Veterans home closes floor to concentrate on hiring, training

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — In an effort to improve care and address federal violations, the Minneapolis Veterans Home is temporarily closing its 50-bed fourth floor so it can devote resources to training nursing staff and filling vacant nursing positions.

"We want to make this a quality nursing home again," said Chip Cox, interim executive director for the Minnesota State Veterans Homes Board.

During the closure, some veterans will be moved to other rooms, but nobody will be discharged from the state-operated home.

The Minneapolis home suspended new admissions in December after inspections found numerous deficiencies. The suspension created open beds throughout the home. By consolidating those open beds on one floor, Cox said, the home can be more efficient with nursing staff.


The home has resolved all state-cited deficiencies, but some federal citations have only been "partially" addressed.

The home had been taking steps to address deficiencies earlier this year when the Minnesota Department of Health found problems in the care of three residents who died at the home.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty reacted by ordering the Minnesota Department of Health to oversee daily operations for several days until a private consultant was hired to do monitoring. He also appointed a commission to consider the long-term future of nursing care for vets in Minnesota.

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