Bacteria found in VA Nebraska Western-Iowa Health Care System’s Grand Island facility medical center water system – The Grand Island Independent : Local News

Bacteria found in VA medical center water system – The Grand Island Independent : Local News.

Legionella bacteria was detected in the water system at the VA Nebraska Western-Iowa Health Care System’s Grand Island facility.

 

No cases of Legionnaires’ disease, a form of pneumonia caused by some strains of Legionella, have been reported at VA NWIHCS Grand Island.

While 50 percent of Legionella strains do not cause disease, VA NWIHCS is working with the City of Grand Island and independent environmental testing laboratories to determine the source of the bacteria, the strain and the best way to remediate the issue.

Hyper-chlorination of the water was expected to be performed in coordination with the City of Grand Island on Thursday afternoon.

Veterans’ personal data from Fayetteville VA hospital found in recycling bin

Veterans’ personal data from Fayetteville VA hospital found in recycling bin

The Veterans Affairs hospital in Fayetteville says documents containing the personal information of nearly 1,100 veterans were found in a recycling bin two months ago.

The Fayetteville VA Medical Center announced Friday it’s notifying the 1,093 affected veterans whose consultation reports from the optical shop were incorrectly placed in a recycle bin over a three-month period.

The documents found April 17 contained patients’ names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and prescriptions.

Officials say there’s no indication the information has been misused. But the hospital is notifying veterans who visited the optical shop between Jan. 11 and April 16 and offering them free credit monitoring services.

The hospital says the staff member who had been collecting the documents was retrained on what items should be shredded.

Aurora’s new VA hospital has long, costly history – The Denver Post

Aurora’s new VA hospital has long, costly history – The Denver Post.

It wasn’t just the unforeseen mineral spring that was flooding the land, or the buried relic of a swimming pool that exploded the budget of the new Veterans Affairs hospital under construction in Aurora.

Nor was it only the ballooning price of structural steel, the years of wrangling with a key contractor or the pricey chunk of land next to two of Colorado’s busiest roads.

The real story is largely one of good, old-fashioned constituent clout, bureaucratic infighting, leadership changes and never getting to “no,” according to those familiar with the development. Along the way, a plan to build an affordable, innovative redesign of the region’s veterans health center morphed into a massive, years-overdue extravagance.

The regional VA hospital that will open in 2015 at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora came under fire in a recent Government Accountability Office report thatfound the project was almost $500 million more expensivethan originally projected.

Denver wasn’t the only problem for the VA. Nationwide delays and false projections in Denver and at hospitals in Las Vegas, New Orleans and Orlando, Fla., cost $1.5 billion more than original estimated costs.

Years ago, the plan was to integrate veterans’ care into the top floors of the new CU hospital at a cost that started between $185 million and $200 million.

The stand-alone hospital will cost $800 million, a price tag approved by Congress. It is a 1.2 million-square-foot gleaming facility that includes a parking garage, spinal-cord injury center and community living center.

Read more:Aurora’s new VA hospital has long, costly history – The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_23470410/auroras-new-va-hospital-has-long-costly-history#ixzz2Wa9GjWzL
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Aurora's new VA hospital has long, costly history - The Denver Post

Congressmen: VA Pittsburgh ignored requests for Legionnaire’s records | TribLIVE

Congressmen: VA Pittsburgh ignored requests for Legionnaire’s records | TribLIVE.

Congressmen on Monday accused Department of Veterans Affairs leaders of defying their requests for information about how a deadly Legionnaires’ disease outbreak occurred at the VA Pittsburgh.

Workers at the VA Pittsburgh found Legionella bacteria in the water systems as far back as 2007, five years before the agency disclosed it, the Tribune-Review reported on Sunday, using documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Members of Congress said they requested but never received those documents.

“People are tired of not being able to get a straight answer out of these folks. There are people in charge who need to be held accountable for this,” Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Butler, told the Trib.

“I want to work together with the VA. I don’t want to be playing a cat-and-mouse game,” said a frustrated Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair.

The Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that likely began in early 2011 and ended in November 2012 sickened as many as 21 veterans, five of whom died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC reviewed patient medical records dating to 2007 but did not ask for the hospitals’ Legionella bacteria test results to determine when the potentially deadly bug might have been in the water system, a Trib investigation found.

A CDC spokeswoman declined to review the newspaper’s documents.

VA Pittsburgh spokesman David Cowgill did not respond to a request for interviews with CEO Terry Wolf and her supervisor, regional Director Michael Moreland.

“These revelations paint a troubling picture of rampant mismanagement and incompetence among some officials within the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare system,” said House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla. “Unfortunately, incompetence and mismanagement — coupled with an extreme reluctance to come clean about the facts — have defined the department’s response to the tragic Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Pittsburgh.”



Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/4210006-74/legionnaires-disease-veterans#ixzz2Wa7QYI8P 
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Pittsburgh VA had Legionella bug 5 years before disclosure

Micheal Moreland VISN 4 Director doesn't need to worry about getting Legionnaires' disease from the Pittsburgh VA, because his office is off campus at the luxurious Del Monte center! More on VAmalpractice.info

This is NOT from the Pittsburgh Tribune

 VA had Legionella bug 5 years before disclosure

6/15/2013 Pittsburgh Tribune

By Luis Fábregas, Adam Smeltz and Mike Wereschagin

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/4177912-74/legionella-patients-workers#ixzz2WOSlEMZU

Legionella bacteria flourished in the water lines in rooms housing the most vulnerable patients at the VA Pittsburgh hospital in Oakland at least five years before officials disclosed a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in November 2012, a Tribune-Review investigation has found.

VA workers found potentially deadly Legionella in at least 30 percent of faucets, shower heads and public water fountains tested at the University Drive hospital on seven occasions between September 2007 and November 2011, according to documents obtained through the federal Freedom of Information Act. The 30 percent threshhold is supposed to automatically trigger a local action plan under Department of Veterans Affairs rules.

The bug was so rampant that a report dated Sept. 21, 2007, showed Legionella in 17 of 19 samples taken from surgical and medical intensive-care units at the VA hospital in Oakland. The positive results gave rise to a years-long battle with the bacteria that by 2010 appeared out of control: 75 percent of ICU rooms tested in July that year had Legionella.

“Whenever you have numerous sites within a facility growing Legionella, there is a direct risk to patients,” said Dr. Joseph S. Cervia, a Legionnaires’ expert and clinical professor of medicine at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine in Hempstead, N.Y….

 

 

Pittsburgh VA had most Legionella in region among samples reviewed

6/15/2013 Pittsburgh Tribune

By Mike Wereschagin  Published: Saturday, June 15, 2013, 9:26 p.m.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/4190522-74/samples-legionella-records#ixzz2WORcq8R7

Pittsburgh area found far more Legionella bacteria than counterparts throughout the region, according to test samples from as far back as 2006 reviewed by the Tribune-Review.

More than 160 samples tested by the VA Pittsburgh hospitals since 2007 contained the potentially deadly bacteria, including the University Drive hospital in Oakland, the H.J. Heinz campus in O’Hara and the Highland Drive facility, which is being phased out. About 100 positive samples were at Oakland, about 40 at Highland Drive and about 20 at O’Hara.

None of the five other hospitals in the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 4 region that supplied records had more than nine positive samples, according to records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The Trib requested Legionella test results from the VA Pittsburgh’s three facilities and the nine other medical centers in VISN4. Headquartered in Pittsburgh and headed by director Michael Moreland, the region includes most of Pennsylvania and parts or all of five neighboring states. Six hospitals, including Pittsburgh, provided the records…

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/4190522-74/samples-legionella-records#ixzz2WORLcopN
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Adam Smeltz, Luis Fábregas, and Mike Wereschagin have done an outstanding job of investigating the Legionnaire’s outbreak at the Pittsburgh VA, and the Pittsburgh VA’ s leadership’s less than forthright handling of this tragedy. While veterans are sometimes critical of the press and  are often upset by some of the examples that a “free press” brings to our doors each day, the investigative journalism that the Pittsburgh Tribune has done into this cover up, is exactly what our forefathers were thinking about when they made “freedom of the press” part of the constitution.

This series has shown that our government, after more than two centuries, will not always be honest with us. I say this not as someone who is paranoid that there is a giant conspiracy within our government, but but as someone who recognizes that any part of the government may be taken over by a bureaucrat, who has unfortunately tuned into WIFM, what’s in it for me, instead of what in it for the public. When these misguided bureaucrats place their interests, ahead of their public responsibilities it is highly unlikely that we can rely on the government to disclose its malfeasance to us.

In the case at hand the VISN 4 Director and his staff have little to fear from the Legionella in the water, because they don’t drink it. After closing down the special pathogens laboratory, when he was the Director of the Pittsburgh VA, Mr. Moreland became Director of VISN 4. He promptly moved the VISN 4 headquarters off campus to the DelMonte Center, which  was leased at a cost that was 40% above similar class A office space in Pittsburgh. In a city that has two VA campuses, that have undergone extensive reconstruction, one wonders why, the VISN 4 staff could not find space at one of these locations in  a government owned building, that would be less expensive than renting at the DelMonte Center? While the VISN 4 staff can not see either of the Pittsburgh are VA campuses from the DelMonte Center, perhaps their efficiency is enhanced by the excellent views of  both Pittsburgh Stadiums and the proximity to fine dining and drinking establishments? Or maybe they moved so they wouldn’t have to drink the water?  We wouldn’t even think to ask these things without the Pittsburgh Tribune’s investigation, which  is why we need a free press, and that is why veterans, particularly those veterans in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and New Jersey who are in VISN 4 should be grateful, that in an age when most news “reporting” consists of repacking new releases, Adam Smeltz, Luis Fábregas, and Mike Wereschagin have spent almost a year doing real investigative journalism and written dozens of pieces on this. When we enlisted, or were commissioned, we took an oath that required us to uphold the constitution, seeing this series should remind us how important freedom of the press was,  is and will always be.

W. Robb Graham

 

Pittsburgh VA had Legionella bug 5 years before disclosure-More Good News From Michael Moreland & VISN 4-from TribLIVE

Pitts burgh VA InfectionVA had Legionella bug 5 years before disclosure | TribLIVE.

Legionella bacteria flourished in the water lines in rooms housing the most vulnerable patients at the VA Pittsburgh hospital in Oakland at least five years before officials disclosed a deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in November 2012, a Tribune-Review investigation has found.

VA workers found potentially deadly Legionella in at least 30 percent of faucets, shower heads and public water fountains tested at the University Drive hospital on seven occasions between September 2007 and November 2011, according to documents obtained through the federal Freedom of Information Act. The 30 percent threshhold is supposed to automatically trigger a local action plan under Department of Veterans Affairs rules.

The bug was so rampant that a report dated Sept. 21, 2007, showed Legionella in 17 of 19 samples taken from surgical and medical intensive-care units at the VA hospital in Oakland. The positive results gave rise to a years-long battle with the bacteria that by 2010 appeared out of control: 75 percent of ICU rooms tested in July that year had Legionella…



Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/4177912-74/legionella-patients-workers#ixzz2WLMMo61q 
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Pittsburgh VA had most Legionella in region among samples reviewed | TribLIVE

Pittsburgh VA had most Legionella in region among samples reviewed | TribLIVE.

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ hospitals in the Pittsburgh area found far more Legionella bacteria than counterparts throughout the region, according to test samples from as far back as 2006 reviewed by the Tribune-Review.

More than 160 samples tested by the VA Pittsburgh hospitals since 2007 contained the potentially deadly bacteria, including the University Drive hospital in Oakland, the H.J. Heinz campus in O’Hara and the Highland Drive facility, which is being phased out. About 100 positive samples were at Oakland, about 40 at Highland Drive and about 20 at O’Hara.

None of the five other hospitals in the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 4 region that supplied records had more than nine positive samples, according to records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request



Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/4190522-74/samples-legionella-records#ixzz2WLLjnuad 
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Daughters say patient safety compromised at Dallas VA Hospital | wfaa.com Dallas – Fort Worth

Daughters say patient safety compromised at Dallas VA Hospital | wfaa.com Dallas – Fort Worth.

Patient safety at the Dallas Veterans Administration Hospital is again being called into question.

Considered to be the agency’s worst facility in 2004, the Dallas VA Hospital has received more than 30 certification agency complaints in the last three years.

And now, there are two more.

Two daughters agreed to discuss the deaths of their fathers and the conditions they say no veteran should have to endure.

The Veterans Administration is the largest health care system in the nation, serving more than eight million veterans a year. VA officials in Washington D.C. pledge “to never compromise the safety, security or well-being of veterans

VA Executives Face Big Pay Cuts if Claims Backlog Isn’t Fixed – Nextgov.com

VA Executives Face Big Pay Cuts if Claims Backlog Isn’t Fixed – Nextgov.com.

Senior executives in the Veterans Affairs Department could face a 25 percent pay cut unless they substantially reduce the number of disability claims backlogged for four months or longer by next summer. That provision was included in the 2014 Military Construction-VA funding bill passed by the House Tuesday.

The House adopted an amendment by Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., which would limit the pay of senior VA officials to 75 percent of their salary from July 1, 2014, to Sept. 30, 2014, “unless as of July 1, 2014, the percentage of disability compensation claims that are more than 125 days old is less than or equal to 40 percent.” On Monday VA reported claims backlogged 125 days or longer totaled 569,418 — 66.2 percent of all 860,203 pending claims…

VA leader Michael Moreland praised despite Legionnaires’ outbreak – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

VA leader praised despite Legionnaires’ outbreak – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

When U.S. Veterans Affairs officials submitted regional director Michael Moreland’s nomination for the prestigious Presidential Distinguished Rank Award sometime before March 26, 2012, they provided a glowing report.

The four-page narrative of Mr. Moreland’s nomination, obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, praises him for his career administrative accomplishments, for saving money by starting an independent transplant program and for helping VA administrators across the country cut costs.

It also noted: “Under Mr. Moreland’s leadership, [his region] VISN 4 obtained exceptional results by meeting or exceeding all clinical and organizational performance measures during Fiscal Year 2011.”

That fiscal year, which ended in September 2011, includes the beginning of the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at the Pittsburgh VA, which started in February 2011 and continued until November 2012. It killed at least five veterans and sickened another 17.



Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/va-leader-praised-despite-outbreak-690695/#ixzz2VjxKi0ad