The Sacramento Veterans Affairs Medical Center dedicated its new emergency room at Mather Tuesday.
The new facility increases the hospital's emergency room space by 8,000 square feet and adds about a dozen beds.
"All of our patients are going to have their own personalized rooms," says Tara Ricks, who is with the VA. "Before it was like an open bay. Now we're going to have state-of-the-art equipment, personalized rooms for our patients, we'll have a designated women's health area, before we didn't have that. We'll also have a specialized advanced, infection-control area."
Curt Knapp is a Vietnam Vet. He was giving tours of a retired Hughes Helicopter that was parked outside the hospital as part of the celebration. He says he is pleased with the emergency room expansion.
"I've never had to use it, fortunately," says Knapp. "But, if I ever have an emergency, this is the place to go."
There was also a tribute at the hospital Tuesday to Vietnam War veterans. A plaque was dedicated at in their honor.
Sidney Rundle is a veteran, thankful for the expansion and for the number of people who turned out to pay tribute to the veterans.
"I'm very appreciative of what we have here," says Rundle. "It's gotten better and better and better. Us vets are very fortunate. We don't have to drive all the way to Martinez and all that. But yeah, it's great."
The new part of the hospital will open next week.
In three months, ambulances in Sacramento County will, for the first time, offer veterans the option of delivery to the VA hospital.
The expansion cost nearly $8 million.