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12/26/2011 6:01:00 AM
Veterans' air plans for HMMC
Empty hospital perfect place to expand services, groups say
Hualapai Mountain Medical Center
Hualapai Mountain Medical Center

Ahron Sherman
Miner Staff Reporter


As representatives of Kingman Regional Medical Center pondered short- and long-term plans for the hospital formerly known as Hualapai Mountain Medical Center, local veterans organizations brought up the idea of using portions of it as a Veterans Affairs medical facility.

The Jerry Ambrose Veterans Council of Mohave County and the Vietnam Veterans of America Arizona Chapter No. 975 have created a petition in hopes of gathering support and getting the attention of the VA. The goal is to have the VA provide updated and better medical treatment locally.

According to a joint release from the organizations, "We are lacking sufficient medical care in Mohave County, Arizona. Our clinic is outdated to handle the volume of veterans seeking attention. We now have a vacant new hospital facility in Kingman with sufficient space and equipment."

Ryan Kennedy, KRMC's chief executive officer, said the goal for HMMC is to deal with the medical needs of a growing community. He has met with members of veteran organizations and told them that hospital brass is open to having conversations with the VA about providing health care for Mohave County veterans.

"I would love to see Mohave County veterans get the health care they need in Kingman," Kennedy said. "We're happy to listen to VA leadership and explore ideas."

However, KRMC is in the process of making short- and long-term plans for the facility, so it behooves the VA to approach KRMC within a few months, so that hospital administrations doesn't get too far into planning.

"We hope that we can help serve Mohave County veterans here," he said.

As is, many veterans have to travel to Prescott, Phoenix and Las Vegas for their health care.

"Currently our veterans have to travel over 100 miles to other locations for treatment and testing," the veterans' release states. "This is a waste of time and money. If (the VA facility is) implemented, all parties concerned would benefit."

With this idea of KRMC officials being willing to talk to the VA, the onus to get the VA's attention falls to the local veterans organizations, and the first steps these groups are taking is the petition.

To sign the petition and show your support, go to www.change.org. Look for a small area near the page that says, "search petitions" and enter the words "Mohave County." The petition should then come up with direction on how to sign.

"Maybe we can get the VA to do something with the hospital," said Ralph Mckie, VVA chapter president. "The hospital is open to all suggestions, and there is a lot of potential there for the VA."

Mission Bank
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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, January 2, 2012
Article comment by: Debbie Sparks

My husband is a vet and we have to go all the way to Prescott to see certain doctors, so I think it's a wonderful idea.

Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Article comment by: V Stokes

@Those in Dangerous Jobs.....
I also forgot to say...do you realize those same persons have payed(and are probably still paying) the taxes that pay for those benefits they EARNED?


Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Article comment by: V Stokes

@Those in Dangerous Jobs ...etc

Wow....do you realize how much many veterans sacrificed? Even if they weren't "in harms way", they might have spent months or years away from loved ones for very little pay. In the mid 60's my brother was earning less than $100 per month, as I remember, as an electronics tech repairing multimillion dollar systems. How about injuries caused by the sub-standard footwear and protective gear they were required to wear?? How about injuries due to faulty or broken equipment? And do you realize one of the big recruiting points was "Do your 20 yrs and get free medical care for life"? Which of course is no longer truly free. Another promise broken....

I don't use the VA, to avoid the hassles and paperwork, as well as the driving to a facility..but when I go to a doctor (after 24 yrs in the Navy), I still pay for doctors visits, medication, labs, etc. Yes, I may pay less than someone who has no insurance, but thats kind of what I sacrificed my time and health for isn't it? It's called "compensation in kind". I was payed very little for the majority of my service (in comparison to someone in the private sector with the same responsibilities), but I received certain benefits as compensation.

Combat disabled veterans already receive more in the way of benefits than occupationally injured vets (as well they should)...at least in the last few years that has improved...and it may be retroactive.

I think I smell sour grapes on your part.

That said...I really doubt there will be anything more than the small clinic that is here now. Not enough concentration of vets (that use or are eligible for VA) in the area.


Posted: Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Article comment by: mary GISLER

this is a GREAT idea do it for the vets !!!!!!!

Posted: Monday, December 26, 2011
Article comment by: VFW Lady

Thank you KRMC for opening your hearts and ears to the request of veterans! The weary travel for continual medical care has been tremendous to many and it is time to stop this hardship for the good of the community.

Posted: Monday, December 26, 2011
Article comment by: jim caico

Lets get rollin on the subgect at hand. We the Vets need this hospital for all the Mohave co. Veterans.

Posted: Monday, December 26, 2011
Article comment by: Those in Dangerous Jobs or in Dangerous Zones Do Deserve Us Paying their Medical, Others No

First of all lets correct the fact that veterans have to travel 100 miles for medical. They don't have to - they just want to to get outstanding medical without having to pay. They could do like the rest of us - pay to have excellent care at one of the local facilities like KRMC.

I certainly don't have a problem with those vets who first got wounded or those vets that served in combat. However I suspect that is only about 10% of those who have ever been in the service. 90% are never in harm's way and in my opinion do not deserve free medical at tax payers' expense.



Posted: Monday, December 26, 2011
Article comment by: Jerry Cenquigrana

This has to be one of the best ideas' I've seen proposed for Mohave County since I moved here in '05. Having known Jerry Ambrose I can guarantee you that he would fight tooth and nail to see this opportunity to a reality.

Posted: Monday, December 26, 2011
Article comment by: Great Idea

To use a portion of HMMC for our Veterans would be a wonderful idea.
It is really hard on Veterans and their families to have to travel to Prescott, Phoenix & other areas for their medical care.


Posted: Monday, December 26, 2011
Article comment by: Proud V.N. Vet

Done.And thank you for this.



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