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WISCONSIN BOARD OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

WDVA Briefing of August 19, 2010


Port Washington, Wisconsin
Board Members Council on Veterans Programs Members Present
Marcia Anderson Russ Alsteen, NCUSA
Dan Naylor George Banda, AGIF
Pete Moran Scott Berger, CVSOA
David Boetcher Ben Berlin, JWV
Rod Moen Rick Cherone, MOPH
Marvin Freedman Linda Dancker, UWV
Roger Fetterly, MOAA
Legislative & Program Review Present Paul Fine, ANU
Dave Boetcher Mark Foreman, VVAW
Mark Baldwin Mike Gourlie, WACVO
Loren Christensen Mark Grams, MCL
Yvonne Duesterhoeft Anthony Hardie, DAV
Bruce Markert Michael Jackson, VVA
Rick Scollon Steve Lawrence, VFW
Victor Vela Chuck Roloff, Am. Legion
Charles Vandenplas William Sims, NABV
Walter Stenavich, USSVWWII
Long Term Care Committee Present Tim Thiers, AMVETS
Dan Naylor Gary Traynor, BVA
Rod Moen Ken Wendt, PLAV
David Benson
Scott Berger WDVA Staff Members Present
Richard Paradowski Kenneth B. Black, Secretary
Al Richards Donna Williams, Deputy Secretary
Vera Roddy José León, Executive Assistant
Clif Sorenson Jimmy Stewart, Chief Legal Counsel
Tony Cappozzo, Division Administrator
Finance Committee Members Present Colleen Holtan, Budget Office Director
Pete Moran Micabil Diaz, Legal Counsel
Marv Freedman Brian Marshall, Division Administrator
Mike Gourlie Michael Telzrow, Veterans Museum Director
Steve Lawrence Chris Schuldes, Bureau of Veterans Benefits
Jerry Polus Sara Stinski, Communications Director
Chuck Roloff Jackie Moore, Acting Commandant-King
James Romlein Pat Shaughnessy, Acting Commandant-Union Grove
William Schalk Mark Mathwig, Bureau of Veterans Cemeteries
Robert Stone Jim McGarvey, BOIS-Union Grove
Alan Walker Julie Van Metre, Executive Staff Assistant

CVSO Advisory Council Present Others Present


Ken Brown, Ozaukee CVSO Frank Chaparas, AGIF
Yvonne Duesterhoeft, Jefferson CVSO Donna Chrzas, Columbia CVSO
Rick Gates, Polk CVSO Jim Deignan
Tony Tyczynski, Sauk CVSO Al Labelle, DAV
Dale Oatman, Langlade CVSO Colin Moten, VAF
Robert Stone, Winnebago CVSO Kate Stran-Hiarns, LAB

The briefing session to Board, Council and Committee members was called to order at 11 a.m.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited. Ken Brown welcomed everyone to Port Washington in
Ozaukee County.

1. Roll Call and Introductions


Roll call of Board members: 6 members present for a quorum.
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Roll call of CVSO Advisory Council members: 6 members present for a quorum.
Roll call of Legislative & Program Review Committee members: 8 members present for a
quorum.
Roll call of Long Term Care Committee members: 8 members present for a quorum.
Roll call of Finance Committee members: 10 members present for a quorum.
Roll call of Council on Veterans Programs members: 20 members present for a quorum.

2. Certification of Notice of Meeting


It was certified that the meeting was properly noticed.

3. Approval of Briefing Minutes of June 17, 2010


It was moved by Mr. Moran, seconded by Mr. Naylor and carried on a voice vote to approve
the minutes of the June 17th briefing.

Dan Naylor requested a few minutes to share a personal view on the issue of civility (see
attached Civility Contract).

4. Legislative Report
José León, Executive Assistant, reported on the following:
 Federal legislation, Senate Bill 3447, which is the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational
Improvements Act of 2010, introduced by Senator Akaka, should improve post 9/11 benefits
for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
 Currently H.R. 3554, the National Guard Education Equity Act, which extends post 9/11 GI
benefits to Title 32 service members, is still working its way through the legislative process.
 In July 2010, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs approved $2.8 million to extend
research for Gulf War Illness.
 Wisconsin Gulf War veterans were mailed a Gulf War review which highlights the 20th
anniversary of the war, explains the benefits, and also tells how to register for Gulf War issues.
 The National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs is going to introduce a
resolution to support S. 3583, which is an amendment to Title 38, U.S. Code to increase
flexibility payments for veterans’ homes, specifically for the 70% service-connected disabled
veteran.
 Mr. León said all states were contacted regarding the way in which revenue, other than GPR, is
generated for programs. All but seven states responded to the request for information. Mr.
Naylor asked that the seven states be resurveyed so their information can be captured which
will assist in preparing for our budget deliberations.

5. Division of Veterans Benefits Report


Chris Schuldes, Director of the Bureau of Veterans Benefits, reported the following:
 Eight CVSO Bulletins were issued between June 22nd and August 3rd.
 The National Delinquency Survey shows that the mortgage loan delinquency rate for all the
mortgage loans was 6.46% at the end of the first quarter, whereas Wisconsin’s delinquency rate
was 1.90%.
 As of Monday, August 16th, commitments issued under the ANVG Health Care Aid Grants
amounted to $432,000. Individual component spending caps are expected to take effect on
September 1st. During FY 2010, the Department received 144 Retraining Grant applications; 92
were approved, 36 were denied and 16 were withdrawn.
 In the VetEd Program, $1.7 million in grants was approved through the end of the fiscal year.

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 Mr. Bond previously provided the board members with a spreadsheet of the division’s outreach
activities July – August 2010. We are working with staff to ensure all outreach activities are
identified and entered into our outreach spreadsheet on our shared drive.
 Now that we have completed the development of our new mission statement and strategic plan,
all outreach plans and activities will be re viewed to ensure their consistency with the
Department’s strategic goals and objective. Specifically:
-Increase outreach to veterans, with an emphasis on younger veterans, women and veterans
of color, regarding programs and services;
-Reallocate personnel resources to meet program area needs and maximize our staff
resources;
-Increase utilization of programs and services
-Identify, develop and implement new programs and services as needed
 As part of our planning and as suggested by Mr. Naylor at the last Board meeting, we intend to:
-Look at what other states are doing relative to their outreach activities
-Look what we currently do and see what else is out there
-Look for ways to expand our current efforts and fill in the missing gaps
-Collaborate with our stakeholders and other agencies to reduce duplication of services
-Address the participation rate concern raised by Mr. Boetcher –why returning service
members are not always aware of our programs, etc
 We understand USDVA is stepping up its services for female veterans, particularly as it relates
to health care issues. “WDVA Women Veterans Health Outreach Efforts – 2010” includes
the following points:
-We continue to let women veterans know about all veterans benefits both federal and
state and provide information/brochures available about federal VA Women’s Health;
-We participate at VA Wellness/Health Fairs across the state;
-We attend regular meeting at Madison VA with the Women Veterans Program Managers
and Women Veterans health clinic staff;
-And we attend conferences, workshops and other events that provide briefings on
women veterans health issues, i.e., PTSD, Suicide, Sexual Trauma, etc.
 The total number of interments at all three cemetery locations in FY10 was 1,412, an increase
of 27% over FY09.
 The construction and expansion project at the Southern Cemetery at Union Grove will come to
a close in early 2011. The expansion included over 30 acres of developed area.
 During the month of June the Southern Cemetery had 88 interments.
 The SWVMC is the 5th busiest state veteran’s cemetery in the nation. The biennial budget
request will include a request for 5 FTEs at the Southern Cemetery in order to maintain the
NCA Shrine Standards and provide veterans the honor they deserve.
 Planning is underway for Veterans Day programs at the Northern Cemetery in Spooner, the
Southern Cemetery at Union Grove and the Central Cemetery at King.
 204 military funeral honors were provided at Union Grove, Spooner and King during the
period of June and July.
 The Veterans Assistance Program is at full capacity at Chippewa Falls and Union Grove. At
King and Ft. McCoy a number of applicants are under review to fill vacancies there.
 During the months of June and July the Claims Bureau processed 1,244 POA requests, 645
new claims requests, 439 reopened claims and 437 pension, death and other claims requests.
 As of July 21st WDVA has 3,562 claims pending review by the US DVA.
 On July 21st, the Claims Bureau began manually tracking new and reopened PTSD claims.
The results were 34 new and 25 reopened PTSD claims in July.

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Mr. Naylor asked if we were aware of the status of the federal legislation on increasing the
burial plot allowance. José León said Secretary Black is attending the NASDVA conference
where he and other Directors of Veterans Affairs will introduce a resolution to make a burial plot
allowance increase request to the VA.

6. Division of Veterans Homes Report


Brian Marshall, Division of Veterans Home Administrator gave the following updates:
 The Unified Homes Admission Agreement Process Action Team (PAT) developed a formal
charter stating the purpose, goals, objectives and members of the PAT and set timelines for
each goal. In a period of six days, the PAT developed its first main objective of developing a
draft Unified Admission Agreement for the Homes which has been reviewed and approved by
the Legal Department.
 A Revenue Cycle Management PAT will be re-established
 A comprehensive marketing plan for Union Grove is underway to look at what can be done to
improve the census.
 The schedule for the bidding and construction of the sitting shelters at King is as follows:
project out for bid mid-August, bid opening late August, and substantial completion mid
October.
 Thirteen Commandant applications for the Veterans Home at King and ten Commandant
applications for the Veterans Home at Union Gove will be screened for candidacy. The goal
is to have both positions filled within a two-month period of time.
 The proposed Veterans Home at Chippewa Falls was discussed with Mr. John Sauer of the
Wisconsin Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. There were three WAHSA
members who expressed interest/concerns about the establishment of a nursing home in their
provider service area.

a. Jackie Moore, Acting Commandant, gave the King Home report.


 Census at the end of July 2010 was 674—93.2% average occupancy.
 Of the 157 female members, 25 are veterans.
 Received 47 new applications and admitted 35 new members, but also experienced 29
deaths and 8 discharges. Currently 71 applications are pending.
 As of the end of July 93% of King’s account’s receivable balance is less than 90 days
outstanding, with the average being 37 days. $5.5 million was collected in the month of
July.
 Of the 494 direct care permanent positions, 466 were filled (94.3%) at the end of July.
 Two LPN and 25 CNA vacancies remain to be filled.
 Supplementing direct care staffs are 2 RNs and 9 CNA LTEs, which maintains the staffing
level at 96%.
 Dr. Allen Strobusch was offered and has accepted the position of Medical Director. He has
been filling that position as an LTE on a part time basis since July 19th and will begin his
permanent duties effective September 13th.
 Buildings and Grounds Supervisor, Patrick Wallner began August 2nd.
 Interviews are in process for the Security/Fire Chief position.
 Donations received in June were $28,166 and in July $12,658 for a total of $40, 824.
 Gifts and Bequests expenditures during this period included approximately $23,500 spent
on developing a fitness area in the lower level of the Marden Center for the members.
 The American Legion, Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion 55th Annual King Day
was held on June 20th. Approximately 1,000 Legionnaires, members and families enjoyed
a day in the park.
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 The Disabled American Veterans and Auxiliary held their 62nd Annual King Day on June
27th. Music was provided by two different bands
 Members attended the Independence Day celebration on the 4th of July in Waupaca. The
Member Council hosted a celebration and the Chain Skiers held a special ski show
preceded by a flag ceremony and tribute to veterans.
 The VFW and Auxiliary King Day hosted its 54th annual King Day on July 18th.
 Approximately 30 Bicycling Veterans of Northeast Wisconsin made their appearance on
August 4th.
 AMVETS and Auxiliary King Day Weekend will be held September 11-12th.
 On September 19th the MOPH and Auxiliary will sponsor a picnic lunch and bingo for
members.
 Projects: The Olson Hall window replacement project began on August 16th. The sitting
shelters bid opening is scheduled for the end of August. The water tower refurbishment is
scheduled for the summer of 2011. MacArthur Hall roof project bid opening is scheduled
for September 14th and should be completed by late summer. The architect/engineer for the
OT/PT consolidation has been selected. The power plant chiller start up will be in the
spring of 2011 with the cooling tower to be installed in November 2010. Olson
Hall/Stordock Hall bathing and nursing stations remodeling is being reviewed by DVA and
DOA with a bid date scheduled for the end of October.
 The new smoking restrictions for members, staff and visitors have been successfully
implemented. Going very well overall. The member committee is still meeting and
making suggestions and members are looking forward to getting their new sitting shelters.
 Long Term Care Committee member David Benson made a visit to the Home for a tour
and lunch with the members and was joined by Board Member Dan Naylor. All
Committee members are invited to schedule a tour of the facility.
 On July 21st Ainsworth Hall was visited by DOA for their annual recertification survey.
 The MacArthur Hall survey results consisted of 15 cites. All plans of correction have been
accepted and completed.

Board Chair Anderson asked for an explanation on the difference between a chiller and air
conditioning. Ms. Moore said that the chiller system is basically the same as an air conditioning
system with the difference being the chiller uses cold water to circulate through the pipes rather than
Freon. Mr. Freedman had additional questions on how the chiller system works. More technical
information will be provided to the Board.

Mr. Moran noted the chart on successful communicating which appeared in the August issue of
the Courier. He thought it was excellent and should be widely distributed.

b. Acting Commandant Shaughnessy gave the Union Grove Home report.


 As of July 31, campus-wide census was 198. Skilled nursing census was 120 members or
100% occupancy. The assisted living has 78 members—63% occupancy.
 Since the last Board meeting, Boland Hall admitted 8 and discharged 5 members. Assisted
living admitted 5 and discharged 15 (5 moved to Boland Hall, 4 were admitted to the
hospital, 4 moved to other assisted living, 1 moved to a private apartment, and there was 1
death). All spouses who were discharged were able to find appropriate settings agreeable
to them; no one was evicted.
 Campus-wide a total of 17 applications received, 7 of which were approved. Average
processing time was 14 days.

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 Of the total 155 campus-wide direct-care permanent positions, 144 are filled (93%). As of
July 31st vacancies include 2 LPN and 8 Nursing Assistants, a Nursing Assistant 2 and a
Nursing Assistant 3. All registered nurse positions were filled. The NA3 position was
recently added and will work as a Certified Medication Technician. Augmenting direct
care staff are 2 RNs, 3 LPNs and 5 Nursing Assistants, which brings staffing up to 100%.
 Projects: replacement of steam condensate tanks and HVAC air compressors, interior
common area modifications and refurbishment, and exterior patio upgrade in
Fairchild/Shemanske; Boland Hall parking lot expansion, and Maurer Hall window
replacement.
 Since the last report, received approximately $6,400 in donations and spent approximately
$1,600. Balance in gifts and bequests: $32,900.
 Donations were spent on a variety of activities to enrich the lives of members, including
nearly $800 on “eat-out-in” program, trips to local entertainment, Wii games, county fair
tickets, picture for the chapel, and gardening supplies.
 As of July 31st the female census was 4% or eight members. Boland Hall had four females,
all of whom are veterans. Assisted living buildings had four females, all of whom are
veterans.
 A $1,200 donation was received from Arthur and Twila Rodenberg.
 Members participated in several July 4th celebrations.
 Smoking restriction continues to go smoothly with the eight smoking members expressing
no concerns.

Mr. Naylor asked when the Secretary would be responding to the Legislative Audit Bureau letter
report on Veterans Homes. Secretary Black said that members of the Audit Bureau team would be
invited to the October meeting of the Board to give a full report and answer questions.

7. Finance Report
Ms. Holtan presented preliminary fiscal year 2010 statements and transactions posted through
August 6, 2010.

Wisconsin Veterans Home-King


Preliminary fiscal year-end operation revenues were $67.9 million which is an increase of $1.2
million over fiscal year 2009 results. Operating expenses were $67.3 million, an increase of $2.3
million over fiscal year 2009. Current year operating expenses include prior fiscal year expenditures
in excess of appropriated amounts paid in fiscal year 2010 and the subject of a request for additional
appropriation authority. An objection to the request was raised by the Joint Committee on Finance
and no further action was taken by the Committee. Net operating income was $628,924. When
combined with net nonoperating revenues of $588,029, income before transfers was $1.2 million.
Net transfers out through the end of the 13th month reporting period totaled $2,987,689 and
$10,272,695 for fiscal year 2010 and fiscal year 2009, respectively. Cash and cash equivalents
increased $4,860,349 during the fiscal year. The preliminary fiscal year end cash balance was
$12,491,225.

Wisconsin Veterans Home-Union Grove


Operating revenues were $20 million through preliminary fiscal year end, an increase of $3.1
million over the same period in fiscal year 2009. Operating expenses were $20.8 million, an
increase of $457,757 over fiscal year 2009. Personal services expenditures increased $849,000
while supplies and services expenditures decreased $417,747. The net operating loss, which
includes $1,445,000 of depreciation expense, was $863,641, representing a $2.6 million
improvement over the prior preliminary fiscal year end results. Interfund transfers out through the
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end of the 13th month period totaled $264,000 in fiscal year 2010, while intrafund transfers in totaled
$611,000 in fiscal year 2010 and $2.8 million in fiscal year 2009. With the fiscal year 2010 transfer,
revenue transfers, inception to date from WVH-King to WVH-Union Grove, have totaled
$22,966.500. The balance of accounts receivable, net of the fiscal year end statutory adjustment,
was $5,049,000 and was $933,788 greater than the fiscal year 2009 balance. The preliminary fiscal
year-end cash balance was a negative $4,671,000.

Veterans Trust Fund


During fiscal year 2010 total assets in the Veterans Trust Fund decreased by $8.3 million.
Preliminary fiscal year-end operating revenues and expenses were $1.5 million and $9.5 million
respectively which are $378,000 and $417,000 less than the prior fiscal year. The net operating loss
was $8 million. Net nonoperating expenses were $1.5 million, contrasted with $1.9 million through
the prior preliminary fiscal year end. Net transfers through the end of the 13th month reporting
period totaled $145,000 and $6,800,000 for fiscal year 2010 and fiscal year 2009, respectively. The
Department will be working with the State Comptroller’s Office to establish a receivable for the
$203,300 lapsed to the General Fund as required by s.25.36(2), Wis. Stats. The preliminary fiscal
year end cash balance was $24,235,799.

Mortgage Loan Repayment Fund


Total assets in the Mortgage Loan Repayment Fund decreased $49.4 million during the course of
fiscal year 2010. Cash and cash equivalents have decreased $17 million and mortgage loans
decreased $32.8 million to $225.7 million. During the same period, bonds payable decreased $44.8
million and of that, $8.2 million of the decrease occurred as part of the regularly scheduled
semiannual debt service and $36.6 million of the decrease was the result of exercising extraordinary
redemption provisions of the bonds. The preliminary fiscal year-end operating revenues and
expenses were $13.8 million and $18.4 million respectively, resulting in a $4.6 million operating
loss. Net nonoperating expenses increased $954,000 due primarily to significantly reduced
investment and interest income. The State Investment Fund rate for June 2010 was 0.23% and the
average fiscal year 2010 earnings rate was 0.25%. As required by 2009 Wisconsin Act 28 and as
directed by the Department of Administration, $113,900 was lapsed from the Mortgage Loan
Repayment Fund to the General Fund. The Department will be working with the State
Comptroller’s Office to establish a receivable for the lapsed amount as required by s.45.37(13) Wis.
Stats. The preliminary fiscal year end cash balance in the Mortgage Loan Repayment Fund was
$57.9 million. The insurance reserve requirement of 4% of the outstanding primary mortgage loan
principal balance has been met. We have $17.3 million of excess insurance reserves (this excess
cannot be transferred to the Veterans Trust Fund).

The Department is working with Capital Finance, CFX and bond counsel to optimize the use of
optional calls and to undertake a fixed rate refunding of outstanding bonds that are subject to
optional redemption. The sizing of the refunding is currently being determined but we would expect
the call and the refunding will be completed no later than November 1st.

Statistical Reports
The delinquency rate for the Personal Loan Program for July 2010 was 2.79%. The delinquency
rate in the Primary Mortgage Loan portfolio for the month of June was 1.8%. No Primary Mortgage
Loan applications were received in July due to the fund outage.

In answer to Mr. Freedman’s question Ms. Holtan said the annual total appropriation for the
Museum is approximately $1.6 million. Mr. Freeman said it is a reasonable position that the
museum is not a veteran’s benefit and should not be funded by the Veterans Trust Fund. He then
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asked whether there had ever been a model done with projections for the Trust Fund’s solvency to
date if 100% of the museum’s funding was picked up by the General Fund. Ms. Holtan was not
aware of this being done but obviously it would significantly alter the current cash position.

Mr. Freedman asked why WHEDA was able to start issuing bonds and why we could not. Ms.
Holtan said WHEDA is back in the market with mortgage loans. In October of 2009 the Treasury
had agreed to purchase securities backed by the new housing bond issued by WHEDA and other
housing finance authority. It contained special language provided only to housing finance
authorities or agencies. The Qualified Veterans Mortgage Bond states were not afforded the same
opportunity.

8. Secretary’s Matters
Secretary Black introduced Brian Marshall, the Division Administrator for the Veterans Homes.
He thanked Mr. Naylor for his comments about civility, which was in line with assisting us to
continue to move forward and support the veterans going into the 21st Century. He said we all have
to work together to get it done and that we could not get it done working separately. Other activities
in the Department:
 The Department is in the process of developing a survey that will give us input on how the public
feels about the Department of Veterans Affairs. The survey will also query individuals within
the workforce as well.
 The Strategic Plan has been produced, it is a great start. It will continue to change as this
organization, working with the community, develops a good system to support veterans.
 The Department’s web site is being redesigned—it will be more user friendly. Facebook is up
with about 400 members.
 The Civil War Sesquicentennial takes place from 2011 to 2015 and the Wisconsin Veterans
Museum is taking the lead in organizing events.
 Efforts are ongoing as it pertains to outreach for women veterans, both at the state and federal
level. The National Women Veterans Conference will be held in Madison in 2011.
 The Secretary has been traveling around the state to meet veterans at community events and
conferences. It is his intent to get everyone working as one and to focus on how we,
collaboratively, can move forward to support veterans going into the 21st Century. He will be
doing things differently because he feels if he continues to do things the way they have always
been done, we will get what we’ve always gotten. So there will be changes made across the
entire spectrum.
 The Badger Salute at Camp Randall is September 11th.

Chair Anderson took this time to make presentations to the Freedom Honor Flight Hubs in
Wisconsin. Invitations were extended to the five hubs: Badger Honor Flight, Stars & Stripes
Honor Flight, Old Glory Honor Flight, Never Forgotten Honor Flight and Freedom Honor Flight.
Members of the Board of Directors for the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight and the Badger Honor
Flight were present to accept the Board’s plaque during this appreciation ceremony.

9. Public Input
Michael Jackson wanted to confirm that the veterans benefits specialist who was recently hired
had resigned. Jackie Moore said that is correct, and recruitment efforts are again underway.

Ken Wendt said the community golf course at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King was built
by the AMVETS and MOPH. An AMVET Post goes there every Saturday from May through the
first of September to put on a golf outing for the members. There are usually 30-50 members

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golfing. On September 11th AMVETS is having Casino afternoon for the members at King and
approximately 130-150 members will be coming to this outing.

Anthony Hardie questioned what the plans were for the $17 million surplus in the insurance
reserve. Ms. Holtan said that a portion will be used as part of optimizing optional call provisions
within our bond to reduce the negative arbitrage. CFX is currently working on identifying the
amount needed for those optional calls. We will first see how much is proposed to be used and
then we can look at the possibilities. At this point we wouldn’t anticipate using the remaining
funds to restart our lending program because the amount would not be significant.

Jim Deignan , CEO of Dove Healthcare and Affiliates, spoke on the Chippewa Falls Veterans
Skilled Nursing Facility project on behalf of the Wisconsin Health Care Association. His
experience in the long term care industry includes serving on the Wisconsin Health Care
Association’s Board of Directors as its treasurer and president of one of its districts. He asked that
perspectives outside the business plan presented by the Department be presented. The long term
care industry has the capacity to meet future demands which will be placed on it as the population
ages. Yet, the industry has not been asked to meet the needs of a predicted veterans population
that the Department states cannot be met within the current long term care industry. His stated
opposition of the project relates to the unnecessary plan to meet a need that can be met in another
way without added cost to taxpayers.

Mr. Boetcher asked the reason for the moratorium on beds in the State of Wisconsin. Mr.
Moen said the Legislature put a moratorium on nursing beds as a cost saving measure in the
1970’s. There has never been a moratorium on hospital beds, only nursing home beds.

10. Recess/Adjournment
It was moved by Mr. Moran, seconded by Mr. Moen and carried on a voice vote that the Board
of Veterans Affairs adjourn.
It was moved by Mr. Stone, seconded, and carried on a voice vote that the CVSO Advisory
Council stand in recess.
It was moved by Mr. Vela, seconded by Mr. Scollon, and carried on a voice vote that the
Legislative & Program Review Committee stand in recess.
It was moved by Ms. Roddy, seconded by Mr. Sorenson, and carried on a voice vote that the
Long Term Care Committee stand in recess.
It was moved by Mr. Lawrence, seconded by Mr. Roloff, and carried on a voice vote that the
Finance Committee stand in recess.
It was moved by Ms. Dancker, seconded, and carried on a voice vote that the Council on
Veterans Programs stand in recess.
The time was 1:25 p.m.

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Civility Contract

1. I will support Wisconsin’s veterans, their families, and their


survivors with dignity and compassion in recognition of their
sacrifices and service to our nation
2. I will treat all who serve and advocate for Wisconsin veterans,
their families and their survivors with respect and courtesy

3. I will listen without judging

4. I will attempt to separate fact from opinion

5. I will work hard on the problems, but not make it personal

6. We will occasionally disagree, but I will not mask our differences,


rather try to resolve them respectfully

Sources include

1. Getting To Yes, Roger Fisher and William Ury, 1991


2. WDVA Mission Statement
3. Participant Rights/Conflict Resolution, Dan Naylor, Ongoing
4. Civility, Stephen Carter, 1998

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MINUTES
CVSO ADVISORY COUNCIL
August 19, 2010
Port Washington, Wisconsin
Members Present Others Present (not all inclusive)
Ken Brown, Ozaukee Russ Alsteen, Navy Club
Yvonne Duesterhoeft, Jefferson Mark Baldwin, Washington CVSO
Rick Gates, Polk Dave Benson
Dale Oatman, Langlade Scott Berger, Marathon CVSO
Robert Stone, Winnebago Frank Chaparas, AGIF
Tony Tyczynski, Sauk Rick Cherone, MOPH
Donna Chrzas, Columbia CVSO
Members Excused Linda Dancker, UWV
Andrew Clark, Outagamie Mike Gourlie, WACVO
Kathy Gausmann, Monroe Mark Grams, Dodge CVSO
Derrell Greene, Kenosha Anthony Hardie, DAV
Michael Jackson, Dane CVSO
WDVA Staff Al Labelle, DAV
Kenneth B. Black, Secretary Steve Lawrence, VFW Adjutant
Donna Williams, Deputy Secretary Bruce Markert
José León, Executive Assistant Rod Moen, Board Member
Sara Stinski, Communications Director Pete Moran, Board Member
Jimmy Stewart, Chief Legal Counsel Dan Naylor, Board Member
Micabil Diaz, Legal Counsel Richard Paradowski
Colleen Holtan, Budget Director Jerry Polus, Brown CVSO
Tony Cappozzo, Division Administrator Al Richards
Pat Shaughnessy, Acting Commandant—UG Vera Roddy, UWV
Jackie Moore, Acting Commandant—King Chuck Roloff, AL
Michael Telzrow, Museum Director Jim Romlein
Brian Marshall, Division Administrator Bill Schalk
Chris Schuldes, Bureau of Veterans Benefits Rick Scollon
Mark Mathwig, Bureau of Veterans Cemeteries Lenny Shier, TREA
Julie Van Metre, Executive Staff Assistant Clif Sorenson, Eau Claire CVSO
Jim McGarvey, BOIS Union Grove Kate Stran-Hiarns, LAB
Charles Vandenplas
Alan Walker
Ken Wendt, PLAV

1. Call to Order and Roll Call


The meeting of the CVSO Advisory Council was called to order by Chair Gates at 1:30
p.m. Roll was called, a quorum was present.

2. Certification of Notice of Meeting


The meeting was properly noticed.

3. Approval of Minutes of June 17, 2010 Meeting


It was moved by Ms. Duesterhoeft, seconded and carried on a voice vote to approve the
minutes of the June 17th meeting.
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4. Announcements and Introductions
Mr. Gates said the CVSO Advisory Council will not meet during the upcoming CVSO
Association Fall Conference.

5. Election of Officers
Yvonne Duesterhoeft nominated Rick Gates for Chair. The nomination was seconded. It
was moved by Mr. Stone and seconded by Ms. Duesterhoeft that nominations close and one
unanimous ballot be cast for Rick Gates. The motion carried unanimously on a voice vote.

Yvonne Duesterhoeft nominated Tony Tyczynski for Vice Chair. The nomination was
seconded by Mr. Oatman. It was moved by Mr. Stone and seconded by Ms. Duesterhoeft that
nominations close and one unanimous ballot be cast for Tony Tyczynski. The motion carried
unanimously on a voice vote.

6. Discussion and Action on Eligibility Criteria for WDVA and Other State Benefits
Ken Brown said he sent the Secretary a letter requesting that the Department develop
checklists to assist not only the CVSOs in submitting complete and thorough applications at
the start of the process, but also other tribal service officers, the VSOs, and the veterans’
community in general in fully understanding what is required of them at the outset when they
come in to pursue a benefit from the state. A process action team in 2006 brought forth
veterans concerns about eligibility criteria for WDVA benefits. Most obvious was the shared
complexity of the criteria for eligibility for veterans benefits. There are certainly many
veterans who simply do not understand the eligibility criteria. A document like the B105
would be helpful to all. The recent issue of WDVA 1805, Veterans Residency Affidavit, is a
step in the right direction. He feels a checklist would definitely be beneficial.

7. Discussion and Action on the Removal of the Loss of Income Provision from WDVA’s Aid to
Needy Veterans Disaster Grant
Mr. Schuldes said the Assistance to Needy Veterans Grant was created in 2005 from the
combination of the Subsistence Aid Grant and the Health Care Aid Grant. There is no
disaster grant; there is a Subsistence Aid Grant available in the event a veteran suffers a loss of
income due to injury, illness or natural disaster. If you simply remove the loss of income
requirement without doing something else, that would not in itself create a disaster grant.
You would have to address the desire for a disaster grant in the legislative process.

It was moved by Mr. Brown, seconded by Mr. Stone and carried on a voice vote to
approve and support the CVSO Association point paper made to the Advisory Council last
year, supporting the concept of extracting language for a disaster grant from its current
position in the statute and suggesting it become a stand-alone entity having its own eligibility
criteria separate from that of the Subsistence Aid Grant.

8. Discussion and Action on Requirements Regarding WDVA Annual CVSO Grant, Specifically
the Federal Benefits Report Form
Mr. Gates said this deals with WDVA Form 0055D, the most recent revision was 12/09.
It is the form CVSOs must fill out every year in order to get the CVSO Grant. The form
reflects federal benefits—powers of attorney, disability compensation claims, pension claims,
eligibility EVRs, medical enrollments, etc. He speculated that the purpose of the form is to

2
show the productivity of the office. The concern with the form is that there are 72 counties
doing it 72 different ways, and there is no standardization so in terms of specific numbers and
comparison factors, there probably isn’t any. Out of the 72 counties, at least one county
doesn’t do any of these at all but still gets a grant.

Secretary Black said as the process of looking at all WDVA programs gets underway,
there has to be accountability for putting dollars out there for programs. We must know if the
programs are still viable and if we are using the dollars correctly. A process action team could
be formed to look at standardizing the form and getting a consensus from the CVSOs on what
the form should look like and how we can improve it.

9. Secretary’s Matters
Secretary Black said the Department should be able to provide a response to Mr. Brown’s
letter regarding eligibility checklists at the next Board meeting.

10. Council Members’ Matters Not Subject to Adoption


Ken Brown attended the final gathering wrap-up of the LZ Lambeau event. Individuals
who made outstanding contributions to the process were recognized. A group of high school
kids from Luxemburg participated in LZ Lambeau and were phenomenal. Mr. Brown noted
that Carol Larson from Wisconsin Public Television is retiring on September 30th.

Dale Oatman said by Statute, every county is supposed to have at least three
commissioners who help with the needs of veterans. This association has been ongoing for
50+ years and the annual meeting will be held on September 10th. We are in jeopardy of
falling apart if we don’t have some rejuvenation. He urged attendees to check with their
counties to see if the commissioner is taking part in this meeting as it seems CVSO support is
lacking.

Robert Stone is the chairman of the committee for the 75th anniversary celebration of the
CVSO Association of Wisconsin. On October 7th there will be special activities in the
afternoon and evening in conjunction with the CVSO conference.

11. Public Input


Mark Grams spoke about the BO100, another outage of this booklet, and concern about
funding for its printing. It would be wise for the CVSO community to be proactive and see
how to can help the Department come up with some kind of promotional item other than a
computer disc. CVSOs should have input as to what would be most cost effective to help the
Department help them.

Regarding the disaster aid/subsistence aid grants, Mr. Jackson said whatever the cost was,
he did not think those grants put the Trust Fund in jeopardy nor did he think the amount of
money required to provide such a benefit presented a fiscal drain.

Anthony Hardie thanked CVSOs for all they do every day. He agreed with the suggestion
for the checklist for the forms and he, too, likes the BO105 and 106 booklets. He encouraged
CVSO efforts in seeking assistance from the Department to expand the use of those kinds of
materials for other applications. The BO100 benefits booklet was created in 2003 by Mr.
Hardie with the intent to put all the information into one place with one voice and to model it

3
after the VA’s booklet. Because it is in the style of a booklet, it is far less likely to get thrown
out.

12. Next Meeting Schedule


October 14, 2010 in Union Grove

13. Adjournment
It was moved by Ms. Duesterhoeft, seconded by Mr. Tyczynski, and carried on a voice
vote to adjourn the CVSO Advisory Council meeting, the time was 2:15 p.m.

Rick Gates
Chair

4
MINUTES
LONG TERM CARE COMMITTEE
WISCONSIN BOARD OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
Meeting of August 19, 2010

Committee Members Present Others Present (not all inclusive)


Dan Naylor Russ Alsteen, NCUSA
Rod Moen Mark Baldwin, Washington CVSO
David Benson George Banda, AGIF
Scott Berger Ben Berlin, JWV
Richard Paradowski Frank Chaparas, AGIF
Al Richards Rick Cherone, MOPH
Vera Roddy Loren Christensen
Clif Sorenson Donna Chrzas, Columbia CVSO
Linda Dancker, UWV
Committee Members Excused Roger Fetterly, MOAA
David Green Paul Fine, ANU
Edward Healey Mark Foreman, VVAW
John Hofer Mike Gourlie, WACVO
Joseph Maehl Anthony Hardie, DAV
Michael Jackson, Dane CVSO
WDVA Present Al Labelle, DAV
Kenneth B. Black, Secretary Steve Lawrence, VFW Adjutant
Donna Williams, Deputy Secretary Bruce Markert
Jimmy Stewart, Chief Legal Counsel Pete Moran, Board Member
José León, Executive Assistant Colin Moten, VAF
Micabil Diaz, Legal Counsel Max Oleson, ARC
Colleen Holtan, Budget Director Chuck Roloff, Am. Legion
Tony Cappozzo, Division Administrator Bill Schalk
Brian Marshall, Division Administrator Rick Scollon
Sara Stinski, Communications Director Lenny Shier, TREA
Jackie Moore, Acting Commandant-King Walter Stenavich, USSVWWII
Pat Shaughnessy, Acting Commandant-UG Robert Stone, Winnebago CVSO
Michael Telzrow, Museum Director Kate Stran-Hiarns, LAB
Jim McGarvey, BOIS-Union Grove Tim Thiers, AMVETS
Julie Van Metre, Executive Staff Assistant Gary Traynor, BVA
Charles Vandenplas
Victor Vela, AGIF
Alan Walker
Ken Wendt, PLAV

1. Call to Order and Roll Call


The meeting of the Long Term Care Committee was called to order at 2:25 p.m. A quorum
was present.

2. Certification of Notice of Meeting


It was certified that proper notice of the meeting occurred.
1
3. Approval of Minutes of June 17, 2010 Meeting
It was moved by Mr. Paradowski, seconded by Mr. Benson and carried on a voice vote to
approve the June 17th meeting minutes.

4. Briefing and Committee Discussion on Minority Recruitment Efforts at the Wisconsin


Veterans Homes
Mr. Marshall said WDVA veterans and diversity recruitment activity is taking place to
target veterans for WDVA positions. All WDVA vacancies are posted on wisjobs.com, the
official employment site in Wisconsin state government. All vacancies are posted on DWD’s
job net and at DWD’s job service centers. All recruitments are sent via email to the CVSOs,
the Department of Workforce Development, the federal vocational rehab counselor, the
employment committee chair for DVA, the transition assistant advisor and the veterans
advocate employment and training manager. Notification for target positions, which do not
qualify for the veterans non competitive appointment process, is sent via email to DWD staff.
WDVA’s web site, the employment section, is under redesign for renewed focus in tracking
and informing veterans of vacancies within the Department. General advertising is placed in
the annual Wisconsin Association of Equal Employment Training Conference Program.

Mr. Naylor asked if the recruitment process includes job fairs at tech schools where there
is a large minority population where there may be promotion for health care providers and
CNAs. Acting Commandant Shaughnessy said they have participated in job fairs at UW
Parkside. Mr. Naylor would like to continue this report on an every other meeting basis to
hear an update on the statistics of minority hiring.

5. Briefing and Committee Discussion on the Number of Women Veterans at the Wisconsin
Veterans Homes
As of August 2nd, King’s female census was 157, 25 of whom are veterans. As of July
31st, Union Grove’s female census was 4% or eight members. Boland Hall had four females,
all veterans; and the assisted livings had four females, all veterans.

Ms. Roddy said this information needs to be public knowledge.

6. Briefing and Committee Discussion on Communication to Residents at Union Grove


Regarding the Rate Increase and Forbearance Efforts
Mr. Shaughnessy said rates continue to be at market levels. Clif Sorenson said there has
been negative publicity in every media on this matter. How can we counter the false
impression that we are causing a dozen people to be put out on the street?

Secretary Black said the reason for the resurfacing of the rates issue is the result of the
Legislative Audit Bureau report. The Department has talking points associated with the rates
which should be distributed to the County Veterans Service Officers and veterans
organizations. There are factual pieces of information of which people need to be aware. Dan
Naylor said that people are not privy to all the information and we have an obligation to talk
with regard to the future and whether these kinds of rate increases will continue.

2
Rod Moen said the four spouses, who were not veterans, were moved to another location;
they were not just pushed out into the street. Mr. Shaughnessy said Union Grove provides
great care for its members. Four spouses were relocated because they were unable to pay for
their cost of care. Two of the spouses went to other assisted living/residential care apartment
complexes, one transferred into Boland Hall and one went to an independent apartment. The
four spouses were generally understanding and accepting of the decision they needed to move.
Mr. Moen identified that the 58% increase in the cost of care was at the assisted living
buildings, not at the skilled nursing facility. He did not feel that the Department could wait
until the October Board meeting to get the accurate word out. Mr. Moen suggested inviting
the media to a press conference at Union Grove whereby the factual information is laid out.

Sara Stinski said every month there are at least two or three news releases which come
from the Department directly highlighting positive activities, donations received, and
improvements which will be made at the Homes, etc. The King Home has a public affairs
specialist who sends out additional positive news in her immediate market area. As far as how
we addressed and continue to address the rates issue, the Legislative Audit Bureau will be
available to give us background and discussion at a future meeting.

Mr. Naylor said the talking points have been helpful for the Board and it should be shared
with the County Veterans Service Officers and the veterans service organizations. The
Department has a web site and facebook to share the facts and put out accurate information,
current and historic.

7. Briefing and Committee Discussion on the Five-Star Rating Program


Brian Marshall said there is a web site on the five star rating program. The Minimum Data
Set (MDS) assessment is a screening assessment that forms the basis of a comprehensive
assessment of each resident’s functional capabilities and helps nursing home staff identify and
help residents meet or cope with health and other needs. The rating is done on health
inspection, nursing home staffing, quality measures and program participation. King received
four out of five stars in overall rating. The primary goal in launching this rating system was to
provide members and their families with an easy way to understand the assessment of nursing
home quality.

Mr. Marshall said one star means much below average, two stars is below average, three
stars is average, four stars is above average and five stars is much above average. It is another
public relations tool which we can have posted at the facility to show that we’re a four star
facility. Ken Black said we all need to get out into our nursing homes and see for ourselves
what is going on out there. Dan Naylor said the December Board meeting is at Union Grove
and it makes sense to schedule an opportunity for people to take a tour.

Dan Naylor asked about a survey the Secretary will be sending to the veterans service
community as well as WDVA staff. In that survey of staff there is an opportunity for them to
talk about the operations and organization. A third category of individuals to be a part of this
general survey could be the members themselves.

8. Secretary’s Matters
3
Secretary Black had nothing to offer the Committee at this time.

9. Public Input
Ken Wendt said there is a campus-wide fish boil at the Wisconsin Veterans Home-King on
September 15th.

Robert Stone, representing AMVETS Post 7 from Oshkosh, presented a $1,600 check to
Mr. Wendt for the King Recreational Fund. Mr. Wendt said the AMVET national
organization has a matching funds program and all of AMVET Wisconsin matching funds
requested were approved this year.

Anthony Hardie, on behalf of DAV, spoke to the challenges and opportunities listed in
Mr. Marshall’s report and asked for an explanation of the first challenge—recent rate increase
and the second challenge—substantial move-outs, approximately 20+ members from Gates
Hall. Mr. Shaughnessy said the rates were raised in January and the change ranged from -
2.9% up to 37.5% and at that point we saw a lot of people making the decision to move out.
Since January, Union Grove has lost close to 20 people. A number of independent people
were residing at Gates Hall and they chose to move to less restrictive settings, perhaps
indicating those people did not need that level of care to start with. Secondly, Mr. Hardie
noted from the Legislative Audit Bureau report that for at least 12 members the rate increases
were responsible for their move out. The current census report shows that for the three
assisted living facilities there are respectively 70%, 80% and at Gates Hall 36% occupancy.
Mr. Hardie held up a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel headline stating that Vet Home Rate Hikes
Forcing Some Out. He is deeply disappointed in the news coverage and these rate hikes as
well are troubling. He put together a two-page letter of constructive recommendations for
distribution to the Committee.

Mr. Hardie thought WDVA’s employment page is a very good addition. He is troubled
that the word veteran is not mentioned on the equal opportunity page. Chapter 45 states that
the Department shall hire veterans, and disabled veterans, if possible. The DAV report
provided to the Council on Veterans Programs was passed and sent to the Board. It
specifically recommends what should be included in each job announcement, what should be
included on the web page and language on the special hiring authority but no action has been
taken by the Board on the report.

Lenny Shier said he organized a van pool to go to King for a guided tour by one of the
residents. He has DVDs on both Homes which he passes out to veterans in Rice Lake. Mr.
Shier encouraged veterans’ organizations to make field trips to the Homes.

10. Committee Members’ Matters (Not Subject to Adoption)


Clif Sorenson said that 20 years ago he took a tour of King and was so impressed and
nothing has diminished over the past 20 years. He disagreed with some comments by the
individual from the for-profit nursing home concerning the proposed veterans home at Chippewa
Falls. The highlights from the business plan for the proposed Chippewa Falls Home puts it all
together, where the Department is coming from, that we’re not competing with anybody and that
a veterans home is needed. We have to continue to be pro-active because veterans in north
4
western Wisconsin are relying on the actions of the Board and the entire veterans community to
go forward and make sure that we add another veterans home in Wisconsin.

Dan Naylor asked that congratulations be passed on to Donna Warzynski for being named
President of the Center for American Nurses.

11. Next Meeting Schedule


October 14, 2010 in Rhinelander. Proposed agenda items should be submitted by the 23rd
of September.

12. Adjournment
It was moved by Mr. Sorenson, seconded by Ms. Roddy and carried on a voice vote to
adjourn the meeting; the time was 3:25 p.m.

Dan Naylor
Chair

5
MINUTES
FINANCE COMMITTEE
WISCONSIN BOARD OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
Meeting of August 19, 2010

Committee Present Others Present (not all inclusive)


Pete Moran Russ Alsteen, Navy Clubs
Marvin Freedman Marcia Anderson, Board Chair
Mike Gourlie Mark Baldwin, Washington CVSO
Steve Lawrence George Banda, AGIF
Jerry Polus Scott Berger, Marathon CVSO
Charles Roloff Ben Berlin, JWV
James Romlein David Boetcher, Board Member
William Schalk Ken Brown, Ozaukee CVSO
Robert Stone Frank Chaparas, AGIF
Alan Walker Rick Cherone, MOPH
Loren Christensen
Committee Excused Donna Chrzas, Columbia CVSO
Duane Miskulin Linda Dancker, UWV
Todd Nehls Yvonne Duesterhoeft, Jefferson CVSO
Roger Fetterly, MOAA
WDVA Present Paul Fine, ANU
Kenneth B. Black, Secretary Mark Foreman, VVAW
Donna Williams, Deputy Secretary Mark Grams, Dodge CVSO
Jimmy Stewart, Chief Legal Counsel Anthony Hardie, DAV
Micabil Diaz, Legal Counsel Michael Jackson, Dane CVSO
José León, Executive Assistant Al Labelle, DAV
Colleen Holtan, Budget Office Bruce Markert
Tony Cappozzo, Division Administrator Rod Moen, Board Member
Brian Marshall, Division Administrator Colin Moten, VAF
Sara Stinski, Communications Director Dan Naylor, Board Member
Pat Shaughnessy, Acting Commandant-UG Max Oleson, ARC
Jackie Moore, Acting Commandant--King Richard Paradowski
Michael Telzrow, Museum Director Al Richards
Mark Mathwig, Bureau of Veterans Cemeteries Rick Scollon
Jim McGarvey, BOIS Union Grove William Sims, NABV
Julie Van Metre, Executive Staff Assistant Clif Sorenson, Eau Claire CVSO
Walter Stenavich, USSVWWII
Kate Stran-Hiarns, LAB
Tim Thiers, AMVETS
Gary Traynor, BVA
Charles Vandenplas
Ken Wendt, PLAV

1
1. Call to Order and Roll Call
The meeting of the Finance Committee was called to order at 3:35 p.m.; a quorum was
present. The Finance Committee members met at 8:00 a.m. for a two-hour, outstanding
orientation/training session put together by Colleen Holtan. A briefing on the issuance of
bonds and rate setting for the loan programs will be taken up at the Finance Committee
meeting in October.

2. Certification of Notice of Meeting


It was certified that proper notice of the meeting occurred.

3. Approval of Minutes of June 17, 2010 Meeting


It was moved by Mr. Walker, seconded by Mr. Lawrence and carried on a voice vote to
approve the minutes of the June 17th Finance Committee meeting.

4. Report from the Secretary on Revenue Cycle PAT Progress


Brian Marshall had reported at the Briefing meeting that a Revenue Cycle Management
Process Action Team will be re-established to look at the billing side of health care services.
He had nothing further to add. Mr. Moran asked that a substantive report with regard to the
accounts receivable issue be presented at the next meeting of the Finance Committee.

5. Report from the Secretary on the use of PSAs on behalf of the Veterans Trust Fund Tax
Check-Off
Sara Stinski prepared background on how public service announcements work. Today the
vast majority of successful PSA campaigns are partly paid advertising and partly free
advertising. Without the paid component, many good PSAs never see the light of day or they
run so infrequently and at such odd hours that they are basically ineffective. This is true of
television, radio and print. Organizations like the Green Bay Packers are often cooperative in
lending players for this type of production but they don’t underwrite the production of the
PSA which is a very costly endeavor. The Department does plan on doing a public service
announcement campaign, it will not include television unless we are able to locate a partner
willing to help pay for production and help to seek some paid advertising. The campaign
would include print, radio, internet, social media and public relations. We would rely
primarily on public service announcements and public relations with a very limited budget for
paid radio and print advertising, again, just to provide some leverage to negotiate additional
free placement. As part of the campaign, WDVA would seek partners to provide financial
support to look into the possibility of producing television PSAs or even to write more paid
advertising. We will also look for ways to piggyback our message on to existing paid
advertising that already occurs in the pre-tax season. Just this week WDVA received a check
from the tax check-off in the amount of approximately $91,000, which is nearly $30,000 less
than the previous year.

Mr. Freedman did not disagree with Ms. Stinski’s assessment about television PSAs. One
of the reasons why the amount derived from the check-off is so low is that no one understands
the program. We have to figure out a way to tap into non-veterans because veterans
shouldn’t be funding the trust fund any more than they already are. Mr. Freedman suggested,
as far as television, that we start modestly by asking Wisconsin Public Television to produce
2
the PSAs as part of the on-going cooperative relationship we started with LZ Lambeau and
the Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories Project. As part of the deal, ask them to run the PSAs on
public television with someone from the Green Bay Packers actually doing the spot. Mr.
Freedman also commended the Department for working with other types of media. If we put
out releases well before April 15, with fresh copy each time it is sent out, Mr. Freedman
thinks good results can be attained while minimizing expense. Mr. Moran asked Ms. Stinski
to explore working with Public Television and bring back a written report in October.

Mr. Schalk said that the S.C. Johnson Company in Racine is very generous with projects
within the community.

6. Briefing, Discussion, and Action on the Office of Legal Counsel’s Property Tax Gaming
Memo of July 19, 2010
Mr. Moran said the Committee received a memo from Mr. Stewart indicating that the
proceeds from the state lottery are not available to the Department of Veterans Affairs at this
time without a constitutional amendment.

It was moved by Mr. Freedman, seconded by Mr. Roloff and carried on a voice vote to
receive and file the memo report.

7. Briefing, Discussion, and Action on the Board’s Special Meeting of August 5, 2010 Regarding
the 2011-13 Biennial Budget
Mr. Moran said there was a briefing and discussion on the Department’s strategic plan,
discussion on the proposed way forward for the budget, and discussion on funding sources
and strategies that can provide alternate sources of revenue. A matrix of various states
contacted along with a written report was provided at the August 5th meeting. Forty-two
states currently receive general fund revenue as their primary source of revenue. In addition,
tax check-offs are used by five different states as well as revenue from license plates. Mr.
Moran said Wisconsin does as much and more than other states, however, he felt we need to
seek more GPR.

Mike Gourlie noted that the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs service program is
funded from the state’s general fund. However, the federal government contributes
significantly to the operation of the service program by providing office space and utilities, use
of the federal telephone system and computer network to include Internet. He wondered if it
was possible for Wisconsin to access the federal Internet system and telephones. Mr.
Freedman said that federal telephone system is restricted to Claims use only and the VA
provides that opportunity for Wisconsin’s claims office as well.

In answer to a question from Mike Gourlie regarding funding from mining and forestry,
Mr. Freedman said that former Senator Zien has made this proposal to Joint Finance a number
of times. If there was any viability to the proposal it would have been acted upon by Joint
Finance a long time ago. Mr. Stewart said the state owns large tracts of timber as well as land
that potentially has mineral deposits underneath it; in both cases the state would either have to
hire out or invest in a means for the reduction of those particulars, this assumes that there are

3
state and federal environmental situations with the harvesting of timber and mining that could
be overcome.

Mr. Schalk said that because we are a governmental unit, it is tough to publicly go out and
advocate for more money from the Legislature. However, there are military organizations
that have clout and could put pressure on the Legislature to provide more general purpose
revenue for the Department.

8. Briefing and Status of Internal Audit Change and Department Revenue Regarding
Unauthorized Expenditures at King Home
Mr. Moran will hold this item until the October meeting.

9. Briefing, Committee Discussion and Action Concerning the Status of the Department’s
Veterans Primary Mortgage Loan Program and the Future Sale of QVMB Bonds to Fund the
Program
Mr. Freedman said that Ms. Holtan provided insights as to why WHEDA, because of
stimulus funding afforded to housing authorities, was able to get back into the market and
start selling its bonds. The Qualified Veterans Mortgage Bond (QVMB) states were not
afforded that same opportunity. There are five states that under federal law are allowed to
issue tax free general obligation bonds which have very specific limitations. One of the key
limitations is that the bonds are for primary mortgages only, not second mortgages. A
challenge we face is that the bonds cannot be used for refinancing. When interest rates started
to drop, people refinanced with private lenders and paid off their WDVA loans. This
increased the cash balance which, under state law, has to go into the State of Wisconsin
Investment Board accounts. The average rate of return on investment there is 25 basis points.
The Department has made attempts in recent budgets to get permission and authority to look
at alternative places to put the funds. The general obligation bonds are costing a lot more
than the 25 basis points on the cash balance invested with SWIB. We became victims of
limitations for which QVMB bonds can be used.

10. Secretary’s Matters


Secretary Black had nothing to offer the Committee at this time.

11. Public Input


Bruce Markert commented on public service announcements and his involvement with
them in the employment and training program. They did them with Governor Doyle, Home
Depot, Miller Brewing Company and the Milwaukee Brewers. They made CDs for every
radio station in Wisconsin and it cost $100,000. The program that would fit best with the tax
check write off was one they did on bus tails and billboards.

12. Committee Members’ Matters (Not Subject to Adoption)


Pete Moran brought up the topic of support for the Highground Memorial. Veterans
come to the Memorial seeking information about various issues, particularly PTSD. Secretary
Black had indicated that some of WDVA’s publications or publications received from the VA
could be made available to the Highground if there are sufficient supplies. Mr. Moran has

4
asked Sara Stinski to have contact with the Highground Director, Kirk Rodman, regarding
this matter. Mr. Moran will bring Mr. Rodman back before the Board in February or April.

Marv Freedman asked Ms. Holtan to highlight any information concerning accounts
receivables. Colleen Holtan said there was a slight increase in July for King’s accounts
receivable due to the fact that the US DVA per diem payment came at the end of the month so
it didn’t get receipted in the report period. Days in accounts receivable have remained
constant. Union Grove had a fairly constant assisted living accounts receivable report. The
skilled nursing accounts receivable balances have seen modest headway brought about by the
addition of an LTE who is dedicated to that function. Some of the more significant aging
accounts have been rectified.

Mr. Freedman said the March 31st report showed private pay accounts receivable at skilled
nursing at Union Grove to be $1.8 million and for the period ending July 31st that amount is
almost $2.5 million. What accounts for that difference? He also asked for further
clarification, especially with the skilled nursing, on what is the usual makeup (waiting for per
diems, waiting for Medicaid payments), and why is it so disproportionately higher for Union
Grove than for King? Considering the total number of skilled nursing beds at Union Grove
compared to King, their accounts receivable is a tiny fraction of Union Grove’s and that is
what Mr. Freedman is trying to understand. Ms. Holtan said when you look at the aging
itself, you will see that there are a lot of older accounts receivable at Union Grove. The
reason for the revenue PAT being established was to address billing practices and other
practices to ensure that we have the controls in place. That is what the revenue PAT is
working to address.

13. Next Meeting Date


October 14, 2010 in Rhinelander

14. Adjournment
It was moved by Mr. Lawrence, seconded by Mr. Romlein, and carried on a voice vote to
adjourn the meeting; the time was 4:25 p.m.
Pete Moran
Chair

5
MINUTES
LEGISLATIVE & PROGRAM REVIEW COMMITTEE
WISCONSIN BOARD OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
Meeting of August 19, 2010

Committee Members Present Others Present (not all inclusive)


Dave Boetcher Russ Alsteen, Navy Clubs
Jackie Guthrie Marcia Anderson, Board Chair
Mark Baldwin George Banda, AGIF
Loren Christensen Scott A. Berger, Marathon CVSO
Yvonne Duesterhoeft Ben Berlin, JWV
Bruce Markert Frank Chaparas, AGIF
Rick Scollon Rick Cherone, MOPH
Victor Vela Donna Chrzas, Columbia CVSO
Linda Dancker, UWV
Committee Members Excused Roger Fetterly, MOAA
Roger Mathison Paul R. Fine, ANU
Charles Vandenplas Rick Gates, Polk CVSO
Ken Rock Mike Gourlie, WACVO
Charles Young Mark Grams, Dodge CVSO
Anthony Hardie, DAV
WDVA Present Michael Jackson, Dane CVSO
Kenneth B. Black, Secretary Al Labelle, DAV
Donna Williams, Deputy Secretary Steve Lawrence, VFW Adjutant
José León, Executive Assistant Rod Moen, Board Member
Jimmy Stewart, Chief Legal Counsel Colin Moten, VAF
Micabil Diaz, Legal Counsel Dan Naylor, Board Member
Tony Cappozzo, Division Administrator Max Oleson, ARC
Brian Marshall, Division Administrator Jerry Polus, Brown CVSO
Colleen Holtan, Budget Office Chuck Roloff, American Legion
Jackie Moore, Acting Commandant—King Lenny Shier, TREA
Pat Shaughnessy, Acting Commandant—UG Clif Sorenson, Eau Claire CVSO
Sara Stinski, Communications Director Walter Stenavich, USSVWWII
Michael Telzrow, Museum Director Robert Stone, Winnebago CVSO
Jim McGarvey, BOIS-Union Grove Tim Thiers, AMVETS
Julie Van Metre, Executive Staff Assistant Gary Traynor, BVA
Al Walker
Ken Wendt, PLAV

1. Call to Order and Roll Call


The meeting of the Legislative & Program Review Committee was called to order at 4:30
p.m. A quorum was present.

2. Certification of Notice of Meeting


It was noted that proper notice of the meeting occurred.

3. Approval of Minutes of June 17, 2010 Meeting


It was moved by Mr. Vela, seconded by Mr. Markert and carried on a voice vote to
approve the minutes of the June 17th Legislative & Program Review Committee meeting.
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4. Discussion of Lobbying and Legislative Process Training
Dave Boetcher proposed a training schedule on legislative and rule-making processes with
the idea that CVSOs and VSOs will become better able to participate more fully and
effectively in getting veterans’ legislation passed. The tentative timeline for CVSO training to
occur is early December. The training will incorporate (1) how the legislative process works
(2) the rule-making process, and (3) rules for lobbying. In late January or early February
another one-day training session will take place for the VSOs. Stakeholders will be invited to
this open meeting.

5. Briefing, Discussion and Action on 2011-2013 WDVA Legislative and Administrative Code
Priorities
Dave Boetcher received legislative agendas from four organizations: CVSOA, Marine
Corps League, WAHSA and DAV (Bruce Markert’s list was not among the four but will be
located and added to the group). A legislative agenda has to have a priority list—one can’t be
all things to all people all the time. The end goal is to develop a short list of priorities and
then draft an issue paper. This month the Committee will decide what should be on the
priority list and over the next two months, go back to the groups suggesting the various
priorities and ask for an issue paper including details on how it can be addressed. The next
step will be consensus on a final list. By December and January we should know what the list
contains and training can be tailored to it.

The initial, all-inclusive list of legislative issues is as follows:


 Develop a source of ongoing funding for WDVA operations
 Full restoration of Wisconsin GI Bill benefits to students using the Post 9/11 GI Bill at
state universities and technical colleges
 Removal of the loss of income requirement for the Assistance to Needy Veterans Disaster
Grant
 Review of admission policies at the State Veterans Homes
 Provide Wisconsin retirement credit for veterans serving after 1974
 Update Wis. Stats. 45.05 to clarify which veterans’ documents can be recorded at no
charge and who may have access to them
 Funding for WDVA benefits to include exploring new funding sources
 Full funding for the Aid to Needy Veterans Grant to prevent outages
 Nursing home bed tax “skim”
 Certified expenditure program funding split (relating to county and municipal operated
nursing homes)
 Dual enforcement/self reporting
 A veteran’s VA disability compensation should not be considered divisible property at the
time of divorce
 Support for Wisconsin GI Bill Tuition remission
 Support restoration of state veterans entrepreneurship training program
 Increase veterans employment at WDVA (more of a Board and administrative issue)
 Increase veterans employment in state government (more of a leadership effort with the
new Governor)

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 Focus by WDVA on hiring only veterans, especially disabled veterans, for WDVA’s
Milwaukee Claims Office positions
 Support increased staffing levels in WDVA’s Milwaukee Claims Office
 Support modernizing WDVA’s eligibility processing
 Support for changes to staffing in WDVA’s eligibility section to eliminate and prevent
backlogs
 Support modernizing WDVA’s discharge database
 Support for Veterans Trust Fund revenue generators
 Support changes to disabled veterans license plates
 Federal issues: hearing impairment compensable rating of 10%; non-service connected
burial plot allowance increase from $300 to $1,000; and divorce and compensation issues
 Eligibility for state benefits simplified in the statutes; simplify state definition of veteran
 MOPH supports the Veterans Trust Fund, secondly keep the Wisconsin GI Bill solvent
and third, property tax relief –if a veteran dies the widow should not have to requalify

Mr. Boetcher said an overall list will be provided to Committee members with the idea
that next month there will be definitions on some of the issues to determine if they are
applicable to WDVA. They will be categorized and, by the end of next month, a decision can
be made regarding the top ten issues.

Mr. Markert said he received an email from the U.S. Department of Labor having to do
with a survey produced by the Society for Human Resource Managers. For the most part,
those surveyed were aware of the Department of Labor, 68% had never heard of the Local
Veteran Employment Representative Program and 70% had never heard of the Disabled
Veteran Outreach Program. This survey proved the importance of marketing.

6. Secretary’s Matters
Secretary Black said it was a great idea to determine what the entire community wants
addressed as we move forward in the next budget. The plan is to look at a few of the
suggested issues and focus efforts on three or four of them. There is time to address
additional items on the list but not all of them this time around.

7. Public Input
None.

8. Committee Members’ Matters (Not Subject to Adoption)


None.

9. Next Meeting Date


October 14, 2010 in Rhinelander

10. Adjournment
It was moved by Mr. Baldwin, seconded by Ms. Duesterhoeft, and carried on a voice vote
to adjourn the meeting; the time was 5:15 p.m.

Dave Boetcher, Chair


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MINUTES
COUNCIL ON VETERANS PROGRAMS
Meeting of August 19, 2010

Members Present Others Present (not all inclusive)


Russ Alsteen, NCUSA Marcia Anderson, Board Chair
George Banda, WI AGIF Mark Baldwin, Washington CVSO
Scott Berger, CVSOA Frank Chaparas, AGIF
Ben Berlin, JWV Donna Chrzas, Columbia CVSO
Rick Cherone, MOPH Al Labelle, DAV
Linda Dancker, UWV Bruce Markert
Roger Fetterly, MOAA Dan Naylor, Board Member
Paul Fine, ANU Clif Sorenson, Eau Claire CVSO
Mark Foreman, VVAW Mercedes Stewart
Mike Gourlie, WACVO Victor Vela, AGIF
Mark Grams, MCL Alan Walker
Anthony Hardie, DAV
Steve Lawrence, VFW WDVA Present
Michael Jackson, VVA Kenneth B. Black, Secretary
Max Oleson, ARC Donna Williams, Deputy Secretary
Charles Roloff, AL Jimmy Stewart, Chief Legal Counsel
Lennie Shier, TREA Micabil Diaz, Assistant Chief Legal Counsel
William Sims, NABV José León, Executive Assistant
Walter Stenavich, USSVWWII Colleen Holtan, Budget Director
Tim Thiers, AMVETS Jackie Moore, Acting Commandant, King
Gary Traynor, BVA Pat Shaughnessy, Acting Commandant, UG
Ken Wendt, PLAV Brian Marshall, Division Administrator
Tony Cappozzo, Division Administrator
Members Excused Sara Stinski, Public Affairs Officer
Jesse Haro, CWV Michael Telzrow, Museum Director
Bill Hustad, WVV Mark Mathwig, Bureau of Veterans Cemeteries
Jack Stone, PVA Jim McGarvey, BOIS Union Grove
Vacancy, American Ex-POWs Julie Van Metre, Executive Staff Assistant

1. Call to Order and Roll Call of Members


The meeting of the Council on Veterans Programs was called to order by Chair Lenny
Shier at 5:20 p.m. A quorum was present. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

2. Certification of Notice of Meeting


It was certified that proper notice of the meeting occurred.

3. Introduction of Guests and Announcements


Chair Shier asked Council members to send agenda requests through him or the Vice
Chair, Charles Roloff.

4. Approval of Minutes of June 17, 2010 Meeting


It was moved, seconded by Ms. Dancker, and carried on a voice vote to approve the
minutes of the June 17, 2010 Council meeting.

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5. Council Communications
Chair Shier said a thank you letter was sent on Council stationery to the Stars and Stripes
Honor Flight Hub. Mr. Stenavich moved that the Council send a note of appreciation to the
other four Honor Flight Hubs; the motion was seconded by Ms. Dancker and carried on a
voice vote.

6. Museum Foundation Report


Mr. Hustad’s excused absence precluded a report.

7. Briefing on USERRA from DOL


Agenda item held over until next meeting of the Council.

8. (17) Activities Within the Veterans Community


 MOPH—National Convention held in Orlando, Florida. Fisher House fundraiser contact
information will be submitted to Russ Alsteen. This is the 60th Anniversary of the start of
the Korean War. Korean War veterans were honored at the Purple Heart Convention.
Volk Field has Camp Purple for children.
 ARC—Busy with PTSD, an area building within the service community. The Red Cross
is a place where veterans are welcome to go for help and referrals. August is a tough time
for getting blood donations, which are badly needed. The American Red Cross is a major
supplier of blood to the VA system.
 DAV—Continues its transportation program across the state, transporting veterans to
their medical appointments. The DAV is grateful to the Trust Fund for its Transportation
Program. The DAV’s successful claims program which assists veterans with their claims
continues to grow in Milwaukee. The DAV held its annual Day at King, along with its
first-ever Day at Union Grove. The President spoke at the DAV National Convention.
 CVSOA—Holding its fall conference in Port Washington and celebrating its 75th
anniversary. Several CVSOs have been very active with the Wisconsin National Guard
Reintegration Program.
 USSVWWII—Held a memorial event at the Southern Cemetery.
 UWV—Sponsoring a luncheon for women veterans at the Veterans Home at King next
Friday. There are applications available for the Wisconsin Women Veterans Conference
to be held October 22-24 at Ft. McCoy. The Vets for Vets Retreat Weekend is
September 10-12 at Camp American Legion.
 VVA—State Conference in Pewaukee at the Radisson September 10-12. The VVA
National President will be in attendance, along with Senator Feingold, Congresswoman
Gwen Moore, State Senator Sullivan and State Assemblyman Hilgenberg.
 MCL—State Commandant, Gary Stueber, had a serious accident and underwent surgery.
Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers for a full and speedy recovery.
 AMVETS—Annual King Weekend September 11-12. AMVETS annual state camp-out
September 24-26. The Terminal Veterans Dream Fund was the subject of a national
referendum resulting in the national convention adopting it as a national program.
 WACVO—The Wisconsin Association of Concerned Veterans Organization started in the
Vietnam Era as a consortia of campus veterans organizations. It was originally called
Wisconsin Association of Collegiate Veterans. Many of the current members are now
retired and are revitalizing and reestablishing contacts with various veterans organizations
springing up on campuses around the state to mentor and assist them. Mr. Gourlie
attended the Warrior Summit in Madison and the LZ Lambeau event.
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 ANU—The Dryhootch is having its grand opening and open house on August 28-29.
Dryhootch will be in full operation with programs on a daily basis, some evenings and
some one-on-one therapy. A handicapped accessible school bus was purchased to bring
veterans from the VA and the University to Dryhootch. The Warrior Sisters seminar was
held at Johnson Creek. Mr. Fine participated in the Madison Warrior Summit. There will
be a Warrior Summit at Johnson Creek on October 16-17 for the men and spouses.
Women veterans and significant others are also invited.
 AL—The National Auxiliary disabled bike riders will be in Port Washington on August
21st and then on their way to Milwaukee. Camp American Legion at Tomahawk is for
veterans with various disabilities and has served over 500 veterans this summer. The
National Convention is in Milwaukee August 26th through September 3rd. The large
American Legion emblem on the reservoir on the east side of Milwaukee had been
maintained every year by the City of Milwaukee. A concrete and glass emblem has been
constructed on the same site and will not need the maintenance the former emblem
required. Its dedication will be on August 26th. The American Legion National
Commander will celebrate with the Dryhootch at its August 27th open house.
 TREA—Some chapters meet monthly and others meet quarterly. The chapters get
involved with other veterans organization’s projects. TREA members get together at
picnics and gatherings. The Superior Chapter is involved with the National Guard and
other Reserve Units. A Wisconsin Chapter officer is also an officer in the National TREA
organization.
 NABV—Along with CVI, NABV had a ground breaking at the future site for Vets Place
Manor which is to be constructed at 35th and Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee. A grand
opening is anticipated for Memorial Day 2011.
 PLAV—The Commander presented several hundreds of dollars in checks to the
Wisconsin Veterans Home at King.
 VVAW—Veterans for Peace and VVAW are partners in the homeless veterans initiative
in Milwaukee. They are now feeding over 60 homeless veterans, taking food to them
three times a day. They hope to feed over 100 homeless veterans by the end of the year.
Their grant writing efforts have gone well, raising around $13,000 this summer.
 VFW—The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the Milwaukee VFW Service Office
shredded documents. This situation happened over a year ago and since then the service
office has restored veterans’ records. Those files destroyed may have been files which
were inactive or already completed. The office continues to file claims and is representing
veterans before the Appeals Board.
 AGIF—National Conference held in Las Vegas. AGIF was invited to the Racine July 4th
parade and marched with the Racine AGIF chapter. Mr. Banda attended the LZ Michigan
celebration for Vietnam Veterans. There will be a Latino veterans exhibit at the Fiesta
August 27-29.
 BVA—National Convention August 24-28 in Washington. Most of the activities have
concluded for the year; there was a picnic and air show event and a train ride/pizza event
in Spooner. Please assist in getting he word out to veterans who have lost their sight that
benefits are available to them even if they are not service-connected.
 JWV—Active with the Dryhootch Program and Jewish War Veterans raising money by
selling poppies at Brewers Games.
 MOAA—The State Council took the initiative to get legislation introduced authorizing
the State of Wisconsin to join the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for
Military Children. The bill was passed in the last session of the Legislature. Twenty-eight
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other states are involved in the Interstate Compact. The intent is to address issues military
families encounter due to frequent relocation in the course of service to our country.
Those issues involve significant challenges in dealing with school enrollment, eligibility,
placement and graduation of service members’ children.
 Navy Club—Two weeks ago the Navy Club had its annual boat ride on the Fox River.
October 22nd is the Squadron meeting in Wausau. Mr. Alsteen is the national finance
chairman for the Navy Club and one of the targeted areas for contributions is the Fisher
House.

9. (8) Discussion and Action on Member Organizations not in Compliance or at Risk of


Noncompliance with Attendance Rule
The American Ex-Prisoners of War is the only organization not in compliance with the
Council’s Protocol. At the Council’s last meeting the Chair was authorized to notify the
organization of its inactive status and identify actions the organization needs to take in order
to remove that designation. Written notification was to have been sent to the organization’s
last known point of contact, return receipt requested. If after 30 days of the postmark of the
notification there is no response, or if there is a response but the organization does not meet
the conditions which would remove that status within 90 days of the date of the postmark, the
Council may authorize the Chair to notify the Legislature of the organization’s inactive status.
Chair Shier said he did not get a response from the organization.

It was moved by Mr. Grams and seconded by Mr. Alsteen to notify the Legislative
Veterans Committee of the organization’s inactive status and request that the American Ex-
POW organization be removed from membership on the Council on Veterans Programs by
amending 15.497 Wis. Stats. The motion carried on a voice vote.

Mr. Fine wanted to speak with members of the Ex-POWs to let them know of their
situation on the Council. He asked that the issue be tabled until October. Mr. Alsteen wanted
to know the date the notification letter was mailed because of the time frame that must be
followed.

Legal Counsel advised that another motion is needed to reopen the issue since a vote has
already been taken. It was moved by Mr. Fine to vacate the previous action and reopen the
discussion, seconded by Mr. Jackson and carried on a voice vote.

Mr. Fine would like the period of 90 days to have personal contact with members of the
American Ex-POWs to ascertain their desired status on the Council on Veterans Programs.

Legal Counsel was asked to interpret the Protocol on this matter. Mr. Diaz said there are
several triggers—the first being “written notification shall be sent to the organization’s last
known point of contact, return receipt requested.” He asked if that had been done. Chair
Shier said he did not send a letter. Mr. Diaz recommended that this first step be taken before
any further action.

It was moved by Mr. Hardie, seconded by Ms. Dancker and carried on a voice vote to
authorize the Chair to send written notification to the American Ex-Prisoner’s of War via
return-receipt request.

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10. (9) Discussion and Possible Action on Legislation to Change State Law Regarding 1974 Cut-
off for Getting Credit for Military Service for State Retirement
Mr. Grams said this subject is on the agenda to see if there are any Council members
interested in pursuing legislation. Legislation was introduced in past sessions but never
passed. Mr. Grams asked the Chair if he forwarded to Council members the correspondence
from the member who wanted this on the agenda, and if not, to please distribute it before the
next meeting. Mr. Roloff said that the Legislative & Program Review Committee has this
issue on its list of legislative priorities. It was moved by Mr. Roloff, seconded by Mr. Hardie
and carried on a voice vote to table the issue.

6:15 pm.—It was moved by Mr. Foreman to reconvene the Council meeting at 8:00 a.m.
on Friday, August 20, the motion was seconded by Mr. Fine. Discussion: Mr. Hardie noted
that the agenda item on Veterans Homes matters was tabled from the June meeting. Mr.
Grams said if adjournment occurs now, that item should be first on the agenda. Mr. Stenavich
was hoping to finish the agenda this evening. He suggested finding a time to meet before the
Board meeting which doesn’t occur at the end of a long day. Mr. Cherone said the Council is
held to a time table, yet all the other Committees can go over their allotted time. The motion
to adjourn carried by a majority show of hands.

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BOARD MINUTES
WISCONSIN BOARD OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
Meeting of August 20, 2010
Port Washington, Wisconsin

Board Members Present Others Present (not all-inclusive)


Marcia Anderson, Chair Russ Alsteen, Navy Club
Dan Naylor Mark Baldwin, Washington CVSO
Pete Moran George Banda, AGIF
David Boetcher Robert Batty, American Legion Commander
Rod Moen Scott Berger, Marathon CVSO
Marv Freedman Ben Berlin, JWV
Ken Brown, CVSOA President
WDVA Present Frank Chaparas, AGIF
Kenneth B. Black, Secretary Rick Cherone, MOPH
Donna Williams, Deputy Secretary Loren Christensen
Jimmy Stewart, Chief Legal Counsel Chris Cornelius, Congressman Kagen’s Office
José León, Executive Assistant Linda Dancker, UWV
Sara Stinski, Communications Director Nellie Debaker, Squadron Cmdr, Navy Club
Micabil Diaz, Legal Counsel Yvonne Duesterhoeft, Jefferson CVSO
Jackie Moore, Acting Commandant-King Daniel Einstein
Pat Shaughnessy, Acting Commandant-UG Roger Fetterly, MOAA
Colleen Holtan, Budget Director Paul Fine, ANU
Brian Marshall, Division Administrator Dr. David Foley, UW Transplants
Tony Cappozzo, Division Administrator Mark Foreman, VVAW
Michael Telzrow, Museum Director Rick Gates, Polk CVSO
Mark Mathwig, Bureau of Veterans Cemeteries Mike Gourlie, WACVO
Julie Van Metre, Executive Staff Assistant Mark Grams, MCL & Dodge CVSO
Jim McGarvey, BOIS-Union Grove Dr. Judith Kosasih, VAMC
Al Labelle, DAV
Steve Lawrence, VFW Adjutant
Tom Ludka, Waukesha CVSO
Bruce Markert
Colin Moten, Veterans Assistance Foundation
Chris Norton, VARO Service Center Manager
Max Oleson, ARC
Sara O’Loughlin, UW Transplant
Renee Oshinski, VISN 12
Kathy Pakes, Legal Counsel
Richard Paradowski
Jerry Polus, Brown CVSO
Al Richards
Vera Roddy, UWV
Chuck Roloff, American Legion
Jim Romlein
Rick Scollon
Lenny Shier, TREA
Karina Silver, DOA
Clif Sorenson, Eau Claire CVSO
Robert Stone, Winnebago CVSO

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Kate Strom Hiarns, LAB
Tim Thiers, AMVETS
Kelly Thompson, Public Defenders Office
Gary Traynor, BVA
Tony Tyczynski, Sauk CVSO
Victor Vela, WI AGIF
Alan Walker
Ken Wendt, PLAV
Mr. Gordon Starck, VLAA Recipient
Margie Starck
Mike Haller, Badger State Chapter, 82nd Airborne
Rick Whalen, 82nd Airborne Div. Assn.
Angie Haller
Tom & Barb Laney, Badger State Chapter
Norb Studelska, Badger State Chap, 82nd Airborne

1. Roll Call and Introductions


The meeting of the Board of Veterans Affairs was called to order at 9:10 a.m. The Pledge of
Allegiance was recited. A quorum was present. Introductions included: American Legion
Commander Robert Batty, Navy Club Squadron Commander Nellie Debaker, Chris Cornelius from
Congressman Kagen’s office and Karina Silver, DOA

2. Certification of Notice of Meeting


It was certified that proper notification of the meeting occurred.

3. (6.) Board’s Veteran Lifetime Achievement Award


The Board of Veterans Affairs Veteran Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Gordon
R. Starck (copy attached to these minutes).

4. (9.) Briefing, Board discussion and Action on Situation Impacting Wisconsin Veterans: University
of Wisconsin Organ Procurement Organization in Madison (UW-OPO)
Sara O’Loughlin, Administrative Director with the University of Wisconsin Transplant Program
and Dr. David Foley, Transplant Surgeon at the University of Wisconsin, briefed the Board. It is a
critical mission of the UW Transplant Program to continue to serve veterans in Wisconsin through
the heart and lung transplant programs. The Program is attempting to expand into the liver
transplant program.

The issue Ms. O’Loughlin brought before the Board is one which will severely disadvantage
veterans for whom the UW provides transplant services. The UW Transplant Program is currently
the only program in the nation providing lung transplants to veterans. The UW Heart Transplant
Program is one of five programs in the nation providing heart transplant services to veterans.

The Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) is federally designated by the government to


procure organs from hospitals in an assigned area. The UW OPO provides services to hospitals in
the western part of Wisconsin, upper Michigan and northern Illinois. There is an additional OPO in
Milwaukee. The OPO also covers two of the three hospitals in Rockford, Illinois. One of those
hospitals has filed a waiver with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to join the
Illinois Organ Procurement Organization and no longer work with the UW Madison. This means
the UW will lose approximately ten deceased donors a year and since the average is about three

2
organs per donor, about 30 transplants per year will be going to the Illinois Transplant Center and
none of those centers have contracts to provide services to veterans.

Ms. O’Loughlin and Dr. Foley asked for the Board’s support by sending correspondence to
CMS, supporting the denial of the request of OSF St. Anthony Medical Center to switch organ
procurement organizations. Any comments are due to CMS by September 28th.

MOTION #1: It was moved by Mr. Freedman that the Board of Veterans Affairs very strongly
urges the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reject OSFs St. Anthony Medical
Center’s request to end its 37-year partnership with the University of Wisconsin Organ
Procurement Organization (OPO) because of the profoundly adverse implications it could have on
veterans seeking lung and heart transplants. The University of Wisconsin Transplant Program is
the nation’s only program authorized by the Veterans Administration to perform lung transplants;
further it is one of only five programs throughout the entire country VA patients can go to for heart
or heart-lung transplants. The UW OPO provides nearly all the organs transplanted by the UW
Transplant Program. The UW OPO is consistently ranked among the top performing OPOs in the
country, due in part to its commitment to developing successful partnerships that facilitate organ
donation. Veterans from over 44 states have benefited from UW OPO’s higher cost efficiency,
reduced waste and most importantly, considerably shorter wait times for life-saving transplants. If
CMS approves St. Anthony’s request, the UW OPO service area will lose a critical and invaluable
partner, resulting in longer wait times for VA patients in vital need of lung and heart transplants.
This would be a great disservice to Wisconsin’s and our Nation’s veterans. The Board of Veterans
Affairs directs the Board Chair and the Department Secretary to submit written comments before
the expiration of the comment period, no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Tuesday,
September 28, 2010, urging in the strongest terms possible, that the Centers of Medicare and
Medicaid Services reject OSF St. Anthony Medical Center’s request to end its 37-year partnership
with the University of Wisconsin Organ Procurement Organization and that copies of the written
comments be forwarded to every member of the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation with a
request for any assistance their offices can provide in helping to bring about the rejection of OSF
St. Anthony Medical Center’s request to end its 37-year partnership with the University of
Wisconsin Organ Procurement Organization. The Board also urges Wisconsin VSOs, the CVSO
Association of Wisconsin and concerned veterans to submit written comments. The motion was
seconded by Mr. Moran. Mr. Naylor asked if an addition to the motion would be accepted which
would also encourage CMS to encourage OSF St. Anthony and Swedish American Hospital to
work collaboratively with the UW. Mr. Freedman, who made the motion, and Mr. Moran who
seconded the motion accepted the amendment. The motion, as amended, passed unanimously on a
roll call vote.

The presentation packet will be sent to the County Veterans Service Offices, the Commanders
of Veterans Organizations and the Council on Veterans Programs Members as requested by Mr.
Freedman.

5. (3.) Approval of Minutes


a. Open session of June 18, 2010
MOTION #2: It was moved by Mr. Moran, seconded by Mr. Boetcher and carried
unanimously on a voice vote to approve the minutes.

b. Closed session of June 18, 2010


MOTION #3: It was moved by Mr. Moran, seconded by Mr. Boetcher and carried
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unanimously on a voice vote to approve the minutes.

c. Special meeting by teleconference of August 5, 2010


MOTION #4: It was moved by Mr. Moran, seconded by Mr. Boetcher and carried on a voice
vote to approve the minutes.

6. (4.) Special Election of Board Secretary


Mr. Freedman nominated Dave Boetcher for the position of Board Secretary. The nomination
was seconded by Mr. Moran. It was moved, seconded and carried on a voice vote to elect Dave
Boetcher as Secretary of the Board.

7. (8.) Milwaukee VA Medical Center Presentation on Poly-Trauma/TBI System of Care


Dr. Judith Kosasih from the Milwaukee VA Medical Center gave an overview powerpoint
presentation on the Poly-Trauma System of care which includes TBI. (The presentation consisting
of 40 slides can be emailed upon request to WDVA.)

Mr. Cherone said Vietnam veterans may not be aware of TBI evaluations as back then, it was
labeled a concussion. Mr. Markert asked if research is being done to see how the Vietnam veteran
population has recovered because IED is not new. Vera Roddy said Desert Storm veterans have a
higher propensity toward ALS. There was an article released by the Journal of Neuropathology
suggesting it could be TBI rather than ALS. Dr. Kosasih did not have a comment other than to say
the VAMC is there to make veterans’ lives as full as possible and neurologically, there will always
be speculation. There are many reasons for different symptoms and one needs to be positive and
focus on what can be done right now in life.

8. (5.) Board Members’ Matters


a. Individual Board Member Activity Reports
Dan Naylor participated in events at King. He thanked volunteers and veterans organizations
for all they do at King and Union Grove. On a personal note, he announced that yesterday he was
blessed with a second grandchild.

Pete Moran attended Senator Feingold’s Ashland County listening session on July 18th. Jim
Young, President of the NACVSO presented the Senator with the Legislator of the Year Award
for his outstanding contributions to veterans issues and Mr. Moran provided congratulatory
comments and thanks on behalf of the Board. He attended the NW CVSO Association quarterly
meeting in Ashland on July 23rd whereat an Honor Flight Hub in Duluth was discussed, as well as
both regional and statewide veterans issues. Mr. Moran attended WDVA’s Supermarket of
Veterans Benefits/Women Veterans Wellness Fair at Rice Lake on July 29th. He attended the going
away party for SFC Mark Klein in Cumberland, Wisconsin. SFC Klein is reporting to Ft. McCoy
to begin the mobilization process with the 428th Engineering Company of Wausau. This is SFC
Klein’s second mobilization.

Marcia Anderson attended the June 30th groundbreaking of Vets Place Manor, named for
Thomas Wynn. Also attending was County Executive Scott Walker. WHEDA was a partner in
realizing this project.

9. (11.) Briefing and Specifications Presented by Daniel Einstein for Lighting the Flag Pole at Camp
Randall Memorial Park as well as a Proposal to Move a Cannon Off-Site. Board Discussion and
Action on the Camp Randall Memorial Park Proposals.
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The presenter was Daniel Einstein, representing the Division of Facilities Planning and
Management at UW-Madison. The campus has the responsibility of maintaining the six and a half
acre Camp Randall Memorial Park. Mr. Einstein requested approval for the installation of a light
to illuminate the flag pole on the northwest knoll of the park. He had provided Board members
with extensive briefing documents and a layout of the plan which they were able to study prior to
the meeting.

MOTION #5: It was moved by Mr. Naylor, seconded by Mr. Moen and carried unanimously
on a roll call vote to support the request.

Mr. Boetcher asked about the second issue in the briefing documents relating to the Spanish-
American cannon. Mr. Einstein had hoped to be able to address this today but he is still waiting to
hear from the King Home and the Zablocki VA on the possibility of moving the cannon to either of
those locations. The cannon carriage is deteriorating and its movement to a different location is
necessary. If anyone is interested or has ideas on how to relocate the cannon, please contact Mr.
Einstein.

10. (7.) Board Action from Committee and Council Meetings


CVSO Advisory Council. Rick Gates said the Advisory Council will not meet as usual at the
upcoming CVSOA Conference. Election of officers took place—Rick Gates, Chair and Tony
Tyczynski, Vice Chair. Action item 1: Discussed eligibility criteria for WDVA and other state
benefits. Action item 2: Discussed the removal of the loss of income provision from the Aid to
Needy Veterans Disaster Grant. Action item 3: Discussed requirements regarding the annual
CVSO grant. The Council passed a motion to support changing statutory language regarding the
requirement for a loss of income to qualify for WDVA’s Aid to Needy Veterans Grant, disaster
portion of that grant.

Legislative & Program Review Committee. Dave Boetcher said the Committee discussed
training in the area of lobbying and the legislative process. The Department will be setting up a
training day in December for the CVSOs on how the legislative process works and how to
effectively lobby. In late January or early February there will be training for the VSOs and others.
The Committee will be setting up a legislative and administrative code priority list for the
Department from suggestions submitted by various individuals and organizations.

Finance Committee. Pete Moran said the Committee received Department updates on the
revenue cycle PAT and possible public service announcements on the tax form Trust Fund check
off. The Committee received and filed Legal Counsel’s property tax gaming memo. The
Committee discussed the Board’s special meeting of August 5th regarding the 2011-13 biennial
budget, with special emphasis on veterans programs funding sources used by other states. The
Department’s veterans Primary Mortgage Loan Program and the future sale of QVMB bond to
fund the program were discussed. The Committee received updates on potential support for the
Highground and the accounts receivable situation at the two Veterans Homes. No actions were
taken which require Board consideration.

Long Term Care Committee. Dan Naylor said the Committee talked about minority recruitment
efforts at the Homes, the number of women veterans residing at both Homes, communication
issues regarding the rate increase, a brief education on the five-star rating program and a discussion
on the need for timely response to the Legislative Audit Bureau’s preliminary report on the rate
issue. No actions were taken which require Board consideration.
5
Council on Veterans Programs. Lenny Shier said the Council discussed member organization’s
compliance with its attendance rule. The Council will send letters of appreciation to all the Honor
Flight Hubs in Wisconsin. A briefing was received relating to visually impaired veterans receiving
textbooks in an accessible format and action was taken to support the Wisconsin Council of the
Blind in its efforts to draft legislation. Several agenda items were held over until the October
meeting.

11. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Reports


a. VISN 12
Renee Oshinski reported for VISN 12 and VISN 23.
 Janet Murphy has been appointed as the Network Director for VISN 23.
 A fact sheet on prohibitions on collections of copayments from veterans who are
catastrophically disabled can be accessed at:
http://www4.va.gov/healtheligibility/Library/pubs/CatastrophicallyDisabledVeteran/Catastrophic
allyDisabledVeteran.pdf
 A new clinic will open in Ramsey, Minnesota in 2011 to relieve space challenges at the
Minneapolis VA.
 VISN 23 continues to expand telehealth. They are the second in the nation in serving veterans
with TeleMental Health Programs. In 2010, over 9,800 veterans have been served with the use
of video telehealth. There is no limit to the areas of medicine for which telehealth can be used,
the only limit is the size of the IT pipeline and the ability to get it to as many places as possible.
 Collaborating with HUD to get housing vouchers for homeless veterans. Case managers work
on a 1-10 ratio with veterans who can get those vouchers. There are 140 vouchers at the
Milwaukee VA, 35 vouchers at Tomah, 70 vouchers at Madison, as well as 70 vouchers at
North Chicago which would apply to the Kenosha and Racine areas.
 Construction—Green Bay CBOC’s plan is for a large specialty clinic with 161,000 net usable
square feet. A solicitation for development of the site was released on May 7th and the
construction award is planned for December 2010. It is estimated the new clinic will become
operational at the end of 2012.
 The Milwaukee VAMC was approved to design four, ten-bed community living center facilities
based on the Greenhouse model of delivering long-term care services in a more residential care
environment. Since all available space at the Milwaukee VAMC is within the historic district,
the projects are on hold pending the completion of the Section 106 and NEPA process. The
process is expected to take up to a year to complete. Ms. Oshinski will get the schedule of
meetings to be held on this matter to the Department for distribution to the Veterans Board so
members have an opportunity to go to the meetings and give input and feedback.
 VISN 12 successfully awarded all of its ARRA projects--$6.8 million at Milwaukee, $1.6 million
at Madison and $7.6 million at Tomah.
 Additional services are being added, recruiting for optometry at Wisconsin Rapids,
anticoagulation at Beaver Dam and Baraboo, pain school at Appleton, and an additional patient
orientation class at Union Grove.
 Looking for a new clinic location in Loyal (Clark County), hoping to increase its size from 900
to 4,000 square feet.
 Veterans Courts are currently located in LaCrosse, Rock County, Waupaca and Milwaukee
County Court System. In Rock County there are six veterans, there are three in Waupaca and
19 veterans’ cases are being followed in Milwaukee (which is not a formal veterans’ court). All
four VAMCs in Wisconsin have VA staff (mostly part-time) dedicated to Veterans Justice
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Outreach. Their role is to leverage the VA services for people in the Veterans Court and, as
case managers, the VA can report back on how well the veteran is doing.

Mr. Freedman asked if the VA has funds available to help offset the cost of specific Veteran
Court Programs. Ms. Oshinski said no, they do not have the funds. They have a Veterans Justice
Outreach person identified which is the VA’s role as facilitator.

Mr. Naylor shared a letter he received from a Vietnam veteran who was pleased with the
services he received from the VA at Tomah.

b. Milwaukee VA Regional Office


Chris Norton, Service Center Manager, brought news from the Milwaukee VARO.
 The new director is Robert Granstrom who will be sworn in a week from today.
 Secretary Shinseki is very interested in driving the VA into the 21st Century. The goal is to
become paperless by 2012. He is looking to process all claims within 125 days by 2015 and
aiming for 98% accuracy rate. Historically, the Milwaukee Regional Office is at the top in the
country (right now #3) at about 91.5%.
 The Veterans Benefits Management System was likened to the TurboTax process. It is an
automated system that interacts with the veteran allowing him or her to follow a claim online.
This system will be going into Beta testing in November.
 The Milwaukee Regional Office is participating in a campaign initiative called Walk-in Claims
Process. A veteran coming into the office can meet with an individual, discuss all the evidence
in their claim, present whatever evidence they have, get specifics on what is required, and the
veteran then has a number of days to provide that information. Once the claim is completed, a
final decision will be made within 75 days. The Milwaukee VARO, along with Wichita, is about
two months into this pilot program scheduled to wrap up at the end of September.
 Completed a lease for an additional 14,000 square feet of space which will accommodate
approximately 90 more full-time employees. Milwaukee is likely to receive one of two fiduciary
hubs to deal with incompetent veterans—veterans who are receiving VA benefits but have not
demonstrated the capability to properly manage their financial resources.
 Milwaukee is a consolidated hub for pension work from 12 different states, to include
Wisconsin. The Pension Program administers benefits to veterans with disabilities not related to
service but by nature of their wartime service, and their non-service connected disabilities, are
entitled to an income that allows them to live at a subsistence level. Additional resources are
being allocated to the Pension Program to make sure the work is being processed timely. About
100 cases per month are being brokered to the St. Paul Regional Office in order to handle some
of the backlog.
 Nationally, Vietnam veterans may be eligible for compensation and health care for certain
diseases associated with Agent Orange. Secretary Shinseki is adamant the new presumptive
regulations be published by November 1st. In the future, a private physician may provide the
diagnosis; the VA can then establish service connection and establish benefits without the need
for a VA exam.
 In the past two months regulations have been passed which would substantially reduce the
evidentiary requirements to establish stressors for PTSD for veterans who served in theaters of
operation where they experienced terrorism and/or combat.
 There are nine new presumptives for veterans who served in the Gulf War Theater of
Operations, going back to the first Gulf War.

7
With the move to paperless claims and claims processing, do you anticipate allowing County
Veterans Service officers to be able to access the system in order to determine the status of a
veteran’s claim? Mr. Norton said, ultimately, yes. If the service officer does have a Power of
Attorney recognized in the VA system, they would be able to check out the status of the claim.
CVSOs have some of that functionality now.

12. Board Discussion and Action on Development of a Policy to Address Alternative Attendance at
Board or Committee Meetings
Chair Anderson said the Board is looking at a policy to determine what methods can be used to
provide alternative attendance for those Committee, Council and Board members who have a
special circumstance or situation requiring alternative attendance. Mr. Freedman said there are
people in the veterans community who could be of great assistance to us in sharing their
perspectives about what they would like to see covered in this accessibility policy or specific
provisions they would like to see included.

MOTION #6: It was moved by Mr. Freedman, seconded by Mr. Moran and carried
unanimously on a roll call vote that the Board of Veterans Affairs shall accept written public
comment on the development of a policy to address alternative attendance for those who are
disabled and for others at Board, Board Committee and Board Council meetings provided the
written comments are postmarked or delivered on or before September 30, 2010 to the WDVA
offices in Madison to the attention of The Board of Veterans Affairs.

The Board is sensitive to handicapped accessibility, not only in the meeting space but in the
rooms themselves. They do not want a policy that may result in decreased physical attendance at
meetings. Any comments will be gratefully accepted.

13. Briefing and Board Discussion on Women Veterans Health Outreach Efforts
Mark Mathwig, Bureau Director in the Division of Veterans Benefits, attended on behalf of
James Bond. He stated there were no further items from what was presented on Thursday.

14. Briefing, Board Discussion and Action on 2011-13 WDVA Budget


Ms. Holtan provided a Power Point presentation.
 Biennial Budget Flowchart: technical budget instructions from DOA were received at the end of
August; budgets are due September 15th in even numbered years; a copy will be submitted to the
Governor through DOA as well as to the Legislature; DOA State Budget Office will evaluate
our initiative and come back with questions; the LFB will have questions for us after the
Governor introduces the budget in the January or February timeframe. The Joint Committee on
Finance has Budget hearings from March to June and then the budget is introduced to the
Senate and the Assembly for passage and ultimately to the Governor for approval.
 The agency’s budget focus for this biennium is to support the Department’s mission and vision
as outlined in the strategic plan.
 The 2011-13 adjusted base budget by program: (1) $91,109,700Veterans Homes; (2)
$19,461,000 loans & aid to veterans; (3) $30,909,700self amortizing mortgage loans for
veterans; and (4) $1,245,200cemeteries. There are no positions paid with GPR and of the
$142,725,600 base budget, $2.2 million is GPR; the majority of which is debt service.
 Veterans Memorial Cemeteries—increase staffing at SWVMC by 5 FTE positions and provide
one-time funding for completion of maintenance projects.
 Wisconsin Veterans Museum—establish the Wisconsin Veterans Museum as Program 5 and
transfer museum operations base budget of $1.6 million and 11.45 FTE from SEG to GPR.
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Provide GPR funding for temporary Civil War exhibits and redevelopment of the Veterans
Gallery and National Guard Gallery. Add GPR LTE base budget to support library and archival
services, programs and exhibits. Provide one-time authority for Museum Store improvements
and GPR budget for lease of the Preservation Storage Facility beginning in FY 2013.
 Public Information Campaign—provide funding for the development and distribution of a public
information campaign about WDVA programs and services.
 Tribal Outreach—provide $16,600 one-time funding for the acquisition of a replacement vehicle
for the Tribal and Outreach Coordinator using tribal gaming funds.
 Seek funding for the payments of the annual OSER assessment.
 Reduce annual budget for Personal Loan Program from $5,000,000 to $3,500,000 based on
declining usage.
 Increase budget for Veterans Tuition Reimbursement Program based on projected increased
demand.
 Request from the General Fund the amount needed for general program operations of providing
loans and aids to veterans
 Request from the General Fund the amount to be paid into the Veterans Trust Fund to be used
for veterans programs.
 Veterans Homes Initiatives—request restoration of turnover reduction in appropriations with
direct care positions. Request continuation of current biennium exemption from nursing home
bed assessment.
 Veterans Home at King—seek 2.0 additional FTE Nurse Clinicians; transfer 2.0 FTE and
$208,300 of budget authority from the geriatric grant appropriation to institutional operations;
seek additional position authority for part-time staff working full time.
 King is seeking a cemetery caretaker position for the Central Wisconsin Veterans Memorial
Cemetery at King to ensure cemetery can continue to meet National Cemetery Association
Shrine standards.
 Veterans Home at Union Grove—seek base budget spending authority of $25,000 for the Gifts
and Bequests appropriation.
 Proposed Chippewa Falls Home—establish operations budgets for skilled nursing and fuel and
utilities, debt service and gifts and bequests.
 Capital Budget Request: Preservation Storage Facility

Marv Freedman said Secretary Black moved up the date on his timeline for budget development
so B-2’s would be provided to the Board well in advance of when they have ever been provided
before. He might be the Secretary of the Department and we might be the Board of Veterans
Affairs but we are at the mercy of the Department of Administration. Rather than being in a
position, earlier this month, to start reviewing B-2’s in a public, open meeting session, the Board
has been kept from doing that simply because the B-2’s will not be finalized by DOA until the
beginning of next month. As soon as the Department has the information, they will be preparing
documents which have to come to the Board to be reviewed in full at a public meeting.

Dan Naylor requested some kind of big picture narrative, especially regarding what was
historically covered by GPR to include some of the documented outcomes. Also, from the
Department’s perspective, he asked what our priorities are, i.e.: What have we done to
maintain/reduce costs or deal with efficiencies? What are some of the things we can delineate that
demonstrates we are very cognizant of the budget situation in the state? Regarding Chippewa
Falls, Mr. Naylor stated we have to be prepared to justify where funds will come from in context
with our big picture. We need to be sensitive to the kinds of questions and concerns which have
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been raised historically and which will be raised. This would be information for the veterans
community as a whole.

15. Briefing and Board Discussion on State Veterans Courts


Dan Naylor introduced Kelly Thompson and Kathy Pakes from the Public Defender’s Office.

Ms. Thompson said the Public Defender’s Office is the statewide agency representing individuals
involved in the court system. They are also representing in some of the specialty courts created
throughout the state; these courts are known as diversion courts, drug treatment courts, and mental
health courts. Some individuals whose needs were not being met were people involved in the
military and people who had served on active duty. Judge Daley began a veterans treatment court
working with all the partners in the system. There is growing interest statewide in the veterans
court.

Kathy Pakes, Legal Counsel, said the Public Defender’s Office has applied as an agency for a
federal grant which would fund a statewide coordinator position to get a veterans court option up
and running in every county in the state. They would be working with the five VA areas to provide
treatment. The big issue with veterans is the courts are civil, so even though you have mental health
courts, drug courts and DUI courts, there is a component where needs of the veteran are not being
met. The goal of the Veterans Diversion Courts is to have a mentor component. Whether or not
the grant is awarded, the Public Defender’s Office will provide mentor training. They will organize
the training in the five areas to get mentors who are qualified and understand the veterans special
needs. There is a professor at the UW-Whitewater who has volunteered his time to do statistics for
the Public Defender. The agency has taken on coordination and organization for the whole veterans
court option.

José León, WDVA Executive Assistant, said the Department, in conjunction with the
Department of Military Affairs’ Legal Counsel and Executive Assistant, has worked closely with the
Public Defender’s Office to draft the grant language. Attorney Pakes was grateful to John Hahn for
his help in putting together the grant application. Mr. León said California has pending legislation
which will ask the veteran if he or she would like to have a “V” on their drivers license so law
enforcement can determine their status immediately. Mr. León brought the legislation to the
attention of the Wisconsin Veterans Affairs Committee in the Legislature. Secretary Black has
tasked Mr. León with resurrecting a program whereby a WDVA employee would train law
enforcement in veteran identification. Attorney Pakes said they have provided training on PTSD
and there is some collaboration there with training for law enforcement personnel.

Mr. Freedman extended thanks to Nick Chiarkis for seeing the need for Veterans Courts and
leading the cooperative efforts among multiple agencies and individuals.

16. Briefing and Board Discussion on Status of Proposed Chippewa Falls Facility
Ms. Holtan said the request for conditional approval was submitted to the US DVA on June
th
18 . The State Home Construction Grant Program has advised WDVA the expected conditional
approval would be September 24th and the expected deadline for completion of requirements would
be March 24, 2011. The operating budget for the proposed Chippewa Falls Veterans Home is
included in the Department’s 2011-13 biennial budget request to the Board of Veterans Affairs.
The Department of health Services Agency request for approval to transfer 48.31 acres of vacant
land to the Department for the site of the Chippewa Falls Veterans Home was submitted for
inclusion on the September 15th State of Wisconsin Building Commission meeting agenda. The
10
Department of Veterans Affairs Agency request for approval of the 35% design report and
authority to construct a 72-bed skilled nursing facility at Chippewa Falls was submitted for
inclusion on September 15th Building Commission meeting agenda. Other important dates: Final
design documents—November 2010; bid date—March 2011; construction start up—April 2011;
substantial completion—October 2012; occupancy—November 2012 and final completion and
closeout—December 2012.

Chair Anderson read a letter from Jack Halbleib, Administrator of the Fall Creek Valley Care
Center. He expressed concerns about the proposed 72-bed skilled nursing facility for veterans in
Chippewa Falls. Mr. Halbleib’s bullet comments:
 All new construction—nice, but not necessary
 No established shortage of beds or services. Lots of facilities with VA contracts in area, many
more would be interested but unable to obtain contracts, told VA is not issuing any new
contracts.
 No specific programs or services exclusive to veterans. Why should veterans move from their
home area to receive no unique or special care?
 The state cannot operate facilities as efficiently as private sector (either for or not-for-profit)
facilities. The rates proposed are nearly twice the cost for the taxpayer as existing services.
 This project is duplicative, unnecessary and costly to Wisconsin’s taxpayers.

Secretary Black said all the Board members have agreed to develop Chippewa Falls and move
forward. He is concerned opposition forces are just now beginning to offer their opinions. We
should make sure those who are in favor of the development of a skilled nursing facility in Chippewa
Falls have their voices heard as well. It is the Secretary’s intent to provide the Board with the best
information available so the best, informed decision can be made for the veteran’s community.

Rod Moen suggested individuals contact their local Senators and Representatives to voice
support or opposition to the proposed Chippewa Falls project. Obviously it will be a tight budget
and the project will be determined by the Legislature. The Board needs to move forward with its
approval of this facility.

Marv Freedman said everyone has his or her own opinion on whether or not this project is
timely. The Board will have to make a very tough decision with respect to the budget for staffing
and the operations of a new Veterans Home and getting feedback from both sides of the issue is
very helpful. The presentation heard yesterday and the letter read today are of assistance to him as a
Board member as far as what will help him make a decision.

Pete Moran concurred with Mr. Freedman’s comments. It is clear the long term care industry
has the capacity to meet the future demands placed upon it as the population ages. Mr. Moran
asked that data from Mr. Halbleib and Mr. Deignan be factored into the Board’s calculations for its
analysis and recommendation.

Dave Boetcher said he does not care what private industry wants, he does not care how many
beds they have empty, but he does care how many veterans want to live in a community with
veterans. If excess beds are created in Chippewa Falls for veterans to be in a nursing home together
as a group, that’s what it is all about because he is here voting for veterans and where they want to
live.

17. Secretary’s Matters


11
Mr. Black thanked Dan Naylor for coming up with the Civility Agreement. It is a wonderful
idea and one we all need to be moving toward. The Department is going through a transitional
process which takes time and we all need to be thinking about how we are reacting and treating
each other as we continue to move forward.

As the Secretary moves throughout the community, he recognizes there is a breakdown in


communication. It is important that we communicate effectively and listen well to each other.
Thanks to Board members and other individuals for providing good guidance and being creative in
how to support veterans in the 21st Century. New issues such as TBI need to be considered so that
programs can be put in place to take care of our veterans.

Secretary Black said WDVA is going to be transparent. We don’t intend to hide anything and
we will make sure we are keeping the Board abreast on our actions. The Secretary is very pleased
with his staff and how business is getting done. Pete Moran said this Board meeting has been the
most productive and substantive as any meeting he has attended over the last six plus years which
is directly due to Mr. Black’s leadership and the team he has put in place. Mr. Black said that he is
responsible and accountable and he has no problem with taking on responsibilities. He knows that
he is accountable for WDVA and how we move forward in the support of veterans in the 21st
Century.

Marcia Anderson thanked the over 1,100 employees at WDVA, both veterans and non-veterans
who have devoted themselves to serving the veterans community. Marv Freedman has noticed an
increase in morale at the Department over the last several months. People in the trenches are no
longer reluctant to speak to Board members. A departure from the way business was done before
the beginning of this year is the Secretary understands and clearly is not threatened by the Board
having access to the senior managers, allowing everyone to be a part of the team.

18. Public Input (speakers limited to 5 minutes each)


Alan Walker, a member of the Long Term Care Committee and the Finance Committee, has
finally felt a sense of relief. There used to be a lot of tension but this last year the Board and the
Committees are working together.

Chuck Roloff, a member of the Finance Committee and the Council on Veterans Programs
representing the American Legion said this is the first time he heard any input from anyone about
creating another state nursing home facility. He encouraged the Board to carefully scrutinize the
proposed project. Either veterans reside in a nursing home at the cost of Medicaid or they have to
write a check every month, if the WDVA facility is at a higher rate than the private sector, as much
as a veteran may want to be in a veterans community, it would be a disincentive.

Mike Gourlie, member of the Finance Committee, said the Committee orientation presentation
was excellent and thanked Colleen Holtan and the Department for providing it to the members.
Mr. Gourlie said the focus should be on the veteran regarding the proposed Chippewa Falls facility.
He challenged if private nursing homes can provide the service to the veteran at the cost the State
of Wisconsin, Department of Veterans Affairs can. Based on his trip to the King Home, those
veterans have an awesome place to live and he doubts many private providers could give to our
veterans what WDVA does.

19. Other Matters Not Subject to Adoption

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Marv Freedman said that recently the Board of Veterans Affairs placed the Board and the
Department on record as supporting the initiative by Senators Kohl and Feingold and
Representatives Moore and Obey with respect to the creation of additional Vet Centers. Under
Senator Jauch and Representative Sinicki’s leadership, we already have a response from the VA
announcing there will be a Vet Center outstation created in Marathon County which will provide a
leased facility for Vet Center staff under the administrative umbrella of one of the existing Wisconsin
Vet Centers. They have already begun the contracting process to obtain space and the VA
anticipates the outstation to be fully functional in FY2011. They also noted in their letter to the
Congressional members that the Vet Centers in Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay were
authorized an additional family counselor position this year and recruitment is currently underway.

Rod Moen said in the mid-90’s the Department established a homeless program at Ft. McCoy.
He asked for a briefing on that program at the next Long Term Care Committee meeting.

Pete Moran said an item still due the Board is a cost benefit analysis with regard to Title 18 at
King as well as a demand analysis with regard to King and Union Grove using the Chippewa Falls
report as a model. In addition, a report is requested on correspondence from Ken Brown regarding
checklists that CVSOs need to have in place so that they can effectively work claims.

20. Next Meeting Date


October 15, 2010 in Rhinelander.

21. Adjournment
It was moved by Mr. Moran, seconded by Moen and carried on a voice vote to adjourn the
meeting; the time was 1:10 p.m.

Marcia Anderson, Chair

13
Wisconsin Board of Veterans Affairs
Veteran Lifetime Achievement Award
Proclamation
WHEREAS, Gordon R. Starck was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 20, 1922. He enlisted in the United
States Army in January 1942 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, took basic training at Camp Grant, Illinois, advanced training
as a Medic at Camp Robinson, Arkansas, and Airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia; and

WHEREAS, he participated with the 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion in pre-deployment jungle training in Panama
and additional airborne operations at Camp McCall, North Carolina. He deployed to Great Britain in late 1942 where
he was assigned to the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment and received Combat Medic and additional jump training; and
with the 505th PIR, he redeployed by ship to North Africa, where the unit was attached to the 82nd Airborne Division and
joined in its preparation for the invasion of Sicily. On July 6, 1943, he jumped into Sicily with the 505th under the
command of MG Jim Gavin, in what was the first regimental-size combat jump, to take on Hermann Göring’s Panzer
Division and stop its attack on the Allied beachhead; and

WHEREAS, on September 14, 1943, he participated in a night jump with the 505th over the Salerno, Italy beachhead,
giving relief to Allied landing forces and, two weeks later, he participated in the liberation of Naples. In late 1944, the
82nd redeployed to England where it trained for the Normandy invasion, and at 0300 Hours on June 6, 1944, he jumped
into Normandy with the 505th, as the 82nd spearheaded the European invasion and his unit liberated the first town in
France, St. Mère Église. On September 17, 1944, he jumped into Grosbeek, Holland as the 505th and the 82nd led the
way in Operation Market Garden (A Bridge Too Far), the largest Airborne invasion in history, and his unit took the
Nijmegen Bridge at a terrible human cost. On December 16, 1944 he marched into the Battle of the Bulge with the 505th
and 82nd to stop the German counter-offensive by fighting the enemy to a standstill at St. Vith and the Salm River and
giving relief to the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne, Belgium; and

WHEREAS, he continued to serve with his unit in Europe until VE Day. He returned to the United States with the
505th in the spring of 1945, with the expectation of further deployment to the Asian Theatre. On October 20, 1945 he
was honorably discharged with the rank of Technician 3 at Fort Sheridan, Illinois; and his military decorations include
the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War
II Victory Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Medic Badge, Parachutists Wings with four Combat Jump Stars;
and

WHEREAS, following the war, he continued his pre-war apprenticeship and became a tool and die maker, working at
Allis Chalmers in West Allis, Wisconsin for many years and was a member of UAW Local 66. He married and raised a
family. After his career, he ran for public office, serving Franklin, Wisconsin for six years as Alderman, four years as
Mayor, and many years on various boards and commissions. He is a member of St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church
and the Knights of Columbus; and

WHEREAS, he is a Life Member of the American legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and
the Badger State Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association and has been an active member of these
organizations for over a half century. He served as Commander of American Legion Post 192 for seven years, and he
was a founding member and is a Trustee of the Badger Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association. He served as
a volunteer at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee for nineteen years.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Marcia M. Anderson, Chair of the Wisconsin Board of Veterans Affairs, proclaim
GORDON R. STARCK as the recipient of the Wisconsin Board of Veterans Affairs Veteran Lifetime Achievement
Award on this 20th day of August 2010.
______________________________________
MARCIA M. ANDERSON
Board Chair
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