State Board of Veterans Affairs selects new veterans home site
Today, the Alabama State Board of Veterans Affairs (SBVA) selected a site in Enterprise as the location for a new state veterans home.
In early 2018, the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) hired Public Consulting Group, Inc. (PCG) to conduct a feasibility study for the long-term veteran healthcare needs in the state. The PCG study projected that 1,440 veterans would require a skilled-care bed by 2045. Currently, there are 704 beds in Alabama’s four veterans homes. The maximum number of state veterans home beds is based on 38 CFR § 59.40 (which sets Alabama’s maximum beds at 1,007). In addition, the study showed that the projected demand for skilled-care among Alabama veterans will continue to significantly exceed the total number of beds currently provided through the state veterans home program.
Based on the study’s findings, PCG identified the Wiregrass Region as an underserved area for providing skilled-care exclusively for veterans. The consulting firm recommended locating a 150–175 skilled-care bed facility in the region, which includes Barbour, Butler, Coffee, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Geneva, Henry, Houston and Pike counties.
In October 2018, the SBVA unanimously voted to proceed with a plan to build a fifth state veterans home and subsequently gave the board’s Veterans Home Committee the authority to recommend to the board a site for the new home.
The Veterans Homes Committee reviewed 12 site proposals submitted by jurisdictions in the Wiregrass Region based on five factors—favorability of the plot of land proposed; transportation accessibility; workforce availability; specialized healthcare services within proximity of the site; and additional factors identified by the proposer.
The committee met this morning and voted to recommend Enterprise as the site for the new veterans home to the SBVA. The SBVA convened its quarterly meeting later this afternoon and unanimously voted to accept the Veterans Homes Committee’s recommendation.
The location consists of a donation of 108 acres between US Hwy 84 and AL Hwy 167. Coffee County was identified as having the largest veteran population projections in the Feasibility Study, while other counties show a reduction in the veteran population. Enterprise has a workforce to support the home as well as medical services available to support the needs of the veterans.
“This was a difficult selection process, as many communities submitted excellent proposals for the new veterans home. We are excited about this project, as this location will give access to many underserved veterans,” Chad Richmond, SBVA vice-chairman, said. “The committee team worked diligently and fairly through this process, and I’m confident that our selection of Enterprise will provide the setting and care our veterans deserve.”
The new veterans home should open by 2023.