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Veterans' mental health needs are central to Seattle VA's design

Healthcare Facilities

Veterans' mental health needs are central to Seattle VA's design

Called the Seattle Veterans Affairs Mental Health and Research Building, the structure is meant to enhance patient care.


By Jonathan Barnes, Contributing Editor | July 2, 2019

All photos: Ben Benschneider

Seattle’s newest Veterans Affairs facility is green, clean, and patient-focused. Which is, of course, the idea behind this Stantec-designed facility.

The new research building for Seattle Veterans Affairs, a $121.6 million structure with 220,000 sf of space, is meant to help with physical and mental needs of some of the 110,000 veterans availing themselves of the one of the VA’s nine area facilities.

 

 

Called the Seattle Veterans Affairs Mental Health and Research Building, the structure is meant to enhance patient care. It provides outpatient mental health care, including dialectical behavior therapy, family and group psychotherapy, medication management, and other services. Dialectical behavioral therapy helps identify and change negative thinking patterns and engenders positive changes in behavior.

Collecting research programs at one location also was the point of the new facility. The move brings together programs in a space designed for each research unit. Members of each unit had input on the design. Now, the fully modern equipment and facilities will enable researchers to expand the limits of medicine in areas such as PTSD, Alzheimer’s Disease, lower limb prosthetic design and engineering, oncology, and suicide prevention.

 

See Also: New Biomedical Research Center Facility at Northwestern University

 

Seattle is the VA’s 5th largest program, and its recent facility construction is a structural affirmation of the VA’s promise “to advance change and positively disrupt the way America delivers healthcare.”

Home to a prosthetic lab that includes motion analysis, custom fabrication and fitting capabilities, the new facility means, practically speaking, that patients can be fitted for and receive their prosthetic at the same site. With an eye for energy efficiency, the building was designed to LEED standards.

 

 

For those aware of it, the environmentally friendly design could have its own calming effect. The building has natural ventilation, passive systems, solar shading, green roofs, rainwater harvesting, access to public and staff outdoor spaces, and also interior gardens.

 

 

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