Bill Would Make Way For Possible Skilled Nursing Veteran Center

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Cheyenne- (KCWY) Plans to buld a first of its kind veterans skilled nursing center could go forward in the state if the Legislature approves it.

Some representatives oppose the idea because they say there is already a facility planned, but the bill continues advancing.

“There is just not enough facilities to take care of the growing needs of our veterans and of our aging population,” said Senator Dave Kinskey.

A new kind of nursing home could be built in the next five years as the demand for veteran assistance in the state increases. Legislators debate the location and whose plans should be approved.

“Why would we not take advantage of the federal government paying 65 percent of the construction of the building,” said Representative Elaine Harvey.

Those opposing the 9 million dollar facility being built in Sheridan say a task force already spent 500 thousand dollars and a year making recommendations for the Wyoming veterans home in buffalo that proposal included a new skilled nursing home.

“This facility I would argue is certainly in conflict with what the facility task force has planned for the existing facility on the other side of the Big Horn Mountains,” said Rep. Lloyd Larsen.

Proponents say both facilities are needed.

“The needs of our aging are only going to grow over the decades to come and this facility is designed to deliver skilled nursing services in a different way than we all are used to historically,” said Kinskey.

Kinskey says this home would help those veterans who can’t do much. That is rather than an assisted living facility where veterans are still able to live function on their own.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day and this is a new concept instead of government doing it all itself and relying on a public private partnership and the greenhouse concept for skilled nursing is new so it’s just education,” said Kinskey.

“There is a need for it particularly with the veterans in cooperation with the VA hospital we think that the proximity is also significant,” said Rep. John Patton.

Senator Kinskey says VA leaders are going to require this building to be built near a veterans administration facility.