Secretary Santiago Visits Veterans’ Home in Chelsea

Special to the Record

Executive Office of Veterans’ Services Secretary Jon Santiago met with leadership, employees and resident veterans at the Veterans’ Home in Chelsea, and toured the Community Living Center, a state-of-the-art long-term care facility at the Chelsea Veterans’ Home. This new 154-bed facility was designed in accordance with federal  VA standards for Community Living Centers and will open later this Spring.

Governor  Maura Healey and Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll on March 1 filed their FY2024 budget proposal, the first to reflect the Executive Office of Veterans’ Services’ (EOVS) new Cabinet-level status. To ensure that EOVS can properly serve the Commonwealth’s  veterans, the Healey-Driscoll administration in its FY24 H.1 budget recommendation is recommending $185.6 million for the new secretariat, an increase of $11.3 million from FY23.

“Visiting the Veterans’ Home in Chelsea is an opportunity for me to see the incredible care being delivered to veterans at the Home by our dedicated team members  at every level,” said Secretary Santiago. “Governor Healey’s budget for veterans’ services truly meets the moment as it is designed to ensure that veterans get the care, benefits and services they rightfully deserve and have earned through their bravery  and service to our nation. I am grateful to Acting Superintendent Robert Engell and his entire team for their unwavering efforts on behalf of the American heroes living here. I look forward to partnering with members of the Chelsea delegation and legislature  to advance this important budget proposal,” said Santiago.

Established in 1882, the Veterans’ Home in Chelsea, formerly the Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea, offers residential and long-term care programs  to eligible Massachusetts veterans. Its mission is to provide the highest quality of personal healthcare services to Massachusetts veterans with dignity, honor, and respect. Currently, the Home serves a total of 200 veteran residents, including those  in long-term care and domiciliary living.

The Veterans’ Home in Chelsea’s 136-bed long-term care Quigley Building will be phased out and replaced by the new Community Living Center (CLC) set to open  this Spring, increasing its long-term care capacity, which includes skilled nursing beds, long-term care beds, and dementia units. The CLC is roughly 80,000 square feet larger than the ward-style Quigley Building, and the Home expects to house an additional  41 long-term patients per day in FY23, a 17.3% increase in capacity. The new CLC at Chelsea will provide 154 long-term care beds for veterans, all with private bed and bathrooms as part of 14-bed “homes” that have a community living room, dining room, and  kitchen.

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