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Audit: Problems at Grand Rapids Veterans Home Fixed

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A report says troubles at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans’ Home are largely resolved.

A 2016, audit of the home revealed that the home was chronically understaffed, and instances of patient abuse and neglect. There were also issues with dispensing drugs and un-answered calls for assistance.

The state Auditor General’s Office released a follow-up report Thursday. It says care at the home has improved. For example, it found caregivers keep better track of where patients are, and the home is looking into patient complaints more thoroughly.

Daniel Waun is with the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. He said the department is happy with the progress.

“Today’s report by the Auditor General reflects the incredible efforts of all the dedicated staff at the home in Grand Rapids, the Veteran Health System, and the MBAA to provide the best possible care to Michigan’s veterans,” he said.

But the follow-up report also says a contractor is not providing the agreed-to number of nursing supervisors.

Waun said that’s not a problem. He said the contract calls for more supervisors than are necessary to ensure the health and safety of patients.

“Our plan is to re-work the contract to better fit the realistic number that we have, still providing the care that we’ve provided, and saving some taxpayer dollars,” he said.

The contract will be re-written to reflect a smaller number of supervisors, Waun said.

Last month, the Attorney General announced criminal charges against 11 workers for falsifying records to cover up problems at the home.

You can view a full copy of the report at the Auditor General’s website.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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