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Kuster, Walz, Takano Lead Oversight Trip To D.C. VA Medical Center Following Reports Of Serious Patient Safety Concerns

May 4, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Ranking Member Annie Kuster (D-NH), House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Tim Walz (D-MN), and House Committee of Veterans' Affairs Vice Ranking Member Mark Takano (D-CA) released the following statement after they led a group of Democratic lawmakers on an oversight trip to the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Last month, the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General (OIG) released an interim report detailing systemic patient safety concerns at the medical center resulting from supply-chain and inventory mismanagement. That leadership have since been removed.

During the oversight visit, the Representatives received briefings from facility leaders about recent efforts to address concerns outlined in the OIG interim report, which alleged that patients at the medical center were being put in harm’s way due to a combination of deficient inventory capabilities, unsanitary conditions, and vacancies in management. VA leaders briefed lawmakers about the current climate at the medical center, updated hiring procedures, logistics, and environmental enhancement. The members also had the opportunity to visit the Women’s Health Center at the DC VAMC and observe the good work done by the VA to promote health and wellness of veteran women.

"While there is still much work to be done, we are encouraged by the positive steps medical center staff have taken to improve the facility's inventory and supply-chain management capabilities," the members said. "While we absolutely have a desire to see the VA succeed, we will not stand idly by while failures in management put veterans in danger. We call on the Administration, as well as our colleagues in the Senate and House Majority, to join House Democrats in our efforts to hold the VA accountable. We will continue to conduct oversight until the VA gets it right." 

A link to the Office of Inspector General report can be found here.