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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
  • Website

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.