VA hospital opens doors on renovated veteran homes

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center held a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday morning for the renovated Patriots Harbor Community Living Center.

The $4.8-million project began 18 months ago with the goal of providing a home-like atmosphere for residents. The center includes 20 private resident rooms with ten different Charleston themes.

"We wanted to make sure this was a more home-like environment," said Scott Isaack, acting director for the VA Medical Center. "The old days of having nursing homes that looked like hospitals is something we wanted to change."

Some of Charleston's iconic features are portrayed throughout the fourth floor wing of the hospital. There are iron gates that visitors and patients walk through and individualized walkways with Rainbow Row colors.

Vietnam War veteran William Teeter says he's excited to move into the facility next week. He says he has always loved the center because it's the people that make it home.

"It's not like ordinary hospital care. It's not like anything you would ever think of as far as nursing home care. It's more like everybody is your buddy. Every body is your pal you got a friend on every corner," he said.

There are also other features to this experience.

Residents will be offered restaurant-style dining with personal hosts and menus for meal selection. There will be weekly specials like eggs made to order, a taco bar and a carving station.