The ongoing IVH debacle

Many hopes for positive change at the Iowa Veterans Home (IVH) died today (8-18-2013) as people read the front page story in the Marshalltown Times-Republican which headlined, “Tymeson steps into controversy at IVH”. Early in the story, she says, “He (Worley) is an affable leader who knows all residents and staff members by name.” (There are 600 residents and 900 staff across three shifts.) She goes on to say, “Worley cares deeply for the residents and deeply for the staff … he is a great leader for the facility.”

The story also quoted Resident Council President, Mike Croskey, a 17 year IVH resident. Given the fact that their observations about Commandant Worley are opposite, ask yourself who you believe. If you’re not sure yet, ask someone you know who lives or works out there and see what you’re told.

Worley is also quoted in the story. When referring to the two investigations and one Senate hearing that looked into serious allegations criticizing his actions and behavior as Commandant, he repeated the untrue “party line” first spoken by the Governor. He said, “Even the allegations at the hearing, there was NO ONE saying that any of these things happened to them; they were saying these things happened to other people.”

Here’s the truth! Except for me, EVERYONE who spoke to the investigators in the two Department of Administrative Services (DAS) investigations and the Senate hearing spoke from first-hand experience. Initially, because people were afraid of retaliation, they asked me to carry their grievances to DAS because they trusted me. DAS found what I said credible enough to start the first investigation. Of the five of us who testified before the Senators, three gave first-hand experiences and the other was a family member speaking first-hand. I spoke again for those afraid to testify.

Worley made one other point. He and Branstad often brag about clean surveys. For the nursing level of care, the majority beds at IVH, the official records of the Department of Inspections and Appeals show 76 regulatory violations for the last 10 years. Twenty-six have been under the Worley/Callaway watch. Four out of five that resulted in citations and fines were also under Worley and Callaway’s watch. The latest one was a month ago when a $5000 fine was tripled because of repeated violations. Last year, a citation almost shut the nursing level down completely. Branstad gave Worley a raise.