Colorado State Archives
Executive Orders from the Administration of Governor Bill Owens 1999-2005
Dan Hopkins 303-866-6324
Sarah Bramwell 303-866-6323
(DENVER) – Gov. Bill Owens today announced the creation of a committee to oversee the continued improvement of conditions at the Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home at Fitzsimons. The Fitzsimons State Veterans Nursing Home Accountability Committee will be chaired by Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton.
"Creating an independent accountability committee will ensure continued improvements to patient safety and the facility's financial viability," said Owens. "We've seen great improvement at Fitzsimons thanks to the hard work of Pinon Management and the Colorado Department of Human Services. The Fitzsimons State Veterans Nursing Home Accountability Committee will be able to oversee the transition from outside management to the Department of Human Services. Each of the new members has the necessary expertise and knowledge to accomplish this task."
The nursing home was created to provide a state-of-the art, long-term care facility for Colorado's Front Range veterans. However, shortly after its opening, the facility was cited for violating several state and federal health standards.
Concerned by substandard patient care, Gov. Owens appointed a cabinet-level task force in December 2003 to find the most appropriate outside health-care management group to operate the nursing home. The task force subsequently recommended Pinon Management for this task.
In September, the Joint Budget Committee approved an emergency supplemental appropriation request from the Governor's office that will provide short-term financial stability to the facility and extend Pinon's contract through June 30, 2005, at which time management of the facility is expected to return to the Department of Human Services.
The Executive Order signed by Governor Owens dissolves the current Fitzsimons Task Force, which effectively met its charge, and creates the new Fitzsimons State Veterans Nursing Home Accountability Committee.
Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, who has extensive experience with veterans and nursing home issues, will chair the committee. "Significant progress has been made at Fitzsimons Veterans Home in recent months," said Norton. "This committee will help build on that progress and ensure that the facility meets state and federal standards and the expectations of veterans and their families."
Other members of the committee appointed by Governor Owens are:
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