Senator Thune tours new outpatient VA clinic in Rapid City

Senator John Thune stopped by to tour the facility to see how veterans receive care.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 7:06 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Rapid City’s new community-based outpatient VA is operational. Senator John Thune stopped by to tour the facility to see how the new clinic is helping veterans.

Studies gauging the Veteran’s Affairs quality of care generally place South Dakota in the top five, mostly due to availability of care. Part of that quality of care is about how fast patients can access it and the new community-based outpatient clinic in Rapid City helps to reduce that wait simply by being close to patients.

“We don’t want to have our veterans having to travel all over the state to have to come to the VA for one appointment and then run to a different facility to see another. To have them be able to come to one location to get their care and the totality of that care was really the mission,” said Tom Johnson, the public affairs officer for VA Black Hills. finds that there are about 7,000 veterans in the Rapid City area making a VA facility necessary.

“So this facility obviously gets a lot of usage and so that’s what it’s here for is to take care of the vets who have taken care of us. We owe them a great deal of gratitude and seeing the work that’s being done here and how it’s helping and serving our veteran community is really important,” said Senator John Thune.

Not only is the facility close to many of the people who need it, but the equipment inside is on par with the best available.

“The technology is state of the art and second to none, and the way that they’re able to care for veterans here across a wide range of treatment options really is pretty remarkable if you think about it,” said Thune.

Thune says he thinks there isn’t any more we can do to improve veteran health care in the area, but wanted to emphasize that the results we do see are thanks to the hard work of the employees of the VA.