Missouri Veterans Commission News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14, 2020
JEFFERSON CITY – Chairman of the commission of the MVC Tim Noonan met with staff members at all seven MVC Veterans Homes and Headquarters. The intent of the town hall meetings was to say “thank you” for the work on the frontlines and for participating in the review by Armstrong Teasdale, and to communicate the commitment the commission of the MVC has to work together to improve the MVC.
“At every level, I saw and heard from people who define hero: putting yourself at risk to serve others,” said Noonan. “Here, small, daily acts of selflessness are the hallmark of the team.”
During Noonan’s town hall meetings with staff members at the seven MVC Veterans Homes, he said he reviewed the root cause and corrective actions from the report and received candid and constructive feedback. Noonan also said they discussed plans on how to move forward as an organization to provide the best care for veterans.
“The frontline is where the complexity, speed and relentlessness of the COVID outbreak was most profound. Understaffed teams received changing guidance that contributed to the impact. Staffing issues are directly correlated to pay practices and the demand for talent, not only in our homes, but in every healthcare outfit in the state and country. We need to take care of the frontline and they will take care of our veterans. We need to listen to the frontline caregivers and make it easier for them do their clinical work,” said Noonan.
As part of the review in the COVID response of the Missouri Veterans Commission, Armstrong Teasdale LLP, the national law firm chosen to conduct the review, presented their findings via a videoconference presentation as part of a MVC open meeting held on December 11, 2020. The Independent Investigation Report of Missouri Veterans Homes (more commonly known as the External Review Report) was completed by Armstrong Teasdale LLP. This report was completed and released on Nov. 16, 2020. This independent, external investigation was prompted by COVID-19 outbreaks in MVC Veterans Homes and it was ordered by Governor Mike Parson. Over 100 people attended the videoconference presentation.
Before closing the meeting, Noonan stated the MVC owns and is accountable for the failures identified in the review and that change and reform has already begun. He stated that each recommendation will be tracked and results will be shared publicly. Finally, Noonan stated that the MVC needs to ensure a strong financial and governance foundation to meet the needs of current and future generations of veterans.
Noonan thanked Armstrong Teasdale; fellow volunteer commissioners; headquarters and frontline teammates; and most especially families and veterans for helping improve and move forward. “Our hearts break for the veterans and their families as well as the frontline team who take care of our veterans. We will do better,” said Noonan.
The MVC External Review Report is available for the public to view on the MVC website at: https://mvc.dps.mo.gov/pdf/external-review-report.pdf
The Missouri Veterans Commission, a division of the Department of Public Safety, operates seven State Veterans Homes, five State Veterans Cemeteries, and the Veterans Services Program. The Commission is committed to honoring and serving Missouri’s Veterans whose dedication and sacrifices have preserved our nation and its freedoms. For more information about the Missouri Veterans Commission programs, call (573) 751-3779, online at http://www.mvc.dps.mo.gov, or facebook.com/MissouriVeteransCommission.