The Georgia State Senate’s office announced that State Senator Kay Kirkpatrick (R-Marietta), chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Military, and Homeland Security, has been appointed to the new Subcommittee on Veteran Nursing Facilities.
“I am honored to serve as chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans, Military, and Homeland Security as we work to ensure our service members get the best quality of life possible,” Congresswoman Kirkpatrick said.
Other subcommittee members include State Senators Tonya Anderson (D-Lithonia), Russ Goodman (R-Cogdell), and Ed Harbison (D-Columbus).
“The Subcommittee on Veterans Nursing Facilities will conduct a thorough review of each of our two state veteran nursing homes, and I am looking forward to a better understanding of how we can improve these facilities and better serve our senior veterans,” Kirkpatrick said.
“The state has two veteran nursing homes. There are others run by the VA. The challenge is that we have an increasing number of senior veterans but not enough nursing home beds,” the congresswoman said.
The Peach State senator stated that Georgia is behind other Southeastern states when it comes to budgeting for veteran nursing homes.
“Adding new facilities or expanding the one we have is going to cost money and that is always a challenge with our budgeting process. We are behind our surrounding states in this area,” she said.
She further relayed that she intends to compare Georgia’s veteran nursing facilities with other states in the southeast.
“The purpose of the meetings will be to clarify the problem, see how Georgia stacks up with other Southeastern states, and identify the gaps so that we can make recommendations to the legislature, governor, and other concerned parties,” Kirkpatrick said.
The congresswoman implied that a better understanding of the two nursing homes is necessary before improvements can be made.
“The two homes are set up differently and we won’t fully understand the challenges until we have some testimony,” she said.
The Star News asked Kirkpatrick about a statement made by GA-05 GOP candidate Christian Zimm, criticizing the VA hospital in Atlanta.
“Regarding the VA hospital in Atlanta, that is obviously outside the scope of this committee. I will say that I receive regular constituent complaints about the hospital. It is very difficult for patients to navigate the various systems, some federal and some state, but certainly we need to do what we can at the state level to be sure our veterans get what they need,” she said.
Kirkpatrick told The Star News she has assurance that the subcommittee will succeed in the improvement of the two nursing facilities.
“I am confident that the new leadership at the Georgia Department of Veterans Services can help with this and I look forward to our meetings, which will likely start in September.”
The meetings will be open to the public,” she added.
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