Long Beach : VA Hospital Gets Funds to Equip Spinal Injury Center

The Veterans Administration Medical Center in Long Beach has received a long-delayed $2.3 million from the federal government to complete a new spinal injury center that has lain dormant since October. "We are actively releasing the purchase orders for the equipment earmarked for the new complex," said Lewis Stout, a hospital spokesman.

The 140,000-square-foot center, called the Ernest Bors Spinal Injury Center, was dedicated 10 months ago after a two-year construction project that cost $18 million. But an unanticipated deficit in the Veterans Administration budget in Washington, D.C., caused a long delay in release of the "activation" funds required to complete the project. Among the items missing were the telephone system, nurse-call devices, patient monitoring equipment and television sets.

Because of the time required to purchase and install the equipment under rules that call for competitive bidding, Stout said, the first patients will not enter the new facility until January.

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