JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The October Lt. Governor’s Office inquiry report into the Missouri Veterans Home in St. Louis has surfaced, showing possible negligence and need for an outside investigation.
Gov. Eric Greitens announced the fourth inquiry into the home this year on November 16.
“The Office of Lieutenant Governor was approached by a medical professional February 21st 2017, about issues at the Missouri Veterans Home, St Louis,” the report opens. “In the discussion the main issue revealed was overuse of as needed anti-psychotics. The office began an investigation that led to veterans, family members, and staff coming forward with additional information.”
The inquiry revealed several problems, including medication problems, dishonest complaint procedures, lack of transparency for veterans and their families, administrative inability to retain quality staff, and breakdown of trust between staff and veterans and their families.
Related to the administrative inabilities are the overworking of certified nursing assistants (CNAs). The report says the home is not violating state or federal regulations for shifts, but the report states CNAs “work an average of three double shifts monthly.”
The report goes on to reveal suspicion of negligence in management, allowing shoddy records to show questionable and alarming conclusions.
“In addition there were several complaints about questionable practices, i.e., hydration records, where they show intake of 1200cc, the veteran in an adult diaper also showed an output of 500cc. But could not explain how they measured the output. The lack of showers, some report going a week with being properly groomed or having clean clothing put on.
“Without access to internal reports or internal qualitative data, there cannot be a better assessment of additional problem areas, such as falls, urinary tract infections, or pressure ulcers,” the report continues. “This can be addressed by official investigation through an outside agency.”
Six other Veterans Homes in Missouri that “have not reported the type of issues covered in this investigation.”
The group who sent the report to media relayed disgust at the Missouri Veterans Commission leadership and Governor Eric Greitens.
A report has also surfaced on Rolando Carter’s employment practices, showing various relationships existing with employees prior to employment. Many of the employees were quickly promoted with one allegedly holding a position in both banking and as a CNA.
According to the same Carter document, in June, 14 nursing assistants resigned and another 16 were dismissed and four licensed nurses resigned. In June, another three resigned and six more were dismissed. The numbers continue to be startling, with October showing 18 resignations and 14 dismissals for nursing assistants and 5 resignations, 1 dismissal for registered nurses.
As of October, there were 42 CNA openings at the Missouri Veterans Home according to the document.
Rachael Herndon is the editor at The Missouri Times, and also produces This Week in Missouri Politics, publishes Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosts the #moleg podcast. She joined the Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.
To contact Rachael, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Twitter @TheRachDunn.