New leadership for GR Home for Vets

The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. (file)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A big shake up in leadership at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, as two administrative positions have been eliminated.

Sara Dunne, the administrator, and Eric Alderman, the director of operations, will no longer be in charge of the facility.

Friday, 24 Hour News 8 obtained the 2015 Annual Survey of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

The state report outlines a number of different standards that were not being met — including some regarding the administration.

But a spokeswoman with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency said the administrative changes are strictly a business move.

The state’s two veterans homes — the other is in Marquette — previously had two sets of staff under different policies and procedures.

Now, the restructuring will create one CEO position that oversees both veterans homes, aligning them into one system.

There will also be a Chief Operating Officer assigned to each of the two facilities for day-to-day operations.

Friday, Suzannae Thelen, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, said that the changes had nothing to do with the findings of the annual survey.

She added that the elimination of these positions also had nothing to do with job performance.

“It has nothing to do with the performances of the workers. It has to do with how we can be a better system in the future… The primary focus of this is how are we going to deliver better services to members in the future, and how can we be a better business partner with the state of Michigan and the people that we serve,” said Thelen.

Dunne and Alderman will stay on the staff for 30 days to help with the transition.

Thelen said the move will save the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency some money, but said that wasn’t the primary focus behind the change.

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