El Paso, Mcallen To Receive Grants For state Veteran Nursing Homes

In: All News   Posted 08/08/2003

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will provide more than $16 million in matching grants to build state veteran nursing homes in El Paso and McAllen, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee announced Friday. The funds will cover 65 percent of the construction costs. The state of Texas guarantees the remainder of the anticipated funding. The grant for El Paso will be $7,978,017, and McAllen will receive $8,431,877."By adding these two new facilities the state will significantly expand a veterans health care infrastructure that is already facing considerable growth,” Cornyn said. “I applaud these communities, the VA, and the state of Texas for their efforts to bring these facilities to where they are needed.” Currently, there are only four state veteran nursing homes in Texas. They are located in Bonham, Big Spring, Temple and Floresville. In January, the Texas Veterans Land Board designated McAllen and El Paso as future sites for the veterans homes. The two cities were chosen among 40 applicants, and were selected to ensure the nursing facilities will be located in areas most likely to achieve and sustain maximum occupancy."Adequate funding for the VA health care system should be a national priority. If we are to honor the commitment to our veterans, we must find a way to address their health care needs,” Cornyn said. “Funding these facilities is an important step in that process.” the program is administered by the Texas Veterans Land Board, and provides long-term care for qualified veterans, their spouses and certain "Gold Star" parents of deceased veterans. It exists as a partnership between VA and the states as a means of building or acquiring nursing homes, domiciliary health care facilities, adult day health facilities, or combined services. Along with the matching grants for the homes, VA provides per diem payments for veterans’ care in state veteran facilities. The VA also has oversight responsibility and accountability functions for ensuring the continued quality of care at the veterans homes.