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Emergency Care Upgrade For Veterans

A new $10 million emergency department was dedicated today at the VA Central Iowa Health Care System in Des Moines. 

About 1,000 veterans a month arrive at the Des Moines facility needing emergency treatment. The new addition includes a designated space for infectious disease care, decontamination showers and eight private treatment rooms, including one for mental health crisis. 

"I think it's very positive because we feel very strongly here in Iowa about our VA hospital, we think it’s one of the best," says Dan Gannon, who chairs the Iowa Committion for Veterans Affairs. "It's just another sign of them trying to improve their facility, it's just that the story isn't always being told." 

The new ER is not a designated trauma center, but the VA says its staff can stabilize patients that may need to be transferred elsewhere.