By Cynthia Price
Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Director Jeff Barnes announced last week that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has completed its annual survey of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans and released its final report to the agency.
The final report concluded that the Home has met 156 of 158 standards and partially met the remaining two. The VA survey revealed shortcomings in the Home’s ability to meet the needs of residents requiring psychiatric care, an issue the Home is actively working to address.
“Based on the State of Michigan audit released earlier this spring, the Legislature has appropriated $500,000 to fund psychiatric care at the Home,” said Grand Rapids Home for Veterans Administrator Sara Dunne. “This appropriation allowed us to set in motion the process to secure the required psychiatric care. We have established an RFP for care, and procurement is currently underway. We expect to fully implement the required psychiatric care this fall.”
Once the required psychiatric services have been acquired, the Home can attain full certification with VA standards for nursing home care. The Home has already been certified for full compliance with USDVA standards for domiciliary care.
Since the survey was conducted, the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency has been appropriated additional funding for mental health services as part of the upcoming Fiscal Year 2014 budget, and the Home is pursuing a contract to provide comprehensive on-site mental health services to its members.
The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans occupies 90 acres of land adjacent to the Grand River in northwest Grand Rapids and is home to approximately 400 nursing care members and 60 domiciliary care members. It was established in 1886 as a home for veterans of the Civil War and continues to serve our nation’s military veterans and their spouses today.
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