Investigation Clears NVC of Abuse Charges

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A recent complaint against the Norman Veteran’s Center alleging abuse and neglect is unsubstantiated, according to a final report released by the state Department of Veterans Affairs.

“This report is thorough,” said Trish Frazier, OPEA Director of Policy and Research. “The bottom line is obvious: the complaints are unfounded, and NVC employees are doing the best they can with the resources the legislature provides.”

All members of the NVC staff fully cooperated in the investigation and provided any information requested by the investigator. In addition, the report says residents of the center were also eager to provide comments.

“The Veterans Centers offer a wide-range of services at one price that cannot exceed $2,700,” said Frazier. “In today’s society that fee is almost unheard of. Most long-term care facilities must take residents off site and bill additionally for the medical services offered.”

According to the report, however, one allegation is substantiated, and that is inadequate staffing.

“Our Veterans Centers are highly regulated, and the problem lies directly at the feet of our legislators,” Frazier said. “The ODVA requested 81 additional Patient Care Assistants, with 32 of them going to the NVC. This would have cost $1.3 million in appropriations and with federal matching funds would have provided $2.8 million in care for Oklahoma veterans.

“Instead, our legislators gave millions of dollars in tax cuts to bring an NBA team to town. What’s more important, basketball or our state employees and veterans?” Frazier said.

OPEA Executive Director Sterling Zearley said state employees should be commended for their dedication to Oklahoma’s veterans.

“These workers are out there every day taking care of our state’s heroes. They provide the best care possible, often without proper funding or a decent salary. We owe them a debt of gratitude,” Zearley said.

Click here to view the report.

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