After meeting November 24 with the Director of the Black Hills VA Healthcare System, the Iowa charity involved with the “Medical Miracle” proposal for the Battle Mountain VA Hospital complex in Hot Springs continues to be optimistic.
“We think our chances for victory with the “Medical Miracle” proposal are good,” said Bob Krause, president of the Veterans National Recovery Center (VNRC), after VNRC Communications Director Vicky Krause met Director Steve Distasio and his Environmental Impact Coordinator in Fort Meade.
Vicky Krause, Communications Director for the Veterans National Recovery Center indicated that Distasio said he was particularly interested in the skin regeneration element of the proposal, and was interested in the overall “Medical Miracle” proposal enough to read the 112 page document twice.
Ms. Krause also related that Distasio stated that that the Historic Preservation element of the EIS was going to be very important to the final statement. She also stated that Distasio felt that the release of the draft Environmental Impact statement may be delayed from the initial February projection for a draft until later in the year.
“I was quite happy to have met with Director Distasio,” said Ms. Krause. “He appreciated the our civility and the fact that we all recognize that the veteran comes first, and that all at the table at this difficult time are sincere in their desire to help veterans. The VNRC pledges that we intend to work closely with the VA to get it right for veterans.”
The Medical Miracle proposal is dependent on the continued operation of the Battle Mountain Hospital by the VA. It proposes to save the hospital from closure by creating an envelope of activities and services that increase its viability. This includes the establishment of a research institute, a college, a specialty clinic for skin regeneration utilizing a special Swiss stem cell technology, and a foundation. The proposal was released by Bob Krause, and Dr. Don Swift of Yankton. Swift is one of the founders of Lewis and Clark Specialty Hospital in Yankton. He also owns a clinic and is a South Dakota pioneer in the use of regenerative medicine in joint healing. Krause is a longtime veteran activist.
“I feel that our proposal is the only proposal to meet the challenges put forth in the Environmental Impact Statement Concept statement,” said Krause.
“I am excited that we can improve recruitment, training and quality of medical professionals for the hospital, while making Hot Springs a national specialty center for regenerative medicine, and providing long run funding to aid in the maintenance of the beautiful old buildings on campus. No other group has a proposal to do this, and that is why I think we will win,” concluded Krause.