St. Lucie County is one step closer to becoming the next site for Florida’s newest veterans’ nursing home. That’s after several counties lobbied members of a select panel considering the next location to build the state’s seventh VA nursing home.
Over the past several months, the selection process was narrowed down from ten counties to six. And, Tuesday, the remaining counties in the running gave presentations about why the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs Site Selection and Planning Committee should select their area as the next location for the state’s next veterans’ nursing home. And, according to the preliminary results, St. Lucie got the top spot.
“We have over 280,000 veterans in our service area, and we believe we’re the only proposed site that doesn’t have one existing nursing home within its five-mile radius. So, there’s a gap that needs to be filled,” said Wayne T. Gardens, the St. Lucie county's veterans manager, who spoke on the county's behalf.
The next step is for Governor Rick Scott and the rest of the Florida Cabinet to okay the site on August 19th. Florida currently has state veterans’ nursing homes in six counties, including Volusia, Pasco, and Bay areas. It also includes Charlotte, St. Johns, and Broward counties.
The state’s overall plan is to build four more nursing homes within the next eight to ten years. Florida has the nation's third largest veterans population.
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