The Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home (GWVNH) in Augusta is a 192-bed skilled nursing care facility located adjacent to the campus of the Georgia Health Sciences University, formally known as the Medical College of Georgia. The facility is also adjacent to the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center. It is operated under an interagency agreement between the Georgia Department of Veterans Service and the Georgia Health Sciences University.
Primarily, the facility provides medical and nursing services to Georgia’s aged and infirmed veterans. GWVNH also serves as a teaching facility to acquaint medical, pharmacy and allied health students with the medical conditions and diseases of the aged. This provides students with practical experience and helps them gain expertise in treating the disabled and the elderly.
In addition, the facility also houses a Georgia Department of Veterans Service field office that serves veterans of Richmond and Columbia counties.
Dedicated in 1969, the facility was the first of its kind in the nation to be built with financial grant assistance from the federal government. It is one of a select group of such institutions that is accredited by the Joint Commission.
In fiscal year 2010, the nursing home provided 61,301 days of care to Georgia’s veterans with an average age of 80. During the year, there were 205 admissions and 219 discharges with an average length of stay of 239 days. Services to patients included 4626 physical therapy treatments and 3681 individual occupational therapy procedures. Veteran patients were treated by a medical director and family medicine residents providing daily physician coverage. Other services were provided by a certified activities therapist and staff, two facility social workers and a staff of registered, licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants.
To help provide care and treatment, the federal government through the Department of Veterans Affairs provided financial assistance totaling in excess of $4.9 million during 2010.
Major renovations to the facility, started in 2009, were completed in 2010 with improved facilities for patients and staff. Patient bathrooms, congregate baths, the dining room, and the kitchen were all renovated. Additionally, the nursing stations were redesigned and renovated to promote and privacy of patient information. With donations made to the patient benefit fund from the Georgia Department of the American Legion’s Commanders’ Joint Project, patient alcoves on each nursing unit were renovated to provide private visiting areas and telephone access for veterans and their families.
Throughout the year, veteran service organizations, civic and fraternal organizations and religious groups demonstrated their concern for the well being of veteran patients through numerous donations, visits, and sponsorship of frequent activities for GWVNH residents.