Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Public Statements

Letter to James B. Peake, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Re: Possibility of Converting Former Hospital into Spring Valley Veterans Facility

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Durbin, Obama Ask VA to Investigate Possibility of Converting Former Hospital into Spring Valley Veterans Facility

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Barack Obama (D-IL) today asked the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Dr. James Peake, to investigate the possibility of converting the St. Margaret's Hospital building in Spring Valley, Illinois into a Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). Durbin first voiced his support for the plan after touring the facility last month.

In today's letter, the Illinois senators stressed the importance of having a VA medical center in the Illinois Valley: "Today, too many Illinois veterans drive too far to receive care at a VA facility. Veterans who live in the Illinois Valley, which stretches across the north-central part of the state, have to drive as far as 100 miles to reach Hines VAMC in Chicago or even 140 miles to reach the Iowa City VAMC in Iowa. A VA medical facility in Spring Valley would allow veterans living in and around Rockford, the Quad Cities, Bloomington-Normal, and Peoria to avoid Chicago area congestion and the additional expense and time of travel."

In January, St. Margaret's Hospital officials announced plans to build a $90 million replacement hospital in Spring Valley rather than renovating their current facility to meet modern health care and technology standards. It is anticipated that the new St. Margaret's facility will be completed in 2011. Currently, there are five VA medical centers in Illinois, which are located in Chicago, Danville, Hines, Marion and North Chicago. Additionally, there are 22 VA outpatient clinics throughout the state. In fiscal year 2007, Illinois VA medical centers handled more than 23,000 inpatient care admissions and the VA outpatient clinics handled more than 2 million outpatient visits.

Text of the letter appears below:

September 17, 2008

The Honorable James B. Peake, M.D.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20420

Dear Secretary Peake:

I write to encourage the Veterans Affairs Department to explore the possibility of converting the St. Margaret's Hospital building in Spring Valley, Illinois, into a Department of Veterans' Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). The building's current owners are relocating St. Margaret Hospital to a new, nearby facility and are interested in transferring the facility to the VA.

The owners of St. Margaret's recognize the importance of the VA's mission of serving our veterans and are willing to negotiate the sale of the building in that spirit.

Today, too many Illinois veterans drive too far to receive care at a VA facility. Veterans who live in the Illinois Valley, which stretches across the north-central part of the state, have to drive as far as 100 miles to reach Hines VAMC in Chicago or even 140 miles to reach the Iowa City VAMC in Iowa. A VA medical facility in Spring Valley would allow veterans living in and around Rockford, the Quad Cities, Bloomington-Normal, and Peoria to avoid Chicago area congestion and the additional expense and time of travel.

Thank you for your attention to this request. The Spring Valley community is eager for the VA to seriously consider the possibility of adapting the St. Margaret's Hospital building for use as a Veterans' Affairs health care facility.

Sincerely,
Dick Durbin
U.S. Senator


Source:
Skip to top
Back to top