A southern Illinois Veterans Affairs medical center where surgeries once were halted after a series of questioned patient deaths has a new director. The US Department of Veterans Affairs says Donald Hutson will assume oversight of the Marion medical center December 15. The facility serves veterans from portions of Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. Hutson replaces Paul Bockelman, who has been appointed network director in the VA's office in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Hutson has more than 28 years of experience in health care administration, including 21 years in the Army. The Marion medical center resumed in-patient surgeries in 2011 after those procedures were halted in 2007. That happened after investigators found at least nine deaths between October 2006 and March 2007 resulted from substandard care.
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