Employee Helps Raise Concern Over VA Nursing Home Care
U.S. lawmakers have sent a demand letter to the head of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, regarding more information be revealed following the horrific exposure of negligent care occurring at an already poorly rated Veterans Affairs (VA) facility in Brockton, Massachusetts. Investigators arrived at the facility after an employee whistleblower contacted congress on the failing nature of the home for veterans. When investigators arrived, they found half a dozen staff sleeping vs. caring for residents.
Democrats from the state, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, penned the letter and included concerns such as, “The continued care lapses at VA facilities raise questions about whether concrete, lasting measures are being implemented to prevent misconduct from occurring again.” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie has been requested to give a full explanation regarding the steps that will be taken by the VA to fix the ongoing issues.
A public report published by USA Today and the Boston Globe in the summer of 2018 found 70 percent of the nation’s 132 VA nursing homes received failing grades in 2017. Illinois homes were included.
Illinois’ Sad Record of Veterans’ Home Care
In 2015, the misdiagnoses and poorly managed care of residents with Legionnaires’ disease claimed the lives of 13 residents of a state-run veterans’ home in Quincy and triggered national outrage of the treatment of veterans. Recently, the family of Dolores French, one of the 13 residents of the Illinois Veterans Home who died from the horrific outbreak, obtained health documents related to her case that again demonstrated a litany of questionable procedural and record-keeping practices at Illinois’ largest state-run veterans’ home.
Phone records show the day before French’s body was found, her son made a call to the VA home to check-in on his mother (and father) after delayed reports of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the facility. At that time, an employee told him not to worry. But just the next morning, staff found French dead in her room, despite concerns of the facility being in an outbreak epidemic and inquiries for the woman’s well-being from both French’s son and at least one resident. After the woman’s death, notes detailing a room check the day of her son’s phone call were added to an electronic medical log stating the woman was not in her room and it looked tidy.
French had only been a resident of the Quincy VA Home for six weeks when Adams County Coroner James Keller examined her already decomposing body, possibly of two days, on the floor in her room.
Chicago’s Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys for Veterans and Whistleblowers
We are one of the most widely-known and respected nursing home abuse and neglect law firms in Illinois, serving veterans and their families who have been impacted by nursing home abuse, wrongful death, malpractice, or neglect. Our consultations are always free, confidential, and handled by one of our skilled attorneys. Click here to fill out an online request form or call us toll-free at 1-877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872.
In addition, the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act & the Illinois Whistleblower Act give employees rights and offer protection from retaliation for reporting or threatening to report a violation of the law or regulation concerning the care of nursing home residents. Therefore, we strongly encourage concerned nursing home employees to call our nursing home whistleblower hotline at 312-332-2872 to discuss how we can work together to protect the safety and well-being of residents at the facility or request our help through our website contact form. All calls and consultations are confidential.