VA Legionnaires' Outbreak

Number 26435
Subject Health
Source Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
State Virginia
Year 2013
Publication Date 2/24, 3/3, 3/24, 4/25, 4/29, 6/16, 6/17, 6/24, 7/3, 11/22 and 11/24
Summary An announcement by the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System in late 2012 about a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that killed five people and sickened 16 others there was reported by local, state and some national media largely from the officially presented account. But editors and reporters at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review felt the announcement raised more questions than it answered. A team of reporters assembled to dig deeper into what went wrong. An investigation led to a series of stories during 2013 that exposed a broken health care system rife with testing errors and what appeared to be an almost deliberate failure to inform the public. In fact, the Trib revealed top VA officials reaped thousands of dollars in performance bonuses that were awarded just before the public announcement. The Trib documented that the VA’s problems extend beyond the Pittsburgh system. Nationwide, the newspaper found the deaths of at least 21 veterans in the past year appear to be linked to failures in VA medical care.
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Keywords Health care
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