WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), issued the following statement Tuesday after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released their report entitled, “Care and Oversight Deficiencies Related to Multiple Homicides at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia.” The report stated multiple insufficiencies related to administrative processes and security measures within the facility that led to the murder of eight veterans between 2017 and mid-2018. A full copy of the OIG report is available online at www.va.gov.
“Reading this report is just devastating. The failures at the Clarksburg VAMC outlined within this report are absolutely unacceptable. The findings show a collapse of administrative and clinical responsibility that has led to unimaginable consequences, which makes it clear that updated policy and procedure is desperately needed. Our veterans in West Virginia deserve the highest level of care possible, but they also need to be able to trust that they will be safe and protected under the care at our VAMC facilities. I am committed to making sure we take the appropriate steps to make sure we create an environment that our veterans feel safe and cared for, holding those in leadership and positions of trust to account, while also ensuring that tragedies like the one at the Clarksburg VA never, ever happen again,” Senator Capito said.
Since the news broke regarding the Clarksburg VA tragedies, Senator Capito has remained in close contact with those involved in this investigation to ensure that the victims of the families involved receive answers and to make sure situations like this do not occur in the future.
In December 2020, Senator Capito’s bill, the Improving Safety and Security for Veterans Act of 2019, was signed into law. The Improving Safety and Security for Veterans Act of 2019 will require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to submit detailed reports on patient safety and quality of care at VA Medical Centers (VAMC). The law ensures that Congress, Veterans, and their families are fully informed on the policies and procedures in place across the VA nationally.
In February 2021, Senator Capito helped introduce the Ensuring Quality Care for Our Veterans Act. This legislation would require that every health care provider hired by the Department of Veterans Affairs with a revoked license undergoes a third-party review of that provider’s care. If the review determines that a competent practitioner would have managed the veteran’s care differently, the veteran will be notified.
In March 2021, Senator Capito introduced legislation that would require the VA Secretary to submit to Congress a report on the use of security cameras in VA medical centers. Specifically, this bill would provide the Senate with insight on the utilization of security cameras at VA medical centers across the country so we can better-determine how to tackle this issue and ensure patient safety.