VNRC suggests alternatives
HOT SPRINGS – A Des Moines, Iowa-based group, the Veterans National Recovery Center (VNRC) released its proposal for the Hot Springs campus of the VA Black Hills Health Care System, at a special event held Aug. 11 at Centennial Park.
Bob Krause, the president of the VNRC, presented a “Proposal for the Southwest South Dakota Medical Miracle, on behalf of the company. A copy of the proposal was released to the Hot Springs Star prior to the meeting and information was taken from the proposal for this story.
According to the written proposal, which is available in its entirety at www.hotspringsstar.com, the “Medical Miracle” will provide national benefits to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, through its training, as well as its innovative health services.
“It (the VNRC proposal) aids local veterans by keeping the facility in place and it provides an economic development future for one of the most depressed poverty pockets in the nation,” the proposal says.
One part of the Medical Miracle is an osteopathic college that provides interns and growth opportunities for VA doctors.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine’s web site, osteopathic medicine provides the benefits of modern medicine while offering hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a therapy system known as osteopathic manipulative medicine, achieving wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention in a hands-on, holistic manner.
A research institute is also part of the VNRC proposal, with regenerative and convalescent medicines being the two disciplinary anchors for research and training at the research institute and the college.
According to the proposal, regenerative medicine can be a unique tool for veterans and soldiers that have been injured in bomb blasts, fires and by small arms. It can also be used as a geriatric tool to solve problems with bed sores and failing organs. It capitalizes on the unique healing springs that are present in Hot Springs and have been used by the VA and others for convalescence in the past.
The elements of the proposal are the Battle Mountain College, Battle Mountain Clinic, the Battle Mountain Research Institute, Elanix – a private sector regenerative medicine firm, the Veterans National Recovery Center Foundation and Battle Mountain Veterans Affairs Hospital.
Public sector cost for set up is $8 million in the first year, with a cumulative investment of $50 million spread over five years. In addition to being president of VNRC, Krause is also a consultant for Elanix.
The Veterans National Recovery Center is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation established in 2010 to bring awareness to the massive influx of PTSD-afflicted veterans back into America from battles abroad following 9-11.
VNRC began to work in the field of skin regeneration in 2012. The group became aware of the many injuries caused by Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s) during the war. A significant number of these were burn injuries, and it seemed to be a niche where little innovative was being done. As part of this process, VNRC worked jointly with the Swiss Consortium Partnership to develop a grant proposal, which was tied to Hot Springs, because of the technology’s requirement for extensive hydrotherapy after surgery in order to promote the skin regeneration.
In that grant application, a remodeled Castle Manor Nursing Home was to become a skin regeneration clinic and research facility. Although the grant application failed, VNRC developed knowledge from the exercise and continued to pursue its vision.