FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, October 8, 2020
Marissa Perry, Communications Director, Governor’s Office, (406) 444-4514
Erin Loranger, Press Secretary, Governor’s Office, (406) 444-9725
Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936
Governor Bullock, Lt. Gov. Cooney Tour Southwest Montana Veterans’ Home Construction Site
BUTTE – Governor Steve Bullock and Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney today joined local veterans to tour the Southwest Montana Veterans’ Home (SWMVH) and see the progress since the groundbreaking last July.
“It’s exciting to see the progress that has been made since the groundbreaking ceremony last summer,” Bullock said. “This has been a long time coming for the people of Butte and I look forward to the completion of this welcoming home for the veterans who have served our country.”
“It is a pleasure to see the Veterans’ Home approach the finish line and I’m looking forward to seeing the doors open for Montanan veterans who have been waiting far too long for this facility,” Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney said. “I’m grateful to everyone who has worked on seeing the SWMVH through since it was an idea nearly two decades ago.”
Efforts to fund the project began about a decade ago and culminated in the past years through various crucial state and federal funding appropriations.
During the 2019 legislative session, Governor Bullock supported, and the Legislature passed HB5 that provided $5 million as part of the Long-Range Building Program. This funding ensured the project could be fully funded. Rep. Jim Keane, D-Butte, carried the bill. Both Keane and Senator Jon Sesso, D-Butte, worked this session and in previous sessions to ensure the SWMVH project moved forward.
U.S. Senator Jon Tester previously helped secure $9 million in funding through the Veterans Administration State Veterans Home Construction Grant Program. Funding for the program was increased to $685 million to clear the Priority 1 construction grant application list that the SWMVH has been on waiting for federal funding.
The approximately $20 million facility is being constructed on a 10-acre site on Blacktail Loop, just south of Mount Highland Drive. The facility will include five, 12-bedroom cottages along with a Community Center building and will have room for 60 veterans. To date, 74 applications have been submitted so far.
The new facility will offer many services for its residents, including an activities program, spiritual resources, support groups, and social services. Rehab services will also be provided, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy and dietitian services.
Eduro Healthcare was recently hired to manage the SWMVH.
“We are pleased to announce that management of the facility is now in place for the day-to-day operations of this facility,” DPHHS Director Sheila Hogan said. “With every passing day, we are inching ever closer to opening the new facility. And, having management in place now is an important step in the process.”
Eduro began their hiring process shortly after award of the contract in late July and received an overwhelming response. They have started interviewing for the key positions and recently held a job fair. Positions already hired include administrator, director of nursing, business officer manager, director of rehab, director of maintenance, and director of social work. The initial contract with Eduro Healthcare is for three years, and can be renewed for up to seven years.
“We have been working closely with local leadership to make sure that we are ready to serve the Veterans of Montana,” said Eduro’s Managing Partner Brian Ramos. “We see it as an honor to serve those who have served and look forward to the opening of such an amazing property.”
DPHHS is accepting applications for admission to the SWMVH. The application form can be found online here. Applications can be submitted to Shaunda Hildebrand of the DPHHS Senior and Long Term Care Division at PO Box 4210, Helena, MT 59604.
Photos, drone videos, and detailed construction updates showing the progress are posted regularly online at https://dphhs.mt.gov/sltc/homelivingoptions/montanaveteranshomes/swmvh
A new facility logo was also announced in May thanks to the efforts of Butte native and U.S. Marine Veteran Lyndsay Alt.