Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0726
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Full Text of HR0726  100th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, Veterans of the United States Armed Forces have
3dedicated themselves to serving this country with honor and
4distinction; they deserve our deepest respect and gratitude,
5and the State of Illinois should therefore offer the highest
6level of care to veterans; and
7    WHEREAS, The State of Illinois operates four veterans'
8homes whose purpose is to provide quality long-term care,
9health services, and a supportive environment to veterans and
10their spouses; and
11    WHEREAS, Since August 2015, 13 residents of the Illinois
12Veteran's Home at Quincy have died from Legionnaires' disease,
13and at least 61 residents and staff have contracted the
14illness; and
15    WHEREAS, The first confirmed case of Legionnaires' disease
16was found at the Illinois Veteran's Home at Quincy on July 24,
172015; and
18    WHEREAS, According to the Illinois Department of Veterans'
19Affairs (IDVA) Director Erica Jeffries, the Illinois Veteran's
20Home at Quincy implemented procedures to control the outbreak
21on August 21, 2015; and



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1    WHEREAS, The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)
2notified the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
3on August 23, 2015 of five confirmed cases of Legionnaires'
4disease; and
5    WHEREAS, A Veterans' Affairs spokesperson emailed Governor
6Rauner's office about the outbreak on August 24, 2015, and the
7staff had internal discussions over email about the outbreak;
9    WHEREAS, Melvin Tucker, a decorated Army Air Corps veteran
10from World War II contracted a fever at the Illinois Veteran's
11Home at Quincy on August 21, 2015; he was given Tylenol, but as
12of August 27 had not been tested for Legionnaires' disease or
13given antibiotics, despite the eight confirmed cases of the
14disease; Tucker was finally tested and confirmed to have
15Legionnaires' disease, but passed away on August 31, 2015; and
16    WHEREAS, Gerald Kuhn, a former United States Army Sergeant
17and World War II veteran, also fell ill during that time
18period; he ran a fever and was given Tylenol; Kuhn was also not
19immediately tested for Legionnaires' disease; he was taken to
20the hospital three days later at his own request, after running
21a 104 degree fever; he passed away on August 31, 2015; and



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1    WHEREAS, Dolores French, resident and wife of United States
2Army Korean War veteran Richard French Sr., was found dead in
3her room on August 29, 2015 from Legionnaires' disease; she had
4died several days earlier, but the staff was unaware of her
5death; when her son called on August 28 after reading the press
6release about the outbreak, they told him that she was doing
7well; and
8    WHEREAS, After 12 deaths and at least 39 confirmed
9illnesses in 2015, the Illinois Veteran's Home at Quincy had a
10second outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in 2016, which led to
11six more illnesses; and
12    WHEREAS, Another outbreak arose in the fall of 2017, during
13which three more residents became ill, one of whom died,
14raising the death total to 13 since 2015; and
15    WHEREAS, Eleven families are suing the State for
16negligence, and there have been calls for investigation into
17the actions of the Illinois Veteran's Home at Quincy, the
18Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs, the Illinois
19Department of Public Health, and the Governor's Office, as to
20whether they could have better handled the outbreak and
21treatment of the residents, and whether they should have
22publicized the outbreak earlier in order to afford families the
23best chance to help their loved ones; therefore, be it



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3Governor Rauner's administration has not made this a top
4priority and 13 deaths over a two year period is unacceptable;
5we urge the Director of Public Health, the Director of
6Veterans' Affairs, and Governor Rauner's administration to
7provide a comprehensive report to the General Assembly two
8weeks after the adoption of this Resolution that includes
9detailed timelines of what information each of these agencies
10knew, and when they knew it, with regard to the Legionnaires'
11disease outbreak at the Illinois Veteran's Home at Quincy; this
12report should also include a detailed proposal on how to
13contain the spread of and end the outbreaks of Legionnaires'
14disease at this facility in the future; and be it further
15    RESOLVED, That we urge that the Department of Public
16Health, the Department of Veterans' Affairs, the Centers for
17Disease Control and Prevention, the Illinois Governor's
18Office, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the Office
19of Management and Budget, and the Illinois Veterans' Home at
20Quincy to respond to the January 18 request for all
21communication between June 15, 2015 and January 12, 2018 that
22contains information directly or indirectly related to or
23referencing the Illinois Veterans' Home at Quincy,
24particularly communication regarding directly or indirectly



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1Legionnaire's disease at the Illinois Veterans' Home at Quincy,
2by providing this requested information to the General
3Assembly; and be it further
4    RESOLVED, That we urge Governor Rauner's administration to
5immediately make this a top priority; and be it further
6    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this Resolution be
7delivered to Governor Rauner, the Illinois Department of Public
8Health, and the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs.