Congressman Bennie Thompson investigates VA Hospital complaints - - Jackson, MS

Congressman Bennie Thompson investigates VA Hospital complaints

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

As Congressman Bennie Thompson walked the halls and entered the rooms at the Sonny Montgomery V.A. Hospital Friday, he shook hands and learned of the services available to those who are treated there.

But behind closed doors with hospital administrators, he had frank discussions about complaints he's been receiving. Those complaints range from staffing shortages at the hospital, to questionable patient deaths.

"I wanted to come and see for myself," he tells us. "This tour today is part of the complete process of getting the full view from the informational standpoint as to what's going on."

Thompson says he spoke to administrators about employee morale, patient care, and the plight of homeless veterans treated at the facility.

"They're at maximum capacity for homeless veterans in this area. I want to go back and see if I can improve the allocation of vouchers for veterans who might be homeless in this area," The Congressman says.

A hospital administration that one month ago Thompson considered in disarray, stuck by his side during the tour. Thompson says they're working hard to make improvements.

"This center is among the top ten percent performing medical centers across the V.A., that doesn't mean we don't have opportunities to improve," says Administrator Rica Lewis Payton.

"I think we can all be proud that our men and women in uniform, should they need the services of this facility, they should come," Thompson says.

Back in May, Madison County authorities arrested a nurse practitioner at the hospital for mishandling prescription drugs. Dot Taylor is currently on administrative leave from the V.A. Hospital. She served as the Assistant Director of Primary Care. Congressman Thompson says he is aware of the arrest. Lewis Payton referred all questions regarding Taylor to the U.S. Inspector General. 

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