The Minneapolis Veterans Home takes care of Minnesota’s aging and ailing veterans. But now, state officials say the nursing home is not properly serving those who served their country.
"My exact words were that's it. I've had enough," said Governor Tim Pawlenty.
As of Wednesday, by order of the governor, the Minnesota Department of Health is watching over daily operations at the veterans home. It’s his response to the death of three residents in just the last month. According to state inspectors, the deaths were related to neglect or medication errors. One man who died was given morphine. Another was given penicillin. Both had allergic reactions. According to a Department of Health report, the third resident who was a diabetic, died after nurses incorrectly monitored his blood sugar.
"The situation at the Minneapolis Veterans Home is greatly concerning and it's not new," said Pawlenty.
The deaths are the latest in a long string of problems for the troubled nursing facility. In the last few years, the health department has found several violations state officials say compromise veterans' care. And the federal government has threatened to pull funding for the home.
"Our main goal in doing this, certainly the governor's main goal, is to make sure the veterans are receiving safe and appropriate care," said Department of Health Commissioner Dianne Mandernach.
Officials at the veterans home would not speak on camera Wednesday. They tell us their focus right now is on residents and their families. Governor Pawlenty said a change in the way this home is run may be the only way to make sure that happens.
"I have incredible respect and admiration for the men and women who served. They should be getting our best care and that's not what they've been getting at the Minneapolis Veterans Home," said Governor Pawlenty.
The governor also wants the home to hire a consultant to look at the way the place is run.
And there will also be a commission to recommend long-term management changes at the Minneapolis Veterans Home.
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