There’s a Question About Keesler Medical

Air Force officials believe that the first floor of the medical center at Keesler AFB, Miss., could be open again within two months—much sooner than expected after the damage wrought by Katrina. That was the good news. The Air Force plans to realign the center into a community hospital, as directed by the BRAC commission, but may be taking more of a bite than the commission intended, according to the South Mississippi Sun Herald. The Air Force wanted to eliminate inpatient care at Keesler, turning it into a “super clinic.” The commission changed that to a “community hospital,” telling USAF to keep inpatient service because the region has limited medical care options for Tricare beneficiaries. USAF is taking a close look at what the term “community hospital” means. The Herald reports the service already has decided Keesler can do without its graduate medical education program—and that affects civilian jobs. Mississippi lawmakers plan to meet with USAF officials soon.