Jefferson Barracks Va Medical Center | St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson Barracks Va Medical Center

Provided by VA St. Louis Health Care System

Updated 4:30 p.m., Sept. 23, with new director announcement.

Keith Repko has been appointed as permanent director of the VA St. Louis Health Care System. He had been serving as interim director since January.

The appointment was announced Friday afternoon by the VA.

Repko is well-known at the St. Louis VA, where he's worked since 1991. Before his promotion as acting director, he served as a deputy director.  

Our previous story:

The eighth interim director to lead the VA St. Louis Health Care System is Keith Repko, who has been deputy director of the agency for more than a year.

Repko says he will continue to focus on improving access to health care for area veterans.

Photo by Nassim Benchaabane for St. Louis Public Radio

The VA St. Louis Health Care System has cut the waiting time for appointments in recent months, but the improvement is “fragile,” says Patricia Ten Haaf, who is leaving the agency after serving as its acting director since May. 

Army veteran Horace Montgomery practices in the pool at the Jefferson Barracks VA Medical Center. He says kayaking has been motivating as he recovers from open-heart surgery and a hip replacement.
Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

Veterans Day 2015 finds Jason Pilarksi among the thousands of U.S. veterans who are still battling physical and emotional wounds from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pilarksi, who served three tours of duty with the Army in Iraq, says he finds peace some days while paddling a kayak on a quiet Missouri lake.

“I just like to get out on the water and go,” he says.

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Roger Denly, 43, is still learning the fine points of bowling while seated in a wheelchair, but last Thursday afternoon he was enjoying "tenpin therapy" at the little six-lane bowling alley at the Jefferson Barracks VA Medical Center.

“It’s freedom. It gets me out doing something I enjoy,’’ said Denly, an Air Force veteran who lives in Farmington, Iowa.

Capt. Steve Mossotti of the Mehlville Fire Department
Mary Delach Leonard | 2010 St. Louis Beacon photo

St. Louis veterans joined with area residents Saturday morning to honor and remember the victims and heroes of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks during a reflective walk and patriotic ceremony at Jefferson Barracks Park.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Fisher House Foundation plans to break ground in late summer or fall for a 21-bedroom facility at Jefferson Barracks that will provide free lodging for veterans who must travel great distances for medical treatment at the St. Louis VA Medical Center, said foundation spokesman Jim Weiskopf.