- Governor Charlie Baker | Lt. Governor Karyn Polito
- Francisco A. Ureña, Veterans' Services Secretary
- Marylou Sudders, HHS Secretary
- Mike Heffernan, A&F Secretary
- House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo
- Senate President Harriette Chandler
- Governor's Press Office
Media Contact for Massachusetts Awarded Construction Funding From Veteran Affairs for the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home
Brendan Moss, Press Secretary, Governor's Office
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration has received funding authorization from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the construction of a $199 million 154-bed Community Living Center at the Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea. The administration, with strong support from the Legislature, plans to spend approximately $70 million net of federal reimbursement on the project. The federal funding was awarded through the VA’s State Home Construction Grant Program which provides reimbursement of up to 65% of construction costs for approved projects.
“Our veterans have sacrificed greatly to protect our freedoms and we are proud to see this project move forward as we continue to provide them with great care and dignity,” said Governor Baker. “We are grateful to the VA for their support of Massachusetts’ veterans and this funding allows us to construct a state of the art facility that will be a model for future veteran homes across the country.”
“The funding provided by the VA along with our administration’s capital dollars and strong support from the Legislature will allow this important project to move forward and provide a state-of-the-art facility for Massachusetts veterans who have sacrificed an incredible amount on our behalf,” said Lieutenant Governor Polito.
The Community Living Center at the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home will provide 154 “home-like” rooms for veterans in accordance with VA standards of design, which promotes greater accessibility, mobility, and enhanced quality of life. Services will include physical and occupational therapy, recreational activities and greater access to the outdoors. The current facility, the Quigley Memorial Long Term Care Center, will continue to be fully operational during the construction process with an anticipated project completion date in 2021.
“We appreciate the Department of Veterans Affairs' approval to replace the existing long-term care facility at the Chelsea Soldiers' Home Campus,” said Secretary of Veterans' Services Francisco A. Ureña. “In addition to approving our replacement project, the VA granted the Commonwealth $129 million in matching funds.”
“The Chelsea Soldiers’ Home provides high quality, long-term care to our resident Veterans. The new building design features a progressive, resident focused community living center with each veteran having a private room,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders. “It’s been a priority to address the architectural deficiencies noted by VA over the past decade and the VA's approval of this plan and the grant notice is an important next step.”
“The Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea is a vital component of how we care for those who have served us, and these federal funds will help ensure that our veterans continue to be treated with the dignity and respect they have earned,” said Senate President Harriette Chandler.
In May 2017, the Baker-Polito Administration announced state funding for the new long-term care facility as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 capital budget plan, and in November, Governor Baker signed legislation to fund the project.
“I am thrilled that the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home will be receiving federal funding for its new Community Living Center,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “The House has been a longtime supporter of this project and, as a neighbor of the Soldiers’ Home, I have been proud to support the residents and their needs throughout my tenure in the House. This financing will allow the Soldiers’ Home to further improve and enhance the vital care that they provide our veterans.”
Governor Baker was joined at his 2018 State of the Commonwealth Address by U.S. Navy Veteran Tom Miller who lives at the Chelsea Soldiers Home, Director of Nursing Debbie Antonelli and Superintendent Cheryl Poppe to celebrate the Administration’s commitment to this necessary funding.
“The Chelsea Soldiers’ Home project is a strong example of the Baker-Polito Administration’s capital investment strategy, which targets new investments that maximize the leveraging of other available funding sources, in this case the VA,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Mike Heffernan. “Most importantly, it represents an investment in our Commonwealth’s veterans.”
“This funding will allow us to provide our veterans with a long-awaited updated home that will enhance their quality of life with increased privacy and greater access to services,” said Chelsea Soldiers’ Home Superintendent Cheryl Lussier Poppe. “Our veterans deserve the very best, and this home will complement the quality care our veterans receive here at the Soldiers’ Home. We are grateful for the support of the Baker-Polito Administration for this opportunity.”
The Soldiers’ Home in Chelsea first opened its doors to Massachusetts veterans in 1882. The first residents were Civil War veterans who were wounded or unable to care for themselves, many of whom had previously resided in the Commonwealth’s “alms houses.” Today, Chelsea carries on Massachusetts’ proud tradition of helping all veterans in need of both long term care and domiciliary / supportive services. Chelsea is surveyed annually by the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”). It is also fully accredited by The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (“Joint Commission”). Chelsea has a Board of Trustees appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The trustees and DVS share responsibility for the management of the home.