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Regier asks for review of division

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The acting director of the state Health Department is promising change to insure the integrity of operations as the fallout continues from last week's arrest of
Brent VanMeter on a bribery count involving nursing home regulation.

VanMeter was deputy health commissioner and had been in charge of the agency in the medical absence of Dr. J.R. Nida. VanMeter was arrested Wednesday and fired Thursday.

The state Health Board named Jerry Regier as acting director.

On Monday, Regier asked for an assessment of the six units in the department's Special Health Services Division to clarify their duties, who reviews the information and what systemic issues prevail.

The six units in the division are the office of rural health, medical facilities, professional counselors licensing, environmental health, health resources development services and
long-term care.

Regier told more than 50 surveyors who monitor nursing homes and asked them to come forward with any information pertinent to the ongoing nursing home probe. He also told them that systemic changes would be made once the review is completed.

VanMeter is accused of accepting a $1,000 bribe to help qualify a nursing home operator for federal funds. Attorney General Drew
Edmondson has said more arrests are likely.

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