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ERMC Public Affairs Office
DSN 371-3317/3049
Tel. 06221-17-3317/3049
ermc-pao@amedd.army.mil
Advisory No. 20101012-1


Oct. 12, 2010

Vicenza’s new health service center a symbol of health in growing community

CASERMA EDERLE, Italy – An enhanced health service center has opened here to serve beneficiaries in the Vicenza area.

A crowd of about 100 Italian and U.S. military and civilian community members - including Gen. Carter Ham, U.S. Army Europe commanding general, and other senior military leaders - applauded after a yellow ribbon was snipped Oct. 7 to formally dedicate the new health center.

“This is more than a health center. This is the heart and soul, the sweat and tears of the most dedicated community in the world,” said Col. Kimberly K. Armstrong, commander of the Vicenza health service center.

The $47.5 million, nearly 142,000 square foot health and dental clinic supports the Southern European Task Force, U.S. Army Africa, the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team and other U.S. military beneficiaries. It includes a consolidated health and dental clinic that brings together under one roof some services previously housed in separate 1960s-era buildings. They include social work services, early development intervention, birthing and dental services.

During comments at the ceremony, Brig. Gen. Nadja Y. West, commanding general of the Europe Regional Medical Command, said the new building “demonstrates the unwavering commitment we have to providing care (our beneficiaries) deserve.”

The Vicenza health care beneficiary population is expected to triple as parts of the 173rd Airborne Brigade relocate from posts in Germany over the coming years.

Armstrong called the health center “a true community effort that resulted from staff and patient voices.

“The result is a facility that reflects our desire to create a healing environment,” she said.

Visitors and patients are greeted at the main door by a statue of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing, donated by the Vicenza Retiree Association. Plenty of natural light, a large central courtyard, marble tiles hand-painted by staff or community members and colorful frescos of local villas that capture the spirit of Italy and brighten the building.

A joint project led by the U.S. Army Health Facility Planning Agency in partnership with Department of Defense and Army organizations, the health service center is a symbol of health in the growing military community. It also symbolizes the trend in Army medicine to make patients feel at home and comfortable about their healthcare.

“A patient-friendly environment has been proven to have a positive effect on the overall healing process,” said Frank Varano, Health Facilities Planning Agency construction officer for Vicenza and Katterbach and Vilseck in Germany. Varano said the Vicenza health center is the result of a six year design, planning and construction process that replaces several “old, undersized and inefficient” buildings with a world-class energy and environmentally friendly facility.

“I love the new facility,” said Suzi Boydston, an audiology technician who works there. “Aesthetically, it is beautiful. There are lots of Italian touches in the architecture and the artwork. When I walk through the doors in the morning, I feel charged up, happy and ready to accomplish my day’s work,” she added.

Sgt. 1st Class John Johnston, from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 173rd Airborne Brigade liked the expanded number of dental suites.

"The new building is beautiful,” he said. “I had a dental appointment and they showed me how many chairs they have now. I think they'll be able to get more Soldiers in and out.”

The combination of artful design and quality care adds value and builds trust in Army medicine.

“We want people who come here to see the beauty around them and know they are cared for,” she said. “Health care is not about buildings, it is about people.”

Statue

Benincaso

Benincaso Ham

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Courtyard

Dental Suite
West
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