Since an August Congressional Hearing in Hot Springs, South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem has been fighting with all her might to keep the facility open for the veterans of the tri-state area.
Noem says still, after three months, she is waiting for some answers.
Noem says the biggest struggle she has faced was comparing the number of Veterans that the Black Hills Health Care System say they serve to the actual number of Veterans that are currently being served. Noem believes that the BHHCS were trying to manipulate the numbers.
That change in leadership may be coming sooner than later. Steve DiStasio, Director of the VA Black Hills Health Care System, has announced that he will be retiring effective Feb. 28, 2015. Noem says she is thankful and glad that DiStasio is leaving the facility. Noem adds that they just have too many people in the VA and some jobs need to be replaced as well as having more accountability brought into the system.
Noem has recently invited United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald out to Hot Springs to tour the facility. Noem says he has not responded to the invite.
The Department of Veterans Affairs will be holding several area open houses coming up this week on the proposed realignment of services out of Hot Springs. Noem hopes that there will be a lot of people who show up and voice their support in keeping the Hot Springs facility open.