Former VA employees react to viral hospital photo

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – Former VA employees say that a viral photo showing a dirty room at the Salt Lake VA is not surprising.

“That’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as as the real problem is,” said Jeff Mann, who used to work at the VA hospital and was tasked, in part, with keeping hospital rooms clean.

“The picture that you saw in there was something that you would see, pretty much every day — all day long,” he said.

“I was astonished. It was shocking,” said former employee Nick Cowan. And yet, he says, it wasn’t surprising. Both former employees say they are concerned with under-staffing and poor management at the hospital that goes back years.

“Staff are really quite upset that this has happened,” said Dr. Karen Gribbin MD, SLC VA Hospital Chief of Staff.

She spoke to reporters during a news conference Monday to say that the hospital is reviewing its policies.

“In the six years that I’ve been here at the Salt Lake City VA, I’ve never had a patient complain about the condition of his room. I absolutely believe this is an aberrant situation,” said Gribbin. 

A statement from Jennifer Dikes, Chief Communications Officer with VA Salt Lake City, reads:

“The staff at the VA Salt Lake City Healthcare system work as a team to care for our Veterans. Our facility’s environment of care is everyone’s responsibility.  Our medical center receives excellent ratings in patient satisfaction for cleanliness, and this incident is not indicative of the everyday care we provide our Veterans.  

We are working diligently to find out why this happened and to ensure it never happens again.  Quality healthcare,and patient safety remain our top priorities and we take great pride in caring for our nations heroes.”

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