BRAC - Keesler Medical to become clinic

In an update to my post BRAC Recommendations for Coastal MS most of the jobs slated to be lost at Keesler are in the medical center. I don't see how they can do this. It had been announced recently that the VA hospital in Gulfport would be closing because of the proximity to Keesler Medical Center. There are a lot of retirees in the community that use Keesler Medical Center. How many people will be impacted if this alignment goes through? The following is from the Keesler Air Force Base website:

Host to the second largest Air Force medical treatment facility in the U.S., the Keesler Medical Center contains a 235-bed multi-specialty facility, 62 outpatient clinics, a clinical research laboratory and aero medical facilities. The Keesler Medical Center serves Air Force, Army and Navy bases in the southeastern region of the United States, as well as 56,000 beneficiaries locally. The Keesler Medical Center also brokers healthcare to nearly 600,000 beneficiaries in the Department of Defense Service Region IV, covering all of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and parts of Louisiana and Florida.

Also from the same webite, there are currently 4,500 active duty at Keesler and from Military.com, the CB base in Gulfport has approxiamately 4200 active duty service men.

These totals do not include family members of active duty personnel. Representative Gene Taylor who is on the House Armed Forces Committee, sharply criticized the proposed realignment of Keesler Medical Center. He stated in the Sun Herald:

"If these changes to the mission at Keesler are implemented, it will be a major blow to military personnel, dependents and retirees in South Mississippi," Taylor said. "Rather than receiving the free health care that our airmen and veterans were promised, they would have the additional expense of paying for a portion of their care at nearby civilian hospitals."

From Senator Trent Lott:

Pascagoula is a new, unique, magnificent facility which unfortunately is not multi-missioned. I’m optimistic that as we go through this process, its huge value will be recognized, and other missions ultimately will be added to Pascagoula. The 186th Air Refueling Wing at Key Field, Meridian, is one of the highest ranked tanker facilities in the country, and I’m optimistic that the value of its mission will permit it to continue in Meridian.

Let the battles begin.


Blogger Beth said...

Hey, Seawitch!
I just put up the New Blog Showcase--I have to tell you, I love your site! :-D
I'm probably just a shout away from you; I'm in Mobile, and lived in Pascagoula when I was in high school. Hi neighbor!
Anyway, I hope I did you justice in the Showcase. ;-)

5:55 PM  

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