State veterans home in Huntsville undergoing audit after allegations of mistreatment

Senator Doug Jones called for the investigation in March.

Posted: Apr 4, 2019 7:21 PM
Updated: Apr 4, 2019 7:23 PM

The Floyd E Tut Fann veterans home in Huntsville is under a federal review after allegations of mistreatment.

Senator Doug Jones called for the investigation in March. Right now, the Department of Veterans Affairs is running a full audit of the Huntsville state veterans home. That means they are looking into everything that happens inside. The State Department of Health is investigating, as well.

The wife of a man who lives there, Mary Rice, said her husband gets excellent care at the home.

"I have nothing bad to say. He's been here for years. They've treated him wonderful," she said. "When you walk in, the place is clean. They love their people."

Senator Jones called for an investigation after reports surfaced of people being mistreated at the facility. His office said former employees claimed there was improper feeding, inattention causing bed sores and an inadequate response to a scabies outbreak.

The department said it started an unannounced investigation Wednesday because of those allegations. To make sure nothing bad is going on, the federal VA could be at the home for a couple more days.

"There's nothing bad going on. I'm here every day," said Rice. "They're very nice. They're just observing to see what goes on...what actually goes on."

They're looking into nursing notes, doctors' notes, financial records, nutritional information and virtually everything going on inside. Rice says she's seen them inside the home.

WAAY 31 is working to learn what will happen when the inspection is complete and will let you know when the VA gets back to us.

Below is a statement from Health Management Resources, the company that manages all veterans nursing homes in Alabama, including Tut Fann:

"We work with state and federal agencies on a routine basis, and representatives from these agencies regularly make onsite survey visits, just as they do at all veterans homes across the country. This week, the visit by the Alabama Department of Public Health is part of their annual licensure survey. The Veteran's Administration is conducting its own review. All veterans deserve all the support and respect that we can possibly give them, and we are committed to continuing to work with our caregivers and state and federal regulators to ensure they receive the best possible care," said Scott Hurst, Regional Vice President of Operations at HMR of Alabama.

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