Congress approved a new $447 billion spending bill this week and $44 million of that money is earmarked for the John Cochran Veteran Medical Center in St. Louis. The VA medical center will use the money to build a 262,000 sq. ft. tower to help relieve the overcrowding plaguing the undersized institution.
While the money for the St. Louis VA medical center is not the only provision made in the bill, it is the largest allocation in the bill. The expansion to the VA medical center will include:
- A larger emergency room;
- A wing specializing in spinal cord injuries;
- A wing specifically for mental health patients needing immediate medical treatment;
- More private bedrooms; and
- Better room structures.
Scott Air Force Base is an older medical evacuation facility and will use the $7.4 million earmarked for them to build a new two story building. Scott AFB is 1 of only 2 Air Force facilities in the U.S. housing a permanent aero-medical evacuation team. The recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have received pilots and medical evacuation teams from Scott AFB.
The bill passed the Senate last week with bi-partisan support and President Obama is expected to sign the bill.