Senators Manchin and Capito release statements following Clarksburg VA changes

UNITED STATES - MAY 13: Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., conduct a news conference in the Capitol's Senate studio to introduce greenhouse gas legislation that aims to "rollback President Obama's Clean Power Plan," May 13, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking several actions in response to an Administrative Investigation Board’s report on patient safety issues and culture at the Clarksburg VA.

According to the official announcement, the actions underway due to the investigation include:

· Detailing Clarksburg VAMC’s medical center director and associate director for patient care services to administrative duties in Veterans Integrated Service Network 5, pending a review of the facility’s quality and safety environment.

Clarksburg VAMC Associate Director Terry Massey will serve as Clarksburg VAMC Acting Medical Center Director until January 4, 2021, when VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System Deputy Director Barbara L. Forsha will take over as the Clarksburg VAMC’s Acting Medical Center Director.

Instituting a safety stand down during which Clarksburg VAMC will not accept new patients except for COVID-19 and intensive care patients.

Out of an abundance of caution, a recently hired physician, who was an experienced hospitalist in the community, has become the Clarksburg VAMC’s inpatient director of hospitalists and a detailed nursing leadership team is being brought into the facility.

Retraining of all Clarksburg VAMC personnel involved in reporting urgent issues throughout the chain of command. The incoming leadership team will assess the amount and level of training that is needed. It will be conducted throughout the facility over a period of time to ensure continuity of operations and care.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today released the below statement following the announcement of several actions the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking in response to an Administrative Investigation Board’s report on patient safety issues and culture at the Clarksburg VA.

“Our veterans should always feel safe and cared for at our VA hospitals. These leadership changes announced today were absolutely necessary given the unacceptable problems that occurred at the Clarksburg VAMC. While this is a sign of progress, there are still many questions that need to be addressed, and I’m committed to making sure that happens. I commend the VA for making these necessary changes and I look forward to more actions to further improve operations and care at the Clarksburg VAMC once the investigation has fully concluded. In the meantime, I remain committed to doing all I can to make sure our veterans receive the best possible care at all of our West Virginia VA’s and tragedies like this one never happen again,” Senator Capito said.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, released the following statement on the announcement regarding changes about the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Clarksburg.

“It was time for a leadership change at the Clarksburg VAMC for the sake of our Veterans’ safety and well-being. The recently announced safety stand-down is further evidence that there are serious issues at the Clarksburg VA facility. My main concern continues to be monitoring the quality of care our Veterans receive at our West Virginia VAMCs. I hope this will be a fresh start for our Veterans and their loved ones. My heart goes out to these Veterans and their families who will be impacted in the middle of an already difficult holiday season.”