The Healey-Driscoll Administration has appointed Lt. Col. USMC (Retired) Mike Dunford to the Veterans’ Homes Council.
Dunford served as the Chief Human Resources Officer and Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Covidien. Dunford is an active member of the business community and a veteran advocate focused on employment, food security, homelessness, case management and outreach. Dunford also currently serves as president of the Cape & Islands Veteran Outreach Center.
Established through state statute in 2022, the council is an advisory body that makes recommendations to the Secretary of Veterans Services to ensure the health, well-being, and safety of residents of state-operated Veterans’ Homes and access to equitable, high quality and competent care for veterans across the Commonwealth.
The council’s responsibilities include recommending improvements and policies for Veterans’ Homes to the Secretary of Veterans’ Services, submitting recommendations for appointments and removal of veterans’ homes superintendents, and developing an annual report reviewing the veterans’ homes’ demographics, finances, staffing levels, efficacy, equity and resident well-being.
In addition to the seven members appointed by Gov. Maura T. Healey and of Health and Acting Human Services Mary A. Beckman, the Veterans’ Homes Council includes Executive Director of Veterans’ Homes and Housing Robert Engell, who serves as chair, and Chelsea and Holyoke Soldiers’ Homes Boards of Trustees members, who are ex officio, voting members.
“The Veterans’ Homes Council will play a critical role in ensuring that we are providing the care that our veterans need and deserve. The members of this new board have “an intimate understanding of the complex needs of veterans, including access to health care, mental health care, housing and food assistance,” said Healey. “Our administration is grateful to the Legislature and our teams at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and Department of Veterans’ Services for their hard work to create this important council.”
Cape and Islands Veterans Outreach Center Executive Director, Jim Seymour, commented that the governor’s recognition of Dunford and his service to his fellow veterans “is a tribute to his character and the value of his talent. We are incredibly lucky that he also serves as the president of our board, and we are thrilled that he will be able to share his knowledge and expertise in support of all the men and women of the Commonwealth who have served this country.”