Sunday, November 8, 2015

Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Lake Nona 'For Those Who Served'

VA Medical Center photo by Michael Pelzer  MJ on side
By Michael J Morris
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, who was re-elected to another term in November 2015,, will now be able to continue championing more projects to diversity the economy adding to his city's increasing reputation as an ideal  place to live, work, play, and do business.. 

However, don't think for a moment that tourism, is being neglected as new projects are in progress.But I'll save them for another day.

On my recent trip to Orlando I had the opportunity to visit 'the Medical City" which was an empty space not that long ago. 

As we drove past the new Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Lake Nona, I noticed a sign out front "For Those Who Served" , I immediately decided to share a bit about it and the other components on the 65-acre campus in southeast Orange County.

 Michael Pelzer, CEO of was showing me around the area.

Opened in the Spring of 2015, according to its web site, "The 1.2 million square foot facility cost $600 million to construct.  The medical center will have a large multispecialty outpatient clinic, 134-inpatient beds, 120-community living center beds, a 60-bed domiciliary and administrative and support services."

I was delighted to see the project for those who served their nation in its armed forces. As regular readers know, I have a special place in my heart for them as my father Flying Officer James E Morris was killed on active service in the RCAF during World War II. It is also appropriate as on November 11 it is Remembrance Day in Canada and Veterans Day in the United States.

 It  is co-located with the University of Central Florida College of Medicine, the Burnham Institute, the University of Florida Academic and Research Center, and Nemours Children’s Hospital in the area known as the "Medical City," the web site says. All the buildings are now functional, and the entire campus is really impressive.

Much more is happening in the immediate area, and I will share news later on those projects --- gives me another reason to return to Orlando,

In an interview with Orlando magazine, Mayor Dyer, first elected in 2003, explained how it's all happening: "It's about being able to create a vision and bring a lot of people into, then move forward." Just look at the players in the Medical City project -- Veterans Affairs, two universities and a children's hospital.

The mayor has been real big on creating a "culture of collaboration" bringing together all levels of government, business people, educational institutions, the medical profession, and philanthropists, and of course the citizens of Orlando who have re-elected him.
The Dr Phillips Centre for the Performing Arts now open, was another major project, but he also has championed a sports and entertainment complex, the Medical City and Creative Village -- and other major projects. On my regular visits to Orlando, I am always impressed with the "culture of collaboration" that makes things happen. 
The Orlando attitude could be adapted by any community.

Thanks to Michael Pelzer for taking the photo of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Lake Nona, and for the tour..  My email is

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