By Heather Heiney | 21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The 21st Medical Group, located at both Peterson and Schriever Air Force Bases in Colorado, is scheduled for two military construction projects that will streamline and expand its current facilities.
The Schriever AFB construction project broke ground Sept. 5. This project will add 14,000 square feet and renovate 4,000 square feet of the existing facility. The current building was constructed in 2004 with a capacity for 26 staff members. This construction will more than double the size of the clinic, consolidate all services into one facility, and provide easier access to care for military members, dependents, and retirees. There is no expected impact to patient care for the duration of this project. Medical personnel will continue to use the current facility while the addition is being built and will then transition into the new facility when the existing portion undergoes its renovation.
“We have expanded our services and doubled the staff supporting the mission at Schriever Air Force Base over the years. This military construction is needed to meet this expanded presence,” said Lt. Col. Jana Weiner, 21st Medical Squadron commander. “We’re going to modernize and it will collocate all our services in one building instead of being in multiple buildings.”
Capt. Tyler Maxwell, 21st Medical Group medical logistics flight commander, added that the construction at Schriever has the potential to save Airmen hours of time. Currently, Airmen who need physical therapy have limited access to services in a temporary facility or have to travel to a different base to receive care, but with the new expanded facility physical therapy services will be available for them right on base.
This project is estimated to cost $12 million and is scheduled to be completed in May 2021.
Maxwell said that while there was a ground breaking at Schriever, the project at Peterson will be more of a “wall breaking” because the existing facility will be renovated versus adding more square footage. The renovation will focus on streamlining operations for medical personnel and enhancing overall access to care for patients. This will include moving the pharmacy to a different location within the facility and doubling its size, providing a less restrictive space and giving pharmacy staff the ability to maximize operational throughput and capacity.
“It just makes us way more efficient as an organization,” Maxwell said. “As a result, we are better able to meet our strategic priority of optimizing and modernizing our infrastructure, which results in a higher quality of care for our patients and a better workplace for our staff.”
Setup of temporary facilities at Peterson is scheduled to begin in November and renovations are set to begin in February. The project is estimated to cost $31 million and is scheduled to be completed in December 2021.
In addition to construction and renovation, a separate project also in the works is adding WiFi to the clinic. This will enhance the patient experience and allow beneficiaries to book appointments and check prescriptions on smart phones while they wait. These projects complement the new dental clinic that opened on Peterson in December 2018.
“All of these upgrades will streamline operations and improve our facilities for the long term,” said Col. Chris Vaughn, 21st Medical Group commander. “The medical service continuously modernizes infrastructure based on need and advances in health care. We’re excited for the benefit this will have on providing medically ready forces and enhancing the patient experience.”