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VA Black Hills Health Care System

VA Black Hills Future

Materials and Presentation from EIS Scoping Meetings:

Scoping Meeting Posters

Scoping Meeting Presentation

Scoping Meeting Information Sheet

Mail-in Public Comment Form



Click Here for options for submitting EIS scoping comments


 NEWS RELEASE - JUNE 10, 2014

Additional Public Scoping Meetings and Public Comment Period Extension: Environmental Impact Statement for Reconfiguration of VA Black Hills Health Care System

Seven additional scoping meetings have been scheduled by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to invite comments from Veterans, stakeholders, government agencies, and members of the public for an environmental impact statement (EIS) regarding the reconfiguration of the VA Black Hills Health Care System. VA is also extending the public comment period for EIS scoping from June 16, 2014 to August 16, 2014.

The EIS will evaluate the proposal to realign services and resources to provide high-quality, safe, accessible, and cost-effective care closer to where Veterans live. Six alternatives to implement the proposal, a supplemental re-use alternative, and no action will be assessed. Consultation on potential effects to historic resources, as required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, will be integrated into this EIS process. The VA requests input on the development of the alternatives, potential environmental impacts from any alternative, and suggestions to mitigate impacts.

The content and format of the public scoping meetings at each location will be the same.

HOT SPRINGS, SD: Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

                                 Mueller Center, Auditorium

                                 801 S. 6th Street, Hot Springs, SD 57747

 RAPID CITY, SD:    Thursday, June 12, 2014, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

                                 Best Western Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center, Sheridan Room

                                 2111 N. LaCrosse Street, Rapid City, SD 57701

 PINE RIDGE, SD:   Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

                                 Prairie Wind Casino Convention Center, Lakota Dome Room

                                 U.S. 18, Pine Ridge, SD 57770

 CHADRON, NE:      Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

                                 Chadron State College, Student Center Ballroom

                                 1000 Main Street, Chadron, NE 69337

 ALLIANCE, NE:       Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

                                 Alliance High School, Performing Arts Center

                                 1450 Box Butte Avenue, Alliance NE 69301

 SCOTTSBLUFF, NE:Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

                                 Gering Civic Center

                                 1050 M Street, Gering, NE 69341

 MISSION, SD:         Thursday, June 26, 2014, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

                                 Sinte Gleska University, Multipurpose facility/gym

                                 101 Antelope Circle, Mission, SD 57555

 PIERRE, SD:           Thursday, June 26, 2014, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

                                 Pierre Ramkota, Amphitheater II

                                 920 W Sioux Ave, Pierre, SD 57501

 NEWCASTLE, WY: Friday, June 27, 2014, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

                                 U.S. Forest Service Office

                                 1225 Washington Boulevard, Newcastle, WY 82701

Doors will open 30 minutes before each meeting so participants can review displays and obtain handouts and forms for written comments. Following a brief presentation, the public will have the opportunity to provide oral comments regarding the VA’s proposed reconfiguration of the Black Hills Health Care System. 

 Those who cannot attend or who prefer to provide written comments are encouraged to participate by submitting comments no later than August 16, 2014:

  • by email to vablackhillsfuture@va.gov
  • online at www.regulations.gov, Docket ID VA-2014-VACO-0002
  • Submit direct to EIS contractor at www.blackhillseis.com (with option to submit anonymously)
  • by mail to:       Staff Assistant to the Director

VA Black Hills Health Care System

113 Comanche Road

Fort Meade, SD 57741

 

NEWS RELEASE - May 21, 2014

VA Black Hills Health Care System (VA BHHCS) Announces Public Scoping Meetings: Environmental Impact Statement for Reconfiguration of VA Black Hills Health Care System

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will host three public scoping meetings to invite comments from Veterans, stakeholders, government agencies, and members of the public for an environmental impact statement (EIS) regarding the reconfiguration of the Black Hills Health Care System. The EIS will evaluate a range of alternatives, including no action, for realigning services and resources to provide high-quality, safe, accessible, and cost-effective care closer to where Veterans live. The VA requests input on the development of these alternatives, potential environmental impacts from any alternatives, and suggestions to mitigate impacts.
The content and format of the public scoping meetings at each location will be the same.

HOT SPRINGS:  Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Mueller Center, Auditorium
801 S. 6th Street, Hot Springs, SD 57747

RAPID CITY: Thursday, June 12, 2014, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Best Western Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center, Sheridan Room
2111 N. LaCrosse Street, Rapid City, SD 57701
 
Doors will open 30 minutes before each meeting so participants can review displays and obtain handouts and forms for written comments. A brief presentation will begin at 2:30 p.m. (Hot Springs only) and 6:30 p.m. (both locations), after which the public will have the opportunity to provide oral comments regarding the VA’s proposed realignment of the Black Hills Health Care System.

Those who cannot attend or who prefer to provide written comments are encouraged to participate by submitting comments to vablackhillsfuture@va.gov by June 26, 2014. This scoping process complies with the VA’s procedures for preparing an EIS under the National Environmental Policy Act.

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NEWS RELEASE - May 19, 2014

VA Black Hills Health Care System (VA BHHCS) announces the publication of the Notice of Intent in the Federal Register

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Black Hills Health Care System (BHHCS) announced today the publication of the Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register on Friday, May 16th, 2014. The NOI signaled the formal start of the Integrated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process regarding VA BHHCS’ proposal to reconfigure the services of VA BHHCS and the Hot Springs VA campus. 

The NOI specifies that all written comments on the proposal should be submitted by June 16th, 2014. VA will consider all comments received during the 30-day public comment period in determining the scope of the integrated EIS.

The methods to submit written comments on VA’s notice of intent to prepare an integrated EIS are through www.Regulations.gov or vablackhillsfuture@va.gov. Please refer to: ``VA BHHCS Notice of Intent to Prepare an Integrated EIS''.  Comments may also be submitted to the Staff Assistant to the Director, VA Black Hills Health Care System, 113 Comanche Rd., Fort Meade, SD 57741. Public meetings are being planned; notifications about the meetings dates, times, and locations will be published 14 days in advance of the meetings.

Veterans, their families, and community members should continue to use the VA BHHCS website www.blackhills.va.gov as a resource for information about the EIS process. 

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Letter Announcing EIS Contractor and VA Reengaging Consultation, from Stephen R. DiStasio, Director

Click Here to Read 

NEWS RELEASE - May 13, 2014

VA Black Hills Health Care System (BHHCS) announces contractor selection in Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Process

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today the award of the contract for the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement to Labat Environmental, Inc., a well-known consultant from Bellevue, Nebraska, regarding VA BHHCS’ proposal to reconfigure the services of VA BHHCS and the Hot Springs VA campus.  A Notice of Intent (NOI) will be published soon in the Federal Register signaling the formal start of the EIS process.

Labat Environmental will be responsible for all aspects of the EIS process to include integrating National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 consultation.  Preparation of the EIS will involve initial scoping, reinitiating consultation with interested parties, and incorporating public and governmental agency input throughout the process. It includes an analysis of potential environmental, cultural and historic, and socioeconomic effects of the VA BHHCS reconfiguration proposal and reasonable alternatives. The process will support robust public participation through meeting attendance and submitting comments. Throughout the 10 to 18 month long process, Veterans, their families, and community members can use the VA BHHCS website www.blackhills.va.gov as a resource for additional information on comment periods and public meetings.

VA BHHCS’ proposal is to enhance the delivery of high quality, safe and accessible care closer to Veterans’ homes throughout its service area, which includes western South Dakota, northwestern Nebraska and parts of eastern Wyoming and southwestern North Dakota.  The major components of the proposed plan involve purchasing more healthcare services closer to Veterans’ homes, strengthening partnerships with Indian Health Service and Tribal Health agencies, Department of Defense and private-sector health care facilities, and supporting the development of new VA health care facilities. If the proposed reconfiguration is approved it would include the transition of the existing Hot Springs VA hospital into a community-based outpatient clinic; a new clinic would be built in Hot Springs.  The existing residential rehabilitation treatment program in Hot Springs would relocate to Rapid City, SD and a new Rapid City community-based outpatient clinic would be opened.  Veterans who previously received inpatient care at the VA Hot Springs hospital would be able to receive care at local community hospitals or the Fort Meade VA hospital.  Veterans could also choose to continue to receive services at other VA hospitals.  There will be no lapse in services for the Veteran community.

# # #

For More Information please review the Labat Environmental Fact Sheet 

 

A letter to Veterans, from Stephen R. DiStasio, Director:

Click Here to Read 


 

NEWS RELEASE – JANUARY 7, 2014

 

VA Black Hills Health Care System to Initiate an Environmental Impact Statement Regarding the Proposal to Enhance and Maintain High Quality, Safe, and Accessible Care

 

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that the VA Black Hills Health Care System (VA BHHCS) will initiate an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as part of due diligence to evaluate the impact of the proposed reconfiguration of services in the VA BHHCS. The VA BHHCS’ proposal is to enhance the delivery of high quality, safe, and accessible care closer to Veterans’ homes throughout the VA BHHCS service area which includes western South Dakota, northwestern Nebraska, parts of eastern Wyoming, and southwestern North Dakota.

The EIS will include an evaluation of the impact on local communities and historic properties. Following completion of VA’s due diligence, the Secretary can make a final decision about the reconfiguration of VA BHHCS. NEPA, enacted in 1969, requires Federal agencies to identify and evaluate the potential impacts of a proposed action on the environment. This is accomplished by a thorough analysis of a range of potential alternatives and potentially affected resources, incorporating input from the public as well as other governmental agencies.

The EIS will begin within the next few months. This study is designed to include all interested people and organizations. Additional information regarding participation will be available at a later date. A Notice of Intent (NOI) signaling the formal start of the NEPA process will be published soon in the Federal Register.

The major components of the proposed reconfiguration plan involve: purchasing more healthcare services closer to Veterans’ homes, strengthening partnerships with Indian Health Service, Tribal Health agencies, Department of Defense, and private-sector health care facilities; and supporting the development of new VA health care facilities. If the proposed reconfiguration is approved, it would include the establishment of a community-based outpatient clinic in Hot Springs. The existing residential rehabilitation treatment program in Hot Springs would relocate to Rapid City, SD and the Rapid City community-based outpatient clinic would be expanded. Veterans who previously received inpatient care at the VA Hot Springs hospital would be able to receive VA-funded care in their local communities or at the Fort Meade VA hospital. Veterans could also choose to continue to receive services at other VA hospitals. There will be no lapse in services for the Veteran community.

This proposed reconfiguration was first presented to the public in December 2011 by VA Black Hills and VISN 23 Leadership. Since that date, VA officials have been communicating the proposal throughout South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming, gathering feedback, and continuing to develop the range of alternatives for analysis.

For more information, please review the EIS Fact Sheet.

 

Previous Updates:

Read the October 2 response letter and the October 24 response letter.

Original VA BHHCS Proposal for
Improvements and Reconfiguration of Services

Statement:

The Department of Veterans Affairs VA Black Hills Health Care System (VABHHCS) is committed to providing high-quality health care to the Veterans in western South Dakota, northwestern Nebraska and eastern Wyoming. We have conducted a thorough review of the services provided in this region and believe that improvements and reconfigurations are needed to increase the scope of health care services that will be provided to Veterans at points of care closer to their homes.

Summary:

VABHHCS proposes a reconfiguration of existing services and an expansion of the points of access to health care and maintain the quality of that care so as to better serve Veterans throughout the coverage area. The overall goal is to realign services and resources to provide high quality, safe, cost effective care closer to where Veterans live.

Proposed Actions:

At Hot Springs:
  • Reconfigure services by closing the inpatient and nursing home units, the operating rooms and urgent care facilities
    • These services would then be purchased at Fall River Hospital and other community hospitals closer to Veterans’ homes
  • Gradually reduce the number of VA employees in Hot Springs; no VA employees will lose their jobs
  • Build a new Community Based Outpatient Clinic with a dialysis unit either co-located with the Fall River Hospital or the State Veterans Home, or free-standing
    • Buy pharmacy, laboratory and x-ray services at Fall River Hospital
In Rapid City:
  • Build or lease a new clinic site that will increase our capacity for Veterans by 35% and add x-ray, lab, pharmacy and physical therapy departments
  • Build a new Domiciliary (now called a Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program - RRTP) to replace the existing Hot Springs facility; may be co-located with the new clinic
    • Veterans in this program will benefit from increased access to occupational training, state-of-the-art neighborhood-like facilities and access to job sites and other community services. A new RRTP would also be designed to accommodate more female Veterans and single-parent Veterans with children.
At Fort Meade:
  • Build new Operating Rooms to improve our ability to provide excellent surgical care with state of the art, technologically-advanced operating rooms and support facilities
  • Renovate the existing inpatient medicine/surgery unit, relocate the intensive care unit, and build a new sterile supplies processing unit.
Throughout our area of coverage:
  • Expand our partnerships with our community health care partners
    • Buy more inpatient and outpatient healthcare services in or near Veterans’ hometowns; reduce the distance Veterans travel to obtain services and reduce Veterans’ personal out-of-pocket expenses for travel
    • Expand the use of VA nurses as case management and care coordination resources
      • Veterans who already receive care at our VA clinics at Hot Springs, Rapid City or Fort Meade are being cared for by our Patient Aligned Care Teams members, including a primary care provider (a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant) and their support staff
      • Veterans who do not receive day-to-day care at one of our VA sites will have a VA nurse to help with referrals for VA and non-VA care and questions and concerns.

How this would be done:

  • Through a phased transition of services reaching from 1 – 5 years

Years 1 – 2

  • Buy inpatient, nursing home, and urgent care services at Fall River Hospital in Hot Springs and other community hospitals
  • Prepare for Domiciliary move to Rapid City; build new facility if approved
  • Build a new VA-staffed clinic in Hot Springs

Years 2 – 4

  • Occupy the new Hot Springs clinic
  • Buy inpatient, nursing home, urgent care services lab, pharmacy, X-ray from Fall River Hospital and other community hospitals

Year 5

  • Explore opportunity for repurposed Hot Springs buildings through public, private, and non-profit partnerships; maintain in compliance with National Landmark Status

Information on Historic Landmark

Additional Documents

Press Releases

  • VA Black Hills Health Care System to Initiate an Environmental Impact Statement Regarding the Proposal to Enhance and Maintain High Quality, Safe, and Accessible Care - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that the VA Black Hills Health Care System (VA BHHCS) will initiate an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as part of due diligence to evaluate the impact of the proposed reconfiguration of services in the VA BHHCS. The VA BHHCS’ proposal is to enhance the delivery of high quality, safe, and accessible care closer to Veterans’ homes throughout the VA BHHCS service area which includes western South Dakota, northwestern Nebraska, parts of eastern Wyoming, and southwestern North Dakota. (01/07/2014)
  • VA Releases Financial Analysis on Future Proposals - U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 23 and VA Black Hills Health Care System released the financial analysis on the proposed reconfiguration of health care services in western South Dakota and parts of Nebraska and Wyoming. (06/12/2012)
  • Historic Landmark Plaque Presented - Vidal Davila, Superintendent, Wind Cave National Park, presented the plaque on behalf of the National Park Service. Judy Johnson-Mekota, Deputy Director of the VA Midwest Health Care Network and Bill Baker, Acting Associate Director/Chief, Facilities Management of the VA Black Hills Health Care System accepted the award. (06/01/2012)

Additional VA BHHCS Future Pages

Please note: You may need to download a free reader to in order to view pdf files. You can get a free reader here.

Contact Us

Attn: Directors Office
113 Comanche Road
Fort Meade, SD 57747

Attn: Director's Office
500 North 5th Street
Hot Springs, SD 57747

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