SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Following the deaths of 13 veterans at a state-run veterans’ home in Quincy, state Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, is supporting legislation urging Gov. Rauner’s administration to provide a comprehensive report to the General Assembly examining the facility’s handling of multiple Legionnaire’s disease outbreaks over a two-year period.
“The Rauner administration failed the hundreds of military families who trusted the Quincy Veterans’ Home to take care of their loved ones,” said Halpin. “Due to mismanagement and a lack of oversight, families were not informed about outbreaks of Legionnaire’s disease at the facility in a timely manner, and some residents who displayed symptoms were not even tested until it was too late.”
According to an investigative report by WBEZ, 13 residents of the Quincy Veterans’ Home have died from Legionnaire’s disease, and more than 60 residents and staff have contracted the illness since Aug. 2015. The Halpin-backed House Resolution 726 calls on the Rauner administration to report to the General Assembly within two weeks on the Quincy Veterans’ Home’s handling of the Legionnaire’s disease outbreaks, including detailed timelines of what the Departments of Public Health and Veterans’ Affairs knew and when they knew it, the treatment that residents received and whether the facility should have publicized the outbreaks earlier to afford families the best chance to help their loved ones. The report must also include a detailed proposal on how to contain the spread of and end the outbreaks of Legionnaire’s disease at the Quincy facility.
“Veterans and their families deserve to know the truth about how the Rauner administration handled outbreaks of Legionnaire’s disease at Illinois’ largest veterans’ home,” said Halpin. “There also needs to be a plan in place to ensure this problem is resolved to prevent more veterans from falling ill in the future.”