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A skilled nursing facility for veterans opens after a years long effort

Veterans Home of Wyoming skilled nursing facility
Sgt. Kristina Kranz
/
Wyoming National Guard Flickr
The newly dedicated skilled nursing facility at the Veterans Home of Wyoming near Buffalo.

Wyoming is finally home to a skilled nursing facility. The new facility in Buffalo treats veterans in crisis and provides residential care.

“We're actually the last of the states and territories to build a skilled nursing facility and it's taken a long time to get to this facility,” said Tim Sheppard, Executive Director of the Wyoming Veterans Commission. “It's really a credit to the state and the federal government that we've been able to construct it this year.”

Sixty five percent of the facilities funding came from the federal government while the rest was covered by the state.

Before its construction, veterans in crisis or those requiring critical nursing care had to seek it at local facilities or travel out-of-state to receive these services.

“It's known as a lockdown facility, so for those patients who are at risk to themselves or the public, they can go into that area,” Sheppard said. “All 36 beds are state of the art skilled nursing facility rooms.”

The Wyoming Department of Health is responsible for hiring staff, which will require approximately three dozen positions be filled in both healthcare and non-healthcare capacities. These include a director of nursing, registered nurses, certified nursing assistants, dietary staff, and housekeeping roles, among a few others.

“Our goal is that by the first of the year that we’ll actually have a full load of patients in the facility,” Sheppard added. “Again, we're very appreciative of the work of everyone who was able to bring this great facility to fruition.”

Hugh Cook is Wyoming Public Radio's Northeast Reporter, based in Gillette. A fourth-generation Northeast Wyoming native, Hugh joined Wyoming Public Media in October 2021 after studying and working abroad and in Washington, D.C. for the late Senator Mike Enzi.
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