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VA Illiana Health Care System, Danville, Illinois


Green Houses for VA Illiana Health Care System


 VA Illiana Health Care System Ground Breaking Ceremony

Ground Breaking for new Green Houses at VA Illiana Health Care System 

The VA Illiana Health Care System (VAIHCS) had a ground breaking ceremony for two homes that will provide a new and innovative approach for Veterans needing skilled nursing care. The ceremony was on Tuesday, October 12th on what was once a golf course on the VA campus in Danville, Illinois.  This initiative is a $4M construction project. The homes will be called: Freedom and Liberty Homes. VAIHCS has been the leader for VA to adopt the Green House ® Project model.

THE GREEN HOUSE® concept provides a full range of personal care and clinical services expected in high quality nursing homes.  At the same time, this model gives priority to the Veteran’s quality of life, providing an atmosphere of security, privacy, dignity and companionship in a real home setting.

The homes will accommodate 10 Veteran’s each.  Every Veteran will have a private living space with a private bathroom.  This will change the design of the traditional institutional nursing home setting into a home environment.  In the Green House® model the philosophy, organizational structure and environment are dramatically different, allowing for a community living environment for the residents.  The resident rooms will be situated around a hearth area with an open kitchen and dining room.

The Veteran’s will be free from the limitations of an institutional schedule and live a comfortable daily life – sleeping, eating and engaging in enrichment opportunities as they choose. Meals will be prepared in the kitchen and served at a large, single dining table where Veteran’s, their primary caregivers, families and friends can enjoy a pleasant dining experience.

In the Green House® model the primary care worker is called a “Shahbaz”, a flexible worker who provides personal care for the Veteran’s while also doing the routine household tasks of cooking, cleaning and laundry. These workers are certified nursing assistants who have advanced training and work as a self-managed work team to complete assignments, scheduling and all of the work in the household. There will also be a Clinical Support Team available to support the Shahbazim (plural) in their care of the Veteran’s. Nurses will also be available at the homes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Michael E. Hamilton, Director of VAIHCS, is very excited about THE GREEN HOUSE® concept.  “We have been working towards this goal for a long time and are finally getting ready to break ground.  This is definitely the future of skilled nursing care and we are proud to be the Leader in VA.  We believe this transformation of care will dramatically enrich our Veterans lives and the lives of the next generation of Veterans.”

The Green House® Replication Initiative is funded through a special grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and has 42 projects currently operating or in development in 27 states.