User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

31° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options




[0] My Saved Articles
Back to all news


Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


VA Proposes Closing Hot Springs Hospital

December 12, 2011, 6:06 PM by Derek Olson

VA Proposes Closing Hot Springs Hospital
HOT SPRINGS, SD - The VA has announced a list of proposals that will effectively close the Veterans Administration hospital in Hot Springs.

For many veterans, access to local VA health care was what drew them to the town of Hot Springs.

"That was my major reason for coming to this area, so that I had access to health care," disabled veteran Rhonda Kocuriek said.

"That was a real bonus to moving here, to have quality care close by," disabled veteran Ed Harvey said.

But a list of proposals released Monday afternoon by the Department of Veteran's Affairs would move nearly all of those services to other Black Hills facilities or private providers. And that's not sitting well with area veterans.

"Some of that money that was earmarked for the veterans will go to pay taxes and overhead and other things for the private facility rather than be addressed to veteran care," Harvey said.

And the move will affect more than just the veterans in Hot Springs.

"Pine Ridge, Nebraska, Wyoming, they count on this VA being there for them, for their health needs," veteran's spouse Mary Wilson said.

"By making them drive the extra distance to Rapid City, or up to Ft. Meade, is a real hardship for these people," Harvey said.

It could also have an adverse effect on the local community.

"I'm just afraid that if we lose the VA, this town is going to shrivel up," Kocuriek said.

"Every time you lose some sort of service at the VA, something else closes up. We're the veterans' town. We depend on the VA and the state home to keep our citizens employed and for the revenue," Wilson said.

But ultimately, the biggest concern is how these changes could impact those who sacrificed for their country.
"You can't ignore those people. They've served their country and they deserve our best in caring for them," Harvey said.

The VA is holding a series of town hall meetings across the Black Hills to receive feedback from the public on the proposals. The first is Monday night in Hot Springs at 6 p.m. mountain time at the Mueller Center Theatre.

For more information on the VA's proposal or the time and location of the town hall meetings, visit the Black Hills VA's website.

Previous Story

Next Story




View healthbeat

You may also like

Coloring Books Make A Comeback For Adults

11/30/2015 6:08 PM

Coloring is a way to slow down in the midst of this fast-paced, technology-seeking world we all live in.

Full Story | Watch
The Pros And Cons Of Probiotics

11/25/2015 6:15 PM

"I think people are becoming more aware of the extent of beneficial bacteria in their GI tract," Butler said.

Full Story | Watch
Changes With DAKOTACARE Policies

12/1/2015 6:09 PM

Exactly two months ago, DAKOTACARE informed policy holders it will not be offering plans through the federal Marketplace in 2016.  The company bl...

Full Story | Watch
Ways To Increase Energy Levels This Holiday Season

11/27/2015 7:00 PM

Avera Dietician Carri Lucas says there are some simple ways to boost your energy this holiday season.

Full Story | Watch
Good Posture For A Healthier Look

11/26/2015 6:20 PM

Even at the gym, you can find people looking down at their cell phones.

Full Story | Watch