Worley Resigns As Iowa Veterans Home Commandant
DES MOINES, Iowa – Gov. Terry Branstad announced Tuesday that he has accepted David Worley’s resignation as commandant of the Iowa Veterans Home and named retired Brig. Gen. Jodi Tymeson to take his place at the Marshalltown facility.
Tymeson has been serving as the home’s chief operating officer since last May. She left the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs to become chief operating officer at the veterans’ home.
“During my tenure, my top priority has been to provide the excellent standard of care Iowa’s veterans have earned and deserved. Care of our veterans and their spouses always comes first. I worked hard to maintain that standard, and believe we have made a number of positive changes for the betterment of our veterans,” Worley said in his resignation letter to the governor.
“At this time, however, I have made the decision to seek other opportunities,” he added. “While I am proud of the progress we made, it is with a solemn sense of respect and gratitude for the Iowa Veterans Home that I will be stepping down as the Iowa Veterans Home Commandant effective tomorrow.
Worley, who was appointed by former Gov. Chet Culver and retained by Branstad, had come under fire from critics who questioned his management style in providing services for more than 600 Veterans Home residents. Witnesses at an Iowa Senate hearing during the 2013 session painted a work environment of hostility, fear and low employee morale during the meeting.
However, Branstad and top administration officials consistently gave Worley a strong vote of confidence for providing “a high level of quality services” at a facility that scored well in state and federal reviews.
“I want to thank David for his years of service and important changes at the Iowa Veterans Home, and am pleased General Jodi Tymeson will take on this important role for Iowa’s veterans,” Branstad said in a statement.
Sen. Jack Hatch, a Des Moines Democrat who is running for governor in 2014, criticized Branstad for mismanaging the situation and said Worley’s departure will leave veterans at the Marshalltown home better off.
“Worley’s resignation comes way too late for the dozens of staff members and residents who have been forced to endure his bullying and lack of ability to effectively manage the Iowa Veterans Home,” Hatch said in a statement. “The veterans who deserve world-class care at the home will be better off as a result.”
Hatch said the Senate Appropriations Committee handles the veterans’ home budget and has heard many complaints from staff members as part of the budgeting process in recent years.
“We’ve been talking about problems with Worley for more than two years, and it’s a relief to finally get some action,” he said.
Rather than just promote Tymeson, Hatch called for a nationwide search for qualified candidates who have the experience of running a nursing home – given the Iowa Veterans Home is the largest nursing home in the country – which “will allow for more professionalism and hopefully a better bedside manner on the part of the next commandant.”
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