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Regional VA teams up with CHI Health for new veterans community living center

Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 6:34 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It’s a first of its kind partnership aimed at bringing veterans the best possible care: The VA is partnering with CHI Health to add a new place for veterans to get care short-term rehabilitation and memory care in the Omaha-metro.

It will be located in Papillion, a central location for many veterans.

The VA says there are nearly 20 thousand veterans living in the Omaha-metro. This new 11 million dollar community living center will cater to them with 34 rooms spanning two floors.

“The veterans community living center here at CHI Midlands will benefit those that have served this country by establishing a place close to home where they can receive short-stay rehab care, skilled nursing care, and memory care,” said dr cliff Robertson, CHI Health CEO.

The VA says the Papillion location will serve as a halfway point for veterans living in Omaha and Lincoln. Right now, the closest community living center is in Grand Island.

“What it will do is provide an opportunity to be right here in their own community, close to all their loved ones, which is their support system. And getting the care they deserve from two great partners,” said Don Burman, Nebraska-Western Iowa Veteran Affairs director.

Nebraska -Western Iowa VA director Don Burman says this is the first time he has ever heard of a state VA collaborating with a private partner. He expects other states to follow Nebraska’s lead in the coming years.

The level of care veterans get here will be the same as at the Grand Island VA location. It’s the proximity to home and family that will make all the difference.

“We have to out-preform in just about every area when we compare ourselves to our community hospital. The bar is set high because we have some great care in this community.”

This will save veterans and their families nearly four hours of drive time, round trip. It’s set to open in mid-December.

“These services are desperately needed in our community,” said Dr. David Williams, VA chief of staff.

CHI Health is also working to add a healing garden outside of the hospital so veterans and their families have a space of their own. That project is set to be complete by July.

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