The head of the U.S. Veterans Administration is gone, but U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) says the problems that led him to resign Friday still must be fixed—including those at one Illinois VA hospital.

Kirk met with doctors and other workers from the Hines VA Medical Center in Maywood, who described the lengths the hospital supposedly went to in order to hide how long veterans were forced to wait for medical treatment.


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“Boxes and boxes of echocardiograms being not read,” Kirk said, “and when the physician went back to the box, they found that several of the veterans had already died.”

Germaine Clarno is a social worker at Hines who claims concerns from staff members are being ignored by management. “Instead, they’re treated with resentment, retaliation, and harassment, so we need to change the culture where employees can come forward,” Clarno said.

While Kirk was not among those who called for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign, he has asked for the director at Hines to step down.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio /