va_med_centerThe John J. Pershing VA Medical Center, located in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, provides primary care to veterans throughout 29 counties of Southeast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas. Approximately 50,000 veterans live in the service area and about 40 percent of them receive care at the Medical Center annually. The facility is comprised of 18 general medicine beds and 40 extended care beds. In addition, the facility offers a wide variety of out-patient clinic services and special programs.


The VA was at a point of needing to replace a number of existing boilers that were at the end of their life span with new equipment. The existing system required that the boiler house be manned around the clock which was a great expense. It was desirable to try to find a way to reduce the number of man hours needed to monitor the system. In addition, no control system was in place allowing for wasted energy.

Project Overview

To accomplish a reduction in the hours necessary to monitor the boiler plant, a paging system was added by CTS. The data is read from the new boiler system using a ModBus protocol. The paging system then automatically dials out to the appropriate pagers as required. Now the boiler house is only manned during normal working hours and the medical center is able to greatly reduce their labor hours.

Additionally, CTS installed an automation system that covers part of the main facility and several of the out buildings. This system uses another open protocol, LON, allowing equipment from various manufacturers to be tied into the automation system. The automation system includes the chiller plant, several air handling units, variable volume boxes and some additional boilers. The installation of the automation system has provided much better control of energy usage with automatic system settings, allowing for further savings by the center.