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Minnesota delegation urges VA head to visit St. Cloud

Minnesota’s Congressional delegation has teamed up to send a letter urging the head of the Veterans Administration to visit the St. Cloud VA hospital in the wake of reported problems with care and access.

The letter to VA Secretary Robert McDonald was signed by both U.S. Senators and all eight House members.

They ask for the secretary’s personal attention to matters in St. Cloud, noting that “[s]everal local media outlets have reported concerns about patient access and care, workplace culture, facility operations and construction contracting.”

The letters requests a visit “as soon as possible to reassure the employees and the thousands of veterans they serve of the VA’s commitment to providing a healthy and productive workplace to ensure delivery of the highest quality medical care.”

U.S. Reps. Tom Emmer and Tim Walz recently visited the St. Cloud site and heard about “ongoing strained relationships, lack of trust, and unresolved grievances.” Now management and labor have agreed to work with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to “strengthen workplace relationships,” they said.

The letter concludes: “Building upon this recent development, we believe your personal attention to this situation is necessary and will have a positive, productive and lasting impact on the facility’s dedicated employees, patients and their families.”

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