Topeka VA’s hospital to expand emergency room

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Topeka Veteran Affairs’ hospital is planning a $4.5 million modernization project this fall.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports internal emails it obtained show the project entails expanding the emergency department, including private patient bays, a central physician and nursing hub, and a dedicated waiting space for families.

Chief of staff Alexander Hallock says funds have been allocated for the two-year project.

The project comes as the hospital struggles with a staffing shortage. The emergency room was closed from January 2014 to late June 2015 because of the staffing shortage.

Last month, the eastern Kansas VA system initiated the Physicians Ambassador Program, which uses volunteer, retired doctors.

The women’s health department also is being upgraded through a grant. The project is expected to double services for female veterans.

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