Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs visits Louisville, praises - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs visits Louisville, praises improvements at VA Hospital

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Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson says issues facing Louisville's VA hospital in the past have been improved. Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson says issues facing Louisville's VA hospital in the past have been improved.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Issues at Louisville's VA hospital are improving, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Concerns over the past year centered on quality of care and excessive wait times, but according to Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson, any issues facing Louisville's VA hospital in the past have been improved.

Gibson addressed those concerns Wednesday in Louisville, saying 98 percent of patients complete their appointments within 30 days, more than 90 percent within two weeks and 17 percent take care of those appointments in the same day. He says that's seven percent better than the national average.

"There's such an influx people now that the VA just can't handle it," said Air Force veteran Arthur Woodson. "Matter of fact, they're looking right now where they can build a bigger building."

The VA has also increased funding to Louisville's VA hospital, which has allowed it to hire more than 100 staff members. Gibson said coming to Louisville to meet with hospital leaders is a bit of a relief.

"Often times I am spending my time visiting facilities that are let's say challenged, so I don't get as many opportunities to visit facilities like Louisville," Gibson said. 

He also outlined plans for a new $800 million VA hospital in Louisville on Brownsboro Road. Officials are still waiting for a final environmental report before work can begin there. The new design will also have about double the amount of parking, which has been a primary complaint for patients.

"They need it badly because not only do they take care of people in Kentucky but they have people from Indiana and Cincinnati," Woodson said. "Different places come here."

The hope is to begin construction sometime in 2017 and the building is slated to open in 2023.

Related: Louisville VA Hospital decreases wait time for patients

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