Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Statement on the Management Change at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home

September 26, 2020
Press Release
Honolulu, HIToday, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the following statement on the management change at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home:
 
“The disastrous management by the Avalon Healthcare Group of the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home led to 71 veterans contracting COVID-19 and 26 deaths. These veterans and their families sacrificed for our nation, and deserved the honor and care that Avalon failed to provide. I joined Mayor Harry Kim in his demand for this change and we will continue to work with the VA and all agencies involved to ensure necessary action is taken to improve the conditions at the veterans home, contain the spread of the virus, and get our veterans the treatment they need.”
 
Background: Opened in 2008, the Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home in Hilo is the only dedicated veterans care home in Hawaiʻi. The facility is named for the late Technical Sergeant Yukio Okutsu, who was awarded the Purple Heart and the Medal of Honor for his bravery and service in the Army’s legendary 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II.
 
Since August, the home has been battling a growing COVID-19 cluster. A majority of residents at the 95-bed facility have tested positive, as have a mounting number of staff members.
 
About Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving her fourth term in the United States House representing Hawai‘i’s Second District, and serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. She previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010, and prior to that at age 21, was elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 2002, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. Tulsi Gabbard served in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard for over 17 years, is a veteran of two Middle East deployments, and continues to serve as a Major in the Army Reserve. Learn more about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard…
 
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