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VA Black Hills Health Care System

VA Black Hills Future

Status Update Open Houses:

Six open houses are planned for an update on the environmental impact statement (EIS) process regarding the reconfiguration of the VA 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 open houses will provide handouts and poster displays on the EIS process, schedule, and alternatives. Updated information will be included regarding consultation required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act on potential effects to historic resources, which is integrated into this EIS process. 

No public testimony will be recorded at these informal events.

The Posters and Handout used at the Status Update Open Houses can be downloaded here:

Information Sheet
EIS Timeline Poster EIS Scoping Summary Poster Purpose and Need Poster Alternatives Poster
Potential Services Poster Environmental Resources Poster Section 106 Integration Poster Proposed Area of Potential Effect Poster

Open House Schedule:

RAPID CITY, SD:            Monday, November 17, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

                                                      Best Western Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center, Lincoln Room

                                                      2111 N. LaCrosse Street, Rapid City, SD

HOT SPRINGS, SD:        Tuesday, November 18, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

                                                      Mueller Civic Center, Annex

                                                      801 S. 6th Street, Hot Springs, SD

PINE RIDGE, SD:            Wednesday, November 19, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

                                                      Billy Mills Hall

                                                      U.S. 18, Pine Ridge, SD

CHADRON, NE:               Wednesday, November 19, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

                                                      American Legion Hall

                                                      123 Bordeaux Street, Chadron, NE

ALLIANCE, NE:                Thursday, November 20, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.


                                                      402 Box Butte Ave., Alliance, NE

SCOTTSBLUFF, NE:         Thursday, November 20, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

                                                      John N. Harms Advanced Technology Center

                                                      2620 College Park, Scottsbluff, NE

Original VA BHHCS Proposal for
Improvements and Reconfiguration of Services


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.


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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