Minnesota Veteran - April

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Desk of the Commissioner - April

Commissioner Herke new

As the coronavirus pandemic persists, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) is “open for business” and is striving to operate as usual when possible. While the Veterans Homes remain under a restricted visitor policy and the State Veterans Cemeteries are not able to host services, the majority of our programs and services are available with our staff teleworking.

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COVID-19 Financial Assistance for Veterans

On March 26, 2020, the Minnesota State Legislature voted to fund a special appropriation to assist Veterans who may be financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 Specific Programs have been activated specifically in response to mitigate the economic effects COVID-19 is having on our Veterans and their families. These programs can close at any time without notice due to the exhaustion of approved funding. Status updates will be posted here regarding the status of these programs. All of the grants are awarded on a first come, first serve basis, and the amount of grants awarded is limited to the length of existing funding.


COVID-19 State Veterans Homes Updates

covid-19 homes

The Minnesota Veterans Homes are striving to keep families informed of the situation at the Veterans Homes and any changes in our policies. We have established a COVID-19 Information Line for families of Minnesota Veterans Homes Residents. They can call this number any time to hear a recorded message from an MDVA leader who will provide the latest general updates.


Face Mask Donations

Our Minnesota Veterans Homes are accepting donations of handsewn face masks. The aid of volunteers is critical during this period of COVID-19 spread and will help ensure that our staff can continue to do their best work. Here are instructions on how you can help, provided by Allina Health.


Facemask Donations

COVID-19 State Veterans Cemeteries Update

covid-19 cemeteries

As we respond to COVID-19, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) remains committed to serving Minnesota Veterans and their families. We are following CDC and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidance.

Minnesota State Veterans Cemeteries remain open for visitors who should practice social distancing.

Effective as of Monday, March 30 at 8 a.m., MDVA has adopted restrictions similar to those in effect at all VA National Cemeteries.


Happy Earth Week From MDVA!

Happy Earth Week! April 22 is the 50th Earth Day, a global day to support environmental protection. To honor this milestone, we’re celebrating all week! In the next few days, we’ll be sharing over social media information about MDVA’s commitment to sustainability, MDVA’s actions aimed to reduce our environmental impact, and tips on how we all can be better environmental stewards.


Photo credit: MPCA

earth week

National Women’s History Month 2020 Profile: Jessica Stiffarm

Women History Stiffarm

Jessica Stiffarm joined the Minnesota National Guard in 2003 and has served for a total of 16 years. She is currently the First Sergeant for the 147th Human Resources Company of Arden Hills. She is also a member of the Native American Special Emphasis Council for the Minnesota National Guard.


Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery Wins Water Conservation Award

preston earth week

With Earth Day tomorrow, MDVA is highlighting how one of our Minnesota State Veterans Cemeteries is supporting our sustainability goal.

Earlier this year, MDVA Commissioner Larry Herke and Deputy Commissioner Brad Lindsay presented the Preston Cemetery with an award for its outstanding water conservation efforts.


Student Spotlight: Thu Mai

Student profile

Our student spotlight focuses on Thu Mai, an intern at our Minneapolis Veterans Home. Thu Mai attends the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and is working toward a Health Services Management degree, with a minor in both management and social justice. She is on track to graduate in December of this year. On top of that, Thu has served six years in the Minnesota National Guard and works in her university’s Veterans Office.


Legislative Updates


The Minnesota Legislature was on hiatus until April 14 due to COVID-19. During that time they met sporadically to pass bills related to the pandemic. Committee hearings are now being held remotely. Floor sessions are held while practicing social distancing guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, this includes some members voting remotely from St. Paul or their home. The Legislative Office for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs will continue to monitor and provide updates as they occur. Related updates will be posted to the Legislative Affairs main page as they are available, or you can sign up here for email updates. 

Pinnacle Customer Experience Awards

Our Minnesota Veterans Homes are among the best in the nation in providing the healthcare that our Residents and heroes deserve. MDVA is proud to announce that the Minneapolis, Silver Bay, Luverne and Fergus Falls Homes have all received the 2020 Pinnacle Customer Experience Award.