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VA Hospital Opens to Patients | News

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VA Hospital Opens to Patients

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- The quarter of a million veterans who live in Nevada have a new hospital.

The $600 million North Las Vegas VA Medical Center opened Tuesday.

Veterans and their families said the hospital makes their lives easier. Instead of driving to several out-of-state clinics hundreds of miles away, they now have a state-of-the-art facility in Las Vegas.

Veteran Ned Lagrotta said he moved to Las Vegas from Los Angeles when his family realized how much easier it would be to get medical care now that the Veterans Affairs hospital is taking patients.

"They've outshone Los Angeles by leaps and bounds," he said.

It's a common theme at the VA medical center: Veterans relieved they can receive the care they need under one roof.

"Instead of going to this place here and that place there you only have to go to one place," veteran William Esguera said.

The VA hospital is the first to open in the country since 1995.

John Bright, the medical center's director, said he is proud to be helping veterans.

"I arrived here in 2001 and that's the first thing I heard," he said. "We should've had a hospital 15 years ago."

"Thank God for our veterans," Bright said. "This is payment for what they've done for our freedom."

The medical center includes 90 inpatient beds, a 120-bed nursing home and an outpatient care center.