Lawmakers looking into VA management, other investigations - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Lawmakers looking into VA management, other investigations

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)

After an investigation into the St. Louis Veterans Home, Gov. Eric Greitens has replaced all five of the previous administrations appointees to the veterans commission.

Executive Director Larry Kay has been replaced, with Col. Grace Link of the Missouri Air National Guard serving as interim Executive Director and Administrator Rolando Carter has been fired.

Greitens has also launched investigations into all of the state's other veterans homes.

The Missouri Veterans Home had reported improvements in the care of patients, an increase in staffing, and a reduction in voluntary employee overtime. The presentation came during a quarterly meeting of the Missouri Veterans Commission in Jefferson City. 

“There is a determination at every level of our organization to make things better at the St. Louis Home and provide our Veterans with the care they deserve,” said Missouri Veterans Commission Interim Executive Director Colonel Grace Link. “Things are moving in the right direction so quickly because of the commitment and dedication of the workforce at the St. Louis Home and the cooperative spirit of our Veterans and their families.”

An independent investigation report released in December 2017 was critical of the quality of care at the home in St. Louis.

The investigation by Harmony Healthcare International, a healthcare consulting firm, was commissioned by the Missouri Department of Public Safety at the direction of Gov. Eric Greitens.

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill now asking for details from the VA about what it is doing to work with medical centers in order to ensure the safety of their staff and the veterans they serve. This includes information on a security risk assessment from John J. Pershing Medical Center in Poplar Bluff. 

“Improving standards of care for our service members has long been a top priority of mine, and the physical security of VA medical centers and our veterans is critically important,” McCaskill said. “I look forward on getting details on new steps the VA will take to identify and shore up security gaps at its facilities in Missouri and across the country.”

A report from the Government Accountability Office showed facilities have been the target of violence, threats, and other security-related incidents. 

McCaskill requested information of when the assessments were last completed, if they were reviewed by relevant officials, and how the agency will include local and regional officials as it improves its oversight.

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