The Legislature finds that the health and welfare of the veterans of the armed forces who are citizens of our state will be best served by the establishment of one or more skilled nursing facilities exclusively for these veterans. Furthermore, the Legislature finds that nearly two hundred thousand veterans in this state have distinguished themselves with the highest level of participation per capita of any state in the wars fought by this nation. Further, an aging veterans' population which suffers from wartime disabilities and illnesses are, or will be, in need of skilled nursing care.
The Legislature further finds that construction of an additional 120-bed veterans skilled nursing facility in southern West Virginia is needed, to be located on Department of Agriculture property in Beckley, West Virginia, adjacent to the Jackie Withrow Hospital which was formerly known as Pinecrest Hospital. The West Virginia veterans skilled nursing facility located in Clarksburg is currently at its maximum capacity and has a large waiting list for admission. With a veteran population that has now reached over two hundred twenty thousand, there is an overwhelming need for additional nursing home beds in other areas of our state to accommodate our veterans as they become unable to take care of themselves.