March 07, 2018

Ranking Member Walz Statement Following IG Report Detailing Critical Deficiencies At Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Tim Walz (D-MN) released the following statement after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report detailing critical and systemic deficiencies at the Washington, D.C. VA Medical Center:

“The findings detailed in OIG’s report are indicative of a complete and total failure on the part of D.C. VA’s leadership that led to a culture of complacency that put veterans at risk,” said Rep. Tim Walz, the highest ranking enlisted servicemember ever to serve in Congress. “It is on Secretary Shulkin and Lawrence Connell, D.C. VA’s new Director, to make things right by following IG’s recommendations to the letter. One of their first priorities must be to improve the facility’s inventory and supply-chain management capabilities.”

“I would like to offer my sincere praise to the dedicated frontline healthcare providers at the facility who did an amazing job caring for veterans despite incompetent leadership. These men and women bent over backwards to uphold their obligation to veterans, and in doing so, ensured every patient received the quality care they deserved. What’s more, thanks to these dedicated providers, there was not a single recorded instance of adverse clinical outcomes to veterans.”

“Going forward, we need to make absolutely certain that our veterans and VA medical providers will never be put in this situation again, at any VA medical facility. I look forward to working with Secretary Shulkin, as well as my colleagues on the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees, to continue oversight of the D.C. VA Medical Center.”