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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Washington Soldiers Home Ordered To Take Corrective Action To Protect Residents

The Washington Soldiers Home has been ordered to take steps to protect it residents. The order by outside regulators follows a recent investigation that found “widespread deficiencies” at the nursing home for veterans.

The Washington Soldiers Home is a state-run facility that serves veterans, their spouses or widows and Gold Star parents.

In late February, a complaint triggered an unannounced inspection of the Soldiers Home. That inspection turned up numerous serious issues and residents were found to be in “immediate jeopardy.”

One resident had an open wound that exposed muscle and tendon. Since then, top officials at the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs have taken over operation of the Soldiers Home and fired the superintendent and director of nursing.

But the turnaround is not yet complete. A letter dated April 25 requires the Soldiers Home to make significant improvements. Staff must be retrained to recognize resident abuse and neglect.

The facility must also develop a comprehensive plan to protect its 88 residents going forward.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."