LaSalle Veteran’s Home administrator ousted in wake of outbreak

Regional News

CHICAGO, Ill. (WCIA) — After 39 additional veterans tested positive for COVID-19 at the LaSalle Veteran’s Home on Monday, Gov. JB Pritzker announced that Angela Mehlbrech has been terminated from her position as Home Administrator.

Effective immediately, per a release from the state Department of Veteran’s Affairs, Acting Assistant Director Anthony Vaughn is serving as interim Administrator during the search for a permanent replacement. Vaughn is a 24-year Marine veteran who has worked for the state Department of Veteran’s Affairs for 15 years.

In total, 32 residents have died at the home, Pritzker said Monday, and 21 additional staff members have tested positive for the virus. Data from the Illinois Department of Health updated Friday indicates there have been 209 reported cases of COVID-19 at the facility.

“The independent investigation into the actions of leadership and staff will continue, as will our work with the federal Veteran’s Administration experts to ensure that all of our veteran’s homes are fully in compliance with all required health and safety measures,” Pritzker said during Monday’s coronavirus news briefing.

The personnel shakeup follows an announcement of an investigation into the outbreak at the home led by the Acting Inspector General of the Illinois Department of Human Services; the Director of Nursing is also on administrative leave pending that investigation, according to a release from the Department.

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