Lawmaker Blasts Veterans' Treatment in Pennsylvania Nursing Homes

By Walter F Roche, Jr. | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 27, 2010 | Go to article overview

Lawmaker Blasts Veterans' Treatment in Pennsylvania Nursing Homes


Walter F Roche, Jr., Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


The chairman of a state House committee Tuesday called the results of inspections in two state-run nursing homes for veterans "shocking, unsettling and inexcusable."

"The scenarios mentioned in the report would be horrendous at any nursing home or long-term care facility, but the fact that they occurred at state-run veterans homes -- that our veterans suffered these abuses -- is particularly troubling," said Rep. Anthony J. Melio, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

Melio, a Bucks County Democrat, responded to a Tribune-Review story detailing state Health Department inspections that uncovered serious deficiencies at facilities in Scranton and Hollidaysburg. The department placed the Hollidaysburg home's license on probationary status for five months last year.

An inspection report on the Hollidaysburg home described a veteran kicking and screaming while four staffers held him down for routine treatment. Inspectors cited the Scranton home for a scabies outbreak and lack of preventative care for serious bed sores.

The facilities are part of a statewide, 1,632-bed system the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs runs. Agency officials said deficiencies cited in the reports were corrected and the homes are fully licensed. The department's other homes are in Pittsburgh, Erie and the Philadelphia region.

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