VA Chief to Visit Troubled Marion Site

MARION, Ill. (AP) - The head of the nation's Veterans Affairs system will get a firsthand look at a southern Illinois VA hospital where major surgeries were halted because of a surge in patient deaths.

Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin's office says VA Secretary James Peake will tour the Marion VA and take part in a town hall meeting about conditions there.

Investigators say at least nine deaths between October 2006 and March 2007 were deemed "directly attributable" to substandard care at the Marion VA.

Two Kentucky widows are suing the federal government over their husbands' deaths there.

It's not yet clear when major surgeries will resume at the site.

Durbin is expected to accompany Peake during the trip to Marion.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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