Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe says the Missouri Veterans Commission is working to find ways to enhance pay for some state veterans home workers. Kehoe, a Republican, tells Missourinet commissioners are talking with the state Legislature and federal government about pay raises.
“It’s very tough to find the skilled workforce it takes to take care of folks, whether it’s a veterans home, a private home or a county-run home. The challenges it’s faced in taking care of people are similar to the industry. We just have to make sure we do the best we can to recruit and retain the best people,” Kehoe says.
Missouri’s Veterans Homes are located in metro St. Louis, St. James, Mexico, Warrensburg, Cape Girardeau, Cameron and Mt. Vernon. The homes manage a combined total of 1,350 beds.
The St. Louis Veterans Home has been investigated several times since 2017 about reports of inadequate care. New leadership took over there this year with a focus of improving care and recruiting additional nursing staff.
The troubled facility led to investigations at all of the state’s veterans homes. An independent organization visited the sites over a two-day period and found things like fear of retaliation against staff who report problems, staff opposition to mandatory overtime and lack of paperwork for infection and sanitation issues and drug dosage.
The state’s website lists current job openings for nursing staff ranging in pay from $11.35 an hour for a certified nursing assistant, $16.65 an hour for a licensed practical nurse to $1,979 on a semi-monthly basis for a registered nurse.
The Missouri Veterans Commission operates the homes. The commission is a division of the state Department of Public Safety.
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