EXCLUSIVE: VHA Executive in Charge addresses suspicious VA deaths

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va.- The investigation of 11 suspicious deaths at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center continues. 

Friday, WBOY had the chance to sit down with the executive in charge of Veterans Health Administration, Dr. Richard Stone to find out how they are making sure this type of incident never happens again.

“This is a place that has been here for 70 years. These are a thousand employees that are members of this community is, they are hurting as much as this community is. I can tell you that the care here is safe,” said Dr. Stone.

In October we reported the probe is focusing on a now-fired hospital employee, a woman who worked the overnight shift as a nursing assistant.

“When we identified there was a problem here that employee was immediately removed from care and it was turned over to the justice authorities. We are anxious for justice to be served. We delivered the accountability that we should have but this is a safe place to come and veterans need to stay with us.”

Investigators have identified similarities in the deaths: patients injected in their abdomen and limbs with insulin the hospital had not ordered, sparking new procedures and security policies to be implemented. 

“I think we have taken a look at locking up some of the materials. There have been a decision, I can’t go too far with this, of whether this was insulin. In my whole career as a physician in the military, not in the military insulin was never a secured substance. You want it to be available quickly both for diabetics as well as for other types of emergencies. We have actually begun to secure that. I’m quite satisfied that the procedures in place are safe and will continue to be so.”

Dr. Stone declined to give details about the status of the investigation but did explain that it is progressing.

“It is now in the hands of those people that deliver justice and our hope, just like the hope of everyone in this community and the heart broken families that are victims of this are hopeful for justice to be done.”

Those interested in the entire interview can do so below.

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