WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today responded to the release of the VA Office of Inspector General (VA OIG) report on improper dental infection control practices at the Tomah VA Medical Center (VAMC).
In December 2016, Senator Baldwin raised concerns with VA VISN 12 and the VA OIG about reports that a dentist at the Tomah VAMC did not adhere to VA standards for equipment sterilization.
“Veterans being treated by a dentist at the Tomah VA were put at risk because standards were not followed. This is simply unacceptable. Thankfully, there have been no reports of any veterans whose health has been harmed by this failure to follow VA standards,” said Senator Baldwin. “While the dentist who failed to follow the rules is no longer treating veterans at the VA, I am extremely troubled by the fact that he was able to shield himself from being questioned by investigators by simply resigning. This tactic needs to change so I am working on legislation that will provide the VA Office of Inspector General the power to subpoena testimony from any former VA employees so they can’t walk away from answering questions. A resignation or a retirement shouldn’t prevent a bad actor from being held accountable.”