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Legion to give kudos to Trib

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Friday, July 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review will be recognized on Friday by the Pennsylvania American Legion for its online coverage of a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

The American Legion selected the newspaper to receive the 2013 Public Relations Media Award — Internet. It will be presented at the organization's annual convention at the Hilton Hotel in Harrisburg.

The outbreak, which began in early 2011 and ended in November 2012, sickened as many as 21 veterans, five of whom died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As part of its ongoing coverage, the Trib reported inadequate testing and delayed disclosures by the VA's management. The newspaper disclosed that top leaders received performance bonuses during the outbreak. In June, the newspaper revealed that Legionella bacteria had been found at the VA's Oakland campus five years before officials disclosed the outbreak.

The outbreak has been widely scrutinized by members of Congress and led to several investigations, including an ongoing probe by the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

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