MADISON — Following months of analysis, the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) is taking steps to consolidate its skilled-nursing operations on the campus of the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King.

The Veterans Home at King, a five-star rated facility located on Rainbow Lake in Waupaca County, is comprised of four individually licensed skilled-nursing buildings. In response to a shrinking demand nationally for skilled care at nursing homes by seniors, and a shortage of workers in the nursing industry, the WDVA will begin the process of concentrating its operations into three residential buildings through the next several months.

“Ensuring the safety and comfort of our members by providing high-quality skilled nursing care is of utmost importance,” WDVA Secretary-designee Mary Kolar said. “Consolidating operations will enable our dedicated staff to continue to deliver top-rated skilled nursing care in a more efficient manner. We will work closely with members and families throughout this transition.”

The WDVA received approval from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services following its request to relocate the 124 members currently residing in Stordock Hall on King’s campus to the other three licensed buildings — Ainsworth Hall, MacArthur Hall, and Olson Hall. The consolidation reflects the same trends experienced in long-term care facilities throughout the nation, as seniors are increasingly opting to forego care at nursing facilities in favor of aging at home.

“We have an overarching goal of maintaining a safe, satisfying place for our members to call ‘home,’ and our incredible employees to call their workplace,” Secretary-designee Kolar said. “As the WDVA continues to adapt to changing demographics and the desires of Wisconsin veterans and their families, we remain focused on our staff, our members, and their families.”

Earlier this year, construction began on John R. Moses Hall, a state-of-the-art facility designed to replace 50-year-old Stordock Hall. The building will feature 192 beds with the most advanced nursing technology, increased dementia care capabilities, modern food service, and much more in a home-like setting. Work on Moses Hall is scheduled to be complete in late 2021, or early 2022.

All four of King’s nursing facilities exceed local and state averages in overall quality, as determined by the federal nursing home rating system. The four skilled-nursing facilities at King are rated above average by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), with Ainsworth, MacArthur and Olson achieving ratings at the highest, 5-star level.

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