After deaths at Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, lawmakers introduce new bill to protect veterans

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A federal overhaul on the safety standards for veterans’ homes is being proposed by two Massachusetts congressmen.

Congressmen Richard Neal and Joe Kennedy introduced the new bill in response to the deaths of 76 veterans at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home. The Holyoke Veterans Act calls for higher and more appropriate qualifications for the administration of veteran homes.

For example, leaders would need to hold a medical license.

The bill also calls for more oversight of those facilities, larger governing boards, and requires all veteran homes to have infection control plans.

“Because of what happened across the country soldiers homes and nursing home facilities that we can gain some traction. There is going to have to be more oversight from the federal government about many of these soldier’ homes across the country,” Congressman Neal said.

Next, the proposed act will move to the Committee on Veterans Affairs for approval.

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