It's nearly two years overdue, but News 13 has learned the Lake Nona Veterans Administration Hospital is scheduled to open this month.

While addressing a conference of nurses at Disney's Coronado Springs resort at Thursday morning, the VA's new secretary, Bob McDonald, said the VA is in transition.

McDonald said improved health care and response time for vets are top concerns across the nation. In our area, it's getting the Lake Nona veteran's hospital open and fully functional.

After years of delays and cost overruns, some wondered if the facility would ever open. McDonald said there was reason for concern, but now he looks forward to seeing veterans getting the help they need at the hospital.

"Some of the buildings were overdesigned," McDonald said. "I mean, you look at the design of the facility at Lake Nona and while it is a beautiful facility, I wouldn't have designed it that way."

McDonald said the dates are not yet set in stone. He expects the hospital will have a grand opening in the next few weeks. He said his efforts since taking over the agency six months ago is to be as transparent as possible: to admit mistakes happened and to move forward with giving veterans top-notch care.

"Well, the No. 1 thing we have to do is train people in customer service," McDonald said. "How do we take care of our customers? The analogy that I like to use is how do we make sure we treat our veterans the way Disney treats its guests? That is the quality of care that we need. Second, we need to hire more doctors and more nurses."

McDonald said he is looking to hire thousands of health care professionals nationwide. He will be asking congress for more than $1.2 billion for the agency's next budget.