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Chicago-Area VA Hospital Knowingly Served Food with Roaches for Years

The crisis of conditions at many of America’s Veterans Administration facilities continues, despite promises from politicians on both sides of the aisle to finally make things right.

One of the latest pieces of evidence to reveal there’s still a long way to go to that end comes from the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital in Hines, Illinois, just outside of Chicago.


According to a variety of sources, including the Washington Examiner, the facility’s kitchen has been infested for years with cockroaches, and patients were actually served food trays with roaches on them.

As sickening as that is, however, it’s not the worst part.

The worst part is that hospital staff knew about the infestation for years, discussed it internally, and still never took anything approaching appropriate, useful steps to fix the problem.

A report on the matter was just issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and reads, in part, “Six reports of cockroaches on patient food trays had been submitted to facility leadership between March 2011 and December 2015. Facility leadership relied on its pest control program and did not take additional action to control the problem.”

The same report also notes that patients “became very upset and distressed as a result of witnessing cockroaches on food trays and transportation carts.”

The initial investigation into the roach problem at the hospital was prompted by complaints in 2016 to then-U.S. Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth and then-U.S. Senator Mark Kirk. From there, a formal inquiry was begun that included an unannounced visit to the hospital last year by health inspectors. During that visit, the inspectors saw dead roaches first-hand, as well as numerous conditions that were conducive to roach infestation, including trash cans without lids and cracks in the flooring.

By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large