The private non-profit group in Iowa that wants to open an osteopathic medical school at the Hot Springs VA Medical Center and do cutting-edge research on stem cells and regenerative medicine at the center has changed the proposed name of the school from Battle Mountain College to Minnekahta College.
The Veterans National Recovery Center offered its plan last month as part of the scoping and public comment portion of an Environmental Impact Statement on the VA plan to close the Hot Springs Center and replace it with a outpatient clinic, new facilities in Rapid City, and greater contracting with outside providers.
The VNRC wants its plan…dubbed the Medical Miracle…to be added to the EIS as another alternative to the VA proposal. The private contractor doing the study expects to bring a draft version to public comment later this year and the final version early next year.
VNRC President Bob Krause says the Medical Miracle would creates a support platform to keep the Hot Springs VA open by improving the recruitment and training of VA staff, bringing new medical therapies into the VA healthcare system, and making the Hot Springs complex a national specialty center.
Krause says the proposed medical school, research institute, and regenerative clinic would be private non-profit entities funded initially by the public sector and charitable contributions, but self-supporting after that through tuition, research grants, contracts, and an endowed foundation.
The non-profits would help with some of the overhead costs of the Hot Springs facility while a long-term lease with the VA for part of the campus would provide another source of operating funds for the VA Medical Center.