March 18, 2019
WASHINGTON – Senator Doug Jones (D-Ala.) has requested a thorough investigation into recently surfaced allegations of neglect and abuse towards veterans who are residents of the Floyd E. “Tut” Fann State Veterans Home in Huntsville, Alabama.
In a letter to Michael Missal, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Senator Jones implored the agency to investigate the allegations of abuse and the federal VA facility inspection process.
Reports of abuse at Tut Fann surfaced last week as former employees of the state-owned facility said that staff negligence led to the mistreatment of veterans in their care. Despite passing a federal inspection in August 2018, the employees allege negligence that led to bed sores, improper feeding of the veterans and an inadequate response to a Scabies outbreak. Although the facility was determined to be “deficiency free” during last year’s inspection, employee reports of negligence at the facility go back years and Tut Fann has an official record of violations that dates back to 2013.
“This fact begs the question: was the 2018 inspection of the facility deeply flawed, or was the evaluation intentionally misrepresentative?” Senator Jones asked in the letter.
“I am asking that you investigate these allegations and the apparent failures in our inspection process that led to these egregious circumstances in Huntsville,” Senator Jones continued. “I am committed to working with you and my colleagues in Congress to ensure the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has all resources necessary to fulfill this mission.”
Senator Jones was instrumental in passing legislation that requires the federal VA to submit an annual report to Congress on the ratings given to VA-run nursing homes. His legislation was signed in to law in 2018.