American Legion National Commander Brett Reistad praised the Department of Veterans Affairs for its quick outreach to The American Legion and holding poor performing employees accountable at its nursing homes.
“Immediately after seeing the concerns that I expressed in a joint statement with the national commander of the VFW, top officials at VA reached out to The American Legion in an effort to be transparent about our concerns about the quality of care at many VA nursing homes.” Reistad said. “VA officials dispute some of the findings in a series of reports by USA Today and the Boston Globe. The media outlets stand behind those reports. Two employees who were sleeping during their nursing shifts were fired. The administration should be praised for signing the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act last year, which makes it possible to remove such poor-performers. Veterans and their families have a right to expect top-notch care for the patients, many of them elderly, who reside in these VA nursing homes. I believe that the VA leadership understands this and I am confident that they will work together with us to institute needed improvements. At the same time, the public should understand that private sector nursing homes are often not subjected to the same scrutiny as VA facilities, and in many cases VA homes are superior to their civilian counterparts. Regardless, The American Legion will continue to advocate for delivery of the best care possible for our veterans.”