Inspector General looking into Iowa City VA allegations - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Inspector General looking into Iowa City VA allegations

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Dave Bourgeois of Iowa City served in the Navy for three years.

He and his son have both visited the Iowa City VA recently and say they are satisfied with the care they received.

"The doctor was very competent.  Like anybody, you judge your physician by how patient- friendly they are, and I was impressed," Bourgeois said.

But now some are painting a different picture.

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is asking the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General to look into what he calls serious allegations related to the Iowa City VA.

"I have a responsibility not to just appropriate money, but to see that laws are peacefully executed," Grassley said.

Multiple informants have contacted the Senator, characterizing the working atmosphere at the Iowa City facility as vindictive and morale as terrible.

Grassley wrote to the Inspector General the whistleblowers fear retaliation from the leadership there, and that the environment may be affecting the quality of patient care.

"We had a few come to us and address resentment about the way things are going at the VA facility," Grassley said.

Now the Inspector General is looking into the allegations, planning to send out an anonymous survey to Iowa City VA employees.  That survey and hospital documents will be reviewed before the Inspector General makes any decisions moving forward.

Spokeswoman for the Iowa City VA Valerie Buckingham says the hospital is not aware of any specific issues but welcomes the Senator's concern.

Buckingham says a system is in place for employees to address problems whether it be through supervisors, a union representative, or human resources.

"There are various avenues where employees can make leadership aware of any issues or concerns," she said.

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