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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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Bay Pines to Ribbon Cut New Mental Health Center

Photo of the Bay Pines Mental Health Center

The new Mental Health Center is approximately 180,000 gross square feet – 155,000 of which is net usable square feet. When completely activated, the facility will bring together the majority of mental health programs and services together into one location.

By Bay Pines VAHCS Office of Public Affairs
Thursday, September 21, 2017

BAY PINES, FL - The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new Mental Health Center located at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center tomorrow, Friday, September 22, 2017. The event will take place directly outside the main entrance of the center (building 111) from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.  

Public tours of the new building will be available from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Tours will begin from the main lobby. Light refreshments will be served.  Veterans, their families and friends, and members of the community are invited to attend.  Attendees are encouraged to wear purple or teal attire in recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. To access and view parking directions and a campus map, click here.

The Keynote speaker for the ceremony will be Dr. Miguel Lapuz, Acting Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Health, Veterans Health Administration. Prior to being appointed to his current role, Dr. Lapuz served as the Network Director for the VA Sunshine Healthcare Network (VISN 8) where he oversaw health care delivery for a system of eight VA medical centers, 60 primary care and specialty outpatient clinics, eight nursing homes, and five domiciliaries located in Florida, South Georgia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has also served as a VA medical center director, chief of staff, and service chief over the course of his VA career.

Other featured speakers include U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, 13th Congressional District of Florida, Acting VISN 8 Network Director Timothy Liezert, and Bay Pines VA Healthcare System Director Suzanne M. Klinker.  The ceremony will also include traditional military tributes and a musical performance by national recording artist Sarah Marince.

“The activation of the new Mental Health Center at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center is an example of VA’s nationwide modernization priorities, demonstrates significant progress as it relates to our strategic objective to transform delivery of care, and is a major accomplishment for Bay Pines, and more importantly, the more than 108,000 Veterans who seek care from the healthcare system each year,” said Suzanne M. Klinker, Director, Bay Pines VAHCS.

“The opening of this beautiful new facility will allow our dedicated mental health professionals the opportunity to deliver state-of-the-art, integrated, and Veteran-centered mental health services to America’s heroes in a convenient and accessible location,” she said.

The new Mental Health Center is approximately 180,000 gross square feet – 155,000 of which is net usable square feet. When completely activated, the facility will bring together the majority of mental health programs and services together into one location. The first phase of activation will occur on Monday, September 25, when the outpatient mental health clinic located on the first floor opens to serve Veterans. The second and third floors of the building will open in the months following the activation of the first floor.

Features of the new building include natural lighting in patient care areas to promote a healing environment and to reduce energy costs, and various solar, water, and electricity efficiency systems. The building is also hurricane hardened and in compliance with Miami-Dade High Velocity Hurricane Zone codes – the industry standard. View photographs of the new building here: Image 1Image 2Image 3.

Parking for the ceremony will be available nearby. Shuttles will provide transportation for guests from parking lots to the Mental Health Center. The venue is handicapped accessible. A sign language interpreter will be available for the hearing impaired. The ceremony will be held rain or shine. For further information about the event, please call 727-398-9531 or email

About the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

The Bay Pines VAHCS is one of the nation’s leading VA healthcare systems, employing more than 4,000 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The organization is the fifth busiest VA health care system in the country in terms of patients served and is accredited by The Joint Commission, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and several other nationally recognized accrediting organizations. The Bay Pines VAHCS operates nine facilities to include the main medical center located in Bay Pines and outpatient clinics located in Bradenton, Cape Coral, Naples, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Sebring. To learn more, please visit, like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at


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