VA hospital makes changes after fatality

Jan 13, 2014

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A report says Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital failed to provide a safe environment for a 78-year-old man beaten to death last year at the Columbia facility.

The report for the Veterans Affairs Heartland Network was included in materials released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Columbia Daily Tribune.

The report detailed what happened at the hospital when Rudy Perez Jr. killed Robert Hill on Feb. 1. Hill was a patient and Perez was there on a 96-hour involuntary commitment after an alleged assault on his father. Perez pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and is at Fulton State Hospital.

Hospital spokesperson Stephen Gaither says Truman has taken several steps to improve communication and created new policies to deal with disruptive behavior.