Tulsa must avoid VA hospital construction pitfalls Orlando suffered

Congratulations to the veterans and health care workers of Tulsa, Oklahoma, on news that they will be getting a new VA hospital. It has the potential to be a game changer for the bravest members of your community.

Just make sure it gets built without all of the mistakes my hometown of Orlando had.

The construction of the Lake Nona VA Medial Center was a nightmare that delayed its completion by years.

That is not an exaggeration. It missed it’s estimated timeframe by years.

This is because of the poor management by the Department Of Veterans Affairs and greedy private contractors.

Somewhere along the line they started eating each other, and eventually complaints over compensation took over. Both sides immediately started pointing fingers at each other. It was a mess.

We had our members of Congress shouting at officials on Capitol Hill. There still wasn’t any movement. Just two sloths arguing over scraps.

In the meanwhile, our only existing facility at the time was being overran with veterans needing care. In the mornings there wasn’t an empty seat in the lab area of the Lake Baldwin VA Clinic. Goodness. I shutter to think about how that arrangement would have worked during this pandemic we’re all currently experiencing.

I urge all of you to be vigilant and make sure both the contractors involved in the project and the VA don’t get into a fight without an end.

And after your facility is built, make sure it’s administrators are doing the work and actually seeing veterans.

Sadly, that’s a problem we’re still experiencing in Orlando today.

But good luck, Tulsa. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

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