Simcakoski family speaks on latest Tomah VA findings - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Simcakoski family speaks on latest Tomah VA findings

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STEVENS POINT (WAOW) - -

A Stevens Point family tragically impacted by the Tomah VA less than 2 years ago is speaking out after a new report shows multiple failures at the facility.

A senate committee released the report showing that the VA didn't do enough to protect veterans in the wake of recent scandals.

One of those veterans was Stevens Point native and Marine Jason Simcakoski. Simcakoski died of a drug overdose while in the care of the Tomah VA in August, 2014.

"The VA prescribed Jason Simcakoski a deadly mix of drugs that led to his death," said Senator Tammy Baldwin at a hearing for the report. "Those responsible at the Tomah VA for this tragic failure, should have been held accountable long ago."

A committee, chaired by Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, said Tuesday that a report by the VA's inspector general did not address the problem of over-prescribing prescription pain medications.

Since Simcakoski's death, his family has been pushing for change at the VA.

"We're going over ideas, different things being done right now make it better for the veterans," said Marv Simcakoski, Jason's dad. "Jason would be sending a message, he's proud, he wants us to do this."

Marv said the nearly 400 page report is finally giving veterans and their families answers.


READ: 

Senate Report on Tomah VA

Report released on painkiller abuse at Tomah VA Medical Center


"Some of the things happened before we didn't know about," said Marv Simcakoski. "A little bit surprised, a little shocked at some of the things."

In the report, the committee criticized the inspector general for going after whistle-blowers and not releasing his findings to the public.

A media outlet published the inspector general's findings last year, which led to the senate committee's investigation.

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