ORLANDO — Congressman John Mica hosted a ceremony here March 9, transferring the vacant 120-bed former VA community living center at the Lake Baldwin VA medical complex from the federal government to the State of Florida. The building, dedicated in 1999, was converted to clinical and office use approximately two years ago, when a newer VA community living center was opened at the VA’s new Lake Nona campus.
“Expanding our network of award-winning state veterans’ nursing homes to include the Lake Baldwin facility is an important step in serving our Central Florida veterans,” said FDVA Executive Director Mike Prendergast. “This has been a joint initiative from the beginning, and we are very appreciative of the leadership of Congressman Mica and Orlando VA Medical Center Director Tim Liezert in creating this opportunity to provide additional skilled-nursing care to our state’s veterans.”
FDVA currently operates six 120-bed skilled nursing facilities and one 150-bed assisted living facility in Florida. A new skilled nursing facility in St. Lucie County is also in the planning stages.
No timeline has been set for reopening the Lake Baldwin facility to local area veterans, as inspections, federal and state budgeting and potential renovations must be considered, according to FDVA spokesperson Steve Murray. A formal inspection of the former CLC will take place later this year.
Once renovated and operational, the skilled nursing facility will create approximately 150 health care jobs in Central Florida.
“Florida’s veteran population is the third largest in the nation, and FDVA plays a critical role in advocating for our veterans,” said Prendergast. “We are very pleased about this future expansion.”