Press Releases

Rice Pledges to Work With Northport VA Medical Center to Address Aging Infrastructure

Newly released VA Office of Inspector General report highlights need to address building conditions

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Washington, June 11, 2020 | comments

GARDEN CITY, NY – U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice (NY-04) today pledged to work with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to address building conditions and aging infrastructure at the Northport VA Medical Center following the release of a new investigatory report by the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG). The VA OIG released its report on June 4, 2020 following a hotline complaint received in March 2019 regarding building conditions and patient safety at the Northport VA Medical Center.  

“The recently-released OIG report details broken infrastructure, room closures, and an incomplete master plan that does not effectively address aging infrastructure at the Northport VA Medical Center,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice. “I am pleased Northport VA is committing to complete necessary repairs and adhere to the recommendations in this report to ensure its medical facilities and patient care meet the highest standards possible. And I will continue to work with Northport until this happens. Our veterans deserve nothing less.”

The VA OIG review team determined that damage occurred in building 65 of the Northport VA Medical Center.  Four rooms were closed for repairs from February through mid-October 2019, but the closures did not affect patient care because other space was available. The team also found that prior medical center leaders did not plan effectively to address building 65’s deficiencies.

In its report, OIG made the following recommendations to Joan E. McInerney, the director of the New York/New Jersey VA Health Care Network (VISN 2):

  1. Develop an oversight process that Northport VA Medical Center leaders can rely on to effectively develop, implement, and execute the master plan to reduce the footprint of the medical center and better manage the needs of its aging infrastructure.
  2. Ensure the Northport VA Medical Center director defines a timeline for executing the master plan and communicates the objectives to stakeholders to:
  1. instill consistency between the master and the strategic capital investment plans and
  2. execute the master plan in accordance with agreed-upon milestones and available resources.
  1. Make certain the Northport VA Medical Center director develops processes and procedures for submitting work orders, including making notifications when work orders are assigned and reviewing work orders for accuracy and consistency, to ensure the medical center’s engineering service is in the best position to prioritize work and manage its resources.

The full report can be found here: Improvements Needed to Address Aging Infrastructure Risks at Northport VA Medical Center in New York”

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