Thus far, Acting Health Commissioner Dan Pollock has said the right things. It isn’t just a matter of saying the right things, though, like when he said “accelerating investigations of abuse and reducing the huge backlog of uninvestigated complaints will be his “first, second and third priority.”

I recall the Obama administration making the same promises after the VA scandal broke. The promises sounded appropriate. The actions didn’t match the promises. At this point, I’ll just say that there’s lots of pressure on Pollock because it’s his responsibility to clean this mess up.

Since taking the job, Pollock said ““We have heard the message. This needs to be resolved. Families want the investigations to happen in a timely way and the only way that’s going to be possible is by doing this restructuring.”

I’d love hearing how that’s going to happen, especially considering this information:

The move comes weeks after a Minneapolis Star Tribune series exposed widespread elder abuse in Minnesota nursing care facilities that for years was systematically ignored.

All too frequently, complaints were thrown away without people conducting even a preliminary investigation. Frankly, I’m skeptical that anything meaningful will happen this year. It isn’t that I’m skeptical of Pollock. It’s that I’m skeptical that they can pull together the investigators and other resources in time to make a difference. How do you change a culture like this?

This isn’t just about investigating. It’s about firing people who are put in charge of caring for people that can’t care for themselves who aren’t interested in caring for the people they’re charged with caring for. Frankly, in this instance, it’s about charging them with crimes, too.

Simply put, this is what’s wrong with facilities that aren’t interested in providing professional care to its patients. Further, I don’t trust Gov. Dayton’s appointees at this point anymore. Too frequently, they’re political allies rather than qualified people.

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