VA Is Lying Billboards Patrick Kelly

Benjamin KrauseA leaked email from Minneapolis VA chief Patrick Kelly spelled out just how impactful the “VA is Lying” billboard campaign has become on local VA employees and nationwide.

In the email, Kelly described the billboards as broadcasting a “disparaging message about VA” health care and policy.

DOWNLOAD: Leaked VA Email From Patrick J. Kelly, FACHE

The VA email further served to reassure VA employees that veterans, like other Americans, also have 1st Amendment rights. “Like all Americans, Veterans have the right of free speech and are welcome to exercise that right even when we don’t agree with the message.”

@DeptVetAffairs #veterans have rights like other #Americans, too. #sot #tcot Click to Tweet

While I’m not shocked that Kelly had to inform his employees that veterans have rights, like other Americans, I am certainly disappointed.

The internal communication also intended to help improve morale after such employees are likely facing some embarrassing consequences of the campaign. “If you are asked by your family, friends or neighbors about the billboards, assure them that Minneapolis VA is committed to providing timely, high quality healthcare to our Veterans.”

Perhaps VA employees are getting shamed while covering up crimes and unethical behavior across the country? Or perhaps they, like other VA leadership, are searching for ways to shut down the grassroots campaign?

I believe the latter is more likely than the former – no doubt Secretary Bobby McDonald and his clan of public relations experts are searching frantically for a way to shutdown the campaign behind the scenes.

Coincidentally, Minneapolis VA is in the middle of a growing scandal where unqualified VA doctors knowingly performed traumatic brain injury exams on unsuspecting veterans trying to access specialized health care and compensation benefits.

At least 300 veterans were misled since 2010.

RELATED: VA Caught Defrauding 300 Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injuries

The email written by Kelly but delivered through his assistant Donna Carpenter, reads:

Team,

I want to update you on a couple issues being covered by the local media and provide a little more context.

First, there is continued coverage of the issue of initial Compensation and Pension TBI examinations for our MPLS area Veterans. As I stated in my 6 August email on this subject, we did use the wrong type of examiner as has been reported. Once we identified the problem, we acted aggressively, and in coordination with the VBA Regional Office, identified all affected Veterans and took appropriate actions to ensure they get the benefits they’re entitled to.

To ensure that we’re on the right track, we’ve reviewed our internal processes and have asked an external reviewer to assist us in making sure we’re not missing anything. One of our distinguished MN Congressmen has called for a nationwide review and we fully support this as a means to make sure we’re doing everything correctly going forward.

Second, advertising billboards in the area of HWY 62 and Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis are displaying a disparaging message about VA. One billboard is located across the street from a VA office building. Similar billboards have appeared near VA Medical Centers in Florida, Georgia and Illinois. Like all Americans, Veterans have the right of free speech and are welcome to exercise that right even when we don’t agree with the message. If you are asked by your family, friends or neighbors about the billboards, assure them that the Minneapolis VA is committed to providing timely, high quality healthcare to our Veterans. Encourage them to visit our VA, talk to Veterans and even volunteer to help us in our sacred mission. Anyone wishing to volunteer here should call 612.725.2050. The billboards have drawn the attention of several news media outlets. As a reminder, in the event that you are contacted by the press for comment about the VA, please refer them to Ralph Heussner, our Public Affairs Officer, at 612.467.3012.

You can all be incredibly proud of the work you’re doing. It’s an honor to serve with you in caring for our Veterans.

Respectfully,

Patrick J. Kelly, FACHE

Director, Minneapolis VA Health Care System

612.467.2101

Feel free to give Mr. Kelly a phone call to let him know how his words of encouragement in the email affect your view of VA health care or other things. His number is (612) 467-2101.

Wouldn’t it be great if the good VA employees could somehow infect that bad VA employees to encourage ethical and legal behavior across the entire organization?

65 COMMENTS

  1. Ben–Have you seen the VA IG report from 9-4? “VA IG Review of Alleged Mismanagement at the Health Eligibility Center”. Absolutely despicable. The findings are damning and I’m betting the House Veterans Affairs Committee, wio called for this investigation, will do nothing. People need to lose their jobs, but won’t.

  2. I am sure the boards are infuriating Baghdad Bob McDonald as he goes on his summer Let’s Beg Congress Tour. Baghdad Bob thinks more money will fix the VA’s problems. In reality it is time to talk about halving the VA’s budget and really giving vets care in their own community.

    And, don’t let them tell you they can’t. CHAMPVA is already in place for dependents of 100% service connected disabled veterans. Expand it to ALL vets. Adjust deductibles for SC, income etc.

    Like all of the VA at the top including Baghdad Bob, Alison Hickey, Robert Reynolds on down… they are more concerned with the VA employees then they are with the veterans. We are simply pawns in their career path.

    I have a whole stack of emails from Alison Hickey saying she was on it. Only what “it” is I can’t figure out. She has to be the most ineffective manager I have ever seen. She delegates to a crew that has no clue.

    Now even my congressman Rep. Lee Zeldin who not only sits on the veterans Affairs committee but the disability sub-committee can’t get a straight answer,out of Baghdad Bob. It will take Alison Hickey who Bob dumped the answer on at least two months from asking to answer…if she can even muster a coherent one.

    I got a quote on printing score cards for individual congressmen for this upcoming BS season 2016. I think printing up how that districts congress person did on the VA for their two years and passing them out at campaign events might be useful. Don’t let them get away with “I support vets” without being honest that they were the most ineffective person to have that seat possible.

  3. “Once WE identified the problem.”
    Who’s he trying to sell that to? It was because of an “external investigation” that caught the pukes. Had nothing to do with VA!
    Now that there might be a nationwide investigation over illegal C&P adjudications, maybe that will show tens of thousands of veterans getting screwed.

    As far as the “billboards” go, Shame (their PRIDE is being used against them as a weapon of mass destruction) them more. Find more illegal acts. Get those pukes so fired up it will cause them to make more mistakes!

    • I love it when self important people talk about themselves in the third person.

      Let’s you hear the BS right away.

      Fungus hates sunshine and these bulletin boards are a huge ray of sunshine that I am sure hurts. Evil should hurt and that is exactly what MN did to TBI patients..evil. All to save a buck.

  4. “…..to help us in our sacred mission.” Sacred mission? Maybe Mr. Kelly doesn’t understand what sacred means? If he thinks the VA has a religious mandate, I wonder what religion to which he refers. Possibly, Islamic extremists? They seem to have little regard for human life.

  5. I am a veteran advocate and the founder of VA is LYING Face Book group, and I am one of the central people behind the billboard campaign. Prior to putting up the first billboard, I had developed a working relationship with VA Secretary Bob McDonald, Dr Carolyn Clancy and Gen Allison Hickey. They were working with me to save sick and desperate veterans trapped in unnecessary VA red tape. I truly believe that by using the info I provided them, these folks saved some lives with their interventions. But, once the billboards went up, they cut off all communications with me. I am no longer able to use their super powers to save the lives of desperate veterans. I can only guess their thinking in going into this stonewalling mode, but it appears to be part of a huge VA PR campaign to deny the existence of obvious problems in the VA. If so, this is putting PR above the lives of veterans. In what way does that support either veterans or the First Amendment?

    • They say the squeaky wheel gets the grease, guess they figured you needed the whole can and to old to keep greasing and they couldn’t stop the squeak! It’s ok we need that squeaky wheel! Keeps up the good work! They will end up sliding on their left over grease!

    • I believe after reading what you and many other commenters here have said that the VA is doing this deliberately. By refusing to communicate with you, by refusing to order basic wheel chair parts, by taking away medicine, etc., the VA is counting on many veterans getting PO’d and demanding their Congressman do something to fix the mess. The VA is counting on Congress doing what they’ve always done…give the VA whatever billions they ask for in the next budget without question. Without veterans calling congress, the VA would have to make up excuses as to why they need additional billions, and would have to give reasons why. Congress would be demanding the VA show a clear need. What better way than a bunch of veterans calling Congress demanding care from the VA.
      I heard over a month ago that there are no surgeries being conducted at my VA without getting approval from VAHQ because of funding. I cannot believe the VA has been run so poorly that they are so underfunded.
      They want the money with no oversight in how it’s spent.
      I can just picture VA management saying, “you want to complain, take away our bonuses and put up billboards? Well we’ll show you by making your life hard so we’ll get our money anyway.”

  6. I will fwd this to all my Veteran’s Contacts!
    The Florida VAs (and the rest of the Country) should follow, Mr Kelly’s Letter (admission of mistakes)
    However Nobody talks about FIXING THE DAMAGE CAUSED, (retroactively)
    “Apologies are Cheap”
    MSG VAM

  7. You know what I did when flagged bogusly as violent whilst they performed their sacred mission? I contact a reporter with the proving documents, then named her on the official VA Form designating her my Healthcare Power Of Attorney, and then she went with me on my doctor visits. It UNRAVELS them immensly. They do GOOFY things trying to stop this. This is because when the light of truth shines in a dark place….it scares them, and that Power of Attorney should be told about to vets – GET A REPORTER TO GO WITH YOU on your next doctor visit if you are being jerked around! Make sure and notorize the Healthcare Power of Attorney. This too, fellow citizen, is our First Ammendment right, and is less spendy than a billboard. My story can be googled “PTSD Veteran Battles VA for care Roseburg Oregon.”

    The Billboards are a light. This is why it has profound impact. If you said “VA is lying, VA are aliens from Jupiter”, do you think they would have issued that email? no way. the email was issued because it is truth in a place that needs that light to shine.

    Semper Fi

  8. He talks about freedom of speech and then tells the employees what to say, when they are asked about the VA and then tells them not to speak with the media, don’t the good employees have the right to speak for themselves! Is something wrong with his message! Speaks with a fork tounge! Do as I say, if you don’t. We promise to retaliate!

    • James, your points and responses to that shit head are spot on! Perfect! Genius analysis! He is a traitorous, smooth talking, Constitution trampling, worthless POS! We could replace him with a vet with a very bad form of PTSD/TBI and actually get something done for vets instead of the backstabbing, image protecting shit this fuck-up puts out.

  9. It would be just like the VA to counter the billboards by doing something nefarious such as having Blackhawks swing-in at night with a power sprayer and spray the billboards with agent orange, no less.
    I am waiting for *something* or *some attempt* for the VA to try to deface or take them down…just wait for it, am sure they are way more concerned about their “spin machine” than any Veterans going there for so-called “care”. Hope this is not the case, but nothing would surprise me at this point in time, nothing.

  10. To all,
    I heard the following from a ‘somewhat reliable source’,
    1.) The state of Florida, is not allowing anymore billboards to go up anymore. The ones that are up, when the contract is up- no more!!! I’ve asked, emailed, Ben and Ron to verify this. I hope they get back to me…
    2.) The State Health Board, or whomever issues physicians, nurses etc., their licenses here. Is not taking any more complaints against them.
    3.) The Feds are telling veterans they can’t put a lawsuit against the VA or anyone (employees) inside the VA. There’s some possible good news on this. There is a group of attorneys fighting it this week….

    Like I said, this is coming from a “Somewhat Reliable Source”, so I’m not sure how accurate it truly is!!!

    If anyone out there knows, or finds out what’s truly going on over this, Please put it on a comment here. Make sure the info is verified also…

    • I was afraid something like this would take place. If it’s true, seems like the VA does not quite understand the very US Constitution that we all served/serve to protect, right?!

      If this is true, I think it will actually only shed MORE light on the VA’s ways and this billboard project.

      Remember, even BAD publicity can be made to be GREAT publicity because this would just place an exclamation mark on the VA’s Police-Action Mentality and Adversarial Attitude they Exude upon us.

      Keep us informed.

      • namnibor, I’ve contacted my local news station to see if they could verify this news. I hope VA DID do something about these three things. It shows VA is breaking Federal Law big time…If it’s true!!!!!

    • When you file against the VA you file against the secretary…as in Jones v.McDonald.

      That is by statute. Unless congress changes it, and before a major election is not the time, then the Feds have no say. File the suit and let it work it’s way thru the court system.

      I am pretty amazed and saddened that no lawyer has filed against the VA for their illegal fiduciary scam.

    • It is a safe bet that the VA is spreading false stories like “No more billboards will be allowed in Florida …”. Billboards are invariably on private property, paid for by private funds from private citizens, so it would be a stretch for any state to be able to block any billboard unless its message constitutes a clear hate crime or terrorist threat, or is in some way explicitly obscene. Also, I don’t see how any state medical board could block complaints against any licensed health care professional, whether they work for the VA or not. But, the VA very well may have people on the inside of the state medical complaint system that block complaints from being acted on properly. They have billions of dollars and endless human resources to play with, so obviously they will continue to go after these billboards.

    • “… our sacred mission.” You have got to be kidding me. Unless they mean satanic ritual or destructive cult kind of ass backwards “sacred”. Maybe he is talking about the mandatory paid admission séances and witchcraft meetings VA employees have been required to attend. Sure, sacred to Satan, maybe. He looks like the typical used car salesman who would cheat his own mother or his own kid and laugh about, then have something “ethical” to say about how honest he is. Creep!

    • I’m wondering if the VA contacted the advertising company and put pressure on them, or exactly under what authority is FL saying no more billboards. They cannot single out an advertiser.
      As for the medical complaints, I would force the state to go on record declining to take a complaint. I doubt they would open themselves to such liability. What if they declined a complaint and some quack killed someone?

  11. VETS THE VA IS FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKET BY THE AFGE UNION CONTRACTS AND THE CFR 38 FEDERAL LAWS AND CODS PENDEJO VETS YOU ARE SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SCREWED THE MAFIA IS CHUMP CHANGE TO VA RICO CRIME RACKETS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. I’m surprised that the VA director says veterans have any rights. As a veteran, I don’t feel as though I’ve got the same rights as illegals and prisoners do.

    • The disabled workers of America have no rights whatsoever. That’s been proven because of no representation, although Bernie Sanders and Jack O’Malley who are running for president, finally did say that we we’re getting the short shrift by employers and the SSA. It was all planned out that way under the Reagan administration to not pay us comp benefits but the smallest amount under the SSA because the SSA gets to offset on something we get from employers but don’t… Every labor, civil, constitutional and human rights law for well over 30 years has been circumvented and thus broken and violated, leaving us broken and broke. Since this is done to our vets, it tells me that when vets can get treated like crap by their own country then we as workers are up for grabs, those who are injured because of “working ” for someone else, we are no longer to be treated as a citizen of the United States of America.
      I just don’t remember giving up any of my rights signing an application. Do you as vets remember signing anything and giving up your rights by doing your job as a soldier?.
      The professional’s/academics/government group ( there’s that RICO) help enact laws to make use we’ get little to nothing and that’s a fact. There is the same money out here but they decide to who’s going to get what from time to time, trading one group of injured and hurt to another.. Once you can no longer function as a productive citizen like giving up life and limb, you’re to be left out of everything. This is all thanks to our legislators for many decades.
      Thank God, vets voicing their 1st Amendment rights and for someone to acknowledge this in the VA is just mighty big of them . Apparently the VA employees forgot why they are employed. It clearly sounds as if they got to big for their own britches and think they are better than everyone else. The sign helps put them in their place for a change..
      God bless our vets.
      God bless America

      • @James- On that note, I would expect my current President, whomever he or she is, to use the Dept. Of Justice to fully investigate and clean out the VA as much of a priority as ‘other’ human and civil rights issues, but you do NOT see Pres. Obama utilizing his Executive Power to do just that, do you?

        With that said, and with how you feel about Trump, what does that make our current President? Dereliction Of Duty, is what it is.

        der·e·lic·tion

        /ˌderəˈlikSH(ə)n/

        noun

        the state of having been abandoned and become dilapidated.

        Veteran Lives Matter Too.

      • I don’t just think it, I know it! How is he going to determine who is legal or not. Seen what happened in Phoenix and they stopped anyone who looked Hispanic. You don’t bundle everyone, hundreds of thousands of Hispanics have given their lives for freedom, this country is not just for the few! Trump is nothing special, we need someone to unite this country not divide it. How many nationality are in this country, we need to think what is best for all, not just a few! Most people in the United states, came from somewhere else. United states, not divided state’s!

    • I’d be curious to know if he acknowledges veterans having rights when it comes to their little kangaroo court disruptive committee’s.

  13. Ben has ever right to state what he wants, just like you can. At least he is trying to make a difference and the American people need to hear what is happening to the veterans whom have served this nation honorably and seeking justice for all! Thanks Ben

  14. @Vance. It sounds like you are confused about a few things here and maybe just needed to vent after a tough day at the office?

    First, the VA is Lying campaign is not my “brand”. I do not own it but I have covered it a few times. It is the brain child of Vietnam veteran Ron Nesler.

    Second, any leaked email from VA leadership addressing 1st Amendment issues is newsworthy on some level. You apparently disagree?

    Third, I am covering the TBI scandal at Minneapolis because I personally uncovered it. I think defrauding 300 veterans with brain injuries is “newsworthy” even though you don’t. To each their own. I’m sure on your own website you focus on VA successes and not its failures. What is your URL?

    Last, Vance, it also sounds like you are confused about this website. This website bring news to veterans that is “veteran-centric.” It is not not “VA-centric.” You can go to VA.gov or much of mainstream media to access VA-centric news where VA pays millions to put its own official spin on the facts at taxpayer expense. Again, what is your URL, Vance?

    To anyone reading this, I consider anything involving VA committing fraud against veterans with brain injuries as being highly newsworthy. Perhaps that makes VA employees uncomfortable, but at least someone is following it on a regular basis. God knows VA would rather no one pay attention to its dismal failures…

  15. The MN Director’s email reads ‘slick’ instead of willing to learn and be accountable based off of identified mistakes. I’m sure this is the correct framing to keep up the morale of VA employees (great) but does not remind them that mistakes were made under their watch and to be proactive in making things better (a keep on keepin’ on attitude instead of change to avoid mistakes, if you will). Having a ‘mistakes-happen’ attitude in this context where lives hang in the balance (suicides, overdose, etc.), is not acceptable. Definitely not leading from the top and we all know that’s how pervasive change sticks.

  16. To everyone, If y’all are wondering the “who”, “what”, “why”, “when”, “where” and “how” to put a lawsuit on VA. Google the following Please>>>
    “VA malpractice dot info” (make sure y’all add the “info”)……..
    Not only does this site give MANY negative articles on VA. It tells the hoops (forms etc., etc.) one has to go through to sue VA. As a matter of fact, this “info” site was where I learned of Ben’s site (disabledveterans dot org). For anyone who is new on here, there’s other ‘sites’ you need to check out and sign up for ‘newsletters’, “VAwatchdog” and “Truthtellers” (these are the “Whistleblowers” who have brought out the ‘facts’ on VA over the years. They ‘banded together’ and now have a website, I believe)
    y’all need to check these out for the “Facts” on VA.

    namnibor & Bruce, y’all and everyone on here may be correct about McD. I believe the shithead may be heading for a nervous breakdown. Especially when he doesn’t get what he wants from Obama. I believe Congress is using that “Planned Parenthood” (government shutdown scare tactic) defunding B/S as a smokescreen. I believe Congress and MANY government entities are planning a type of “Sting operation” against the American taxpayer! And the problem is, MOST of the taxpayers are too stupid to see it coming.
    You got those ‘Black Holes’ out in Aurora, Col., Orlando, Fl., Los Vegas, Nv., etc., etc, and VA is wanting to build even more hospitals and clinics nationwide. Or how bout that F-35 fiasco, Or many other burdens on the taxpayers they are unaware of…….
    I hope I haven’t left anything out. But I’m getting old, lol. Remembering things is getting harder and harder.So, If I’ve left something out, please remind me and all the other folks on here.
    Oh, and namnibor, I saw that VA TROLL on here too.

  17. When is someone going to be held accountable for this incompetence? I’ve been experiencing the VA shuffle for the past 8 weeks just trying to get my CPAP. They never seem to run out of excuses. My primary care provider gets frustrated trying to get my treatments done. Sometimes I think it’s better to just drive to Mexico and the sneak back into America. The people who break immigration laws seem to get their ” entitlements” almost immediately. What a disgrace!!!

  18. There is all kinds of FOIA material here Ben. His August 6th email. Who the external reviewer is that he mentions. Any report generated by that external reviewer. What communications they have had with higher HQ regarding the TBI scandal and who ordered the review. The charter for that review team, what they are supposed to look in to and what is off limits.
    Would be fun!

  19. To, Ben and all on here.
    The following is my personal opinion.
    I believe what needs to happen is something SO DAMN horrendous at many VA’s (simultaneously), where ALL news medias, ALL veterans (disabled or not), ALL active duty military, ALL taxpayers and ALL of the VSO(organizations) become so outraged at VA. Where they call for 1.) “Multiple Firings Nationwide” and 2.) “Criminal Charges” (from McDonald down) are not only demanded by the court systems, but carried out systematically against them.
    These egregious acts which come out more often now. Are usually hidden or swept under the rug within a few days. Has anyone heard any more about the billboards or anything else for that matter? Americans have, as I’ve stated many times on here, a ‘very short attention span’! So, If something so HORRENDOUS did happen, I believe the American Citizen would stand tall and say to our government- “Either you do something NOW, or you will never hold an elected or appointed position again!
    I also believe, if something so HORENDOUS did happen, There would be a ‘MASSIVE MARCH’ on Washington to demand these things did happen!
    That’s my personal opinion folks. What do y’all say???

    • And, the VA employee doesn’t get $6. a trip taken out of the mileage calculation. To put it another way, for me compared to a government employee making the same trip, the government employee would receive 54% more (140 miles round trip) $80.50 vs. 52.10. I’ve been complaining about this for years and the Secretary can change it – it doesn’t need an act of Congress. Chalk up another, “Bob is looking out for the vets.”

  20. “the fish starts smell bad from the Head”
    (Modern Greek Proverb!)
    There are no “Bad” VA employees (including Doctors). There only ” REALLY BAD” VA leadership. ( the ones that getting the bonuses just to SCREW The Disabled Veterans)
    MSG VAM

  21. I am a veteran Advocate for the veterans in Phoenix Az. The PHX VA is a mess, and doctors are still falsifying veterans medical records. How I know, I have recordings to prove it and those recordings have been provide to Washington for a Full and thorough Congressional Investigation. It amazons me as how these leaders concentrate on what Advocates like us are saying, instead of trying to decrease the coverups within each VA facility. The VA doctors have retaliated against me because I have voiced my opinion against bad and unsatisfactory medical care for veterans. One doctor even annotated how she feels in my medical records. The Head Director and his staff member Privacy officers has refused to remove the personal negative statement from my medical records. It states I am always running to the Patient Advocate office when I do not get what I want in a timely manner. This is sad for doctors to be allowed to step outside their professional position as a doctor. As of yesterday September 14, 2015, I visited the PHX VA as they stated in a recent Town Hall meeting they would help veterans with their issues. This was a lie as the Director Mr. Grippen assigned low level employees to listen to veterans stories that they could not help. Yes, I have this on recording as well. I suggest that EVERY veteran provide their local VA with a letter like I did informing them you will start recording all your doctors’ appointment conversations to cut down on the falsification of medical records and misdiagnosis. Protect yourself to the fullest because since 2000 as I can remember the VA has not been up to par. If you wish to know who discovered the VA-Scandal at the PHX VA it was I. I wrote Senator John McCain many letters beginning 2005 explaining the major issues within the VA system and he did nothing. I will remain an Advocate for veterans and I have created a Facebook page Evinciblevets that you can join and tell us your stories. We must stick together.

    • Ben don’t you think this should be given to the news media, since he has the recording! Thanks Ricky you need to stay in touch with Ben and keep us all informed if Phoenix starts with you, are you also an employee?

      • Congressional hearings are necessary, but a more aggressive approach would be to file Civil Rights complaints on behalf of those whom have had their records falsified. File Privacy Act complaints on the same portal, for any falsification into any permanent medical record. Willfull violations of the Privacy act carry 5 figure fines. Provide proof to HHS on their website.

        The way to fight the VHA is to use the tools that seem so damned slow, but they are the only tools that work. Get the government to fight themselves and in that case the one with the Constitution on their side will prevail in the end.

        Idea;

        You have a right as a citizen to file a Civil Rights complaint on behalf of anyone whether they agree or not. This would protect you legally from any HIPPA violations and so forth they would try to attack you with. and make no mistake…the VHA only knows how to respond by attacking the messengers who expose them. prepare yourself.

      • A doctor placed into my official medical records veteran was stabbed while in the military! This was never told to her from me! I was stabbed but after I was discharged and the VA surgeon saved my life! Wrote the director in Denver, told her that this type of error could be later used against me, showing that I had stated I was stabbed in the military! This was done by the same clinic that accused me of disruptive behavior and didn’t have to provide any proof, what do you think they would do to a veteran for stating something happened to them in the military, that never happened! I feel very strongly this was done international by the clinic to discredit me and set me up for further retaliation! These employees need to be held accountable for falsely stating I was stabbed, also for stating I was disruptive and the VA punishing me for disruptive behavior, where the VA itself admitted they have no evidence of me even being disruptive. I have it in writing where the Denver director told senators Bennett office, due to the incident of Mr g being reported as being disruptive, his records were never coded for disruptive behavior, nor were his official records were Red Flagged and there was never any investigation completed! That is all false except the part where she stated an investigation was never completed! Every person I wrote to did nothing to help me fix this mess. Not only did they do this to me, they punished me for five years and placed into my official medical records, If the VA ever hears that you have become disruptive or you don’t cooperate with any requests, You will be arrested, Federal charges placed upon you and you will be banished from all VA care. It’s funny that after I hired an attorney to fight for my disability they started attacking me. Stating Mr G is very mad that he is not getting a rating of 100 percent! I did not have to be mad as after 40 years and after hiring the attorney and the VA finding my LOST records, that proved I was shot, I had been right along that I in fact deserved a rating of 100 percent and that made at least one of my former coworkers very mad they falsely accused me of disruptive behavior! . Even though I worked about 24 years with the VA, advanced myself from a file clerk to an Administrative assistant, given superior performance awards, suggestions awards and placed in the VA vanguard as a hero. Higher management let an employee punish me with lies,just because she had a grudge against me! Where the justice in that and the VA not even giving myself a chance to face my accuser and defend myself! How do you fight that when higher management lets their employees run amuck and not require the employees to provide any sort of evidence PERIOD!

  22. I just have to say it. Thank you Minneapolis VA chief Patrick Kelly for being the poster boy for inefficacy as demonstrated by your facilities inclusion in the IG’s report in the number one position for “VA wasted time for mental health care, money for psychiatrists without appointments”.

    The report shows that during 2014 Minneapolis VAMC boosted its psychiatric resources by 14 percent, but appointments dropped by more than 21 percent.

    A true model of total inefficacy!

    Just think had those psychiatrist been doing TBI exams instead of unqualified individuals you as a leader might not have that billboard staring you in the face.

    Then you also wouldn’t have to play nice and beg your employees not to talk to the press.

    • Jade, you have to understand how they arrive at visit numbers. If they have group therapy sessions, those are considered visits. If you look at some CBOCs MH visits they number in the thousands per year. Those are ones which have huge groups.

      I am not sticking up for the VA, far from it. I don’t think those group sessions should be considered a MH visit. I have only gone to two group sessions, both of them run by Social Workers and both had more than 20 participants. It is easy to see if they have two groups of 20 guys, they can ring up 160 “visits” in a month. It is just another way the VA can say they are helping all these veterans. My experience in group was that 2 or 3 guys dominate the time and the rest just sit there. JMHO.

      • Thank you Dan for the clarification. But the 14% increase was the number of psychiatrists that were newly hired and the 21% decrease was for the decrease in the number of psychiatrists appointments with Veterans overall by all psychiatrists at or through VAMC Minneapolis. In no way related to Social Workers.

      • The social worker comment was what my experience was at two different VAMC’s. The VAMC I go to now, has a group session every Monday and it is lead by a Psychiatrist.

        My personal shrink (same one for the past 4 years) has told me they are trying to eliminate 8% of the workforce across the board at my VAMC. They have a new director who has a slash and burn reputation. The last VAMC this director was at had a Head of Psychiatry who wasn’t even Board Certified in Psychiatry. In fact you couldn’t get an appointment to see a therapist for 4 months and then it was a Physcian Assistant. So, you can pretty much tell where this directors thoughts lie. For example, recently, at the VAMC I go to now, they shifted a lot of PTSD C & P exams to psychologists. Some of the ratings are now coming in from these psychologist’s exams and they appear to be unfairly denied or low-balled. It never ends.

      • Dan a good article on the subject was published by the Washington Times on August 25 titled “VA wasted time for mental health care, money for psychiatrists without appointments”.

        To me the VA is one messed up organization and truly not worthy of our trust.

    • I read an Powerpoint presentation by a VHA doctor online 3 years ago. In it, he claims that VHA knows that over 50% of patients “flagged” as disruptive never return for care. I am betting that 90%+ of vets flagged have mental health issues – PTSD symptoms get you flagged in an eyeblink.

      So it follows that since there seem to be record numbers of these behavioural flags being dispensed, that the appointments would drop at a mental health clinic. Without any question at all, PTSD patients are flagged more often. Read VA Directive 2010-53; it spells out criteria for placing a flag and specifically said weight should be given to patients with PTSD as a factor that they will be violent and need a flag. I cannot imagine how it is legal for a directive, 2010-53 to instruct VHA committees to flag PTSD patients for behavior that otherwise non-PTSD patients would not be flagged for, but it is in there.

      Remember, other Americans have rights too. uh huh.

      • redturtle984,

        I can easily believe that those numbers are right. Although I don’t believe that I have ever been red flagged I know that I will never go to a VA facility in the future or see a medical provider that was trained at a VA facility.

        My reasons for never returning to VA Care is that not only was I was disabled by the care at VAMC Minneapolis but the falsification of records and absence of care for the disability they caused.

        Its’ just clear to me that they cannot be trusted to provide proper medical care.

        Another reason I will not use VA Health Care is the death of a friend who was a Veteran who lost his life while VAMC Minneapolis was withholding proper medical care that would have saved his life. I also saw the effect it had on his wife and daughters lives.

      • That directive makes for some very interesting reading. I would suggest if any veteran has had any experience with being flagged, or if you think you might, to download that directive and keep it handy.
        If you think you have been falsely flagged, I would read that directive, identify the formal steps the VA has to take to flag your records, then request every one of those documents under FOIA. It would show whether the VA follows their own procedures, and whether someone lied on their request for a flag. It would also show what reason was used in requesting the flag.

  23. Like the questionable contract for reading X-rays, MRIs, Ultrasounds, etc. in Minneapolis for most of the western VAs. Their reading of my spinal MRI was very benign compared to the University of Colorado radiology departments by a resident with a supervising instructor.

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