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Hon. Ginny Brown-Waite, Ranking Republican Member, and a Representative in Congress from the State of Florida

Thank you for yielding me time, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, on March 28 through March 31, 2005, at the request of the VA’s IG in September 2004, the Office of the Medical Inspector conducted a site visit to the W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, North Carolina, focusing on the facility’s delivery of surgical services.  This report presented some serious inadequacies of care at this facility.  On March 21, 2007, three members of the North Carolina delegation, my colleagues, the Honorable Howard Coble, the Honorable Mel Watt, and the Honorable Robin Hayes, [who are present at this hearing,] wrote to our Committee expressing concern about this report, requesting additional oversight into patient safety at the VA.

I am looking forward to hearing from our witnesses today to learn how these inadequacies have been addressed.  I am particularly looking forward to Dr. Daigh’s (DAY’s) testimony providing the results of the facility’s 2006 OIG Combined Assessment Program (CAP) Review of the VA Medical Center in Salisbury, North Carolina, and the results of the OIG’s inspection last week of the facility.  I also look forward to hearing from Dr. Steinberg, the current Chief of Staff and the former Interim Director on how the facility is continuing to work to address these issues, and how the lessons learned at Salisbury can be used to implement safer delivery of health care to our veterans.

It is my contention that this hearing is not to single out one facility, but to take lessons learned as a case study in patient care, and implement better patient safety across the entire VA.  I plan to continue to work with you, Chairman Mitchell to continue this oversight of Patient Safety at VA facilities across the nation.  Quality of care everywhere is my goal.

Again, thank you Mr. Chairman, and I yield back my time.