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2017-01-11 / More News

VA Secretary makes decision on Hot Springs VA

HOT SPRINGS –– Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Robert McDonald, has made his decision regarding the proposed reconfiguration of VA Black Hills Health Care System.

Secretary McDonald has elected to move forward with VA’s preferred alternative that was evaluated in the Final Environmental Impact Statement.

VA’s preferred alternative includes renovating building 12 at Hot Springs for outpatient services and dialysis. The VA BHHCS Call Center and VISN Call Center will also remain on the campus. The Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (RRTP) will move to Rapid City and be collocated with a new outpatient clinic. VA will increase access for Veterans to use community health care providers and reduce long-distance travel for Veterans to receive their healthcare.

The Hot Springs campus will continue to host the new VHA National Call Center. “With today’s decision in hand, I am honored to lead this health care system from the uncertainty of the past into the future” says VA Black Hills Health Care System Director Sandra Horsman. “Veteran and community feedback was so important throughout this lengthy process and as a result our preferred alternative was changed to reflect a desire to maintain a presence on the historic Hot Springs campus.” The design and implementation of the preferred alternative is expected to be a multi-year effort. Current appropriations law restricts funds available to implement the reconfiguration. VA leaders are working with Congress to address these restrictions.

Because of its proximity to the Pine Ridge Reservation the VA facility in Hot Springs was the main source of medical treatment for Indian veterans. The domiciliary was often filled with Indian veterans during the winter months. The closing of the hospital is a heavy blow to the Indian veterans.

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