MEMPHIS, Sept. 22, 2015 – There is a hole in the roof of the Memphis VA, thanks to construction of a new hospital wing. CDN has learned that the roof has been open for more than a week, and it is not clear when it will be closed.
The quality management section of the Memphis VA is undergoing remodeling, and the construction has resulted in the hole in the roof.. The quality management section of the hospital is where the records are stored.
Last year, the Daily Caller broke news that a therapeutic pool was closed down in 2011 due to a lack of funds in the hospital’s capital projects funds, where presumably, the funds to remodel the quality management section of the hospital would also come from.
Sean Higgins, a former Memphis VA employee and whistleblower, told CDN that the hole is unsanitary “because it compromises the air.”
Higgins further told CDN that employees at the Memphis VA have told him that the construction team expects the hole to remain open for “about a month.”
CND has also confirmed that inspectors from the Office of Medical Inspections (OMI) recently visited the hospital.
“The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of the Medical Inspector, and the Office of Oversight and Accountability arrived on site for a scheduled visit at the Memphis VA Medical Center yesterday. The team will be at the medical center through September 17, 2015. The team will examine business operations, with a final report from the visit several weeks from now; a specific date has not been determined,” Willie Logan, the Memphis VA press person, said in an emailed statement to CDN.
Logan declined to comment on the nature of the hole or when it will be fixed. OMI is the VA’s investigative arm and is normally brought in after allegations of fraud, waste and abuse.
This is the latest in a string of scandals at the Memphis VA, including those exposed by CDN. Last month, CDN first published videos that show a ward for those with spinal cord injuries regularly left unattended.
Sean Higgins told CDN that for about the last year and a half every month the media has broken a new scandal. The hospital has been cited for medical records backlogs, some of the worst wait times in the nation and improperly cleaning their dialysis machines.
Higgins told CDN that the hospital director, C. Diane Knight, was recently summoned to the regional office, known as Veterans Integrated Services Network 16, located in Nashville, Tennessee, presumably to account for the recent scandal.
The VA as a whole has faced serious questions over the last few years, after whistleblowers came forward with information about delays in care for military veterans and “cooking the books.” The Memphis VA was among those cited during the national investigation as “troubled.”