HOT SPRINGS, S.D. ( KOTA TV ) All is not lost in Hot Springs after the Veterans Administration and Secretary Bob McDonald announced recently that some VA services will move to Rapid City.
"Secretary McDonald has decided to go with VA Black Hills preferred alternative." Director of CA Black Hills Health Care Systems, Sandra Horsman said, "We will have a community based outpatient facility here on the hot springs campus with a dialysis unit. The tree call centers we have here on campus will remain in hot springs as well."
The call centers include the national call center that is just now standing up, the pharmacy call center as well as the VA Black Hills call center which services Sioux Falls and Fargo, North Dakota.
In addition, the residential rehab treatment program will eventually move to Rapid City and be co-located with an enhanced community based outpatient clinic. Although the news is not want some supporters of the VA in Hot Springs wanted to hear, there is room for optimism.
"It's a new opportunity, not necessarily again what we were hoping for but it is a great opportunity for people in the community and also existing current VA workers to continue to work in Hot Springs in a different capacity." Cindy Donnell, Mayor of Hot Springs said, "This gives our people in the area and those already working at the VA a place to work. I also brings in more people from outside our area to Hot Springs to work."
Donnell says many veterans will still get some of the care they need in Hot Springs. Many are current residents and Donnell doesn't expect too many to move.
"My initial reaction was one, I'm finally glad we have a decision because indecision is very stressful on a community because we don't know what we are dealing with." Donnell said, " Now we know what we are dealing with."