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10.12.17 – SPOKES Notes

SPOKES Notes written by Roger Morgenstern

We welcomed the Honorable James Redford, a former Kent County circuit judge and now Gov. Snyder’s director of the Veteran’s Affairs Agency.

  • Jim provided an overview of the department, but focused his remarks on efforts to improve both facilities and services offered at the Grand Rapids Veteran’s Home. The home is one of two in Michigan (the other is in the U.P.) and began in 1886 and is now home to 300 veterans.
  • Working with a newly established Veteran’s healthcare authority, there is a proposal to replace the existing Grand Rapids facility as well as new facilities at six other Michigan locations using a “small house model,” with private rooms and bathrooms. The new facility at 3 Mile and Monroe, on land owned by the Veteran’s Home, would have 128 beds. There is a request pending with the federal Veteran’s Administration which would allow the VA to fund 60 percent of the construction cost.
  • In the meantime, Auditor General findings about the level of care at the Grand Rapids home have been addressed and Jim said an April audit showed no findings.

We also welcomed our Rotary Interact students, and featured members from East Grand Rapids High School. The students from East included Emma Battle, Ana Groenwald, Mark Boeve and Sara Varga. The Interact high school students are comprised of juniors and seniors from Grand Rapids area schools. There are two activities a month; one Rotary Club meeting and then a visit to a point of interest in the Kent County area.

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