Veterans Group Plans Visit To Fort Wayne Clinic

12:56 PM, May 16, 2013   |    comments
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - The American Legion is taking a new look at the quality of health care provided at the Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in Fort Wayne where inpatient care was suspended last year.

Members of the Legion's System Worth Saving Task Force plan on visiting the health center next week to interview patients, staff and administrators as part of its annual evaluation of the care veterans receive. The task force will also have a public town hall session on Tuesday evening at Legion Post 148 in Fort Wayne.

Ralph Bozella, the task force chairman, said he wants to follow up on December talks he had with VA employees and patients about inpatient services, communications and staffing at the center. Those sessions were devoted largely to the October suspension of inpatient care, which is being resumed in phases.

"We're here to help them. We want to focus on how we make it better," Bozella told The Journal Gazette ( ) for a story Thursday.

VA Northern Indiana Health Care System said on Oct. 23 that it was suspending inpatient services at the Fort Wayne campus to review processes, train staff and ensure care for veterans.

Bozella said the task force would seek information about staff vacancies and turnover among nurses.

Clinic spokeswoman Sheryl Grubb said the last vacancy among clinical staff leadership positions will be filled in June and that it has hired people for all primary-care vacancies.

Since late last year, the center has resumed inpatient chemotherapy infusions and inpatient services for complex medical conditions. The center has 26 acute-care hospital beds. Grubb said the center's the six-bed intensive care unit as "the final phase to consider" in restoring inpatient care.

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