Menlo Park Veterans Home CEO Must Resign, Says Freeholder –

19August 2020

EDISON, NJ– Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald Rios has actually called for the resignation of the CEO of Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home after 62 residents and one caretaker died from COVID-19 complications.

At a legal hearing last Thursday, family members, citizens and veteran's advocates testified that mismanagement caused numerous COVID-19 related deaths at the state-run home.

Mentioning oversight by CEO Elizabeth Schiff-Heedles, Rios said the testaments he heard were “worrying and terrible.”

“This testament has made it clear to me that the leadership of this center is not equipped to handle this pandemic, which the CEO of Menlo Park Veteran's Home should resign,” said Rios in a declaration.

The testaments were part of last Thursday's Joint Senate and Assembly Hearing on retirement home performance during the outbreak.

Residents at the veterans' home testified that staff did not use individual protective equipment such as masks or gloves in March and April, while attending to them. Locals were not checked in March, and just a few were checked in April and May.

“Our veterans have served and safeguarded us with honor, and those in this facility was worthy of better care,” said Rios.

According to report, ill and healthy locals were housed together and safety procedures not followed.

Require Schiff-Heedles' resignation grew after the hearing. Sen. Joseph Vitale, chairman of the Senate Health Committee, whose district consists of the home in Menlo Park likewise called for the CEO's resignation, stating the actions of the management was “negligent.”

New Jersey has three state-run veterans homes – in Paramus, Edison and Vineland. The houses in Paramus and Edison have actually come under scrutiny for their handling of COVID-19.

At the Paramus Veterans Home, 81 citizens have passed away given that the start of the pandemic.

On Monday, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of New Jersey prompted the Attorney General and the prosecutor's workplaces to examine the leadership at the Paramus and Edison facilities.

Kryn Westhoven, spokesperson of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, which supervises the 3 state-run veterans' houses, decreased to discuss the accusations raised at the hearing, as enduring relative are suing the state.

Nevertheless, he told Patch that the experienced affairs department “fully support all 3 CEOs.”

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