SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Following the deaths of 13 residents at a state-run veterans’ home in Quincy, state Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, 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.
“Our veterans deserve the best care imaginable, which the Quincy Veterans’ Home failed to provide,” said Scherer. “The families who lost their loved ones deserve to know the truth about how this facility managed the spread of Legionnaire’s disease and what their plan is to prevent more people from getting sick.”
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 Scherer-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.
“The lack of transparency around this situation is inexcusable,” said Scherer. “The appropriate people should have immediately notified residents and the public after the first outbreak and then taken steps to prevent the second and third. I am demanding that veterans and their families get answers about why it took so long to address this crisis.”