THE CARES COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION

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The Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services commission recommends:

  • Closure of Walla Walla's VA hospital and where appropriate contracting for acute inpatient medicine and psychiatry care and nursing home care in the Walla Walla geographic area.
  • Outpatient services would be maintained and moved off the VA campus after inpatient services are relocated.
  • Before action takes place, the VA must ensure there are viable alternatives in the community and that it has quality criteria for procedures for contracting and monitoring service delivery, as well as the availability of trained staff to negotiate cost-effective contracts.

ABOUT THE LOCAL VA HOSPITAL

The following is about the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Walla Walla.

  • SERVICE AREA: More than 15 counties in Southeastern Washington, Northeastern Oregon and Central Idaho.
  • NUMBER OF BEDS: 30 in the nursing home; five, acute medicine; nine, psychiatry; 22 in residential programs, such as substance abuse treatment.
  • EMPLOYMENT: According to the most recent figures from the Port of Walla Walla, it is the county's 13th largest employer with 322 full-time workers, 43 part-time employees and a payroll between $21 million and $24 million.
  • ANNUAL BUDGET: $35 million.
  • BUILDINGS: 28 with more than 300,000 square feet.

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