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Long-term health care executive joins SCDVA as inaugural Director of Veteran Homes

April 24, 2024

Heyward Hilliard

COLUMBIA, SC (SCDVA) - In preparation for the transfer of state Veteran homes, the South Carolina Department of Veterans' Affairs welcomes Heyward Hilliard as the first division Director of Veteran Homes. Hilliard has served the long-term care needs of South Carolinians for more than 30 years with 22 years of service to our Veterans and their families. 

Hilliard has remained an active member and held leadership positions with the American Health Care Association, South Carolina Health Care Association and the National Association of State Veterans Homes. He is a four-time recipient of top administrative honors with two leading long-term care corporations, and he provides leadership training in health care and offers key customer service focus tips for new team members. With more than 22 years of service to state Veterans Homes and the son of a United States Navy Veteran, Mr. Hilliard is passionate about serving the Veterans of our country. He is a graduate of Erskine College with a degree in Psychology and Business Management. He and wife Amy of 30 years have two children.

"I am excited to join the dedicated team at the SC Department of Veterans Affairs as we work to better serve the health care needs of veterans in our state," says Hilliard. "South Carolina is blessed to have the support of this agency, its leaders and the incredible leaders in our legislature that recognize our duty to those who have served. It is an honor to join this mission."

In July of 2023, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed legislation transferring the responsibility of Veteran nursing homes from the South Carolina Department of Mental Health to the South Carolina Department of Veterans' Affairs. The transfer will happen in two phases:

  • July 1, 2024 – SCDVA will assume responsibility for all contracted Veteran nursing homes.
    • Veterans’ Victory House (Walterboro)
    • Campbell Veterans Nursing Home (Anderson)
    • Veteran Village (Florence)
    • Palmetto Patriots Home (Gaffney)
  • July 1, 2025 – SCDVA will assume responsibility for all non-contracted Veteran nursing homes in the state.
    • Stone Veteran Pavilion (Columbia) – state-operated.

Currently, construction is underway for a contract-operated Veteran home to be named Patriot’s Village in Sumter that’s expected to open in the Fall of 2024. Construction is pending for contract-operated Veteran homes in Horry, Orangeburg, and Lexington Counties.

Families who have questions about the transfer of Veteran homes to the South Carolina of Department of Veterans’ Affairs can call (803) 734-0200.