Congressman Checks Up on Marion VA Medical Center

Congressman Checks Up on Marion VA Medical Center
By: Arnold Wyrick

MARION, Ill. - U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello wasted little time on Friday addressing some of the problems at the Marion VA Medical Center. 
The facility shutdown all in-patient surgeries after nine veterans' deaths were connected to procedures performed at the Marion VA.
"My goal is to make certain that the investigation is done in a very thorough manner by the Inspector General's Office.  And that after the investigation is concluded that the recommendations of the IG's office, that the VA in fact implements whatever recommendations the IG recommends," Congressman Costello said.
The congressman is also looking into the hiring practices at the Marion facility, more specifically the hiring of Doctor Jose Veizaga-Mendez.  He has since resigned from the Marion VA in the wake of the investigation.
"I want to know if the appropriate background investigations were conducted; if the VA acted properly when they made the decision to hire this particular physician," Congressman Costello said.
Congressman Costello also meet with more than 50 employees during his visit to the Marion VA Medical Center.
"They wanted to know if they were going to lose their jobs as a result of what has gone on here in the on-going investigation.  What affect it may have on them, if any.  Will it affect their families?" Costello said.
He had one final note to pass on to everyone involved in the investigation.
"I would just caution everyone to take a deep breath, this is a very serious matter.  But, in my judgement it is being handled now by the inspector general, we'll have a thorough investigation," Costello said.
Congressman Costello also promised that once the investigation is completed, the findings will be made available to the public.  Costello expects it will take another 60 days for the Inspector General's Office investigation to be completed.
"I expect that myself, Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Barak Obama will be briefed on their findings.  And then we'll meet in Congress to decide what the next steps will be in this matter," he said.