Bay Pines to Conduct Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for New Mental Health Center

BAY PINES, FL – The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new Mental Health Center located at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center on Friday, September 22, 2017. The event will take place directly outside the main entrance of the center (building 111) from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Public tours of the new building will be available from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Tours will being from the main lobby. Light refreshments will be served.  Veterans, their families and friends, and members of the community are invited and encouraged to attend.  To access and view parking directions and a campus map, click here.

The Keynote speaker for the ceremony will be Steve Young, Deputy Under Secretary for Health Operations and Management, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Mr. Young provides executive leadership and direction for the Office of Patient Centered Care, Office of the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Operations and Management for Administrative Operations, Office of the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Operations and Management for Clinical Operations, Office of the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Access and 18 Veterans Integrated Service Network Offices. Read his full bio here.

In addition, local and regional VA leaders from the VA Sunshine Healthcare Network (VISN 8) and Bay Pines VA Healthcare System will provide remarks.  The ceremony will also include musical performances, and traditional military tributes.

“The activation of the new Mental Health Center at the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center is an example of VA’s nationwide modernization priorities, demonstrates significant progress as it relates to our strategic objective to transform delivery of care, and is a major accomplishment for Bay Pines, and more importantly, the more than 108,000 Veterans who seek care from the healthcare system each year,” said Suzanne M. Klinker, Director, Bay Pines VAHCS.

“The opening of this beautiful new facility will allow our dedicated mental health professionals the opportunity to deliver state-of-the-art, integrated, and Veteran-centered mental health services to America’s heroes in a convenient and accessible location,” she said.

The new Mental Health Center is approximately 180,000 gross square feet – 155,000 of which is net usable square feet. When completely activated, the facility will bring together the majority of mental health programs and services together into one location. The first phase of activation will occur on Monday, September 25, when the outpatient mental health clinic located on the first floor opens to serve Veterans. The second and third floors of the building will open in the months following the activation of the first floor. Features of the new building include natural lighting in patient care areas to promote a healing environment and to reduce energy costs, and various solar, water, and electricity efficiency systems. View photographs of the new building here: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3.

Parking for the ceremony will be available nearby. Shuttles will provide transportation for guests from parking lots to the National Cemetery. The venue is handicapped accessible. A sign language interpreter will be available for the hearing impaired. The ceremony will be held rain or shine. For further information about the event, please call 727-398-9531 or email

About Jeff Cavanagh

Jeff Cavanagh spent his freshman year at St. Petersburg Junior College back in the early 70s before enlisting in the United States Navy. Soon after, he attended Jacksonville University on a Navy ROTC scholarship. After college, he was commissioned and became a qualified Surface Warfare Officer spending the next 22 years honing his skills as a ship-handler and expert recruiter before retiring in 1994. Jeff expresses a deep sense of pride in St. Petersburg College due to connections that go back many years. His father, Tom Cavanagh, was a career Air Force fighter pilot and combat veteran who taught Geography and Western Civilization at St. Petersburg Junior College in the 60’s and 70’s.

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