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Inside the Orlando VA Medical Center

I recently had the opportunity to tour the Orlando VA Medical Center, located in Lake Nona’s Medical City, thanks to the Lake Nona Area Council. Public Affairs Specialist Michael Strickler led our group through the facility, noting its unique and impressive features along the way. What stood out most wasn’t just the size of the campus or the elaborate technology that will be used in the not-yet-open emergency department. It was the focus on patient-centered care that is the basis for all activities within the facility.

Here, single rooms are the standard, and each one is built to include three main zones. There is a family area with a couch that pulls into a bed, the patient area and the care provider area. The section for the care team includes windows so they can keep an eye on patients while giving them privacy at the same time. A no-lift system assists patients in moving from the bed to the bathroom so they don’t need to continuously call on the nursing staff, giving them complete freedom.

“If you have to be in the hospital, you should have the freedoms you earned,” Strickler says.

The Orlando VA Medical Center’s 65-acre campus includes a multi-specialty outpatient clinic, a 134-bed hospital, a 120-bed community living center, a 60-bed domiciliary, on-site chapel, and an emergency department that includes a decontamination area and helipad that can be used in national emergencies. The center serves an area of more than 100,000 patients in East Central Florida.

Fun Facts:

  • As you walk through the facility, the scenery will change every 30 to 50 feet.
  • Have questions while you’re there? Look for a sloped roof and you will find a point of information.
  • The projected budget was $665 million but it came in $49 million under budget.
  • That $49 million has been put toward the construction of an on-site simulation center that will focus on the use of technology to enhance workforce training and outcomes of care.
  • The facility offers hotel lodging, free overnight accommodations for patients with early surgery times who don’t live nearby.
  • A Central Florida Veterans Memorial Park on property lists the names of all Central Floridians who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country.

Public tours are conducted on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and must be scheduled in advance.

13800 Veterans Way
Orlando, FL 32837


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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