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Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Syracuse), Spinal Cord Injury Tower Addition & Garage Expansion


Syracuse, NY


130,000 gsf (New); 35,000 gsf (Renovation)


  • AIA CNY Chapter Design Award, Institutional Category, 2013


  • Nadaskay and Kopelson Architects - Hospital Consultant

The VA’s nationwide assessment identified the need for more specialized spinal cord injury (SCI) care in Upstate New York. One of only 25 SCI VA centers nationwide, Syracuse was chosen for a new SCI Center because of its central location and expertise in neurosurgical and orthopedic services.

Highly specific to the SCI program, and related medical needs, the following services are provided:

  • A 7-room operating suite with General O.R.’s, Cystoscopy, Ocular surgery, and Vascular O.R. with a Siemens Artis Zee ceiling-mounted imaging unit

  • Endoscopy – GI - UGI

  • Infusion, Dialysis, Phlebotomy

  • Central Sterilization

  • Same-Day Surgery

Those technical facilities are supported by exam rooms, physicians’ offices, associated auxiliary spaces, and expansion of dining and administrative spaces; however, SCI patients need personalized support and unique rehabilitation systems. Spinal cord patients are not only injured during military service, but also in civilian vehicular accidents. For such life-changing events, integral individualized support services are provided:

  • Therapy pool and hydrotherapy services

  • Physical therapy, with daily living areas to teach and promote physical independence

  • Urodynamics

  • Prosthetics

  • Respiratory therapy

  • Sleep lab

A large outdoor patio on the roof of the addition, what the VA calls a "therapy terrace", is equipped with ramps and various walking surfaces where patients can practice navigating their wheelchairs before they go home. There are plants and flowers, picnic tables and a gas barbecue grill for use by patients and their families. The entire SCI facility provides a wholistic approach to serving the needs of these disabled veterans and QPK is pleased to have been a part of its creation.

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