Gov. Charlie Baker has named a new chairperson for the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home board of trustees, replacing Kevin Jourdain with Maj. Gen. Gary W. Keefe, adjutant general of the Massachusetts National Guard.
Jourdain on Monday confirmed to Masslive.com that the governor called him with the news.
“He thanked me for everything I did during especially difficult times,” Jourdain said.
Keefe, of Northampton, joined the trustees in November as the long-term care facility for veterans worked to recover from a coronavirus outbreak that contributed to the deaths of nearly 80 residents.
“His reason was he felt Gary as head of the National Guard would have a better Washington presence to get us the federal money for the new home since he is down there all the time,” Jourdain said.
The state plans to build a new $300 million facility that will rely heavily on federal funding as well as state financing.
Keefe could not be reached for comment. The trustees are the home’s governing body.