UPDATE: Clarksburg VA Hospital releases response to Capito, Manchin bill


UPDATE (12/11/19 8:50 a.m.)

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The Louis A Johnson VA Medical Center has released a statement in response to a bill introduced by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).

The statement, sent out by Wesley Walls, the hospital’s Chief of Public Affairs and Community Relations Service states:

Access and quality information for all VA health care facilities is already available online here.

The ratings show that Clarksburg VAMC is consistently rated among VA’s best health care facilities. In fact, more than 90 percent of surveyed Clarksburg VAMC patients were satisfied with their access to routine primary care at the facility in the last year, higher than VA’s national average.

We understand the senators’ frustration, but we hope they can recognize that this matter is out of Clarksburg VAMC’s hands and is now with VA’s independent inspector general, which has been investigating this issue for well over a year.

Clarksburg VA Medical Center discovered these allegations and fired the individual at the center of them.

But well over a year after Clarksburg VAMC reported this issue to authorities, Veterans and families are still waiting for the independent IG to complete its work and provide the closure West Virginia Veterans and families deserve.

If the senators have questions regarding the status of the independent IG’s investigation, we would encourage them to ask the IG for an update.

Wesley R. Walls – Chief of Public Affairs and Community Relations

Anyone wishing to learn more about the information given in Walls’ statement is welcome to contact the Louis A Johnson VA Medical Center.

ORIGINAL (12/10/19 11:45 a.m.)

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito have introduced a bipartisan bill that aims to improve the transparency at the Louis A Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg.

The Improving Safety and Security for Veterans Act of 2019 is a piece of bipartisan legislation that would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to submit detailed reports on patient safety and quality care at VA Medical Centers in light of the recent deaths of veterans at the Clarksburg VA Medical Center, according to a release from Senator Manchin’s Office.

The release also stated that the legislation will ensure that Congress, veterans and their families are fully informed n the policies and procedures in place across the VA nationally. Additionally, this bill requires the VA to submit a detailed report and timeline of events surrounding the deaths at the Clarksburg VA once the criminal investigations are completed.

Below is Senator Manchin’s statement from the release.

“Victims’ families have waited long enough and deserve answers. I can’t imagine having a loved one murdered at a VA Medical Center and after a year and a half, still not knowing how it happened. I want to make sure this never happens to another Veteran at any VA facility ever again. I’m proud to join Senator Capito in introducing this bipartisan bill that will increase transparency at the VA and set the groundwork for greater accountability. “Due to the lack of information being made available to the public, Veterans across our state are having a crisis of confidence in the safety, security, and quality of their VA healthcare. This legislation will help our Veterans and their families gain insight into the policies and procedures that could have led to these homicides. Ultimately our goal is to help restore public confidence in the VA across West Virginia and the nation. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this commonsense legislation to ease the minds of West Virginians and their families and ensure that our Veterans are receiving the care they deserve.”

Below is Senator Capito’s statement from the release.

“Our veterans should always feel safe and cared for at our VA hospitals. No questions asked. It’s for this reason that I’ve stayed on top of this issue since day one when the news first broke. Since that day, I have remained in close contact with those involved in this investigation, such as VA Secretary Wilkie, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell, Clarksburg VA Director Glenn Snider, and VA Inspector General Michael Missal, as well as checking in with staff on the progress of the investigation. It’s important that we get more information for the families, the veterans, and the community. We need to discuss how these tragedies happened and how to prevent similar occurrences in West Virginia and VA hospitals nationwide. This legislation will help us find answers to these questions and help make sure that tragedies like this never happen again.”

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