To the editor:
The proposal by the Veterans National Recovery Center (VNRC) is one of three proposals pending before the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for future use of the now closed 39 building VA Hospital Complex in Knoxville. It aims to use the complex for a healing and training center for homeless, incipient homeless, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) distressed and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) distressed veterans. Healing therapies will be holistic, involving intensive group counseling and other techniques, nearly all of which are in the standard VA menu of holistic healing therapies.
I know and have heard that many are excited that we may by coming to Knoxville. I have also heard that some in the community may have concerns. This letter is to address the interests of both groups.
VNRC will work to minimize any negative impacts for Knoxville. The Knoxville campus will not be a hospital – only a residential facility where healing and training occurs. Because of costs and regulatory concerns, the VNRC does not intent to license the facility at a higher level at this time, and will thus be precluded from taking certain categories of veterans.
To cover any veterans that may require intensive medical or psychiatric attention, we have made tentative arrangements with the VA in Des Moines as well as the Iowa Veterans Home. Prior to arrival at VNRC, aggressive screening of applicants will assure that the veterans living on campus will be individuals that want to be helped, and have needs that are within the capabilities of VNRC to heal them. At the end of the healing period, these veterans will be people that you will be proud to have as your next-door neighbor.
For those that are interested in the economic development of Knoxville, VNRC will be a vital boost that brings wonderful benefits to the Knoxville area. Here is a partial listing: