Governor Promises Changes At Quincy Vets Home

Saturday, 13 Jan, 2018

Cullerton, who served in the U.S. Army, chairs the chamber's Veterans Affairs committee and plans another hearing in Springfield on the matter. "We need a new, state-of-the-art facility".

Frese then asked CDC Associate Director for Epidemiological Science Sam Posner about Epi-Aid follow-up that occurred in Quincy after the outbreak. Lawmakers were examining an outbreak of Legionnaires' that has contributed to the deaths of 13 residents at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy since 2015.

State officials said there were 200 instances of Legionnaires' in the entire state in 2015 with 53 of the cases in the Quincy Veterans Home alone. He used the platform to show his support for the residents and the staff and to call for some significant infrastructure improvements at the facility.

The director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs says one reason Legionnaires' disease continues to appear at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy is because officials are watching for it. He also said an additional $75 million would be needed to finish a Chicago facility that's been on pause because of a lack of state funds or a capital plan.

"Not only are they top of their profession in medical care and medical knowledge and expertise as well as maintenance expertise and other types of professional ability, they are a loving, nurturing, extended family for the veterans who live here", said Rauner.

With frequent guidance from the CDC, the new water treatment system manager, Phigenics, implemented a new, advanced treatment system and walked us through how the technology removes all contamination and the legionella bacteria. That could cost up to $30 million to just update the piping, Jefferies said.

There were 6,000 cases of Legionnaires' last year in the United States, and there were 5,000 the year before, Posner said.

"There is not a requirement Rep. Frese, it is when we feel we are ready to receive onsite assistance", Nirav Shah, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), said, adding immediately after August 21, 2015, when the first two cases of Legionella death were confirmed, the CDC was contacted.

Some on the panel criticized the state for delaying the public release of information for six days back in 2015.

Senator Sam McCann, a Republican from Plainview, says the governor's response should have come long ago.

Jeffries said that over the course of several months after residents and their families were notified of the outbreak, just six residents chose to leave the home and "none of them, save one, maybe, made a decision to leave the home because of the Legionnaires' incident".

The recent news stories about the home and the tragic loss of some of our residents has raised many concerns among the public.

Rauner also praised staff members for their commitment to the veterans.

The director of the Illinois Department of Public Health says the agency's website has incorrect information about Legionnaires' disease.

Shah says the important thing in such an emergency is to notify the facility.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has previously said his team "is taking every possible action to make sure that our veterans are safe and healthy". He's expected to provide a review of his experience sometime after his temporary stay this week.