Nine officials at VA reassigned after veteran found covered in hundreds of ants

Nine Department of Veterans Affairs officials have been reassigned after a veteran under their care at an Atlanta-area facility was found with 100 ant bites on his body.

Joel Marrable, a US Air Force veteran who was found covered in ants at the Eagle’s Nest Community Living Centre at the DeKalb County VA Campus.

“His room had ants, the ceiling, the walls, the beds,” said the veteran’s daughter, Laquna Ross. “They were everywhere. The staff member says to me, ‘When we walked in here, we thought Mr. Marrable was dead. We thought he wasn’t even alive, because the ants were all over him.’”

Since the subsequent investigation, the region’s chief medical officer, Dr. Arjay K. Dhawan, has been assigned to administrative duties pending a review, as well as other involved parties.

“What happened at Eagles’ Nest was unacceptable, and we want to ensure that veterans and families know we are determined to restore their trust in the facility,” said VHA Executive in Charge Dr. Richard Stone.

According to the AJC, the regional network director, listed on its website as Leslie Wiggins, is currently on leave and was unavailable for comment.

“Wiggins was assigned in 2013 to manage the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur after the deaths of three veterans linked to widespread mismanagement in the hospital’s mental health unit,” the AJC reported.

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