The military is shutting down emergency department services at the U.S. Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs, Colo., and moving its hospital inpatient services to a nearby base.
These actions were mandated by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, which was enacted in 2005 to close excess military installations and realign military assets to save money on operations and maintenance.
The emergency room will be shut down on April 1, and then converted into an acute-care clinic, said John Van Winkle, spokesman for the academy.
We found that a small amount (of patients) coming into the ER could be handled through an appointment process, he said. The 45 employees currently in the emergency room will be downsized to 21 for the acute-care clinic.
In addition, the academys inpatient services along with 39 positions will transfer to Fort Carson, a nearby clinic located on the south side of Colorado Springs thats expected to gain several thousand more military personnel over the next few years, Van Winkle said.
Those in the academy who need emergency care will be able to receive it at Fort Carson, which has an ER facility, or from several nearby civilian hospitals. -- by Jennifer Lubell
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