By Ms. Bianca Sowders (IMCOM)September 30, 2016
ANSBACH, Germany (Sept. 30, 2016) -- After more than two years in the making, the new Ansbach Health and Dental Clinic at Urlas Community received its official blessing today with a festive ribbon cutting ceremony.
The ground breaking ceremony for the construction project took place in March 2014 in the presence of many host nation and U.S. Army officials. It cost about than $32 million and resulted in a modern combined facility housing primary care, optometry services, hearing conservation, dental services, a pharmacy, physical therapy, laboratory, behavioral health therapy, social work, TRICARE and radiology on more than 51,000 square feet.
The new building is replacing the old and much smaller health and dental clinic building at Katterbach Kaserne, and gathers the various services that were once scattered over the whole garrison.
Col. David G. Richardson, commander of U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Bavaria (MEDDAC Bavaria) and one of the guest speakers at the ribbon cutting, praised the work of the many health care providers and professionals on site.
"Today's ribbon cutting is the culmination of many milestones, not only in construction of this great new multi-million dollar facility, but in the continual advancements and commitment the Ansbach Health Clinic staff has towards the health and welfare of our Ansbach community patients. It's important to remember that this new building -- impressive and modern as it is -- is of no use to the community without the dedicated health care professionals who walk into it each day and fulfill the BMEDDAC Mission, providing responsive, reliable, quality health services, influencing health and wellness, improving readiness, and saving the lives of those we are privileged to serve."
He also commended the Ansbach Health Clinic to be well prepared for the arrival of more rotational Soldiers in the coming year, "essentially writing Army Medicine doctrine for how to best care for these forces as the Army moves to a rotational model in Europe."
Lt. Col. Aristotle Vaseliades, commander of the former and the new Health Clinic Ansbach, emphasized the importance of keeping Soldiers and their Families healthy; he described the health care providers' mission as vital since they help "keep helicopters off the ground" and therefore contribute to the overall mission of keeping the Army ready.
The representative of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, David Pang, told the audience about the many energy efficient aspects of the new building, like the green roof that provides insulation and creates a habitat for wildlife, the integrated natural lighting, low volume water faucets and a low energy landscaping.
Looking at the new construction from the viewpoint of an architect, Klaus Gerstendorff from the Bavarian State Construction Office in Nürnberg declared the building in compliance with the "trinity of the three virtues of architecture: solidness, usefulness and beauty."
The county commissioner of Ansbach, Dr. Jürgen Ludwig, whose responsibilities also include chairing the board of directors of the local clinic association ANregiomed, offered the continued partnership and cooperation to U.S. health care providers and their patients.
The official ceremony concluded with a ribbon cutting conducted by the guests of honor.