‘No Media’ For Minneapolis VA Mental Health Patient Suicide

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Minneapolis VA Mental Health

A whistleblower disgusted by the lack of regard for the recent suicide of a Minneapolis VA mental health patient leaked the VHA Issue Brief.

According to the brief, the suicide victim was an unnamed Gulf War Army veteran who committed suicide before the Christmas holiday using a gun. The disabled veteran was aged 38 years with a 10 percent disability rating.

The most recent suicide assessment on August 1, 2016, which listed the suicide risk as “Low risk”. How thorough was this assessment? Or did something happen after the assessment?

The whistleblower contacted me yesterday after seeing what happened at the VA medical center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, hoping I would shed some light on the matter and provide some form of recognition for the veteran’s apparent mental distress.

New Mexico Veteran Suicide

There, VA has engaged in a virtual stonewall against the press while keeping any witnesses in a state of perpetual fear of reprisal should any of the relevant fact be leaked to the press with official quotes and the name of the veteran.

In that suicide, VA alleges it will keep the name of the veteran who committed suicide by gun on December 22, 2016, private to protect the dead veteran’s privacy. Due to the predictable delay in securing FOIA information, the local Albuquerque press is losing interest as the suicide is no longer timely news.

As for Minneapolis VA, did clinicians fail to address the Minnesota veteran’s risk of mental instability? What happened between August and December, when the veteran committed suicide?

The veteran contacted VA for help in June. The veteran was referred to psychiatry and subsequently received various assessments. The veteran was assessed for suicide risk by a social worker (not a psychologist and not a psychiatrist) on August 1, 2016. On August 25, 2016, the veteran failed to attend the mental health appointment. VA sent a no show letter. On December 10, 2016, the veteran was dead – – death by gunshot wound (GSW).

When the veteran failed to show up for an appointment later in August after his suicide assessment, other than sending a “no show” letter, what could VA have done differently if anything?

RELATED: VA Fails To Help Ft Lauderdale Shooter Before Shooting

We may never know.

Breitbart On VA Failed Mental Health

It may be noteworthy to point out that Breitbart ran with my position on Ft Lauderdale shooter Esteban Santiago-Ruiz – – that VA and the US Army (ie DOD) failed to provide him with the mental health services he clearly needed after his discharge from the Army in August:

DisabledVeterans.org, a website founded by veterans advocate and lawyer Benjamin Krause, suggests Esteban may be one of the many veterans who suffer from severe mental health issues and are not receiving treatment at the VA or the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

The deadly incident “certainly highlights failures between DOD and VA where veterans fall through the cracks who obviously suffer from mental health problems,” reports the organization.

VA and DOD have known histories for failing to provide desperately needed mental health care to veterans suffering from PTSD or depression who may be suicidal or worse.

As best we can tell, Minneapolis VA did not adequately follow up with the suicidal veteran in meaningful way that could have prevented the suicide.

No Media For Minnesota Veteran

One of the three factors highlighted in the leaked VHA Issue Brief from Minneapolis VA and VISN 23 caught my attention. The third bullet read, “No media”.

No media? As in, no one is looking into it and evaluating what the agency may or may not have done to help prevent the suicide?

Where is Star Tribune on this? What about Pioneer Press? These are major organizations that have covered veterans’ issues in the past.

Was this veteran’s death not sexy enough to warrant a short article? Or, did the Department of Veterans Affairs and the State of Minnesota merely do a solid job keeping a lid on the suicide?

I speculate the suicide would have received coverage locally if VA or the state felt such coverage was warranted. But, since when do we trust the government to tell the people what warrants coverage? Oh, that was World War I.

After a search, I could not find one mention of the suicide or death of the veteran that occurred on December 10, 2016. This is concerning, but it is a reflection of the Department of Veterans Affairs newest tactic to combat suicide – – do not report on veteran suicide to the public.

While I do not condone sensationalism of suicide, I firmly believe VA and DOD are exploiting politically correct suicide reporting guidelines the agencies follow to diminish overall reporting of suicide.

The desired effect, of course, is to make the public forget VA and DOD are failing to provide adequate mental health care for veterans and servicemembers suffering from anxiety and mental distress.

Minneapolis VA Mental Health Contact

Those curious about the suicide should reach out to Minneapolis VA suicide prevention coordinator Lindy Fortin-Case. She can be reached at 612-467-3620 or emailed at [email protected].

I am attaching the VHA Issue Brief below for veterans, reporters and policymakers to evaluate if for no other reasons than to see how the reviews are cataloged and what the documents omit or include.

Why Cover-up Suicide?

At the end of the day, this is all about recruiting while keeping the image of military service as being one solely of honor, dignity where the veteran goes on to live a happy life later.

VA fights the public affairs battle DOD creates with bad policy while it shortchanges soldiers of the tools and tactics they need to fight safer battles.

VA then is forced to diminish scandals and negative imagery after the servicemember returns, broken, with the goal of helping DOD sell economically disadvantaged kids on the honor of becoming cannon fodder to fight the fight of global elites and bankers while they hang out at Martha’s Vineyard.

There, many of you are thinking it; I said it.

Last week, I promised to start hitting on the suicide issue because, after 8 years of failed opportunities, President Barack Obama’s policies on suicide did not make an appreciable dent in the number of veterans committing suicide each day – 20 per day.

As veterans read this tomorrow, 20 of us will make the deciding to meet our maker early. That is a tragedy and VA is not doing enough and not being honest about what it is doing with the money allocated to help us.

Let me tell you, much of that money is going to fund sexy online advertising campaigns like “Make The Connection” or “It Matters” to combat suicide and other problems.

The agency did this with its limited tax dollars rather than funding real doctors and real psychologist and real investigators to investigate why suicides are still a problem.

RELATED: VA Awards JR Reingold $87 Million Advertising Contract

While veterans are dying from lack of adequate health care services, the agency is paying tens of millions in taxpayer dollars to advertising firms each year for advertising and propaganda.

Is that a good use of your tax dollars?

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Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

I see that the Minneapolis Star Tribune is to busy to report on the suicide, instead they are trying to pit a Congressman against Ben.

“Rep. Walz, poised for top VA post, prepares to fight privatization of care”
“http://www.startribune.com/rep-walz-poised-for-top-va-post-prepares-to-fight-privatization-of-care/410336285/”

RRSinMN
RRSinMN

Are you/Ben advocating privatization of the VA?? I certainly hope not, and I hope there are other, stronger advocates out there who oppose privatization as well!

As an 80% disabled vet, I have received all my care through the Minneapolis VA for the last several years. I have nothing but good things to say about this system, and I would be loathe to have it converted to a system where for-profit entities become the arbiters of the care I receive. Mark my words–if you are eligible to receive your health care through the VA, and it becomes a privatized voucher system, there is NO WAY Congress will sufficiently fund such a system to ensure that you continue to receive fully covered health care on the private market. Right now, my health care treatment decisions are made by physicians and staff with a quality of care focus, without regard to how much or how many exams, diagnostics, consults, or treatments are required. If I’ve needed something, I’ve received it.

I freely admit that it took awhile to be connected within the mental health team, but once I got into the “right” part of the system, I am happy with the mental health care I’ve gotten.

Regarding the recent veteran’s suicide here in Minneapolis: A tragedy, pure and simple. At the same time, speaking as someone whose thoughts are never far away from choosing that final option, assessments are not science–they are not static, and a veteran’s mental state can change dramatically within a short period of time. And there are veterans who won’t necessarily admit exactly what their mental state is, or what their intentions are. (I am one of those, and refuse to share with the MH team what my “plan” would be.) Yes, the VA is tasked with providing that assistance, but you also can’t force a veteran to go into into the building for help when s/he might be teetering on the edge.

I agree–we need more qualified staff across the board, including within the mental health teams. At the same time, based on my experience, how much follow-up can we reasonably expect from the mental health care providers? Maybe a case management system should be put in place, with a case manager responsible for regular check-ins with at-risk veterans. At one point, I know that would have helped me, since the key POC for MST at the MSP VAMC is a freaking cold fish and sent me one of those same stupid no-show letters. (“I understand you have indicated that you need mental health assistance. If we don’t hear from you, we will assume you are no longer interested in receiving mental health assistance.”) I specifically requested to be assigned to the broader mental health team, and not to the Women’s Clinic, based on that letter. Again, speaking from experience, I’ve made up my mind that when I hit “that point,” there will be nothing a mental health professional could offer me–regardless of their talent or skill. So again I ask–short of being highly intrusive with insistent veteran contact (which a veteran may not want), how much do we expect these people to do, given that we as veterans have to make a decision to seek and accept help when we are struggling?

We all know that more funding is needed. That’s up to Congress, and we need to keep the pressure on for that. But there are unlimited needs and limited resources. I’d like for us not to forget that there are lots of good people in the VA working as hard as they can. Not everyone in the system is a lazy, no-good bureaucrat as so many are characterized. They are trying to do a challenging job and balance the priorities and needs of a very large and very special population of people.

james gallegos
james gallegos

I am happy that you got the care you needed. But it sounds like 20 veterans dying a day is their problem. They treated you good, so the 20 veterans a day did something wrong, they did now seek care.

How about the Veterans that applied for care and the VA denying their disability claim and that denial, authorizes the VA to not provide care. Lets say mental health for PTSD, ok the veterans must have an adjudicated claim before they can be seen.

Say this goes on each time the veteran applies for a service connected disability and they were shot in the Head and the VA keeps denying that claim, UNTIL the veterans finds an attorney who would fight the VA and after being denied for 40 years finds out that the VA had lied for those 40 years and finely obtain their deserved disability.

I know first hand, what that does to a person, by not getting treatment. This is not an isolated case !

500,000 veterans applied in 2015 and before they could get their claim or application looked at, OVER 200,000 veterans died before obtaining care.

Let me see (one) veteran states they received good care ! Well over 200,000 would disagree. They would tell it to your face, but they are 6 feet under.

If you don’t believe me, look it up. How do you think we got to where were at and all the negative that has been reported, by various sources. Sorry we, they cant all be wrong. If a veterans wants to be cared by the VA, Fine and at the same time. Veterans who want to seen by someone else should have that choice.

Please take time and read more from veterans on this site and other sites. We have a Major problem and VA employees whom have made the VA their own and do hurt veterans, because they can. These people must be let go.

Enough is Enough !

Lem
Lem

That is one change that could have been positive but wasn’t. The VA now does military discharge examinations simultaneously (supposedly looking at all potential disabling problems). But you have to answer a question sheet detailing your potential disabilities. How many of you knew the day you got out of the service which items were “hidden disabilities” like PTSD? And how many more of you just want to get the fuck away from anything to do with the military including the VA only to later find yourself not nearly as able as you thought you were, especially those of you who had a TBI or cerebral malaria or were on an artillery site/shipboard gunnery that fired 1,000 rounds or more.

How can you expect a damaged or stressed out brain to evaluate itself properly?

And then to have those exams be done by unqualified personnel. And the failure to re-examine you with the same induction tests you took in induction and boot camp so that discrepancies could be highlighted and examined.

Lem
Lem

RRSinMN my experience is the same with a few exceptions. I was referred by the Denver VA for admission to Luthern Medical Center in the Denver area from the VA because the VA had an inpatient psychiatrist quit. Normally I would have been an inpatient at the VA for over 1 month. Instead I was given 3 days and a change of medication that went against protocol for the start up of the medication at Luthern Medical Center. Luthern Medical Center Charged the VA for 6 physicians during that 3 days. Over $20,000.00. The likely cost of keeping a patient at the VA would have been much less if only variable costs were considered. Essentially by doing this referral the VA picked up the allocated fixed costs LMC plus added physician costs (spreading the wealth which is a primary insured medical problem). I eventually developed Stevens-Johnson syndrome symptoms which could have been deadly from being put on Lamotrigine at too high an initial dose and too rapid of increases in the dosage.

An intake person in the psychiatry unit at Hot Springs recorded my statement, in response to a question, that the longest I had gone without sleep was 5 days without recording the qualifier that it was during a sleep deprivation study in a telemetry unit at the West Los Angeles VA during the study on veterans with “sharp wave” EEG presentations in the temporal lobe were being studied by Yale University Neurologists at VA facilities on the VA’s theory that such presentations were not partial and complex partial seizures but were pseudo seizures AKA psychogenic seizures AKA “fake seizures”. Since Yale had received the use of the telemetry units to do studies on non veteran patients with status epileptic and Parkinson’s disease using brain surgery Yale complied and gave the VA the requested conclusion that the VA’s theory was valid thus denying a lot of veterans compensation and placing them in a suicidal mode.

To go back to the Hot Springs erroneous recording of a sleep deprivation history, I was diagnosed, subsequently, with manic depressive disorder in spite of 30 years of individual psychiatric progress notes that never recorded a manic state in my record, only “lack of effect” and states of having “latencies” (indication of partial seizures). The “lack of effect” probably were indications of the organic depressed state following a major complex partial seizure. The problem with having seizures is that you are unconscious during the seizure except for partial seizures called “ticks” and stuttering. Thus how are you supposed to know you had a seizure and that the seizures are what are disrupting your life.

Also, I was never adequately medicated for pain by the VA during the years my spinal disc disease, brought on by an MVA caused by an absence seizure while I was the driver, which caused spinal disc sacks to rupture and fragments of the disc to enter the spinal canal and settle on the sciatic nerve in the neural foramina. In Japan, I was hospitalized for exacerbations, adequately medicated with injections for the up to 3 weeks it took for the fragment to be dissolved by the spinal fluids chemistry change orchestrated by my immune system. This doesn’t happen for everyone. Many require surgery which often leads to scaring strangulation of the nerves at the surgical site and a life of severe pain.

Under medicated pain of this type leads to suicide ideation. It is the unrelentingness of the pain that leads to suicide. This is true for both physical and psychological pain whether from a psychic state or induced by others. The more severe the pain the quicker suicide will occur if a means is available.

Above is from my 3+ years of study in the NIH Library in DC trying to understand my personal condition. I have written papers with foot notes on the subject and will provide copies to anyone interested. “[email protected]

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

RRSinMN,

Speaking as a veteran who lost the use of his right hand, arm, and shoulder due to a surgery at the VAMC Minneapolis for more than 13 years. All due to a doctor who used my hand for an unapproved experimental surgery to further his research instead of preforming the minor tendon repair that was suppose to be done.

Also as a disabled Veteran who had to suffer the total absence of care that was never provided by the VA Health Care System to help with the problems and the pain they caused me.

The bogus claim system with the disappearing medical records they steered me into so that I could get a that true after burn of total injustice. With the bullshit mental health care they felt I needed because I felt they should be repairing the damage they did to my hand arm and shoulder so I could get on with my life.

Of course never treating the problem but continually trying to addict me to pain killers and psych drugs. After one year of that bullshit I paid out of pocket for what medical care I could afford to treat the problems caused by VA health care.

13 years latter I was eligible for Medicaid assistance and did receive a necessary surgery that restored limit use of my hand, arm and shoulder and also eliminated most of the pain I had been living with complements of the VA.

As a condition of filing for medical assistance I was required to file for Social Security. Of course all of my medical records never made it to the Social Security office compliments of the VAMC Minneapolis. So I had file an appeal and wait another 28 months to see a judge. During that time they did release some of my Medical records. Most of which were bogus and certainly did not match my copies of the medical records.

Now you want to come on here and tell me how great your experience is with the VAMC Minneapolis and how I am wrong for wanting private Health Care because I will never walk into a VA Health Care Facility again.

Personally if you want a bed pan specialist for your primary care physician go for it. But don’t come posting on my comments that bullshit useless VSO line about VA Health Care.

Fuck the VSOs and their claims about what will happen if Veterans are given a choice of having Private Health Care instead of VA Death Care.

91Veteran
91Veteran

You make a good point about how much they should do.

To which I respond, whatever they are doing is insufficient since veterans keep committing suicide outside of VAs. This is at least the third I have read about just this year.

Also, you sound like you have been going to the VA for awhile, so it’s possible you have been told often that they are underfunded as a bullshit excuse for why they cannot do X or Y or provide some other care.

I say the claim of underfunding is bullshit, and is proven by reading just the last 6 months of Ben’s articles here showing just how much money the VA wastes.

Hell even this column shows they have wasted over $80 million in a failed PR campaign that has not done much at all to reduce veteran suicide.

Its not an issue of funding, but one of setting priorities for where those funds are spent.

Lem
Lem

91, you are referring to pork given to campaign contributors by congressman and senators through the VA budget. The VA Secretary and budget department have no access to those funds. Neither do they have authority to address the employee pay scale to be competitive. There is some authority, on approval at higher levels, to increase the level (and thus the pay) of a particular position but this only provides a minimal increase.

The purse strings are in the House where the emphasis is on reducing entitlements including non cash compensation such as medical care (VHA, Medicaid and Medicare). Plus “privatization” to pay off lobbyists and contributors on both sides of the isle. Nothing has changed unless it has gotten worse. Listen to the news and the statements of congressmen and senators about “entitlement” addressing in order to give “tax breaks.” Ask yourself if you are going to get enough of a tax break to compensate you for what is being taken away from you in compensation for your service. Instead all employees of the government as well as citizens are being encouraged to give you a “thank you for your service” instead of the compensation and benefits promised.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Are you saying the VA has no input into that worthless $80+ million contract for Rosemarys company?

Or in many other ways they spend money?

I agree Congress directs a considerable amount in BS spending, but I cannot see Congress directing an $80 million line item to Reingold.

Lem
Lem

I’m not privy to the negotiations with the Ways and Means Committee on the VA’s budget. I have no way of knowing whether this “Pork” was the idea of the VA budget officer or the input from the congressman of “Rosemary’s” District. Clearly it was the result of a lobbyists efforts if analyzed to purpose and result.

CorpsmanUp!
CorpsmanUp!

The only ones they will be reporting, are the ones that have homicidal intents as to the one In Texas, Florida. When they have those that are suicidal, but act on the homicidal ideations, their bitch asses get scared and will quickly report those types of incidents.
The VA will always try to keep things under wraps if it makes them look bad. They already look bad with theirs nurses and the previous OIG fartbox looking like a pigeon toe swayback , knocked kneed, edematous belly aardvark, with no sense of direction.
Girl…… Bye!
VA sucks manatee dick! Fuxk Bob, Fuxk Sloan,
Put all VA employees in a uniform, just like the Public Health Service with a uniformed code of justice , and maybe then , you might get some respect!
Orherwise then that, you can smoke an oregano chia pet, resembling BOb , who is crooked as they come!

namnibor
namnibor

Benjamin, great article, unfortunate circumstances. “NO MEDIA”….the VA sure is not being shy about their media blackout.
I also noticed in last night’s Presidential Farewell Speech from Chicago, Obama did not mention Veteran Suicide once, not once. Nor did he even speak of his failure to clean-up the VA, instead he used most of that opportunity to fan the flames of racism in USA. Obama made NO MENTION of the very homicide rate of 800 in Chicago in 2016. Instead, this was ALL ABOUT his controlling the dialog of his LEGACY.
While giving that speech, another 20 Veterans have taken their lives from shitty Psych Care or lack of care entirely.
January 20th could not come fast enough.
Out of words, when our very Commander-In-Chief is so self-absorbed that his legacy comes before Veterans that have fought the battle and continued to, only to be failed by same gov’t and tossed aside like used bubble gum. Sad.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Yesterday I read an article about the “Ft. Lauderdale Shooter”. It is now being reported, by the FBI, he “… intentionally flew…” there, because it is “…a gun free zone!” This, in my opinion, is a “play” to garner more gun laws.
If we don’t enforce the ones on the books already, more incidents like this will continue. Rep. Trey Gowdy has made this perfectly clear during committee meetings!
As far as VA not reporting veterans suicide, how else can they continue to receive the TENS of MILLIONS of taxpayers monies each year.

I believe since “Breitbart” reported this, the ‘Trump Team’ is fully aware of the many illegal activities committed by VA employees, from top to bottom! I believe this scandal will be their downfall.
I also believe, the VA employees, from top to bottom, will do anything they can to keep their cash from disappearing. They realize they’re on shaky ground. Or, why else would they attempt to hide evidence of wrongdoings?!
As my wife asked yesterday. Wouldn’t it be a Godsend if many, say 20%, VA employees were to become Whistleblowers. I don’t think VA could stand the press.
These atrocities against veterans needs to take center stage!

namnibor
namnibor

@Crazy Elf- The only thing the VA needs to do or our new President’s Admn. is to announce to the VA that only upon at least 20% feedback from VA Whistleblowers reporting all fraud they are aware of, will they be eligible for ANY future Performance Bonuses. Done.
The swamp will become somewhat self-cleaning once VA employees realize all these bad VA employees definitely are holding them back from any future Performance Bonuses or raises of any kind…the swamp will appear to have the water boiling by the bubbling churning of the Whistleblowers shedding light on all the corruption….the rats will be exposed, convict, and move-on. Repeat. (in an ideal swamp cleaning)

Angela
Angela

Benjamin and all, if this VA had had proper protocol and when the veteran did not show up for his mental health appointment, the VA should have immediately contacted the local law enforcement such as a sheriff or police to do a wellness check. They should have taken the time to send a law enforcement official with a medical professional as well to the veterans’s home.
Benjamin, in the past, the VA used to do wellness checks. The VA even used to send emergency services to veterans’s homes if a crisis was determined to be happening. I am serious.
President Elect TRUMP press conference being held today at 11am. Mr.Trump will announce the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs today in the press conference.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Angela, I disagree in this instance of sending LEOs to his house since it appears from Ben’s post, he only had an initial intake exam, and supposedly was a no-show for the follow-up with his mental health appointment.

If that is the case, the only thing I think the VA should have done was to pick up the freaking phone and trying to contact the veteran. Did they even bother to do that? Or did they just quickly mark him as a no-show to get back to Facebook?

In my experience the VA has really gotten bad at using telephones in the last several years. After transferring to Grand Junction, I gave them both my home and cell numbers to call, have told them repeatedly to call my cell, have asked them to remove my home number from their records to try get them to call my cell…and they insist on calling my home number, likely because they know they will always get voice mail, and won’t have to speak to me.

I’m curious how many times this veteran may have tried to get care at the VA.

james gallegos
james gallegos

Grand Junction VA, didn’t they do something wrong and was under investigation.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Since I was looking at the Grand Junction VA web site to see who the new director might be, I clicked on their Accreditation and Achievements.

I am happy to see GJVAMC received a Presidential Award for Quality…16 years ago in 2001. The text assures me it’s noteworthy.
I also see GJVAMC was accredited by the Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO) 10 years ago in 2007. The text tells me it’s good for 3 years.

But hey! VA is just underfunded and understaffed.

91Veteran
91Veteran

The director here a few years ago was called out for time and attendance fraud. Ben posted about him a couple weeks ago.
When called out, the guy claimed discrimination, and was paid off to resign.
Ben’s post was about the guy being rehired elsewhere.
That director was gone before I started going to Junction in late 2013. A flunky named Hitt was acting, and then I was told she moved on somewhere, only to find she was still here as #2. Not sure where she’s at now and I don’t care. The director I was familiar with was MaGill, but I found out he moved on to be the director at Hines last year. He had been here at most 2 years.

I don’t know who the replacement is.

I also see our Chief of Staff has moved on. The new one comes from the Montgomery, AL VA.

Hungry Hippos on a national scale.

james gallegos
james gallegos

Seems these people do this over and over, spend a little time here and there and that would free them up to mess up and move along. If something happened when they were in charge and the New Manager can say when asked if any VA employee was held accountable and its been done over and over.

Well, I’m in charge now and what happened was the responsibility of the spot before I cam here. So the answer is NO ! And that’s the end of the story. If you like to see it first hand, go to you tube and watch the Veterans committee interview VA management and VA employees.

Every veteran and or elected officials should watch, especially the new secretary, so he cant say I did not know this was going on.

They are playing Musical chairs to try and stay out of trouble. Who was it then, I don’t know, but it wasn’t ME. He, He, Ha, Ha,

Bill
Bill

It is like playing whackamo with these clowns

james
james

11am eastern time

NiteWish
NiteWish

NO! Never call a cop on a veteran in distress!!

Lem
Lem

It is done all of the time. And not just on veterans. And yes, the cops sometimes come shooting on misinformation. Or haven’t you been watching the news videos?

So, who are you going to call? 911 gets you the cops and the ambulance. Always the cops in potential suicide circumstances.

Been there and done that.

james gallegos
james gallegos

I agree, that’s a good way to get a veteran killed. All that has to happen is a Disgruntled employee with retaliation on their mind, could call the police at will and tell them the Veteran is out of control and maybe armed.

And the veteran could be sitting watching a movie, not doing nothing else and then go to the front door and police with hands on guns, telling him what they were told. This more than likely piss off the Veteran and they get mad and tell the police the VA, was making a false report and the police don’t believe them and that is very dangerous.

Lem
Lem

It happened to me and a false report was filed. Point is when you call 911 for an ambulance in the case of a veteran the police usually arrive first, often with guns drawn.

So who you gonna call dude?

Angela
Angela

A mental health condition is never to be taken lightly. In depth evaluations should always be done by professionals who understand the symptoms with their varying degrees of severity, and who understand the procedures outlining the immediate actions that are to be taken based on the symptoms seriousness presented at that given time.

Bill
Bill

I agree Angela…problem is when will the va hire professionals?

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, Angela.
Only, in my opinion, the VHA has hardly NO real professionals in the mental health services. And law enforcement is over extended on just about every issue taking place. Plus, law enforcement is being hampered by all those butthurt RADICAL libertard snowflakes taking to the streets protesting President Elect Trump and Vice-President Elect Pence!
Therefore, sending law enforcement and an “alleged mental health professional” to a vets home. Could very well be a deadly mistake for the veteran!

namnibor
namnibor

Angela, recently, when and if the VA sends local law enforcement, as what happened here in Ohio last year when a Veteran was on a VA Suicide Hotline the Veteran made “concerning words” to the VA Hack on other end so she sent suicide by cop to his home.
He and his wife and kids were surrounded by SWAT and local police when he was shot 4 times…in front of his wife and kids…dead.
^
With that said, the VA has NO CLUE these days, on how to conduct a proper “wellness check” in my opinion because it’s a confrontational approach, which NEVER works with any mental health situation, ever.

Angela
Angela

I agree with you. This is why the law enforcement need to be properly trained as well. It is a partnership between both the VA and the law enforcement. I know this can be done and I know it has been done successfully because I have witnessed it. It is a way to improve the approach to handling crisis situations and save lives.

namnibor
namnibor

Angela, here’s the link to the story from Summer, 2016: “http://popularmilitary.com/veteran-killed-officers-shooting-va-suicide-hotline-called-police/”

Lem
Lem

Angela, the police did prevent my suicide once. Then transported me to an abusive psych ward at the Long Beach VA. From the level of abuse by the ward psychiatrist I’m not surprised that she had a group suicide of 4 in 1996.

Calling the police is not an end all. Accurate recording of history, accurate diagnosis and fair adjudication and rehabilitation will cut Veteran suicides in half.

Contact for Further Information
Lindy Fortin-Case, LICSW
Suicide Prevention Coordinator
612-467-3620
Took out the email address because links cause “Your comment is awaiting moderation”
Try calling her. I’ll bet she has no authority to do anything thus you’ll get a stone wall.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@Lem,
If you want to put an email address on here, put quotation marks,
ex:. “xxxx.com”
around it! Most who come on here know to remove them

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Here’s an interesting piece of fact coming from “The Next News Network”, Gary Franci reporting.
It seems that all those 17 security agencies, who say Russians influenced the election, by hacking the DNC, for Trump, have missed something.
For example: the Russian TV show they used as “proof” was NOT proof at all! The “article” they ‘used’ was dated in December 2012! That’s correct, a “FOUR YEAR OLD RUSSIAN NEWS REPORT”!
Question, “Who had just won re-election in Dec. 2012?” Why, it was our “beloved divisive, race-baiting, Saul Alinskite, (sic), protégé community organizer – Barack Husien Obama!”
And, of course, the FBI has now told the American People the DNC REFUSED them access to their computers.
“What a tangled web we weave, when first we try to deceive!” This should be the ‘moto’ of these posers!

President Elect Trump has hit the agencies hard yesterday, or the day before, over this false narrative!

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

P.S.
Since the FBI was refused access, how many other security agencies were REFUSED access?

Bill
Bill

Ben….most of us have.heard this a time or two so I will risk repeating it here.

A FIX BAYONET

And

Take no prisoners

Ex va
Ex va

In my opinion the “no show” probably in time frame where Veteran did not receive an appointment letter in the first place. More likely than not Veteran never knew he had an appointment. Report VHA brief states “No Media”. The disabled Veteran negligeted as so many. The va system is sick. When Veterans are committing suicide on the grounds of a va medical center they are sending a message, hence the no media to protect va. I pray for comfort for this Veterans family. Another tragedy, so sad and heartbreaking.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

From “The Horn News” dated 11 Jan. 2017.
Titled;
“Veterans remain at risk as Trump considers VA picks”

There’s good and bad news in this article.
The GAO, Govt Accounting Agency, has once again placed veterans at “High Risk”. When it comes to healthcare. Possibly even in other VA facilities.
Trump may keep Shulkin. Yet, that’s not been confirmed.
It’s actually a straight forward article. The writer doesn’t pull any punches.
Check it out.

As I type this, President Elect Trump is readying himself for his first press conference. I hope the news medias report facts and not fake news!!!!!!!

james
james

Here we go again, I have a funny feeling there is going to be more veterans are going to be left out in the cold. Sorry but I don’t think anything is going to change in favor of the veterans. Once again I believe its all going to be about the VA employees.

I’m not going to hold my breath for anything to help veterans.

Lem
Lem

He just announced David S (didn’t catch it all) as VA Sec

namnibor
namnibor

News: David Shulkin is Trump’s VA Secretary. OFFICIAL.

Lem
Lem

Actually, no real change. He has been Under Secretary for Health. Don’t expect a mental health care improvement. “Internal Medicine”, everything is a problem of what you eat.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

Trump announces David Shulkin for VA Secretary. Response from knowledgeable Veterans?

Angela
Angela

ANutterVet – I am not sure how I actually feel about the new VA secretary decision. I am reviewing him. I know he lists his 2nd priority as the employees with his 1st priority as waiting times and access. This approach is still catering to the VA itself and gearing to exhibiting a non veteran centric objective . The VA is still presenting a false personae. I mean it is still to make them look good.
This leads me to believe that he will still cater to the employees and they will not be held accountable. It is still about the VA as the objective and the veterans are not the sole purpose of the objective. The approach is still not valuing life. After further diving into David Shulkin’s background, I will add to my comment later. I will come back later. At this point, I am not sure if I agree or disagree. Veterans look at his priorities and consider my points so far. Do you see what I am saying? Not sure yet.

namnibor
namnibor

Here’s one of Ben’s Blog articles “Does New VHA Head Have Antisocial Personality Disorder?”
“https://www.disabledveterans.org/2015/08/31/does-new-vha-head-have-antisocial-personality-disorder/”

another: “New Mexico VA Caught In ‘Herculean’ Waitlist Manipulation”

“https://www.disabledveterans.org/2015/12/01/new-mexico-va-caught-in-herculean-wait-list-manipulation/”

I will rely on Benjamin’s further digging, but I fear another cut from the same flock will potentially be a continuing problem at the VA, I hope to be wrong.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Namnibor , @Crazy elf – I feel the same way. If there is going to be REAL changes at the VA, Mr. Shulkin should reveal this at the get go of accepting the position of VA Secretary. If he doesn’t, he is out of touch about the problems that are occurring with Veterans healthcare from the VA. PERIOD . . . . Simple as that!

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

How many of us have any use for David Shulkin?
I agree namnibor. I hope Ben digs real deep on what’s about to happen within VA.

Angela
Angela

Crazy elf, from what I have read do far, I am not impressed. He has great achievements in medicine but even medical doctor can be like a business man. I mean just knowing a bunch of business principles and science theory but still yet does not validate one having a personable humanistic approach in what one would call a good bed side manner. David Shulkin mentioned that a doctor and business leaders are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Yes, they can be but not always. So I do not agree with David Shulkin’s position on how he explained that a doctor is always passionate with the patient at the forefront. I will continue to speak later once again. He is still part of the corruption but we will see.

Angela
Angela

Everyone… Google the new VA secretary David Shulkin. His previous priorities are listed in his questioning and his biography is also listed.

Bill
Bill

Let’s see what this guy is about. Give him a chance

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

We gave him a chance and he traded doctors for nurses and orderlies. Have fun with your bed pan specialist that is now your primary care doctors.

namnibor
namnibor

However, you can thwart that possibly by eating a lot of pork products, as that once-bedpan specialists is bound to also be from an Islamic country and may take it to the AFGE Union if they are required to touch Vets that consume pork products. You are what you eat, after all? 🙂

I truly was expecting something entirely different, and nobody from the same V.A. Titanic Deck Chairs. Not that I am finding doubt in Pres. Trump’s thinking, but I almost wonder if it was really THAT hard to find someone from outside the VA to take on such a mammoth job of cleaning-up the VA.
Maybe I am not seeing the entire picture but is this not pretty much the same as if Gibson were made VA Sec.? Or McDuck remained? What’s significantly different and if Shulkin has had ideas in past, who did not want to listen to them?

Come-on, do the job or not at all already, we do not have time to wait any longer. Veterans are dying and the VA indeed is lying.

namnibor
namnibor

@Bill- I hear you and yes, let’s give him a chance. However…why exactly has he not been a trailblazer for real change while warming yet another V.A. Titanic deck chair in past? Does that make logical sense why I ask that? Or is he the new “Manchurian VA Candidate”, home-brewed on the VA slab down in the lab?

Angela
Angela

Yep, he will be given a chance because we have no choice when it comes to the VA unless one leaves the VA. I am keeping an open mind though. We will see.

Lem
Lem

Actually he has all ready had two years on the side we’ve been talking about, Health Care. Now he will also be in charge of adjudication and rehab. If you want to get rid of McDonald you are not. If you have seen no improvement in the facility you use, Why? Cheyenne was under the gun. It is a small facility and change was easy. But what about Albuquerque, Cleveland, Denver, Loma Linda and so many more that are bigger and no change has even been attempted?

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

This is a major let down from Trump for all Veterans.

Personally I do not believe I need to give the person who has been replacing doctors with unqualified nurses and assistants to do the work of primary care doctors, a chance. He has already contributed to making the VA nightmare health care system worse.

Let’s see now, a attorney General who is recusing himself from any and all Clinton investigations because he once said during the presidential campaign, that he believed that there should be a full investigation of the Clinton email scandal and a full investigation of the possible pay for play at the Clinton Foundation.

Now taking the piece of garbage that helped prevent hiring doctors at the VA. So he could get his nurses and PAs in as Doctors at the VA. Trump is going to put him in as the head of the VA.

This is utter fucking bullshit.

james gallegos
james gallegos

This is for everyone you still have a place to express your concerns. Make it short but to the point.

Contact him yourself. %^&&(@realdonaldtrump)4400

All of you send him your thoughts. If we knew who was going to be interviewing this guy, maybe veterans can contact them with our concerns and maybe they can ask him questions from a real veteran.

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

Agreed. It is a major slap in the face to me. Shulkin’s main concern has ALWAYS been waitlist’s and employees. NEVER once have I ever heard any concern for the veterans they are supposed to serve from him.

MY VA = AFGE Owned/Operated. CHOICE = I have none.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Disgruntled Veteran – I received your email, and sent a reply. I’m trying to get things together. I probably need to take a breaaaaaak! No need to reply. Thanks bruddah.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Disgruntled Veteran – Sorry for the mix up. I was talking about Angela’s comments. I backtracked and reread posts, now I feel a little confused. But that’s ok. No biggie. I just posted a comment to @Angela how sometimes writing in blogs, letters, and emails, that the content can be taken out of context. This comes along with the turf. No problem bruddah!

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@ANutterVet – Or were you referring to my post to Seymore WRT Angela? A bit confused here. Help get me straightened out, please.

Mahalo’s !!!

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@ANutterVet – Hope you received my e-mail, and find it useful. Your situation is actually an easy tweak to the records. And I believe you are correct.

Fo dem bookstuffs dis da kine? – MY VA = AFGE Owned/Operated. CHOICE = I have none.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Disgruntled Veteran – Where did you get this equation from? The propaganda mathematics text book for VA Image Building Consultants? Funny you!

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Angela,
In today’s comments, you have asserted that sending law enforcement to Veterans homes would in some insane way help with the suicide rate.

You have also showed clear support for Shulkin.

Now you are insinuating that I am wrong and the VA’s undersecretary of health had nothing to do with the decision to use bed pan specialist at the VA as primary care physicians.

It is seeming that you are little more than a fricken Troll.

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

Seymore,

With Respect, Angela did post this comment: “Disgruntled Veteran and all, I did not know that David Shulkin made the decision to hire Nurse Practitioners instead of physicians. I am just now checking into his past decisions. When the decision was made about the Nurse Practitioners, I almost thought Secretary McDonald had the final implementing authority on this issue. Who is to say who really made this decision? My concerns are he is still part of the corruption. This is the problem”

After re-reading all of Angela’s posts on this topic today, I think she meant well, but was possibly somewhat uninformed. Particularly in view of her quoted comment above. She did state she is now researching “ShitferBrains Shulkin”. She also stated she meant you no disrespect.

Angela has in the past provided valuable anecdotal info to this community. Troll? I just do not quite see that.

Angela
Angela

I will go into detail my reasons a little later when I have a chance to type. Furthermore, if you would really like to know the truth and due to Mr. Trump’s decision, I am removing all my healthcare out of the VA except one provider. So I believe you need to get your facts straight before you make a judgement.

Angela
Angela

I never said you were wrong. My comments were interpreted from Shulkin’s questioning answers from his biography. This has nothing to do with you.

Angela
Angela

Seymore, I believe you need to re read all my posts. I will further speak in detail why trained law enforcement as well as medical professionals are to be used in wellness checks. I never mentioned that I agreed with David Shulkin. You have not read all the facts that I have presented. I will present more to explain to you where I am coming from. You do not have all the facts before you are making a judgement. My facts are from my personal experience.

Angela
Angela

Disgruntled Veteran and all, I did not know that David Shulkin made the decision to hire Nurse Practitioners instead of physicians. I am just now checking into his past decisions. When the decision was made about the Nurse Practitioners, I almost thought Secretary McDonald had the final implementing authority on this issue. Who is to say who really made this decision? My concerns are he is still part of the corruption. This is the problem

Lem
Lem

Dr. Shulkin also has a history of CEO of an Accountable Care Organization. Probably the reason he was picked by Obama and head of VA Health Care. The ACA was running ACO trials. Apparently the VA was one of them. The problem is they didn’t use an accountant to help. The controls for monitoring reporting that bonuses are still inadequate. The Kiosk for checking in is one of the controls that didn’t exist when it was rolled out thus reports of appointments were falsified. But ACO bonuses aren’t only based upon timely appointments. They are also based on customer satisfaction and morbidity report line items. As in are you actually performing better than last year in keeping people from dying.
t

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

It is profoundly clear that what Drudge report is asking need to be seriously considered. Is Trump now being black mailed by the intelligence Agencies.

It is truly a major victory for all VSOs and VA employees.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Also it is a major slap in the face for all Veterans.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Ben , @Seymore Klearly , @Namnibor , @Crazy elf , @Angela , @Ex va , @Bill , @Lem – What Seymore stated is exactly what I was concerned about. I’m trying to think positively, but it is really hard. I’m very skeptical about David Shulkin, and I’m sure that Ben will write an article with additional and accurate information. Like you Seymore, I don’t like the flip flopping on issues committed by President Elect Trump as well. I’m still hoping for substantial changes at the VA. Enough of all the let downs!

Ex va
Ex va

@ANutterVet, i agree with you, trying to be positive…

namnibor
namnibor

Not pleased here, either. Where’s my reptile tranquilizer blow dart? 🙂

Bill
Bill

Trust me I am no fan of the va and the way they treat us.

This guy has been at his job less than 2 years. He does have some history but maybe the things he has done he had no real choice in doing. Lets see what legislation is put into
Place either to help or hurt us and how that legislation is put into practice.

If I had known the things that I know now when I was 18 I would not be a vetetan. Well I sat that nut at 18 I was young and very dumb.

I do have my fingers crossed.

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

Bill,

I would not trust “ShitferBrains Shulkin”, nor be too hopeful that he will have either the intelligence, nor cajones to place the VA on the fast-track to reform based upon integrity. Just another lackey being rewarded for not being able to do a competent job.

Angela
Angela

Yes, Bill and all, I have also have had second thoughts about having signed on the dotted line. With how my life has turned out due to the unfortunate circumstances and the current state of the VA, I now at times wished I were not a veteran as well.

james gallegos
james gallegos

I started contacting my senators and congressman, Bennett’s office recording. Corey Gardner left an e-mail.

Tried to contact Mike Coffman via E-mail, a pop up came on stating I was not in his district, so I called his Washington number, an aide answered, I told him I was a disabled veteran and that his site said I was not in his district. I asked the Aide, Does Mr. Coffman work for all the citizens in Colorado, The Aide response, NO just those in his district.

I always thought our elected officials were there to help all its citizens, I was wrong !

If they all think this way, as a whole were in a lot of trouble. Separate officials for each section and only that section. I thought this was the United States, Not the Divided States.

anyway contact your senator and congressmen, for the people by the people.

God help us all.

Lem
Lem

These days it seems like only those that letters that contain a contribution or are published in your local paper get any more than a form letter response saying they got your letter. Nothing ever is returned that indicates it was actually read. Even if you send an email via their web site.

Most do have a form for you to fill out for vets seeking service granting them the ability to look at your file.

If you get a letter published you’ll receive a letter telling you how they would like you to state your case.

james
james

Donald like to tweet, I tweeted him and told him veterans are not happy with his choice, everyone tweet him. one sentence at a time

91Veteran
91Veteran

Senators should respond to anyone within their states, congressmen only respond to those in their district…unless you are writing them as the chairman of a committee.
This is why the VA likes to move some claims issues out of state, because then they have an excuse for not responding to your senator.

Years ago, I contacted various district offices of congressmen in Wisconsin on a veterans issue that affected many veterans. Every one of them except my own congressman refused to even listen unless I loved in their district.
The worst response was Rep. David Obeys office. They were downright nasty about someone outside his district contacting his office.

I have found both our Senators here in CO to be surprisingly worthless.

…which is why I comment on their Facebook pages.

james
james

never thought of that, it makes total sense. sigh!

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

You go ahead and keep your fingers crossed bill. I guess you can’t be what late 20s since you are saying how much you have learned since you were 18.

I am a bit older and apparently much wiser. This pick is nothing but a slap in the face to all Veterans.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

He Elf,

Did you happen to catch the article on the ring leader for the employees at the VAMC Battle creek MI VA just got sentenced to ten years? Where the VAMC employees and others were using Veterans Patient information to file false income tax returns. 34 people where indicted for the more then 4,000 bogus tax returns for over $22 Million and change.

“Tax fraud that targeted US veterans, inmates lands ringleader 10 years in prison”, John Hogan, WZZM 5:50 PM. EST January 10, 2017
“http://www.wzzm13.com/news/crime/tax-fraud-that-targeted-us-veterans-and-inmates-lands-ringleader-10-years-in-prison/384904228”

More about the VAMC crime ring.

From the Department of Justice news release.
“34 Defendants Charged With Conspiracy To Commit Fraud In Battle Creek”
“https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdmi/pr/2016_0301_BattleCreek”

“Michigan inmates, veterans used in $22M tax fraud”, John Hogan, WZZM 9:38 AM. EST March 02, 2016
“http://www.wzzm13.com/news/crime/mich-inmates-veterans-used-in-22-million-tax-fraud/63300312”

Ex va
Ex va

@Seymore Klearly, thanks for the info. It takes a lot of employees to pull off the crime rings.

namnibor
namnibor

WTF? Also, want to bet they were also running a VA Fiduciary Scam in that VISN as well? Wait for it…

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

What I find really interesting is the fact that the VAMC was managing records for Veterans who were inmates in the prison.

I bet you are also right about the running a VA Fiduciary Scam.

Bill
Bill

Nice…god damnit battle creek is where I am forced too put my life on the line at.

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

Outrageous! Many veterans at risk for suicide while the VA spends untold millions on false advertising campaigns to assure America we are being taken care of properly. I call BULLSHIT on that!!!

How about knocking off ALL the TV ads I see for the VA – – – and spend that money on hiring REAL Doctors. You know, ones that have their medical licenses, are semi-proficient, etc. ?

Was this veteran REALLY a “no show”, or was the veteran unaware that they actually had an appointment? I could not count the times that has happened to me over the years. Out of the blue, I receive a letter stating that I failed to attend an appointment at the VA – – – and I am scratching my head, and staring at my calendar that reflects no such event. I have had appointment notices, and cancellation letters for those same appointments arrive to my mailbox the same day.

When it comes to the VA – – – is the Right Front Hoof aware that the Left Front Hoof even exists? We know all too well that the Snout exists. Piggies always have it dipped in the money trough!

The “No Media” policy if continued, should have the statistical veteran suicide rate to zero within the next six months. Government loves positive statistics!

In the real world though – – – the suicide rate among vets will be much higher than 20 per day.

Veterans Die and the VA Lies! Heil VA!

Rat Bastards.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Throughout the years of going to various VAs for appointments, I had always gotten letters for my appointments. It didn’t matter what it was for, if it was 3 days after another appointment, I always got a letter.
Since I started going to Grand Junction 3 years ago, I can count on one hand the number of letters I’ve gotten….and I think one of them was for a C&P exam after surgery.

If a veteran is truly scheduled for an appointment, why is it that act of scheduling does not automatically kick off a flag resulting in the form letter being sent? Its not like anyone writes the letter or signs off on it.

As for Shulkin…I said it before. No matter who Trump picks, we will have to hold his feet to the fire, and I believe the media will be more than willing to report on any scandal, even suicides, if for nothing else than a chance to smear Trump.

Out only hope at this point is Trump keeps his eye on the VA, and demands Congress gets behind supporting Shulkin.

I still think we are screwed.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Last year the Government spend over $1.4 Billion on public relations cover-ups.

“Taxpayers Spend Thousands On Poorly Used Gov’t Public Relations Jobs”, by Luke Rosiak, The Daily Caller New Foundation, 01/10/2017

Read more: “http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/10/taxpayers-spend-thousands-on-poorly-used-govt-public-relations-jobs/”

“Federal employees spend more than $1 billion a year boosting the government’s image, including the salaries of an estimated 5,000 official “spokesmen” who often ignore questions from reporters about agency operations and try to distract public attention away from embarrassing scandals.

“A good product sells itself. So what does it say when more than $1.4 billion is spent every year promoting federal agencies and services but trust and confidence in the government have plummeted?”

“Federal agencies could improve their public relations at no cost whatsoever by simply conducting themselves efficiently and effectively,” the Arizona Republican wrote.

“But too often the response of federal departments and agencies to scandals and reporter questioning is to either ignore the queries or to seek to shift public attention to other matters by hiring additional public relations people.”

“The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), for example, increased its public relations staff from 144 to 286 in the past eight years, according to Wastebook. One of the projects the staff came up with to counter coverage of VA bosses retaliating against whistleblowers was propaganda materials based on the theme of “I will talk positively about my workplace to others.”

“At another VA facility, officials said they would call the police on any roaming reporters who might ask employees uncomfortable questions about a disgraced chief of staff being given his job back despite having a suspended medical license.”

91Veteran
91Veteran

If you recall when Obama came into office, many media companies were barely staying afloat.

Shortly after, there was a huge number of government advertising spots on radio and TV. You still can’t listen to a radio show without hearing some commercial playing advertising for some government agency, and “paid for by X government agency and the Ad Council”.

The very worst of this BS that I have seen to date are the USDAs food safety campaign, such as their “cook it safe” idiocy. You can still go on YouTube and find them. If I were a government flunky that produced those ads I would be ashamed to show my face.
They are a number of videos, often depicting college kids being informed of how to safely microwave food.

FFS if you are that damn stupid that you don’t know how to operate a microwave oven, you deserve to starve!

I seriously believe throughout the 8 years of Obama, he had federal agencies feeding media or advertising companies piles of cash to keep them afloat, payback for getting him elected, and payments to keep certain reporting to a minimum.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Also see Ben’s article:

“McDonald ‘I Care’ Propaganda Stuns VA Whistleblowers”
By Benjamin Krause, JD –
December 21, 2016

“https://www.disabledveterans.org/2016/12/21/mcdonald-care-propaganda-stuns-va-whistleblowers/”

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

See Ben’s article:

“Veterans Affairs Threatens Press Over Houlihan Hearing Circus”
By Benjamin Krause, JD –
April 11, 2016

“https://www.disabledveterans.org/2016/04/11/veterans-affairs-threatens-press-over-houlihan-hearing-circus/”

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

That was the Candy Man at Candy Land. also known as Dr. David Houlihan at Tomah VAMC.

One of the main reporters they were trying to keep out was Ben.

Ex va
Ex va

It is OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!!

Ex va
Ex va

Where does the credentialing and priveledging come into effect on a suspended medical license in the va system? A doctor couldn’t practice on a suspended medical license in private sector??????

Ex va
Ex va

@Disgruntled Veteran, you and every Veteran has every right to be angry over scheduling. It is a crime!!! Keep appointment letters and envelopes with date sent if possible. If they cancel your appointment make sure they designate it as “cancel by clinic”. Not a “no show”, which hides their negligence.

Bill
Bill

Well said. It saddens me to know we gave up a portion of our lives and our health gor this country just to give very undeserving people a job so they can lie to us, cheat us. Kill us and call us non humans.

There are some days I do not trust my brain very much, other days I trust my brain but with reservations. I honestly do not trust anyone inside the va. I know what they have done to me over the years and without even an attempt at an apology for what quacks did to me.

I received an emal from the battle creek facility trying to explain away their 2 star rating a gew eeejs ago, but I never received any heads up that my information may of been compromised in a tax refund scheme this clearly brings to light what their priorities are and they are not the veterans. We are just an obstacle for them getting an undeserved pay check.

Sad, Very sad.

namnibor
namnibor

The VA just last year magically lowered that number of Veteran Suicides from 22 to 20 with no real substance to back it up other than a RAND study, if that. You are right, the VA is going to try to recede the dialog of Veteran Suicide to desensitize or attempt to the public and guess what….we are not going to allow that to take place!
No matter what David Shulkin does, says he will do or outright does not do, we have to be the angry dogs up his ass letting him and Pres. Trump know what is *really* taking place, rather than what the Deck Chairs are feeding the President. Veteran Lives Matter, dammit!

FLB
FLB

I just read that the new VA secretary believes that obstetrics and gynecology should be considered for treatment outside of the VA. Great! I am happy for the female veterans. There goes the Veterans Choice option for the guys. Need more feedback.

namnibor
namnibor

If the male veterans opt to go through a VA Sex Change Operation (aka-Frankenfurter’s Lab), then the male veteran may use the Choice Program–RAND Concurs. 🙂

Ex va
Ex va

@namnibor, that is a good point!

Ex va
Ex va

Veteran choice option should be an option for every Veteran.

91Veteran
91Veteran

I assume him being 38 was a mistake, unless him being a Gulf War veteran is in reference to the war in Iraq starring in 2003.
The first Gulf War was 25 years ago, making him 13 at the time.
I am not at all surprised his assessment was low. Can anyone else see a veteran going to the VA for the first time trusting them enough to tell them information that would warrant a higher rating?
What would warrant a higher rating? Showing them the gun?

I think at this point, the policy of not reporting on veterans committing suicide should be deemed a dismal failure. How many suicides has that prevented?
I bet it could be argued that it adds to suicides.
No reporting means no thorough investigation into when he presented, how his assessment was arrived at, how soon after his initial assessment he was offered a follow-up, whether there is a delay in follow-up, who provided the assessment and if they were qualified, whether the follow-up shrink is qualified, etc.

In other words, there is no assessment into whether that clinic, any other clinic or anyone at the VA actually delivers adequate mental health care.

For those raving VA defenders, the current suicide rate shows they are not.

Why cover this problem up? Because to investigate it thoroughly and honestly, it would result unwanted scrutiny to the VA, such as with their budget, and how it’s pissed away on things that have no chance of preventing a suicide.
Budget items such as the $87 million contract to Reingold let in 2010 in between Rosemary Williams stint as a senior flunky at VA in 2009-2011, and her current stint. Embarrassing questions might come up for her on how the company where she served as Vice President from 2012-2013 landed this contract, yet in 6 years has done little to reduce veteran suicide.

Any VA excuse of not reporting on veteran suicides is a bullshit excuse and they know it. Its a missed opportunity to see if there are problems in their delivery of care, and to inform veterans that help is available.

Will Trumps selection of Shulkin change this?
I highly fucking doubt it.

Angela
Angela

91 Veteran, my response was meant to both you and Lem. Sorry. I get carried away.

91Veteran
91Veteran

If I am reading correctly, Lem meant Shulkin is not a veteran, and you meant the veteran Ben mentions in his post.

Lem
Lem

He is not a veteran as far as I know. At least that is one of the reports.

91Veteran
91Veteran

He is not a veteran, but as Ben pointed out previously in another column, VA secretaries who were veterans have not helped veterans much.

The last veteran VA Secretary I recall actually show concern for veterans was Jesse Brown, and even he had hs hands tied by Clinton’s white house.

Angela
Angela

Yes, Lem, the Gulf war was in 1991. I was on active duty during the Gulf war. The information in this report is not correct.

Jo3n
Jo3n

I believe that the VA suicide rate just went up. Personally I feel sick. This is a sad day for Veterans. Somehow, some way, Veterans NEED to be a voice in selecting the Sec. Of VA. Obviously we are not. Apparently, our words have fallen on deaf ears. Hell, I am angry. Between Sessions and Shulkin, I really am lost. Ben, your article is great. Seymore, I just don’t know what to say. God Bless the Veterans, please.

91Veteran
91Veteran

Apparently the only veteran voices that mattered with this selection are those ass kissers at VSO headquarters.

Anyone have any information on how those VSOs are reacting to Shulkin being named?

If they are quiet about it, you know they got who they wanted. He may not have been their first or second choice, but he’s someone they agree with.

Don Karg
Don Karg

01/11/2017

Dear Benjamin Krause,

President Elect Donald Trump has nominated David Shulkin to be the next VA Secretary—at his televised Press Conference, today, around noon.

Sincerely,

Don Karg