Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
Myrtle Beach Expansion Project
The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center has been serving the Myrtle Beach area with a local outpatient clinic since 1998. In January of 2005, an expansion project was completed that tripled the size of the clinic to 12,800 square feet. And now, the Medical Center has been approved for another expansion bringing the approximate net usable square footage to 84,000.
Since 2005, the number of Veterans that the Myrtle Beach VA Clinic serves has doubled. Today the clinic serves more than 12,000 Veteran patients. The current space can no longer be stretched to accommodate the growing patient load, which means the expansion project is crucial to the clinic's continued ability to fully serve Veterans in this area. Dr. Ginia Pierre, Lead Physician for the Myrtle Beach VA Outpatient Clinic states, "We are consistently seeing a rise in the number of patients that we serve. An expansion means that we can hire more doctors, nurses and pertinent personnel to serve the growth."
The new leased space will serve the Veterans of Georgetown, Horry and surrounding counties with expanded services in primary care, mental health, tele-mental health, radiology, audiology, optometry, podiatry, additional outpatient medical and surgical specialty care, compensation and pension, physical therapy, and women's health.
This major lease project was funded as a part of the Veteran's Choice Act. The Veteran's Choice Act was passed into law in 2014 and provides $16.4 billion for the newly-established Veterans Choice Fund. The Choice Act authorized 27 major medical facility leases in 18 states and Puerto Rico. The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center was the recipient of two of those major medical facility leases: a new clinical annex in North Charleston and the new expanded space in Myrtle Beach.
The Medical Center is in the beginning stages of identifying a potential site for the new outpatient clinic. The award to the developer is expected to happen in fiscal year 2017 and the projected activation date is estimated to occur in late fiscal year 2020 or early fiscal year 2021.