A major study from the Department of Veterans Affairs recommends closing the Fort Wayne hospital and keeping only an outpatient clinic in the city.
The study includes several recommendations for the facility that will be considered by the federal government. It highlighted facilities in all of Indiana, parts of Ohio, and Eastern Michigan.
Officials provided a current map of where facilities are located today and what they offer. They also provided a map of what future facilities and services would look like, depending on which recommendations are accepted.
As far as Fort Wayne’s facility is concerned, officials are recommending one of three actions:
- Relocating all in-patient services from the Fort Wayne Hospital to community providers
- Establishing a new community-based outpatient clinic for all outpatient services that exist there now
- Or closing the Fort Wayne hospital
Alan Schutte, the Commander of the American Legion Post 82, says this hospital needs to stay. He says he and about 12 of his veterans from his post use the hospital monthly.
“There are a ton of vets around here that use that hospital,” said Alan Schutte, the Commander of the American Legion Post 82. “I’m surprised their study said it’s a good thing to close it. I think it’s very high usage. There are people coming from three states to use this VA facility. I’d say look you have a ton of vets in this area that need that facility and we should try and keep it open.”
Federal hospital officials say none of the recommendations will be approved right away, and major changes won’t take place for years, in some cases, 10 to 20 years. Throughout the year, the commission will hold public hearings, visit VA facilities and listen to the veterans.