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Saturday, November 16, 2019

Kirk demands answers to roach infestation at Hines VA hospital

Local Government

By Carol Ostrow | Jun 21, 2016

Edward hines va hospital
Bugs are just the newest problem at the Hines, Illinois, VA hospital. | File photo

Through keen and covert observation, a suburban Chicago Veteran Affairs hospital has been identified as a refuge for roaches, inciting Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) to insist on answers to allegations of unsanitary conditions.

Bugs are just the newest problem at the Hines, Illinois, VA hospital, recently mired in allegations of abuse, ineptitude and deaths of veterans who implausibly wait years for medical appointments. This year Fox News reported that the pest infestation was so extreme that cockroaches actually crawled across countertops as cooks prepared food.

“The workers try to brush the cockroaches off the counters, but the bugs get in the food,” Germaine Clarno, a social worker at the facility, said. Clarno, who serves as president of the local union, has been working with the office of Special Counsel as a whistleblower.

While her primary job was to expose secret appointment wait lists, Clarno said she first observed the vermin three years ago. On one occasion, she stopped a tainted meal from being delivered to a patient and ordered pizza delivery for the veteran from a local restaurant instead.

“A veteran should never be served food with a roach on their tray,” Kirk, spurred to action by the infestation, said. “It's not only deplorable to find out that a roach infestation in the veteran’s kitchen has been allowed to knowingly exist for years without remedy, but once again we learn that the merry-go-round of bullied silence … continues at Hines VA with impunity.”

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