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Press Release - Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Chicago, IL - After a thorough vetting process, The Veterans' Home at Chicago received notice of its official certification from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA). The certification followed a recognition survey of the home, which is designed to ensure it meets all standards outlined by the USDVA to qualify as a State Veterans Home.

"Our Veterans bravely served this country and defended our freedoms, and they deserve a quality of care that reflects that sacrifice," said Governor JB Pritzker. "The Veterans' Home at Chicago has proven through this certification that it is a place Veterans and their families can trust, and I'm grateful for their hard work in earning this certification and providing a quality home for our heroes."

"The Home's leadership and team have worked diligently to ensure that every detail of the Home met USDVA standards," said Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Terry Prince. "This official recognition allows the Home to admit more Veterans into the 200-bed state-of-the-art home, staffed by dedicated medical professionals and staff."

Although the USDVA does not manage the State Veterans Homes, to participate in the State Veterans Home program, USDVA must formally recognize and certify a facility as a State Veterans Home. The USDVA then surveys all facilities each year to make sure they continue to meet federal standards. This recognition establishes a partnership between the Home and the federal government which qualifies the Home for financial support in the form of per diem grant payments for nursing home care provided to eligible Veterans.

While in compliance with the Illinois Department of Public Health's requirements, the home served at limited capacity, 25 residents or less, a cap set pending the USDVA recognition. Broader admissions will begin over the course of the next several months dependent upon COVID-19 safety protocols and staffing.

"Caring for Veterans is a sacred mission that we all share at the Chicago Home," said T'Kira Siler-Wilkerson, Home Administrator. "The team is ready with open arms to welcome more Veterans and continue creating a vibrant, compassionate environment."

The $121 million project broke ground in 2008, and the first residents were greeted in January 2022. The Home will employ up to 300 staff. Designed by HED Design, it is the first facility in the state to incorporate the federal Community Living Center (CLC) guidelines. HED divided each floor into four distinct households including living spaces, dining room, and a kitchen. The ground floor and balconies were designed to make the connection between the residents and nature, an integral part of caring for the whole person. This building is Silver LEED certified. The Capital Development Board (CDB) oversaw the construction of the project.

"The USDVA accreditation ensures new veterans have the opportunity to seek the world-class care at the Veterans' Home at Chicago," said the Capital Development Board Executive Director, Jim Underwood. "This project provided for a state-of-the-art 200-bed facility, including specialized accommodations for Alzheimer's care. CDB is thrilled to see these resources fully utilized."

The home was conceptualized to offer residential living for a growing Veteran population in Cook County requiring skilled nursing care. With 56 percent of Illinois Veterans residing in Cook County, its location was selected to bring Cook County Veterans closer to their families and network. Chicago became the fifth State Veterans' Home in Illinois, joining Veterans' homes in Anna, LaSalle, Manteno, and Quincy.

Residents have access to a library, barber shop, bank, and a rehabilitation center. Housekeeping, laundry, and dietary ensure the residents day-to-day personal needs are met. An IDVA Veterans Service Officer is available to assist Veterans with questions regarding state and federal benefits. Outdoor areas include a lushly planted garden with a walking path and benches, and a garden terrace. The multi-purpose room is the gathering place for events and family occasions. Local artist Indira Johnson created custom, interactive artwork for every floor themed, "Helping Hands," to reflect the commitment of each medical professional and staff caring for their resident veterans.

To be eligible to reside in a State Veterans' Home, an applicant must have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces and have served during a war-time period or have a service-connected disability or injury, with additional criteria for peacetime Veterans. Admission also is based on the ability of the home to provide adequate care for the applicant's needs, including having an available bed in the required category of care. For more information on eligibility and application visit:

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