Last week, Governor Doug Ducey asked the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to prioritize the construction of new Arizona State Veteran Homes. Arizona State Veteran Homes provide skilled nursing and rehabilitative care for aging and chronically ill veterans and their spouses.
In a letter to Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, Governor Ducey referenced two planned facilities in rural areas for which state funds have been appropriated, but that await matching dollars from the VA.
According to the governor, since 2015, the state has “secured matching state appropriations of $19.2 million for the construction of two additional State Veterans Homes.”
Ducey writes in the letter, “One is planned to be built in Yuma, which would serve 60 veterans in the Southwest region; and the other is planned to be built in Flagstaff, which would serve 60 veterans in the Northcentral region. Both locations would serve rural veteran populations that are located more than 100 miles from an existing Veteran Home. And both are awaiting matching federal dollars.”
Currently, the Arizona Department of Veterans Services serves 320 veterans at existing Veteran Homes, but that need is expected to grow. By 2020, the state estimates a shortage of more than 1,200 beds.