- Associated Press - Friday, April 7, 2017

MADISON HEIGHTS, Va. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the transfer of residents from one of Virginia’s institutions for housing the intellectually and developmentally disabled to another state facility following three deaths, according to a state official.

Virginia Health and Human Resources Secretary William A. Hazel Jr. told The News & Advance (https://bit.ly/2oRihBh) that since October, three of the six people transferred from Central Virginia Training Center in Madison Heights to Hiram W. Davis Medical Center in Petersburg have died, including 23-year-old Tyler Bryant.

The transfers are part of a plan to address a nursing shortage at the training center and eventually shut down the facility. The state plans to close four of five training centers by 2020.

Despite their mother’s objections, Bryant and his twin brother, Taylor Bryant, were transferred on Jan. 17 from the training center, where they had lived for 20 years. Tyler Bryant died nearly two months later.

Martha Bryant questions the state’s oversight of its medical centers and said her sons’ medications were changed or “drastically reduced” upon their move. Taylor Bryant still resides at Hiram Davis.

According to Hazel, the justice department, which has regularly overseen a settlement agreement with the state leading to the decision to close CVTC, has hired three out-of-state experts to conduct the investigation.

“We do welcome that. … They can’t get here fast enough,” Hazel said. “The reality is they appear to be gearing up for a full-scale investigation.”

The News & Advance said justice department officials declined to comment.

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Information from: The News & Advance, https://www.newsadvance.com/

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