Alabama’s largest long-term care facility for veterans earned high marks during a recent inspection from the federal government.
This accomplishment is even more significant considering that the facility opened just 14 months ago.
The Col. Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home (Howard VA Home), which opened in 2012, earned a deficiency free health survey from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“This accomplishment shows that our employees are dedicated to caring for those who bravely served our country,” Howard VA Home Administrator Derrick Williams said. “Opening just 14 months ago, this accomplishment exemplifies the efforts of everyone involved and shows our dedication to veterans.”
Just like other nursing homes, state veterans homes are surveyed or inspected annually by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). However, state veterans homes have the additional oversight of the VA. The VA measures a veterans home on 158 standards that are either met or not met.
The VA inspection is always led by a team from a local VA hospital. For the Howard VA Home inspection, the team consisted of three people from the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and five people from Ascellon Corporation, a company which the VA contracts with to survey VA homes. The team spent four days inspecting every facet of care at the Howard VA Home before determining the facility met all 158 VA standards.
“I appreciate all our staff has done to deliver high-quality care and help us achieve this honor,” Williams said. “Our veterans deserve the best care because they have done so much for our country.”
About the Col. Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home:
- Consists of two health care facilities licensed by the Alabama Department of Public Health
- 174-bed skilled nursing facility
- 80-bed assisted living facility or domiciliary
- Administrator: Derrick Williams
- Director of Nursing: Toya Nelson (Interim)
- Howard VA Home Director: Manda Mountain
About State Veterans Homes:
- State veterans homes date back to the post-Civil War era when many states created the homes to provide shelter to homeless and disabled veterans.
- Like community nursing homes, state veterans homes are skilled nursing facilities designed and equipped to care for chronically ill patients who are no longer able to care for themselves.
Where were you on September 01, 1939 when World War II started? …maybe not born yet? Do you remember what happened on April 30, 1975? That was the end of the Vietnam War. Almost everyone can remember the significance of September 11, 2001 and the terrorist attack on the United States. Some of the residents of Richard M. Campbell Veterans Nursing Home may not be up to speed on current events, but most can recite their branch of military service and their rank.
The mission statement for Richard M. Campbell Veterans Nursing Home is to honor the country’s commitment to care for its military men and women when they can no longer care for themselves. The facility houses 220 residents, including ten female veterans. Service pensions can offset the financial burden, but residents are responsible for the cost of their care. Just like any other nursing home, some residents have family members who visit often, while others are dropped off and essentially forgotten.
Imagine sharing a bedroom with a total stranger. Imagine losing your privacy and your freedom. Imagine having to depend on someone else for every need. Along with the loss of independence comes the loss of individuality. For soldiers who take pride in their service to the country, life in a nursing home can be a harsh adjustment. The staff at Richard Campbell focuses on treating residents with respect and dignity as they transition to their new life.
Sunday, November 03, marks the date of the seventh You Are Not Forgotten Run hosted by the Teufelshunde Motorcycle Club. The annual affair is more than a motorcycle ride. Bikers, passengers, and residents of Anderson County contribute cash and personal items such as socks, tissues, lotions, and the little things that most people take for granted.
The first ride had twelve bikes, and this year’s event included more than one thousand bikers with spectators lining the streets of Anderson to watch the procession. Timms Harley Davidson, Holiday Church, and Bonitz Flooring Group are among the many sponsors. The ride is followed by sky diving and an afternoon military celebration.
Simple acts of kindness reap priceless rewards. Warm socks on a cold night comfort more than feet. Sometimes it takes only a five minute phone call or a ten minute visit to help someone not feel forgotten or alone. Take a moment to thank a veteran.