BREAKING NEWS Woman injured in fireworks accident Full Story

WAAY 31 I-Team: Contractor says Huntsville veterans nursing home complaints may come from disgruntled ex-employees

WAAY 31 has uncovered new details about Senator Doug Jones' call for an investigation of the Floyd E. 'Tut' Fann State Veterans Home.

Posted: Mar 19, 2019 6:04 PM
Updated: Mar 19, 2019 7:49 PM

A WAAY 31 I-Team Investigation reveals new information about allegations against the state veterans home in Huntsville. The Floyd E. "Tut" Fann State Veterans Home is accused of neglect and mistreatment of patients.

The allegations may be coming from a pair of terminated employees. According to their former employer, they were terminated with cause and now may have an axe to grind.

Senator Doug Jones called for a federal investigation and is defending this, saying two anonymous sources are enough for him. In his letter, Jones, a Democrat, asked the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to investigate the Floyd E. "Tut" Fann State Veterans Home in Huntsville.

The senator's request cited accusations from two unnamed former employees. The anonymous sources claimed the nursing home neglected and mistreated patients.

In his letter, Jones wrote, “… a local news outlet reported that former employees of this state-owned facility said negligence led to the mistreatment of the veterans in their care …”

The report said the sources claimed to see bed bugs. One source said employees allowed a resident with scabies to freely walk around the nursing home, and the kitchen staff did not stick to some people’s dietary restrictions.

Huntsville’s "Tut" Fann home is part of the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs. It told WAAY 31, “We have spoken with Senator Jones’ staff to assure them that we will cooperate with any information needed by his office or the VA Inspector General. Additionally, we have contacted Governor Ivey’s office to request an independent investigation by the Alabama Department of Public Health.”

Senator Jones’ letter goes further. He brings into question the integrity of the inspection process at "Tut" Fann. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs oversees those inspections.

Jones wrote, “… was the 2018 inspection of the facility deeply flawed, or was the evaluation intentionally misrepresentative?”

A three-day federal VA inspection found "Tut" Fann “deficiency-free.” That means the nursing home met all 158 standards the federal government sets for veterans homes. It's the highest possible score.

When we asked Senator Jones’ office if there's more evidence to support the anonymous complaints, they said they’d get back with us. Several hours later, they emailed us and said Jones believes the accounts from the two former employees are sufficient.

“As a former United States Attorney, I believe the allegations that were publicly reported are substantial enough to merit further investigation by the appropriate authority, who in this case is the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General,” Jones said.

HMR Veterans Services is the contractor that operates "Tut" Fann. The company is questioning the motives of its anonymous ex-employees. 

"We believe two potentially disgruntled former employees terminated for cause were the source of this story and it’s misinformation," Rick Heartsill told WAAY 31. "Clarifying information has been provided to the state and federal officials who have requested it. Our company, employees as well as the state and federal officials who regulate our veterans nursing homes care very deeply about our residents and treat them as family. 'Tut' Fann has consistently been recognized as one of the best veterans nursing homes in the country and this intentional effort to harm and mislead the public is terribly unfortunate. We will continue to work with anyone who wants to review operations to ensure our veterans receive the care they deserve."

HMR told WAAY 31 it's eager for the truth to come out and it’s proud of operating an excellent facility.

The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs told WAAY 31 Commissioner Kent Davis took action and visited the "Tut" Fann home as soon as he heard about the anonymous allegations. He visited "Tut" Fann on Monday, March 11. Davis met with veterans living there, their families and employees. Commissioner Davis said he's confident protocols are being followed to keep people who live there safe and healthy.

Huntsville
Scattered Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Florence
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 75°
Fayetteville
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 73°
Decatur
Scattered Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 41362

Reported Deaths: 983
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4944152
Montgomery4021103
Mobile4005134
Tuscaloosa222642
Marshall170210
Lee135937
Madison13597
Shelby122723
Morgan10715
Walker91424
Elmore90314
Franklin88914
Dallas8799
Baldwin8469
Etowah72713
DeKalb7075
Butler62428
Chambers62427
Tallapoosa58869
Autauga58312
Russell5450
Unassigned50323
Lauderdale4896
Limestone4810
Houston4794
Lowndes46721
Cullman4394
Pike4205
Colbert3916
Coffee3732
Bullock36810
St. Clair3662
Covington3547
Barbour3472
Escambia3376
Calhoun3325
Hale31021
Talladega3037
Marengo30211
Wilcox2908
Sumter28412
Dale2820
Clarke2736
Jackson2682
Winston2543
Chilton2392
Monroe2342
Blount2301
Pickens2276
Marion21913
Conecuh2047
Randolph2009
Choctaw19512
Bibb1871
Macon1859
Greene1838
Perry1701
Henry1323
Crenshaw1253
Lawrence1070
Washington1057
Cherokee857
Geneva790
Lamar751
Fayette681
Clay642
Coosa581
Cleburne361
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 50140

Reported Deaths: 637
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby11560198
Davidson10726118
Rutherford291935
Hamilton271635
Sumner159352
Trousdale14965
Williamson126815
Out of TN11647
Knox11425
Wilson91017
Putnam8827
Robertson82611
Sevier7903
Lake6910
Bradley6743
Tipton6375
Unassigned6351
Bledsoe6191
Bedford5595
Montgomery5497
Macon4523
Maury3423
Hardeman3295
Hamblen3174
Fayette3122
Madison2912
Loudon2801
Rhea2780
Dyer2481
McMinn23218
Cheatham2251
Blount2183
Dickson2060
Cumberland1804
Lawrence1576
Washington1490
Lauderdale1433
Monroe1386
Anderson1342
Gibson1281
Jefferson1270
Coffee1170
Smith1161
Sullivan1162
Obion1122
Hardin1097
Greene1012
Cocke910
Haywood912
Marshall891
Franklin843
Wayne820
Hickman800
Warren730
Marion704
White703
McNairy690
DeKalb660
Lincoln630
Weakley631
Overton611
Roane610
Grundy591
Giles581
Carter571
Hawkins562
Unicoi550
Campbell481
Carroll481
Henderson450
Polk450
Claiborne440
Henry440
Johnson440
Grainger420
Sequatchie380
Cannon360
Crockett353
Chester340
Perry340
Meigs320
Humphreys271
Jackson260
Morgan251
Stewart230
Decatur220
Fentress220
Union180
Scott170
Clay160
Houston150
Benton131
Moore120
Van Buren80
Lewis60
Pickett60
Hancock40

 

 

Community Events