New Mental Health Center for the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System

PALO ALTO, CALIF., JUNE 28, 2012 – The Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS), along with general contractor McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. and architect , celebrated the grand opening of the new 90,000-square-foot Mental Health Center. A ceremonial ribbon-cutting featured the Honorable Dr. Robert Petzel, Under Secretary for Health, Veterans Affairs, as well as Congresswomen Zoe Lofgren and Anna Eshoo. The ceremony commemorated a much-needed, highly functional facility to house, support and heal the growing population of military personnel coping with mental health issues after serving in the armed services.

“This was an important project for the VAPAHCS that will allow us to consolidate all of our inpatient facilities under one roof,” said Jason Nietupski, director of planning and development, VAPAHCS. “In addition to seismic safety, the new Mental Health Center provides a modernized healing and therapeutic environment for our veteran patients to receive the best care and treatment that will greatly improve their quality of life.”

The Mental Health Center, located on the VA’s Palo Alto campus, will provide an array of inpatient and outpatient mental health services, as well as a research unit. The facility includes four units, each with 20 inpatient psychiatric beds, for a total of 80 beds. It also includes a separate mental health research and office pavilion, outdoor enclosed gardens and a utility building to service the complex. The project incorporates numerous features designed to enhance the treatment of veterans, including: patient access to the landscaped gardens; ample use of natural light; views to landscaped areas from all patient bedrooms; and color, texture and material palettes selected to aid the healing process.

Previously, the VAPAHCS functioned on two campuses in three separate buildings. The services are now consolidated in the Mental Health Center facility.

“We are thrilled to have been an integral part in building a such a wonderful facility to service the critical needs of our men and women in uniform,” saidRich Henry, McCarthy’s Northern Pacific Division president. “As the general contractor, we streamlined the project delivery with a special emphasis on allowing the VAPAHCS to continue operating during the entire construction process. It was an honor to come together with VA officials, veterans and political dignitaries to celebrate the grand opening of the new Mental Health Center.”

About McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
McCarthy Building Companies is the nation’s 8th largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2012), and the largest general building contractor in California (ENR California, August 2011). With more than 145 years of experience, McCarthy is one of the nation’s oldest, privately held construction firms and one of California’s premier commercial builders. Committed to the construction of high performance buildings, the company provides general contracting, construction management, program management and design/build services for healthcare, educational, parking structure, entertainment, retail, laboratory, biotechnical, microelectronic, and industrial facilities; office buildings; tenant interiors; mixed-use; multifamily residential and bridges and highways. In addition to Sacramento and San Francisco, McCarthy has offices in Newport Beach and San Diego, Calif.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Dallas; Houston; St. Louis and Atlanta. McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at

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