IHS plans expansion of South Dakota facility

The Indian Health Service is planning a major expansion of its Sioux San facility in South Dakota but officials said it could take more than 20 years to complete under current funding levels.

IHS plans to spend $51 million on new construction, add $41.5 million to the facility's budget and more than double the staff. Construction, however, would not start until 2012 -- under the best scenario -- and would take years to finish without a major influx in funding.

According to IHS associate area director Jon Fogarty, construction funding has dropped to an average of $20 million a year since the start of the war in Iraq. "The IHS has taken it as far as we can take it," Fogarty said, urging patients to lobby Congress for more money.

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IHS pitches Sioux San expansion (The Rapid City Journal 8/30)

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