Stars and Stripes stripes.com 31 Dec, 2020 21:30 am

In report, Pa. governor's office slams leaders at state-run veterans' nursing home ravaged by COVID-19

In report, Pa. governor's office slams leaders at state-run veterans' nursing home ravaged by COVID-19
Investigators have condemned the former managers of the Southeastern Veterans' Center, a state-run nursing home in Chester County, Pa., for inadequate precautions against COVID-19, which "swept through the facility like wildfire" this spring and caused the deaths of 42 residents.

" Blackwood and Mullane were fired on Dec.The lawsuit names as defendants the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), which runs the state's six nursing homes for veterans, as well as Blackwood and Mullane.Blackwood and Mullane, through their attorney, David Heim, rejected many of the report's findings and said they had been "purposely deprived" of the opportunity to respond fully because they had only recently been shown the report." Heim also said Blackwood and Mullane, who had previously received high marks on their performance reviews, had repeatedly asked state leaders for more staffing and the deployment of the National Guard, but they had been essentially ignored until the National Guard arrived on April 15.

As details about this mismanagement came to light in the spring, former Major General Anthony Carelli, who as adjutant general for Pennsylvania oversees the state's six veterans' homes, told the Senate committee that he was concerned by The Inquirer's articles about conditions at SEVC and asked the state and county to inspect the facility.The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, which oversees SEVC and the other five state-run homes for veterans, released a statement saying it has put in place "most of the recommendations in this report that could be implemented immediately and is now in the process of reviewing and implementing additional recommendations, to include a review of its organizational structure; crisis management; communications; and infection control procedures.

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