WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a senior member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, announced new federal resources to upgrade the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system at the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky. Constructed in 1888, the Sandusky Home has offered nursing and hospice care for veterans for more than 120 years. The Home also specializes in providing care to veterans with Alzheimer’s disease.
“Our veterans deserve first-class facilities that match the first-class service they have provided to our country," said Brown. “These new federal resources will help improve the living accommodations for veterans at the Sandusky Home, while working to fulfill the promise made by our country to take care of those who have served us.”
The Sandusky Home will receive $2,539,936.75 from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Currently, the Home has 427 beds to meet the nursing and skilled nursing needs of Ohio’s senior and disabled veterans.
As the only Ohio Senator to serve a full term on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Brown is an advocate for Ohio’s veterans. In September 2013, Brown and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) introduced the State Veteran Home Homelessness Act to help keep Ohio veterans off the streets by ensuring additional resources to the State Veterans Homes, similar to the one located in Sandusky. The bill would benefit State veterans homes by expanding eligibility for VA homelessness grants allowing for more resources to be given to help veterans get off the street and back on their feet.
In response to disability claims backlog, Brown has helped secure record funds and staffing for the VA to combat the backlog. In November 2013, Brown announced that key provisions of his Veterans Services Outreach (VSO) Act passed the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. The Act would require the VA to notify veterans filing claims electronically that they can receive help and important time-saving information that could significantly reduce their wait time. In August, Brown announced that he would also work to pass the Claims Processing Improvement Act of 2013, legislation that would hold the VA accountable by requiring it to publically report information on both its projected monthly goals and actual production so that Congress and the public knows if the VA is working toward eliminating its backlog. The bill would also establish a task force to hire and train claims processors, and develop tactics to attack and eliminate the backlog.