Construction is on schedule for the Bemidji Veterans Home.
An update from the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs says the project is 70 percent complete, with the first residents expected to be admitted in August.
Since the application window opened in September, 141 veterans and 21 veteran spouses have applied. County Veteran Service Officers can help future residents with the admission application process.
Administrator Kevin Gish plans to lead a team of 160 full and part-time employees, expected to be hired over the next six months.
“It’s a privilege to be here,” Gish said.
“I wanted to be part of this Veterans Home, in part, to honor the Veterans in my family including my uncle who died as a POW in Korea.”
He acknowledges that despite the workforce shortage, the Home offers competitive wages and generous state employee benefits.
“My vision is to ensure that the Bemidji Veterans Home is not just a nursing home but truly a home for the Veterans who complete their final tour of duty there,” Gish said, adding that the Home will be “comfortable, inviting and inclusive.”
MDVA officials say the staffing ratio between employees and residents is better than many other long-term care facilities.
“Our goal is to encourage more community members to explore a rewarding career in long-term care and to improve the workforce shortage for all facilities,” said Simone Hogan, Senior Director – Veterans Healthcare for MDVA.
“Our hope is that new employees to the Veterans Home will make this their career and be here 25 years from now.”
Job openings are posted at mn.gov/careers.