Saturday, June 22

Mast wants changes after strangulation of VA Medical Center patient

Brian Mast , a military veteran and U.S. representative, is expressing concern about a “failure that took place” at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center of a patient accused of strangling his roommate.

Christopher Schweikart is facing a charge of first-degree murder after court documents allege he killed in the bathroom in the psychiatric care unit.

Mast, who represents the 21st District, hopes an inspector general’s report can possibly highlight shortcomings at the hospital he’s been aware of for a while, and the hospital acknowledges and works to make fixes immediately.

The Office of the Inspector General was on the scene right off the bat,” Mast said. “Now, how quickly they implement any changes they come up with thats something that becomes very important.

Mast joined Florida’s U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott in writing a letter to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Were asking the inspector general, were asking the West Palm Beach VA, Corey Price very specifically — the director of the West Palm Beach VA,” Mast said. “We need the answers, we need them immediately and we need you to tell us where was the failure that took place so thats not happening yesterday or tomorrow, so there can be proper accounting for everything thats taken place.”

Previously in a statement, the VA said it, will continue to cooperate with the investigation and provide updates when possible.

Members of Masts staff say representatives from his office will be a the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center on Tuesday to inspect the facility.

WPTV reached out to District 22 Representative Lois Frankels Office about the case and she said in a statement, “My heart goes out to the victims family. My office will be advocating for a thorough investigation to ensure our VA is a safe haven for our veterans.”

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