CHICAGO- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) convened a joint
bipartisan hearing of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committee to
examine the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the Illinois Veterans
Home at Quincy to help better serve and protect Illinois veterans.
This legislative forum serves as a crucial opportunity to examine the
process our state uses to protect one of our most vulnerable
populations, Cullerton said.
The joint committee heard from representatives from the Illinois
Department of Veterans Affairs, Illinois Department of Public Health and
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to examine and research
the response and protocol in place to prevent similar outbreaks of
Legionnaires’ disease at Illinois veterans’ homes.
Our nation’s heroes have fought to protect our values and
freedoms, Cullerton said. It is our great obligation to give a
voice to the thirteen veterans and loved ones who unfortunately lost
their lives to a preventable illness.
Last month, he toured and met with staff and residents at the Illinois
Quincy Home for Veterans to better understand the protocol at the home.
Cullerton was impressed with the care and service patients received.
This hearing is the first step to ensure our veterans have the best
possible care, as well as the peace of mind that they will live out
their golden years in a safe and responsible home, Cullerton said.
We made some progress today, however we have a long way to go to
guarantee our state’s heroes have an exceptional quality of life and
However, Cullerton was disappointed that senior staff from the
governor’s office did not provide testimony or make themselves
available to answer questions before the committee to help give the
public greater insight.
A veteran himself, Cullerton plans to hold additional hearings to
further examine and institute best practices in veterans’ facilities
throughout the state.