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Durbin meets with VA secretary nominee, presses for support of Quincy veterans home

QUINCY - Sen. Dick Durbin met with Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Robert Wilkie, who has been nominated as the next Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on Tuesday.

During the meeting, Durbin discussed efforts to update the Illinois Veterans’ Home (IVH) in Quincy, which is a state-owned facility, as well as the importance of improving operations and timely care at VA facilities throughout Illinois and across the country. 

“It was good to meet with Under Secretary Wilkie today to discuss his nomination, goals for the agency, and how we can continue to give our veterans every opportunity to succeed,” Durbin said. “We discussed the role the VA continues to play in supporting IVH Quincy and I’m hoping he would be a willing partner in that effort. Veterans who call Illinois home deserve the very best."

In May, the VA awarded $4,156,722 to the state to support the cost of 2016 renovations of the domestic water system for legionella control at the IVH Quincy and help support improvements at the facility.

The VA provides reimbursements for two-thirds of eligible State Veterans Home construction and renovations projects, in addition to providing ongoing financial and technical support to IVH Quincy.

This funding comes after Gov. Bruce Rauner announcing a plan of action for ensuring the safety of residents, family, and staff at IVH Quincy. The VA is also planning a site visit with a team of experts to IVH Quincy in August.

Since 2015, Illinois state officials have been unable to contain an ongoing Legionnaires’ disease crisis at the 132-year-old IVH facility in Quincy.

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