Gov. Phil Murphy is calling for outside help with the state’s Veterans Home crisis.
After Murphy sent a Mission Critical Team to the Menlo Park Veterans Home, the Governor announced his administration would be taking step to find proposals for outside management of the three state-run Veterans Homes.
“Improving the care our veterans are receiving in each of the three State-run veterans homes remains a crucial priority of my Administration,” said Murphy in announcing the plan.
Seeking Outside Help
Murphy said the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA) would issue a Request for Proposals to seek a vendor who could “manage systemic changes and provide qualified, administrative staff” to help lead the turnaround efforts.
“By seeking experienced leadership – the best of the best – to oversee systemic reforms and bring seasoned staff on board, we will harness the expertise and impartiality of an outside vendor to ensure the implementation of thorough, long-lasting reforms in these homes,” Murphy continued.
New Roles, Reliance on Data
Murphy said the vendor would be required to provide a qualified team of administrative staff, including a CEO and Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) to oversee day-to-day implementation of the initiatives on site. The program would seek extensive management of initiatives aimed at improving operations within the veterans homes. Leadership training would be required, as well.
The vendor would be responsible for “measurable” results, and Murphy noted the Administration would seek a vendor with proven experience in the field.
“Bringing in a first-rate operator focused squarely on the best health care and well-being of our veterans is absolutely critical,” said State Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-19). “Our veterans held up their end of the bargain, it’s our time to hold up ours.”
Menlo Park a Breaking Point
Recently, the Menlo Park Veterans Home has come under fire from federal officials. The federal government recently cut funding from the facility due to COVID-19-related deaths. The state runs two other long-term care facilities for veterans—Paramus and Vineland.
In response, Murphy sent a Mission Critical Team under the New Jersey Department of Health to offer guidance and support making improvements at the facility.
“I agree with Governor Murphy’s decision to bring in a professional organization to restore confidence and accountability to the care provided in our state’s veterans homes,” said State Sen. Joe Cryan (D-20). “Our veterans deserve experts who understand all aspects of long-term care management and can bring that expertise into these homes to give New Jersey’s veterans the quality of care they deserve in honor of the sacrifices they have made on behalf of this nation.”