Pittsburgh, PA - U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today called for an independent investigation of the VA Healthcare System in the wake of this most recent outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease and the risk to veterans within the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System, as well as the history of Legionnaire’s Disease in the VA system. Senator Casey sent a letter to George J. Opfer, the Inspector General for the Department of Veterans Affairs highlighting his concerns.
“It is imperative that we get to the bottom of this situation and hold people accountable so that we can ensure this never happens again,” said Senator Casey. “I have asked the Inspector General to investigate so we get answers to key questions and take appropriate steps to alleviate future risk.”
Senator Casey has been carefully monitoring the situation following of the outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease at the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System, and has written several letters to and spoken direct with Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki and other high-ranking officials within the VA.
The Office of the Inspector General is responsible for conducting independent oversight reviews and investigations of the Department of Veterans Affairs. In a report that was released on June 20, 2007 entitled “Assessment of Legionnaire’s Disease Risk in Veterans Health Administration Inpatient Facilities”, the VA Office of the Inspector General made several recommendations to be implemented through the Under Secretary of Health within the VA.