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BIG SPRING VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER
BIG SPRING VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MEDICAL CENTER. The Big Spring Veterans Administration Medical Center was established in 1950 as the Veterans Administration Hospital. It offers general medical and surgical services with additional programs in acute psychiatry, alcohol treatment, and nursing-home care. It is located on a thirty-one acre tract in southern Big Spring. The main building, a six-story structure, has light buff-faced brick exterior walls. In 1989 a 4,900-square-foot addition was built to house the new computer and telephone systems. By this time the facility was known as Big Spring Veterans Administration Medical Center. The Big Spring VA is managed by Conrad Alexander, Medical Center director, David Keith, associate director, and Darryl H. Powell, M.D., chief of staff. It is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The Medical Center also has affiliations with the Texas Tech University Health Science Center, Lubbock; Howard College, Big Spring; Texas Tech University, Odessa; Angelo State University, San Angelo; Amarillo Community College; Texas Woman's University, Denton; Scenic Mountain Medical Center, Big Spring; and Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio. The institution affords training in ophthalmology, nursing, dental hygiene, medical laboratory technology, radiologic technology, physical therapy, social work, clinical and counseling psychology, and dietetics. Ophthalmology residents and other students work at the facility as part of their education. More than 79,000 veterans are served by the Big Spring VA Hospital. It is charged with providing both primary and secondary health care for former service men and women in one New Mexico County and forty-six West Texas counties. The center's mission has expanded over the years to allow it to serve its patients better. Through Department of Defense sharing agreements with Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo and Dyess Air Force Base Hospital in Abilene, the Big Spring VA provides services for veterans in those areas. In Midland the Veterans Readjustment Counseling Center assists veterans having difficulty in readjusting to civilian life as a result of their military service. In 1993 the Medical Center had 249 authorized beds, including 40 nursing-home-care beds. Its 1992 average daily census was 102 patients. In the fiscal year 1992, the center logged 2,660 inpatient and 30,752 outpatient visits. In 1993, twenty-two full-time and two part-time physicians provided comprehensive health care at the center. They were assisted by a nursing staff of seventy-eight RNs, twenty-five LVNs, and eleven nursing assistants. Administrative, clerical, and maintenance personnel increased the total number of employees to 439.
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