Veterans advocate wants legislative investigation into IVH

State senators have announced intentions to investigate the Iowa Veterans Home after a veterans’ advocate from Des Moines called on lawmakers to investigate what he calls a lack of care for veterans.

“It’s a huge problem,” Bob Krause, a former state lawmaker, said. “And it’s going to be a problem that’s going to be with us for a long time.”

Krause said state funding under the administration of Gov. Terry Branstad has been cut to IVH and also leaders at IVH are not showing willingness to take on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury cases in the psychiatric ward.

“There’s just a lot of people that have needs,” Krause said.

IVH Commandant David Worley said Krause’s accusations are inaccurate.

“We have veterans all over the facility with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that are being treated every day,” Worley said.

Worley said Krause has never contacted him or anyone in the mental health area at IVH about these concerns.

“We treat all kinds of veterans with mental illnesses,” Worley said.

Tim Albrecht, spokesperson for the governor, did not address the issue of caring for these types of veterans specifically when contacted about the issue, but did provide a statement from Branstad’s office on the overall care at IVH.

“The governor is proud of the entire staff for their standard of care and commitment at the Iowa Veterans Home,” Albrecht said in a prepared statement. “The Iowa Veterans Home received flying colors, and a sterling report, in its annual review by the Veterans Administration for the care it provides its residents. Governor Branstad always wants to make sure that every department and agency within state government is operating at top efficiency while delivering high quality services to the Iowans they serve. We are confident that our veterans are being extremely well cared for at the Iowa Veterans Home.”

Krause sent along his concerns to state legislators since he feels the Branstad administration is not doing enough to help with the problem.

“I think the Legislature has to do this because I’m afraid at this point the Branstad administration is too committed to the current policies,” Krause said.

State senators have announced they may seek a fact-finding meeting to bring the light these concerns.

Sen. Daryl Beall, D-Fort Dodge, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, said he met recently with Marshalltown community leaders to discuss the situation.

The concerns center on management issues that may be affecting employee morale and quality of care, he said.