ST. LOUIS — At a meeting with Veterans and family members Tuesday, Missouri Veterans Commission Interim Executive Director Grace Link announced changes in key leadership positions and other initiatives to raise the quality of care at the St. Louis Veterans Home. At this afternoon’s meeting, Link announced:
* A new Interim Administrator for the St. Louis Veterans Home. Stan Smith is a respected nursing home administrator with more than three decades of experience in healthcare, including past leadership experience at Missouri Veterans Commission Veterans Homes.
* Two nurse consultants who are also licensed home administrators are being reassigned from the Missouri Veterans Commission central office to the St. Louis Veterans Home to provide additional leadership and oversight until further notice.
* A plan to provide additional registered and practical nursing staff at the home on an expedited basis.
* The Veterans Commission has entered into an agreement with a consulting firm to help develop a long-term recruitment, retention and training plan. The effort, which is already underway, will include on-site assessments and interviews.
“Our focus is on improving the quality of care, communication with Veterans and their families and ensuring that our residents are treated with the dignity and respect they have earned,” Link said. “Interim Administrator Stan Smith not only has a proven track record as a hands-on home administrator who seeks input from residents, families and employees, he is familiar with the MVC Veterans Home system and can hit the ground running.”
Smith has 34 years of experience in nursing home administration and healthcare leadership positions, including more than a decade with the Missouri Veterans Commission. As the assistant superintendent of the commission’s Homes Program, he oversaw operation at all seven Missouri Veterans Homes before leaving state employment in 2014.
St. Louis Veterans Home Administrator Rolando Carter remains on administrative leave as Link assesses his status.
Link’s announcement of the changes came during a residents meeting, which included a question and answer session for Veterans and their families. Link said she will regularly conduct meetings with residents so they can update her on concerns and to gauge progress.
Link also met with St. Louis Veterans Home staff to discuss the changes and seek employee input.
Link was appointed interim executive director of the Missouri Veterans Commission Dec. 13. A member of the Missouri National Guard, Link is on leave from her position as director of the staff for the Missouri Air National Guard.