Minnesota Veteran - January

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Desk of the Commissioner - January

Commissioner Herke new

Happy New Year! As I look ahead to 2022, I am excited about the initiatives underway and progress being made on behalf of Minnesota Veterans and their families.

For example:

  • Three new State Veterans Homes are now under construction in Bemidji, Montevideo and Preston and expected to open in mid to late 2023.
  • A new State Veterans Cemetery in Redwood Falls will open in fall 2022 with a formal dedication in spring 2023.
  • Efforts toward ending Veteran homelessness are making great strides with now only three of 10 Continuums of Care remaining to reach the goal of Minnesota becoming the fourth state in the country to effectively end Veteran homelessness. Hennepin, Ramsey and St. Louis Counties are focused on effectively ending Veteran homelessness in the next year.
  • Additional State funding has increased our resources around preventing Veteran Suicide. Two new staff are moving forward with work around psychological autopsies to learn more about the cause of Veteran suicide and expand training and community outreach and partnerships.



New Meal Order Process in Minnesota Veterans Homes Expands Food Options and Helps Environment

Ordering Food on IPad

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) is committed to reducing our environmental footprint, while never compromising the quality care and services provided to Minnesota’s Veterans.

Last year, MDVA received funding from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) through a competitive grant program focused on preventing wasted food in the Minnesota Veterans Homes. Wasted food is a focus for the MPCA because the food system (growing, harvesting, transporting and processing) is responsible for up to 37% of global greenhouse gas emissions.


Minnesota Veterans Home - Minneapolis Named one of America’s Best Nursing Homes


The Minnesota State Veterans Home in Minneapolis has been recognized as one of America’s Best Nursing Homes. Newsweek magazine and global data research partner Statista recently announced its list of the nation’s top nursing homes for 2022. The Minneapolis Veterans Home was specifically named to the eighth position in the state.

This annual ranking identifies the nation’s top nursing homes based on three critical criteria relative to in-state competition:

  • Overall performance data
  • Peer recommendations
  • Handling of COVID-19



New Veterans Homes Construction Moving Forward


When you’re in the midst of major construction projects simultaneously occurring at three different locations hundreds of miles apart from one another, what is one of the best phrases you can hear? “We’re on schedule!”

That’s the case with our three new State Veterans Homes being built in the communities of Bemidji, Montevideo and Preston. Following successful groundbreakings hosted by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) last summer and a long, mild autumn which helped project partners Knutson Construction and A&P Construction effectively launch their work, great strides have been made in all communities.



Minnesota Seeks to Train 1,000 as CNAs

CNA Training

Governor Tim Walz recently announced a new initiative to recruit, train and deploy at least 1,000 new certified nursing assistants (CNAs) for Minnesota long-term care facilities experiencing staffing shortages by the end of January. The five Minnesota Veterans Homes could benefit from this as all locations are hiring CNAs referred to as Human Services Technicians (HSTs) in Minnesota state government. Learn more about MDVA job openings at MinnesotaVeteran.org/Careers.

The effort is a partnership between state government, colleges and long-term care providers led by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. It will recruit qualified Minnesotans and enroll them in certification courses at Minnesota State campuses.

More information is available on the website of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education at Certified Nursing Assistant Training (state.mn.us) or via email at CNAProgram.OHE@state.mn.us.

Support Our Troops License Plates Help Minnesota Veterans

Meet SOT Grant Recipient: Department of Minnesota Veterans of Foreign Wars


The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) distributes funds raised by the sale of Support Our Troops (SOT) license plates to numerous organizations that support Minnesota Veterans and their families. Learn more about the SOT grant program on our website.

Department of Minnesota Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) was awarded a $4,500 SOT grant to purchase four multifunctional printers for their VFW Claims Office located at the Henry Whipple Federal Building along with a high functioning graphic dense capable desktop computer used to produce their annual Buddy Poppy Card and their state-wide newspaper The Gopher Oversea’r.