New Truman VA surgical facility

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COLUMBIA – The Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital is expanding its surgical services. 

The Truman VA will be unveiling its upgraded inpatient surgical facility Wednesday. Public Affairs Officer Jeff Hoelscher said the new facility will allow staff to further their goal of putting veterans first.

“The new facility upstairs, our new third floor facility, is just outstanding, and we’re all very excited and pleased to open that unit,” Hoelscher said.

While Hoelscher could not give all the specifics of the new facility, he did say it is moving from the sixth floor to the third floor. This will allow the facility to double the amount of space it previously had, as well as add two more beds for patients. The updated facility will also give patients new private rooms, instead of the old semi-private rooms. It will also add new automatic vital sign checkers.

Hoelscher said there is one new improvement he’s most excited about.

“Those lift systems make it so that patients can be lifted more safely out of their beds, which is a safety feature not only for our patients, but also for our staff,” he said.

Veteran Don Briggs said he’s excited to see the upgrades the VA has made. He said he believes it will make a great impact on veterans' lives. 

“This is a marked improvement to the quality of care that you can get at the VA hospital,” Briggs said.

He added that technological advances would give the VA more possibilities to take care of its veterans. 

“The improvements that’s been made in surgical units over the past five, six years, is unbelievable,” Briggs said.

Veteran Kim Wischmeyer has had multiple procedures done at the VA. This includes having stents put in and having his hip replaced. He said the care he received at the time was exceptional.

“I won’t go anywhere else, because I believe in Truman,” Wischmeyer said. “It is the best hospital I have ever been to in my life.”

According to Wischmeyer, his recovery time after surgeries at Truman has been minimal. 

“They were phenomenal on my hip,” Wischmeyer said. “Trust me, I was walking as soon as I got out and they were yelling at me.” 

After hearing experiences like Wishmeyer's, Briggs said he has complete faith in the facilities. 

“I think for the veterans, I am one myself, I have no quorums about having surgery here,” Briggs said. 

Wischmeyer said he wants veterans to capitalize on the new innovations.

“Being the top notch facility that it is, if a veteran does not take advantage of the Truman facility, then their heart is not where it needs to be,” Wischmeyer said.

Hoelscher said seeing these improvements made to help veterans makes him emotional.

“Being a veteran myself, and understanding what a veteran means is very important to me,” Hoelscher said. “I can’t think of anything that makes me more proud than to be a part of this health system.”

The ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Truman VA.