New long-term care facility “will improve the quality of services and care”
CHELSEA – On Monday, Governor Charlie Baker joined Secretary of Administration and Finance Michael Heffernan, Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders, Secretary of Veterans’ Services Francisco Ureña, Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo and veterans of the United States Armed Forces for the groundbreaking of the new long-term care facility at the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home. The current facility will continue to be fully operational, caring for over 100 veterans, during the construction process, which has an anticipated project completion date in 2022.
“The new long-term care facility at the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home will improve the quality of services and care provided to the Commonwealth’s men and women who have answered the call of duty and served our nation,” said Governor Baker. “Our veterans and their families have sacrificed so much for this country, and it is our duty to care for them with honor and dignity.”
In May 2017, Governor Baker announced plans for a new long-term care Community Living Center (CLC), which was included in the Baker-Polito Administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 capital investment plan, and in November 2017, he signed legislation authorizing funding needed to advance the project.
The Administration has also received funding authorization from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the $199 million project. The federal funding was awarded through the VA’s State Home Construction Grant Program, which provides reimbursement of up to 65% of construction costs for approved projects. The Administration, with strong support from the Legislature, plans to spend approximately $70 million net of federal reimbursement on the project.
“We honor our veterans with gratitude and support. And we are taking appropriate steps preparing our state to serve our growing older veteran adult population,” said Secretary Sudders. “The new building’s features ensure that our veterans continue to be treated with the dignity and respect that they have earned.”
“This facility truly is a fitting tribute to our veterans who have served our nation. With this building construction, we honor their sacrifice. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are thankful to the Baker-Polito Administration, the Massachusetts Legislature, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Department of Veterans’ Services and everyone who has supported this initiative from its conception,” said Chelsea Soldiers’ Home Superintendent Cheryl Poppe. “The Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea is honored to serve Massachusetts veterans, and this groundbreaking reaffirms the Commonwealth’s commitment to veterans of yesterday, today and for generations to come.”
“Today’s event is the culmination of years of hard work with the leadership and support of Governor Baker and his Administration, Superintendent Poppe, the legislature and our VA partners,” said Secretary Ureña. “Today is a turning point and a new chapter in the life of the Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea. I couldn’t be prouder.”
“On behalf of the House of Representatives, we are grateful to our veterans for their bravery, commitment and strength, and we hope this new building serves as symbol of our collective support of the needs of veterans and their loved ones,” said House Speaker DeLeo. “Thank you to Veterans Committee Chair Lawn and Rep. Velis for their dedication to veterans’ issues.”
The Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea first opened its doors to Massachusetts veterans in 1882. The first residents were Civil War veterans who were wounded or unable to care for themselves; many of them had previously resided in the Commonwealth’s “alms houses.” Today, Chelsea carries on Massachusetts’s proud tradition of helping all veterans in need of both long-term care and housing/supportive services. Chelsea is surveyed annually by the VA and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). It is also fully accredited by The Joint Commission (formerly called the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations). Chelsea has a Board of Trustees appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The trustees and the Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS) share responsibility for the management of the home. DVS advocates on behalf of the nearly 365,000 veterans in Massachusetts, their families and survivors.