A new report reveals that the mistreatment of veterans at VA medical facilities continues, despite efforts to reform. In the latest instance, veterans at a Chicago-area VA hospital were subjected to unsanitary conditions and fed expired food.
(Editor’s Note: a picture of a dead rodent is included below, which some may find disturbing).
The Daily Caller has posted exclusive photos obtained from an employee at the Hines VA Medical Center just outside Chicago. They show disgusting conditions in the kitchen where veteran patients’ food is prepared. In one photo, a dead mouse is visible. In other photos, packages of expired food meant for patients are shown. Yet another photo shows raw food being served to a patient. The employee also claimed a Jewish veteran went without food for days because no kosher food was available.
In addition, The Daily Caller revealed that the head of the hospital nutrition department spends her time at work selling handbags on the internet.
Photos acquired exclusively by The Daily Caller show food at the Hines VA Medical Center is often served raw, routinely served after its expired, and the conditions are often unsanitary, including a mouse being found in the kitchen and a hole in the ceiling.
An employee at the Hines VA, who asked to remain anonymous, said these issues have been going on for approximately a year.
The photo of the mouse in the kitchen was taken on February 22, 2017; the photo of the hole in the ceiling was also taken on the same day, and the photo of the uncooked chicken was taken in early January.
The DC was provided two photos of expired food still being served; one which had an expiration date of April 2, 2017 was taken in mid-April and the other had an expiration date of January 31, 2017 and was taken in early February.
The employee said the hole was finally fixed in late April but was left for approximately six months before being fixed.
In another case, an observant Jewish veteran was unable to eat for days because the hospital had run out of Kosher food.
“I believe you will agree that his being hospitalized since yesterday and subsisting on some fruit and coffee as a result of a complete lack of kosher food is unacceptable in any facility, especially our VA hospital,” said a doctor in an email to other staff from February 13, 2017, noting the problem. “The usual stock of kosher food that was found to be expired, discarded and not replaced in the Hines kitchen inventory needs to be looked into and safeguards put in place so that no Jewish veteran (or any veteran) must suffer the psychological and emotional abuse and denial of proper nutrition due to such negligence.”
Meanwhile, screenshots also acquired exclusively by The DC show the head of nutrition at the Hines VA, Valerie Adegunleye, selling handbags for her side business, while at work.
Germaine Clarno is a social worker, union representative, who also blew the whistle on manipulated wait times at the hospital in 2014.
When employees brought this breach to her attention, she emailed hospital management in January 2017: “Apparently, Mrs. Adegunleye is spending time working on a side business during duty time here at Hines. I will be forwarding a few snapshots of her Facebook page with time stamps. She is communicating with her clients and there is a picture of her merchandise taken from her office. Not only is this abuse of government paid duty status it is dishonorable that she is spending time away from her service at a period in which the kitchen is under scrutiny and in crisis.”
Clarno discussed the ongoing problems in the Hines VA hospital kitchen.
“No veteran should ever have to threat to go on a hunger strike due to the poor quality of food and lack of customer service. Leadership of the food service is aware of the ongoing problems and continue to avoid taking the necessary steps to resolve issues. Just about a year ago cockroaches were found on veteran’s food trays and the crisis in the kitchen continues with no one in kitchen leadership being held accountable. I am not sure which kitchen is getting a ‘total remodel’ but the last employees were told only a section of the flooring and ceiling will be replaced in the main kitchen.”
Here is a photo of raw chicken served to a veteran at the hospital.
This dead mouse was found in the hospital kitchen.
Silence Is Consent obtained a picture of Valerie K. Adegunleye, the nutrition supervisor at the Hines VA Hospital. Employees reportedly informed her several times of the conditions in the hospital kitchen. She never actde on those reports. She was, however, busy selling handbags on the internet. She was observed using her work time to take and post pictures of bags she was selling. She has not yet been disciplined over the matter, and she refused to comment on the Daily Caller story. The photo is from her LinkedIn page.
What do you think of the treatment of veterans at the Hines VA hospital? Let us know in the comments, and in addition, share this on social media.