On November 30, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald visited the Hot Springs VA facility and hosted a town hall meeting with area residents and veterans, reports KOTA News and the Rapid City Journal. Numerous veterans from the region aired concerns about moving the VA hospital from Hot Springs to Rapid City. Secretary McDonald conveyed that the decision on moving the facility was not yet final, and that the concerns of veterans would still be taken into consideration.
The final Environmental Impact Statement regarding the reconfiguration of the veterans’ health facilities was released last month. The statement recommended the creation of a rehabilitation treatment program in Rapid City while retaining an outpatient clinic in Hot Springs. While 200-300 jobs may be lost with the closure of the hospital in Hot Springs, a Veterans Health Administration’s Member Services National Call Center has been approved to be located in two of the Battle Mountain buildings and will create over 100 jobs. The center is scheduled to open before the end of the year.
To read more about the Hot Springs VA, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.