(SD)-VA Sec Impressed With Fort Meade VA Hospital
STURGIS, S.D. (AP) - U-S Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie visited the Black Hills Health Care System's Fort Meade hospital on Wednesday, part of a whirlwind tour of VA facilities in four states in five days.
Wilke marveled at the reach of Fort Meade, which serves the largest geographical area in the VA system outside of Alaska with patients from Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota as well as South Dakota.
Wilkie also talked about an initiative launched this summer that lets veterans seek care at non-VA facilities, praising it as giving veterans the option of not having to travel.
Republican U-S Senator Mike Rounds, who met with Wilkie prior to the secretary's tour Wednesday, said the region's veterans would prefer to use VA medical facilities, but the distances involved make it challenging.
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