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Tomah VA Hospital Struggling With Staffing Shortages

Medical Center Suspending Psychiatric Unit, Reducing Urgent Care Hours

By
Maureen McCollum/WPR

The Tomah Veterans Affairs Hospital is in desperate need of psychiatrists, officials say — and until more are hired, they are shutting down an 11- bed, inpatient psychiatric unit.

An on-site residential facility will also stop admitting veterans in need of mental health recovery services.

Patients needing care will be sent to VA hospitals in Madison or Milwaukee or to facilities outside of the VA.

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Tomah VA officials are ramping up psychiatrist recruitment efforts by offering $240,000 annually to start, plus possible retention and recruitment bonuses.

According to a press release, Tomah VA acting Director John Rohrer said they “intend to re-open the unit,” but will only do so when they “have the necessary psychiatric staff to do so safely.”

Officials also said temporary reductions in hours at the urgent care clinic announced in April will now become permanent.

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