CU changes its tone on VA hospital plans

This assurance comes despite previous support from the representatives for plans for a shared inpatient tower model, one that CU and UCH spokesmen said would be the most affordable and feasible plan.

But in the letter, Benson and Schroffel said that they wouldn’t rule out support for a stand-alone facility.

“While we have expressed our opinion that we believe a joint tower is the most cost-effective approach to the project it is only that — an opinion. We are not lobbying for any particular approach,” the letter reads. “The decision on how to proceed rests with Congress and the VA. CU and UCH stand ready to support the project regardless of the direction chosen.”

UCH spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery said that the letter came as a response to specific questions from veterans.

“We’ve been doing a lot of presentations at various VA forums. At those events, we addressed their concerns, but it’s never been put in writing. We recognize that there’s been confusion,” Montgomery said. “We stand ready to support any decision that the government makes.”

The plan for a shared facility envisioned a hospital exclusively managed and operated by the VA, with specific services like laboratories, operating rooms and radiology with UCH.

Politicians like U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., have supported a stand-alone facility and urged quick progress.

“(Perlmutter) has supported the stand alone facility from the beginning because he feels this is what the veterans of our region and their families deserve,” said Leslie Oliver, spokeswoman for the congressman, in a statement. “Ed has met with Secretary of VA (Eric) Shinseki, and is hopeful this project will move forward in the near future.”

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