Continuing King’s Tradition
Veterans - we cannot, we will not, we must not forget who they are. For they reflect America. Whether we welcome them back to civilian life upon leaving the military or we ensure their comfort in their waning years, we have an obligation to those who have risked their all for all of us.
The Veterans Home at King is a state operated facility for Wisconsin veterans and their spouses. Building and maintenance for the campus is a 65% - 35% split between the federal and state government.
I introduced a bill in the Wisconsin State Legislature which amends the 2013−15 Authorized State Building Program to add one project for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The project involves the construction of the John R. Moses Skilled Nursing Facility at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King. Co-authoring the bill are Representative Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton), Senator Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon), and Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee).
Every named hall at King honors a veteran with Wisconsin ties. Appointed by Governor Gaylord Nelson, John R. Moses served as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs from 1962 until he retired in 1982. During his tenure, Secretary Moses led the revitalization of King.
From its original enrollment of 50 members in 1887, King has grown to a community of over 700 members. With four separately licensed nursing homes, it is one of the largest and most independent skilled long-term care facilities in the United States. King also has a chapel and an activity center that contains a post office, theatre, bowling alley, museum, and library.
Two older buildings – Burns-Clemens Hall (circa 1959) and Ove Hall (circa 1929) will be demolished, providing the area needed to build the new skilled nursing care facility. Both buildings have significant structural issues and/or water damage that would require extensive repair.
Once completed, residents of Stordock Hall (circa 1968) will be relocated to Moses Hall. Because long-term care delivery and technology has changed greatly over the years, providing quality care is becoming more and more difficult to our members in the older outdated facility. The new 200-bed replacement skilled nursing facility accords the state the means to fulfill its mission of caring for our veterans.
Moses Hall will adhere to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) parameters for new construction. According to the USDVA; residents should be housed in a home-like environment serving the long-term care needs of veterans and their eligible dependents.
By definition, a “homelike concept” means Moses Hall will consist of living arrangements with 8 – 12 members in small living units i.e. “households.” Each household will consist of personal living rooms and dining areas vs. an “institutional design” with massive dining rooms and long hallways.
Furthermore, Moses Hall will address life safety issues for members experiencing dementia. Currently, members with dementia are housed on Ainsworth Hall’s 2nd floor. An emergency requiring evacuation could render these members vulnerable. Moses Hall would follow industry standards in housing dementia patients on the ground floor.
Generation after generation of veterans risked their lives, giving all of us the opportunity to live our lives as we choose. Moses Hall will continue King’s exceptional tradition of ensuring our heroes live their final years protected in comfort and dignity.