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American Legion task force to revisit VA Medical Center

The American Legion will take a second look at Fort Wayne’s VA Medical Center and its temporary suspension of inpatient services.

The Legion’s System Worth Saving Task Force has scheduled a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Charles C. Anderson Post 148, 705 E. Lewis St. Task force members will visit the medical center on Wednesday and Thursday.

Ralph Bozella, task force chairman, said Wednesday he wants to follow up on December talks he had with VA employees and patients about inpatient care, communications and staffing levels at the Lake Avenue complex. Those sessions were devoted largely to the October suspension of inpatient care, which is being resumed in phases.

“We’re here to help them. We want to focus on how we make it better,” Bozella said in a telephone interview.

He will be joined at the public meeting and site visit by Jacob Gadd, deputy director for the Legion’s National Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission.

“We’re just going to go back to all the steps that (the medical center) took and evaluate them from the feedback from veterans and the folks representing veterans,” Gadd said. “Is it working? Has it improved? If there are any issues, what are they?”

Sheryl Grubb, public affairs officer for VA Northern Indiana Health Care System, said the system will announce in the next week the date for reopening the medical center's telemetry program. That will leave the center's six-bed intensive care unit as the only segment of inpatient care that has not been restored.

Other inpatient services that have resumed since late last year include chemotherapy infusions and care for patients with complex conditions.

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