HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Allegations of mistreatment at the Floyd E. “Tut” Fann veterans home have caught the attention of Alabama’s junior U.S. senator.
In March, WAFF 48 News reported on former employees’ allegations of mistreatment at the state veterans’ home in Huntsville.
The alleged mistreatment included negligence, feeding veterans improper diets, and an untreated skin mites outbreak.
State and federal documents painted a mixed picture of the home, with sources pointing to the 2018 federal inspection being “deficiency free.”
Sunday, Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) sent the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Michael Missal a letter requesting an investigation into the allegations and inspections process at Tut Fann.
Citing contradictions between the whistle blower’s testimony and the federal report, the letter asked:
“Was the 2018 inspection of the facility deeply flawed, or was the evaluation intentionally misrepresentative?”
It continued in part stating:
“The men and women who have served our country honorably deserve to be treated with the utmost respect.”
Jones’ office said the inspector general is not required to take action as a result of the letter.
A spokesman for U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs said the inspector general had not seen the letter, and could not comment.
The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs owns and governs the home, but the day to day operations are contracted to HMR Veterans Services, Inc., (headquartered in South Carolina).
HMR Veterans Services gave the following statement:
“We appreciate the commitment and expectations of our elected officials. We work on a constant basis with state and federal officials to provide quality care for our veterans and we applaud the work done by them and our employees who are extremely dedicated to the welfare of each veteran we serve. Alabama has a strong record of supporting our veterans and families and we hold ourselves to the highest standards in terms of the management of Alabama’s veterans nursing homes. We have and will continue to work with all officials as requested to provide this important service to those who have served our nation so well.”
The Alabama Department of Veterans’ Affairs sent the following statement:
"We have spoken with Senator Jones’ staff to assure them that we will cooperate with any information needed by his office or the VA Inspector General. Additionally we have contacted Governor Ivey’s office to request an independent investigation by the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Until this investigation is complete it would be inappropriate for our agency or anyone representing Tut Fann State Veterans Home to issue any further comments. "
The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs can be contacted via:
- It’s Montgomery Office (334-242-5077)
- It’s Madison County Office (256-532-1662)
- Or its website
In 2018, Jones and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) co-sponsored a law that requires the federal VA to submit a report to Congress on the ratings given to nursing homes run by the VA.