Colorado may see the construction of a new Veterans Administration hospital.
In a press conference while visiting the Mountain Regional VA Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado Senator Cory Gardner said, “It is critically important that we build a new VA hospital in Colorado Springs.”
In a later statement, the Senator added: “I firmly believe one of the ways we can achieve increased access to services, especially with the projections for rapid growth in the veteran population in El Paso County, is through a VA hospital in Colorado Springs.”
The Veterans Administration currently operates four outpatient clinics in Colorado. In the spring of 2018 the department completed a massive $1.8 billion medical center in Aurora.
That center, roughly 80 miles to the north of Colorado Springs, entails a driving distance nearly twice as long as the recommended distance between a veteran’s residence and the nearest VA medical facility.
A new Colorado Springs facility would additionally serve the estimated 83,000 veterans living in surrounding El Paso County, comprising around 15% of the county’s population.
Colorado’s overall veteran population has increased by around 70% over the course of the last decade, increasing the patient load at the state’s existing VA medical centers and clinics.
Gardner said he intends to introduce legislation is the Senate calling for the construction of a new VA center in Colorado Springs.
A timeline for when the facility may be built has not been released.
The Veterans Health Administration currently operates just over 170 medical centers nationally, as well as nearly 1,100 outpatient clinics.
By Garry Boulard
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