WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General’s office has provided an update regarding U.S. Senator Joni Ernst’s (R-IA) request for an examination of the VA Central Iowa Health Care System’s mental health programs. Senator Ernst’s inquiry followed news coverage of the death of veteran Richard Miles in Des Moines.

The Veterans Affairs Inspector General’s office has initiated a review of the mental health care provided to Richard Miles. The VA IG will share these findings with Senator Ernst once they are complete in approximately one month.

“I’m pleased that the VA IG has begun initiating a review. We must ensure that our veterans have the access they deserve to quality mental health care. If there are systemic problems that exist, we must work to correct those as quickly and efficiently as possible. I look forward to hearing the findings from the VA IG’s review,” said Senator Ernst.

On February 23rd, Senator Ernst sent a letter to the VA IG detailing that “It is tragic our nation lost a veteran who may not have received the mental health treatment he deserved.”

Ernst continued, “As a member of the Senate, I have a responsibility to ensure our nation lives up to the promises it has made to its veterans.  Furthermore, as someone who deployed in support of the Iraq War, it is my top priority to ensure our veterans receive the care they deserve after selflessly sacrificing for our nation. I request your office conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into the VA Central Iowa Health Care System mental health care programs, treatment provided to veteran Richard Miles, and Mr. Miles’ requests for mental health care and the subsequent treatment received.”

View the letter here.

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