VA Black Hills Health Care System
The recent passage of South Dakota SB 139 and signature by Governor Daugaard on March 10th has a significant impact on the VA Black Hills Medical Foster Home (MFH) Program.
MFH Coordinators at VA Sioux Falls, Kristin Breitag, and VA Black Hills, Michelle Hough, worked closely with Ken Laughlin of the PVA, and Gene Murphy and Don Sealock of the DAV to provide information as requested to support, not only passage of the bill, but the best care for Veterans.
A goal of Medical Foster Home (MFH) is to allow Veterans an alternative to institutional care when they can no longer remain in their home. Nationally, the MFH Program allows Veterans to remain in a Medical Foster Home through end of life. In SD, the law only allowed for assisted living level of care, which meant a Veteran would have to leave the MFH and go into an institution as their care needs increased. Several Veterans Organizations were able to work with State Legislators to introduce a bill that would exempt VA MFH from State licensing. This means once a Veteran chooses a Medical Foster Home, they can remain there permanently, even if their needs go beyond assisted living level of care.
The Bill will go into effect on July 1, 2011.
Stay tuned for more information on Medical Foster Home in the VA Black Hills Health Care System.
For questions about this program, please contact Michelle Hough, LICSW, Medical Foster Home Coordinator at 605-720-7328.
You can also learn more at http://www.blackhills.va.gov/Medical_Foster_homes.asp