The Veterans Administration just released their March 2022 “VA Recommendations to the ASSET AND INFRASTRUCTURE REVIEW COMMISSION” report.  If you go to page 49 of the report, they write about the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 10 Michigan Erie Market.  This market “serves Veterans in the lower peninsula of Michigan and northern Ohio” including Battle Creek Michigan.

In the report, they state that the “recommendation includes justification for the proposed action, the results of the cost benefit analysis”.   Under the heading of Facility Overview they state:

The Battle Creek VAMC was built in 1931 on 213.0 acres. The main hospital was most recently renovated in 1993. The infrastructure does not meet current design standards 56 for modern health care, and historic buildings make it costly to maintain. FCA deficiencies are approximately $90.9M, and annual operations and maintenance costs are an estimated $13.7M.

When you advance to page 53 you will find the Recommendation and Justification section.  Under that section you will find the following:

“Modernize and realign the Battle Creek VAMC by:

1.1. Constructing a new VAMC with inpatient mental health, CLC, and RRTP in the vicinity of Wyoming, Michigan…

1.2. Relocating all inpatient and outpatient services currently provided at the Battle Creek VAMC to current or future VA facilities or community providers and discontinuing those services at the existing Battle Creek VAMC

1.3. Establishing a strategic collaboration with a community provider to deliver outpatient surgical services: Currently, the Battle Creek VAMC provides no outpatient surgical services.

1.4. Closing the Battle Creek VAMC: With the new replacement VAMC in the vicinity of Wyoming/Grand Rapids, the existing Battle Creek VAMC will close."

If we move on to page 55 we find the following under “3. Modernize and realign outpatient facilities in the market by”:

"3.1. Establishing a new MS CBOC in the vicinity of Kalamazoo, Michigan: With the proposed closure of the Battle Creek VAMC, outpatient services will be relocated to a new MS CBOC in the vicinity of Kalamazoo, Michigan (Kalamazoo County). This will expand access to primary care, outpatient mental health, outpatient specialty care, and urgent care services for Veterans in the most sustainable location in the Kalamazoo area."

You can read the entire report for the Veterans Integrated Services Networks (VISN) Regional section 10 online.  You can read the entire report for all 23 VISN Regional sections online also.

I find it very interesting that under the heading “Modernize and realign the Battle Creek VAMC” their recommendation is to close it.

Remember this is at the recommendation stage right now, this will take years to go through the slow government process.  It will be up to our Congressmen and Senators to fight for Battle Creek and keep the VA hospital there.

More to come.

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