were considered in the overall planning of this clinic, which includes new infection control strategies and evolution in circulation and entrance layout.

“AE Works has been put in a difficult situation with the onset of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and quality remains at a high standard.”