Durbin Visits Marion VA, Receives Update On Ongoing Investigation

MARION – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today visited Marion VA Medical Center and met with leadership and concerned staff to discuss the ongoing investigations related to mismanagement and retaliation against whistleblowers, and the potential impact on patient safety and care.  Following Durbin’s calls for an investigation, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has sent a number of national offices to the Marion VA for a series of reviews, interviews, and briefings.

“We owe each and every veteran a great debt of gratitude, and their health care needs should be treated with the utmost care and attention at VA medical centers across the country,” said Durbin.  “Allegations of personnel mismanagement that are impacting patient care at Marion VA Medical Center are extremely concerning to me, especially given the history of mismanagement at this facility.  I will continue to hold Marion VA accountable for implementing true management reforms that enhance the quality of care for our nation’s heroes and protect whistleblowers.” 

Recent reports detail alleged incidents of prohibited personnel practices at Marion VA, including whistleblower retaliation, nepotism, unfair labor practices, and mistreatment and abuse of employees.  Most concerning is the fact that this alleged mismanagement is negatively impacting quality of care and jeopardizing patient safety.

Senator Durbin has long been outspoken about the need to investigate potential mismanagement at the Marion VA Medical Center. After hearing concerns from Marion VA hospital employees, Durbin and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael J. Missal this May urging him to initiate an independent investigation into patient care at the Marion VA. When the Senators failed to see improvements in patient care and safety at the Marion VA, they wrote a second letter in July to Secretary Shulkin requesting a meeting to stress the need for a comprehensive review of the Marion VA by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.