STONY BROOK, N.Y., November 15, 2005 — State Senators John Flanagan (East Northport) and Michael Balboni (East Williston) today joined residents of the Long Island State Veterans Home at Stony Brook University to formally announce a joint effort between the Senators, the Long Island Congressional Delegation and the Veterans Administration in securing $2.2 million in funding for construction and technology upgrades at the Home. The funding announcement was part of the Home's traditional Veterans Day ceremony honoring Long Island veterans.
According to Fred S. Sganga, Executive Director of the Long Island State Veterans Home, "The VA Construction Grant program has enabled us to maintain our physical plant and provide a safe environment on behalf of those frail, elderly veterans we care for every day. We are truly grateful to Senator Flanagan and Senator Balboni for their steadfast commitment to our aging veterans." Mr. Sganga added, "Senator Flanagan and Senator Balboni are always there for us with New York State matching funds. Without their assistance, there would be no federal funding for our facility."
Senator Flanagan, a member of the Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, said, "Veterans are our modern day heroes. We owe them a debt of gratitude for making the ultimate sacrifice for this country and our freedom." Flanagan further stated, "The Long Island State Veterans Home honors those who have served every day with care and compassion. It is a great pleasure to support them in their efforts to provide our veterans with the best quality of care."
Senator Michael Balboni (R-East Williston), Chairman of Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, said, "Long Island's many veterans deserve respect and honor not just on Veterans Day but all year-round for their service to our nation and the cause of freedom. I am pleased to provide this state funding that will allow the Veterans Home to realize critical infrastructure improvements that enhance the quality of life of the many veterans who reside there and use its services."
Each year the federal government allocates approximately $104 million to fund the State Veterans Home Construction Grant Program. Through this initiative, individual states compete for funding which must be used to either construct or renovate designated State Veterans facilities that provide skilled nursing or domiciliary care. The federal government appropriates 65% of the construction costs provided that each state makes a commitment of 35% in state matching funds. For the last three years, Senators Flanagan and Balboni have worked on behalf of the Veterans Home to secure the state funding necessary for drawing down these federal dollars.
In 2004, the Long Island State Veterans Home received a combined grant of over $1.13 million which will be used to replace outdated electrical equipment, install a new roof, catch basins and air conditioning, improve security measures, and replace a fuel tank. The $1.12 million requested for 2005 will enhance the Home's information technology system including its Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and pharmacy tracking systems. It will also provide digital cable access to community and individual residents' rooms, as well as upgrade the overall communications within the facility.
Opened in October 1991, the Long Island State Veterans Home is a 350-bed skilled nursing facility located on the campus at Stony Brook University. In addition to skilled nursing care, the Home also provides a medical model Adult Day Care program, round-the-clock nursing and medical services, physical, occupational and speech therapies, as well as therapeutic recreation and nutritional counseling. The Home is open to all honorably discharged veterans and their spouses who reside in the New York State area. For more information, call (631) 444-VETS.