Brecksville VA Hospital
|Brecksville VA Hospital|
|Building Style||Cottage Plan|
In 1956 construction began on a 999-bed, $23 million hospital in Brecksville for the treatment of psychiatric/neurological patients. The Brecksville V.A. Hospital opened in 1961. The 102-acre "campus" on Brecksville Road included 16 buildings and offered such amenities as a swimming pool, a 6-lane bowling alley, a baseball field, a gym, a theater, a chapel, and at one time, a fishing pond. Hospital staff navigated the corridors connecting the buildings in electric carts called widgets. The facility became nationally recognized for its role in pioneering treatment of gambling addiction, substance abuse and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In 1971, after operating as separate facilities, each with its own budget and director, the Brecksville and Wade Park hospitals merged. Surgical patients in Brecksville were transferred to Wade Park; neurological/psychiatric patients from Wade Park were transferred to Brecksville. In 1999, the Wade Park facility was renamed the Louis Stokes Cleveland V.A. Medical Center in honor of the former U.S. Congressman.
A decision was made in 2004 to consolidate all patient care at the Stokes Cleveland V.A. Medical Center, saving the V.A. about $23 million per year. In preparation for the consolidation, Stokes Cleveland was renovated and an additional 222-bed tower, administrative office building, a 122-bed homeless domicile and a parking garage were constructed on the campus. A formal dedication of the updated facilities was held on May 16, 2011. The Brecksville facility was decommissioned at a ceremony on September 5, 2011, the 50th anniversary of its opening day.