Grassley, Ernst, Johnson, Loebsack Issue Joint Statement on VA OIG Review of Brandon Ketchum’s Care at VA
Aug 03 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA OIG) today released the results of its review of the circumstances of veteran Brandon Ketchum’s suicide and whether Ketchum received adequate mental health treatment at the Iowa City VA Health Care System. Sen. Chuck Grassley, Sen. Joni Ernst, Sen. Ron Johnson, and Rep. Dave Loebsack sought the review. The Members of Congress made the following comment.
“This case is a tragic example of why we must do better for our veterans. It also illustrates the importance of having independent watchdogs at federal agencies. Inspectors general review agency work and point out problems that need to be fixed and ensure that policies and procedures in place are adequate. In this case, the inspector general report made four recommendations to improve mental health treatment for veterans going forward, but could not determine if these shortcomings impacted Brandon’s care. With an average of 20 veterans committing suicide a day, the VA must do everything in its power to extend help before it is too late. When it comes to caring for these brave men and women, there is no room for error. We expect the VA to implement the recommendations thoroughly and carefully, and we intend to make sure the VA does so. The VA should go beyond the recommendations if necessary. We all have to work as hard as possible to make sure all veterans receive the care they need and deserve.”
The VA OIG’s four recommendations include: