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Staffing process to begin for Puller Veterans Care Center

Construction on the Puller Veterans Care Center at Vint Hill, close to Gainesville but located in neighboring Fauquier County, is proceeding on time and on budget, according to Steven J. Combs, Chief Deputy Commissioner for the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, who is overseeing the project, aided by two project managers, one of whom is on site every day. 

Soon, Combs said, the Department of Veterans Services will begin the process of recruiting and staffing the Puller Center which is expected to open in 2022 for short-term and long-term care. Capacity is 128 patients.

There have already been numerous inquiries about employment opportunities, he added. Top administrative staff and medical personnel will be hired first, according to Combs.

About 40 percent of the 225-member medical staff will include Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs).
After the top administrative managers and medical staff are hired, positions in Environmental Services, the Dietary Department, Pharmacy and Social Teams will be filled.

A variety of skillsets will be needed, and there will be a lot of opportunities, according to Combs. He noted that staffing always precedes the arrival of veterans needing care.

The cost of building and equipping the Puller Veterans Care Center at Vint Hill is about $73 million, with funding from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at $34 million and Virginia state bond process of about $37 million, Combs said.

Whiting Turner, construction company for the Vint Hill site, locked in the cost of construction materials with its suppliers before its bid was submitted, so rising construction costs have not affected this project, according to Combs.

In addition to staffing the Puller Veterans Care Center, Combs is also supervising a similar veterans care facility being built in the Tidewater area of Virginia. Both centers are due to open in 2022.

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