IN WAKE OF VETERANS DEATH, SENATOR CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION INTO STATE-LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES

State Sen. Lynne Walz has called for an investigation into state-licensed facilities for mentally ill Nebraskans that remain open despite repeated violations of state care standards. Walz said her interest stemmed from the death of a veteran that was mentaly ill. The veteran was found dead in her room on September 3rd, the death appeared to be caused by a fall. She had suffered from uncontrollable vommitting and diarrhea for at least three days prior without any treatment. The state departement of Health and Human Services had completed an inspection of the facility about a month before the veteran's death, however they took no action until October 5th when they revoked the facility's license. Courtney Phillips, the Chief Executive Officer of HHS, defended the department saying the departments decision still resulted in the loss of the facilities license and that a special investigative committee was not necessary. Walz however said she intends to introduce a legislative resolution during the 2018 session to create an investigative committee to look at these issues.