ANNA – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon and Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) Director Erica Borggren visited residents of the Adjutant Illinois Veterans’ Home in Anna to celebrate the holidays and highlight the importance of funding for veterans homes throughout Illinois.
“Veterans’ homes like this allow us to better care for the men and women who have served our country. The state’s fiscal reality has already resulted in cuts to services for veterans, and it is vital that we work together in Springfield to make sure that these homes – which provide a sense of community, medical care and more – remain open and operating,” said Simon, chair of the state’s military base retention and reuse committee.
Lt. Governor Simon and Dir. Borggren celebrated the holidays with veterans at the southern Illinois home by building gingerbread houses, and they talked about the importance of preserving funding for veterans’ homes even in the state’s current fiscal instability.
“During the holiday season, it’s important for all of us to remember and honor our veterans, many of whom spent the holidays away from home during their time in uniform, and some of whom are even now serving in harm’s way,” said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. “The work we at IDVA do throughout the year in Anna and at our other Veterans’ Homes is an important way we honor and thank our heroes for their service and sacrifices.”
The IDVA currently operates four veterans’ homes throughout Illinois. In addition to the home in Anna, facilities are located in LaSalle, Manteno and Quincy. Work is also underway on a fifth home in Chicago. Each home is fully staffed with professionals who provide quality long-term, skilled care and services to resident members. Volunteers from veteran service organizations and the local community provide many additional supporting services and activities to the veterans.
The state’s veterans’ homes have not been immune to budget cuts, due in part to the state’s growing pension burden. During fiscal year 2013, the homes housed 44 fewer veterans, and 36 staff positions were cut. The Governor is working with the General Assembly to stabilize pension costs that are threatening spending priorities, such as education and medical care for homeless veterans.
The state’s veterans’ homes work closely with local healthcare agencies to ensure that each resident’s health care needs are met. Emphasis is given to ensuring that each resident member is well cared for, has a full quality of life, and enjoys a caring, supportive environment.
The Anna Veterans’ Home is located in the Anna-Jonesboro community in Union County. It is a modern, single story structure opened in August 1994. Situated on 16 acres, the home provides skilled nursing care services to eligible veterans. The home has a 50-bed nursing care capacity and 12 beds in six adjoining apartment-style domiciliary units.