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Holyoke plans moving ahead

September 28, 2021

Change is in the air at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, which has received accreditation from an independent nonprofit organization. In addition, plans are taking shape to build a new $400 million facility.

The state said recently that the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, a 234-bed long-term care facility, has received accreditation by an independent nonprofit organization. In addition, two Boston construction companies have been picked to plan the building of a new, $400 million facility.
The state said that the Joint Commission, a national organization, provides “the gold standard” for health care accreditation. The Joint Commission’s accreditation surveys include unannounced onsite visits that are conducted once every three years. The Holyoke Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke voluntarily opted into the process, as has the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home. The Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke is also certified annually by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Nonetheless, the Holyoke Home was hit by one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks nationwide, killing at least 76 veterans in the spring of 2020.
In fact, the disgraced administrators touted the two accreditations that the facility received.
In other news, Commodore Builders and Walsh Brothers have been picked by the state to plan for the rebuilt Holyoke Home. The state is seeking to gain a federal subsidy that will cover 65 percent of the construction costs.
“This project could not be more important to us — and our commitment is to ensure that we respect the legacy of our veterans by providing them with the facilities, services and amenities that they deserve,” said Commodore president and CEO Joe Albanese in a press release.
Masslive, which is affiliated with the Springfield Republican newspaper, reported that, if all goes as planned, the project is estimated for completion in 2026. A bond bill that Gov. Charlie Baker signed includes $200 million for expanded veterans services across the state.
The new facility is slated for 234 beds, primarily in private rooms, with larger common areas.
The facility’s former superintendent, Bennett Walsh, and medical director, Dr. David Clinton, resigned in the wake of the outbreak. They were later indicted by a grand jury on criminal neglect charges for their roles in the disaster. For more on that, issue, see