“I am encouraged to see that the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency has changed leadership in wake of yesterday’s release of the audit of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. It is unconscionable that our veterans are still receiving extremely poor care. The veteran’s home has been chronically understaffed, fall alerts continually have gone unanswered, medicine has not been properly dispensed and a staggering 90% of instances and allegations of abuse have either been insufficiently processed or unresolved. I met with Director Barnes just yesterday and expressed my outrage that problems at the home have not been corrected, despite prior assurances to the contrary that issues were being resolved. These issues have persisted since the privatization of the nursing staff. The experiment of privatization has failed abysmally. It is time that we returned the care of our veterans to state workers who have the requisite skills to provide and are invested in the essential care our veterans have earned and deserve, and not towards private entities interested in making profits at the expense of our veterans. Even though changes have now been made to the MVAA senior staff, more changes are necessary. I will continue to monitor this situation and make sure that the veterans living at the home will get the care they need and are treated with dignity. Our veterans deserve to be cared for by caregivers who do their jobs well and respond to their needs. I look forward to hearing from the new interim MVAA Director James Redford about his plans to fix these problems and ensure that veterans at the Grand Rapid Home for Veterans are safe and well-cared for.”