Thank you for your article on Feb. 11, "Missoula Care Centers end contract with VA." Without the Veterans Administration contracts with the Goodman Group (owner of village Health Care and Hillside Manor), there are no long-term care facilities in Missoula that will care for veterans, unless they have no resources and are served by Medicaid, or if they have high income and savings. 

These are disabled veterans who need skilled nursing care to live, many as a result of serving our country. Their quality of life is improved by contact with family and friends who may not be able to travel as often or at all to visit them in another community. Their state of health is fragile; moving to another facility is a threat to that health. 

My brother was mentioned in the article. Phil is an intelligent man with a gentle soul. He served his county with pride. He has come to accept his very limited physical condition with grace, but a move to another community would have been tough on him physically and emotionally, and the move would definitely have limited visits from his family. 

I am saddened that the Goodman Group made this choice and that they have lost sight of the importance of the individual veteran in favor of a business decision. The Goodman Group has handled this situation poorly from the start. The quality care offered by Village Health Care and Hillside Manor should be available to veterans as much as any other individual. 

If the new federal requirements are impacting private providers in a manner that keeps our veterans from receiving quality care, I wonder why the other health care facilities in Montana are accepting VA contracts.  Perhaps their concern for the individual veteran is greater.   

Karen Dwyer,

Thompson Falls

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