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Downsizing Staff at Hot Springs VA a Concern [SD]

Sen. Mike Rounds

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June 27, 2016

Today, I sent a letter to Janet Murphy, Director of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Midwest Health Care Network seeking answers as to why the VA Black Hills Health Care System continues to downsize its staff at the Hot Springs Medical Clinic, despite current law forbidding such action. Since 2012, 33 key clinical positions have either been transferred or eliminated at the Hot Springs campus. These staff reductions have dramatically reduced care and services to veterans, placed undue burden and stress on remaining staff and potentially added risk to veterans.

Given the final Hot Springs Environmental Impact Statement has not been released and that no formal decision has been made by the VA regarding the realignment of services in the Black Hills Health Care System, these staffing shortages are deeply concerning. It has led to further distrust among veterans and Hot Springs stakeholders that the VA has proceeded with a predetermined decision to vacate the Hot Springs facility.  This is a time sensitive situation for our veterans; I requested that a response be sent no later than July 27, 2016. I look forward to receiving a response to my questions.

To read my letter to Director Murphy or learn more about my work for our veterans, visit