DENVER (CBS4)– After years of delays and coming in way over budget, the new VA hospital in Aurora will finally open later this summer. But even when that hospital opens, the old Veterans Affairs facility will not close right away.
The old facility near Rose Hospital will continue to operate for another three years. The project has been a source of frustration and confusion in Colorado and Washington, DC.
On Thursday, a panel tried to reassure users of the VA at a town hall for veterans, their families and their caregivers.
Bernie Rogoff was a radiologist during the Korean War. He treated more than just wounds the soldiers brought back from the battlefield.
“We took care of those patients and we saw and experienced everything they brought back from the war,” said Rogoff.
At 87 years old, he’s spent nearly his entire life advocating for care for veterans, at VA meetings… even traveling VA panelists know him by his first name.
Rogoff believes the VA offers some of the best health care in the country but has been discouraged with the organization’s inability to get out from under bad headlines and the critics that follow.
“Any particle of complaint they can find against the VA they will use,” said Rogoff.
Rogoff has been advocating for the new medical facility in Aurora for 12 years. He says when the facility is finished he’ll feel like he’s reached the mountain top.
“We’ll be grateful, we won’t covet, we did what we had to do and that’s what military people do,” said Rogoff.