Minnesota Veteran - February

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Desk of the Commissioner - February

Commissioner Herke new

The Minnesota Legislature has been in session for more than a month now, and the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) has been active at the State Capitol, both virtually and in person. Our Legislative Director Ben Johnson and Legislative Liaison Cole Trace coordinate our efforts to connect with our Legislators, advocating for funding and legislation that will support Minnesota’s more than 304,000 Veterans.

Like all State agencies, MDVA works with the Governor’s Office before the Legislative session begins to identify our needs and budget requests. MDVA was included in the Walz-Flanagan “To Move Minnesota Forward” budget under the “Protecting Health and Safety” category.

Read more about our initiatives supporting Minnesota’s Veterans and their families>>

Silver Bay Veterans Home Receives Excellent MDH Survey Results

Silver bay

Congratulations are due to the employees of the Minnesota Veterans Home - Silver Bay! The team recently received an “unheard of” excellent result for their annual quality survey. The facility not only was found to be in compliance to maintain its nursing home license but received zero deficiencies from the surveyors.


Celebrating Black History Month

sarah keyes

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) proudly recognizes February as Black History Month as proclaimed by Governor Walz to celebrate the cultural diversity and achievements that contribute to the prosperity of Minnesota. It is also a time to reflect on our past and its impact on today, and reaffirm our commitment to equitable solutions for all our communities.


Remembering the Fallen, Reliving a Tradition


No doubt about it – 2021 was a challenging year. Actually, due to the global pandemic, it was the second challenging year in a row. By the time 2021 was almost over, organizations and individuals alike were consistently expressing a strong desire to return to celebrating traditions and making new memories together.

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA), our team members and the Veterans and families we serve were particularly looking forward to a very special annual event: securing and placing thousands of memorial wreaths at our three State Cemeteries in Duluth, Preston and Little Falls.


Support Our Troops License Plates Help Minnesota Veterans

Meet SOT Grant Recipient: NightWare Inc.


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.

NightWare Inc. was awarded a $100,000 SOT grant to conduct an estimated 50-person clinical trial at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System for Veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-related sleep disturbance and trauma related nightmares (TRN). The study provided preliminary estimates of safety and efficacy of NightWare’s digital therapeutic system for the treatment of nightmare disorder associated with PTSD and TRN.


A Champion For Change: Lee McClary Named Vietnam Veterans of America Service Officer of the Year

Lee Mcclary

Lee McClary is one busy guy. When he’s not working as a Senior Veterans Claim Representative for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) – answering questions and advising individuals on the benefits available from Federal, State and County resources and assisting people in completing and filing benefit claims – he’s a member of American Legion Post 259.

He’s also spent the last 6.5 years as the National Veterans Service Officer (VSO) for the Minnesota Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA). Lee’s above and beyond commitment to helping the Minnesota VVA resulted in his being named the VVA National Veterans Service Officer of 2021. This recognition happily surprised and deeply touched Lee, a man who loves his country, his job and his ability to serve those who have served.


Minnesota Seeks to Train 1,000 as CNAs

CNA Training

Calling all Minnesotans: We need you to join the next generation of Minnesota health care workers. The State of Minnesota has set a new goal to recruit, train, and employ at least 1,000 new certified nursing assistants for Minnesota long-term care facilities experiencing staffing shortages. 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.