The new Veterans Health Administration Butler Health Care Center (HCC) will begin serving the outpatient needs of nearly 20,000 western Pennsylvania veterans when it opens tomorrow.

Designed to support the VA’s unique patient-centered community care model, the new 168,000-square-foot, $68 million facility will fill a broad spectrum of health needs.

The new HCC houses primary care, specialty care, behavioral health, dental, diagnostic, laboratory, pathology, radiology, podiatry, optometry, pharmacy, physical rehabilitation, women’s health and more. 

Staff from Stantec, including architects; interior designers; mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers; and landscape architects, were part of a public-private partnership team with Cambridge Healthcare Solutions PA of Vienna, Va., and Mascaro Construction Co., Pittsburgh.

The team operated under a tight delivery schedule: occupancy within 31 months from the date of the contract signing. Due to the team’s experience and an efficient design and construction process, construction ultimately was completed in May 2017, seven months ahead of VA Butler’s deadline. 

“It has been an honor for our team to have played a part in the project of assisting the VA on this much-needed health care facility,” says John Reddick, Stantec architect and project manager. “Some design-construction team members are veterans or we certainly have veterans in our families, so we were highly motivated to design and construct a modern, welcoming place of healing that respects the history and service of those it serves." 

The interior design of the VA Butler HCC takes its cue from the area’s farmland and manufacturing heritage. Distinctive curved ceilings reflect the lush rolling landscape, while a grand metal and glass staircase honors the area’s industrial strength.

Metal, glass and smooth wood accents throughout balance the manufactured furnishings with nature and establish an open, airy feel. 

“The overall interior design was developed to be a clean, modern facility that also respects the history and service of those it serves,” says Julianne Rogozewicz, interior designer, Stantec.  

She says designers, with input from the VA, decided on a neutral stone-look porcelain tile in the main corridor to identify it as a natural pathway and kept the flooring simple so that the graphics could be the focus of the interior. 

The artwork was repurposed from the previous VA health care facility and complements the images on the waiting room walls in the patient care areas.

Other key features include:

A 14-by-30-foot American flag digital mural high in the lobby and visible from both floors of the two-story building

  • A multipurpose room for ceremonies and other large gatherings
  • A wellness center shared by staff and vets
  • Large hydrotherapy pool and patient lift for those with spinal cord injuries
  • A physical therapy/occupational therapy area with outdoor walking surfaces of varying materials
  • A daycare area
  • Certification as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver by the U.S. Green Building Council

The new building houses nine patient aligned care team (PACT) areas. Each PACT includes exams rooms with two doors — patients enter one door and health care providers use the other. Each PACT, including one exclusively for women, includes its own waiting area.

In March, the building was formally named the Abie Abraham VA Clinic, after a World War II veteran. Following a ribbon cutting on Aug. 29, the new HCC opens its doors to patients Sept. 5.

The VA will lease the facility from Cambridge Healthcare for a 20-year term.

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