Photos by Stephanie Rivera.
Officials with the VA Long Beach Healthcare System and Paralyzed Veterans of America gathered Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the opening of the medical center’s first long-term care facility for veterans with spinal cord injuries west of the Mississippi River.
“We can finally say Long Beach has long-term care,” said Dr. Sophia Chun, service chief at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System. “And honestly we could not have this day if it wasn't with our partner, with PVA, who had persistently for 10 years plus, advocated for veterans here.”
The Spinal Cord Injury Long Term Care Unit will provide permanent housing for 12 residents, with highly specialized care and assistance 24 hours a day, according to the hospital.
In addition, residents will have access to high-tech equipment, including wheelchair-accessible bathrooms and monitors that respond to voice, touch or pneumatic commands.
“This is just another step in what I think will be a long history of providing care to our SCI veterans,” VA Long Beach Healthcare System Director Michael Fisher said.
According to Chun, San Diego is next in creating a long-term care center for veterans.