Salt Lake City VA stashed a veteran in a filthy examination room for over 45 minutes without taking any steps to ensure it was sanitary. A tweet with photos of the unsanitary room had 16,000 retweets with over 2,000 comments from outraged Americans, pushing the problem into the headlines.

Veteran Christopher Wilson went to VA for healthcare and was stashed in a room with overflowing trash and other debris covering the floor, sink and supply tray. Wilson was at the appointment to get 18 injections around his ankle for an injury he received in Iraq.

“I figured they would say, ‘Oh, this room’s not clean’ and take me somewhere else, but they just kind of blew past it, didn’t acknowledge it,” said Wilson, who spent six years in the Army and was deployed to Iraq twice. “They’re doctors, right? So I figure one of them was going to say, ‘Let’s go somewhere else’ or ‘Give us a minute to clean it,’ but nothing.”

RELATED: Secret Waitlist For Eyecare Uncovered

Dr. Karen Gribbin, chief of staff at the facility, said the mishap was the result of staff trying to expedite Wilson’s appointment.

“This particular day, the afternoon session was (especially) busy,” Gribbin said. “Unfortunately, Mr. Wilson was taken into this room in an effort … to expedite this appointment.”

Gribbin said she can empathize with the urgency experienced by medical staff who “feel the frustration of the veterans that are waiting,” but despite that, “Mr. Wilson should not have been placed in that room.”

“I and the entire facility apologize to him for that experience,” she said.

“We have had a huge growth. That is a significant growth and we have had some challenges that come along with it,” Gribbin said. “That’s a good problem to have, but we are busy.”

RELATED: Suspicious Veteran Death Investigated

Gribbin said she believes Wilson’s unclean room “was an aberration.” Asked whether the new inquiry would actively look for patterns of additional rooms having been left unclean for patients, Gribbin said, “We are talking with staff across the board and making sure we are all on the same page.”

“This has certainly opened our eyes to make sure that we take a good hard look across the board at this issue,” she said.

Stephen Wilson, father of the veteran, tweeted photos showing the condition of the room that resulted in a massive outcry and resulted in huge awareness about the problem faced by his son Christopher.

RELATED: 5 Things You Need To Know About Leaked Anthrax Memo

“It (is) not something I want to see my son subjected to again or any other veteran,” Stephen Wilson said.

He added that “at first, I was sad for my son being subjected to those conditions, and then it made me angry.”

Stephen Wilson said he worries his son could have been subjected to the risk of infection by virtue of the room was placed in, adding “diabetic ulcers are by nature open wounds.”

Gribbin lent her insight into what she thought was the most troubling aspect of the facility’s condition, “I think the saddest thing to come out of this is the damage to that and the potential damage to the trust that our veterans have in us.”

After all, according to Gribbin, the room was “unsightly” rather than unsanitary, “there (were) not other types of debridement or surgical removal of tissue” in the room. “I do not believe Mr. Wilson was exposed to any dangerous body fluids or blood.”

Source: https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900017416/va-says-unclean-clinic-room-was-wrongly-used-to-mitigate-long-wait.html

Stay informed on VA news, scandals and benefits. Get our daily newsletter via email.

17343

DisabledVeterans.org

Get our free daily newsletter.

52 Comments

  1. Another election season and wala more stories about sad state of vet affairs…they need more funding now to clean it up..or elect the other guy to fix it.blah blah and 25 more vets committed suicide today after going to the VA PTSD clinics or from dirty rooms that never get cleaned up and where does that money go except some big wigs pockets…enough funding…fix the mess or burn it all down!!

    • I’ve been saying the latter for a long time! It’s never going to get fixed. There’s only one solution: Get rid of the VA medical system. In fact, get rid of the entire VA. It’s infested with low-quality employees and so-called medical staff. The culture was ruined decades ago and those who get hired into it are infected with the same ‘brotherhood’ mentality and corrupt organizational structure. It’s not savable. They outright refuse to obey the orders of congressional oversight committees, the VSOs are in allegiance to them, the VETERAN is one losing out everytime.
      Close them down. Take that funding and move it over to the Social Security Department; give Veterans a Social Security entry identifying them as a Veteran and at a specified rating (and let the SS dept determine the ratings). This will allow us to go get the SAME quality of care as everyone else in the country, every CITIZEN. Why are we allowing ourselves to be deprecated to a lesser status level than other CITIZENS? We can then go to the healthcare providers of our choosing. Oh by the way, in case you didn’t know, no one accepts appointments under the Veterans Choice Program, and haven’t for over a year. Why? THE VA DIDN’T PAY ANY OF THE BILLINGS OR CHARGES!!!!

      Join us in getting rid of the VA. It’s WORSE than having no healthcare.

  2. “It’s not my job!”
    How many times have we heard that EXCUSE!?
    Even when one points out to the VA employee, “Well, can’t you call someone and have it taken care of?” Their response is either – “silence” or an indignant response of – “fuck you!”

    At least this father of a vet, had the courage to expose the VA for what it is!

    I agree with “BLAH BLAH” above.

  3. “[…Gribbin lent her insight into what she thought was the most troubling aspect of the facility’s condition, “I think the saddest thing to come out of this is the damage to that and the potential damage to the trust that our veterans have in us.”

    After all, according to Gribbin, the room was “unsightly” rather than unsanitary,…]”

    There you go, it’s more *concerning* to the VA that their *public image is damaged*…NOT the physical/mental welfare of the Veterans they serve uncooked chicken to, leave deceased Veteran bodies in shower stalls for a few shifts, kill Vets via blunt force trauma in their hospital beds…INDIFFERENCE, YOU FUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    *It wasn’t THAT BAD*….Gribbin trying best to candy-coat the exposed VA turd….

    An unsanitary, filthy exam room only tells me the operating room has old pizza boxes and maggots scattered on floor, then there’s the maggots from flies…some maggots actually work there eating the dead flesh that works there…INDIFFERENT FUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The VA simply does not give any ratty rat’s ass except for keeping their gravy train flowing to the AFGE piggy troughs.
    Wait for it…the VA will now try to prohibit ANY photos/video taken by ANY Veteran or Survivor…remember the try on banning recording or phones? I foresee a revisit to a scramble for more control, but the ugly messes will remain the same, maggots and all…

      • Could you imagine telling your DI that? Or having a room like that for field day or ever because surprise inspections suck ass…. we were expected to be clean but they don’t get to be? Us who is trained to death attention to detail but they think we won’t mind… Never mind standard medical or sanitary protocols by AMA. What about the bacteria & viruses around? I wonder if his “doc” even wore gloves? I’ve seen & got onto VA “docs” for trying to do procedures & shots with no gloves & no hand washing… but even if they washed hands still put on your gloves!! If you have the patience for VA you have to be proactive know about your conditions keep up to date about it & stay on top of VA. I personally utilize civ drs & submit it back to VA.

    • They already prohibit it (pics, video, or audio) @ VA Durham VA Sailsbury VA Kernersville…. if those VAs do it, I’m sure others do as well.

  4. Holy Guano Shit, Batman!

    Look how filthy that stainless steel basin is in Ben’s “Bad VA Art” today in the front/left foreground of photo of filthy exam room. Looks like it was used to make a plaster of paris volcano or an old school cast…or…it was the old donut residue from last few years accumulation on that *stainless steel* surface…

    …or…the Salt Lake City VAMC has a serious pigeon like that all-glass conference room the VAOIG had some fun with…

      • You think a former IG was in the room leaving a sample and just missed the specimen cup?

        Or is that the glazing left over from the cake they cooked for their Hungry Hippos party?

    • I had a VA official try to B.S. me that the FIFTEEN MILLION DOLLAR ENTRANCE to the D.C. Veterans Hospital ‘”CAME OUT OF A DIFFERENT FUND, SO IT DID NOT AFFECT THE MONEY AVAILABLE FOR MORE IMPORTANT
      MEDICAL FACILITIES, operating rooms, doctors’ salaries, etc. I asked this bozo while looking around; “Are you talking to me?” The VA is beyond repair and needs to be disbanded and the money spent for real medical care

    • One person replying to the fathers tweet was that he’s seen cleaner gas station bathrooms.

      Which reminds me….you walk into a McDonalds or Burger King restroom, hell even a Wal-Mart restroom, and they have the little charts showing when it was last inspected for cleanliness, and to contact the manager if found dirty. Does the county health department require that?

      A sneaky vet would get a copy of that chart, put MacArthurs name on it and 1942, and tape it to various exam room doors at the VA.

      • 91Veteran,
        Or how about “Capt. Pershing(‘s)” name on it. And the date 1891 or so!
        Ya noticed it was well before he made General – ha ha!

  5. “After all, according to Gribbin, the room was “unsightly” rather than unsanitary,“

    Ok, let’s take her ham sandwich at lunch time and throw it up against the wall and rub it around that room for a while. Then we put it back together and return it and say, “It’s fine. It is a bit unsightly but not unsanitary. Eat up!”

  6. Out yesterday from “The Associated Press” via “military.com” today.
    Titled;
    “Father of Army Vet Shot at Oregon VA Clinic Feels Betrayed!”

    Dated, 30 Apr 2018
    By; Andrew Selsky.

    Time for VA’s multi million dollar public relations office, and Cashour, to come to the VA’s rescue – AGAIN!

  7. Wonderful…

    No accountability. But blame it on the veterans.

    I mean, if it wasn’t for those veterans rushing the VA to tend to them, this room would have been brand spankin clean!!

    They should fire that Doctor So and So for that simple and stupid response alone.

    Well, guess the next step is to re-institute the no celphone/backpack policy cuz the VA can’t have veterans taping, recording, etc.

    Well this article is a Godsend cuz I was about to break down and see if I can go to the VA to treat something, but nah, I rather risk dying at home.

    • @TaB- Just position yourself near the video screen with an episode of “The Teletubbies” playing and you will have a much more effective telemedicine session than any VA hut hack. Hope you feel better.
      (Don’t stare at the sun in ‘Teletubbies’…)

  8. ever notice how the Phlebotomist wears gloves while drawing you’re blood. But he/she touches everything in site with the same gloves. And the area were you’re sitting has the walls covered with Hep C posters and how you should get tested for it. I go to one and the same Phlebotomist at the VA even for blood test that have nothing to do with the VA. She is the only one I trust with sticking anything in my arm

  9. What nobody seems to pick up on in the article is that the Vet states multiple times he dislikes going to the VA. The people are rude and unprofessional. Yet the only thing this fucking joke of an administrator can do is offer an insincere apology and offer to “clean her room”. Nevermind that the whole house is trashed. The honorable and ethical solution to the problem is a resignation letter, which we will never get unless she is forced to write it.

    • She may end up getting moved somewhere else.

      I’ve said before that no matter how horrible a veteran is treated, it doesn’t nearly get the same attention as anything showing pictures or video.

      Imagine pictures of a dead veteran left in the shower for over 6 hours? Imagine a video of that veteran after he lit himself on fire and died?

      This issue is being covered nation-wide in all kinds of media because the pictures can’t be ignored. Just like the nasty chicken. Just like the old vets lying on the floor in the ER waiting room.

      Given the media coverage because of the pictures, she might be looking at a job elsewhere….in the VA.

      Nah. She’ll get a bonus.

    • Again, I repeat that every time the VA fucks up there is a lawsuit against the VA & the particular official/medical care person responsible. Like an ambush, push them up against the wall and squish them.

      WHO SHOULD BE THE NEXT VA SECRETARY? BEN SHOULD BE THE NEST VA SECRETARY, HE IS RAZOR SHARP & KNOWS THE LAW AND CAN WHIP THEM INTO SHAPE OR GET RID OF THEM.

  10. From the governments own data… look how good it was before….what happened?

    Quote from the official report about VA in our government archives;
    “https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2690309/#!po=1.38889“
    “The Veterans Health Administration: An American Success Story?
    By Adam Oliver
    March 2007

    “The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) provides health care for U.S. military veterans. By the early 1990s, the VHA had a reputation for delivering limited, poor-quality care, which led to health care reforms. By 2000, the VHA had substantially improved in terms of numerous indicators of process quality, and some evidence shows that its overall performance now exceeds that of the rest of U.S. health care. Recently, however, the VHA has started to become a victim of its own success, with increased demands on the system raising concerns from some that access is becoming overly restricted and from others that its annual budget appropriations are becoming excessive. Nonetheless, the apparent turnaround in the VHA’s performance offers encouragement that health care that is both financed and provided by the public sector can be an effective organizational form.“

    Clearly this mess in the photo is a result of the victimization process started a decade ago when it was clear VHA had succeeded… ?I think?

  11. I followed this since his father first posted the pictures.

    Interesting to see the change in the VA story. Initially, they claimed they were reviewing policies…and must have figured out quickly how stupid it sounded that a possible policy breakdown contributes to staff losing all common sense and ability to see a full trash can, or other trash in the room. They also must have found quickly that they had a policy in place, and it may lead to someone having to be held accountable.

    So…how do we come out smelling like a Rose from this mess?

    Why not claim we were so busy and overworked helping veterans and we just wanted to help this guy so badly we just didn’t have time to clean up the mess?

    Yeah, THAT’S the ticket! Brilliant idea!

    But that BS excuse means people have to believe nobody had 5 seconds to throw the soda cup in the overflowing trash can. Nobody had 15 seconds to set the trash outside the room. Nobody had 30 seconds to call housekeeping to have the trash removed. Nobody had 20 seconds to run a wet cloth over the sink, countertop and cabinet to clean up the casting material slopped all over. Nobody had 5 seconds to empty the bowl of nasty water down the drain.

    This is what health care by bureaucracy gets you. Nobody believes it is their job to clean up the mess made.

    It also means those responsible will investigate themselves, so nobody will be held accountable, unless its some poor bastard veteran who was only given a job as janitor who didn’t notice his crystal ball said room 14 was a disaster, and he should go clean it up.

    It was amazing as I said to Crazy Elf yesterday how many trolls were making excuses claiming the VA just doesn’t have enough staffing or funding. The VA has 387,000 employees second only to the DOD, and a $187 billion dollar budget. Its not a lack of staff or funding that causes a mess to be ignored by multiple people working in the clinic.

    Now, if this were a private hospital, how soon do you think inspectors would be on site?

    Would they be looking at all kinds of issues, including whether those suffering from diabetic ulcers were getting proper care to try prevent those ulcers? Or would they find other policy breakdowns resulting in diabetic patients having many more ulcers than they should?

  12. I have had casts put on before in non-VA hospitals. I’ve also had injections, but I don’t recall having injections in a cast room with plaster splattered all over.

    Makes one wonder what else they use that room for.

    Colonoscopies? Pap smears? Veteran inpatient meal storage?

    • Definitely a likely uncooked chicken storage space, and I’m guessing that because this is the VA, the microwaves can be found where all the heart patients with pacemakers are treated…so either uncooked chicken or cooked old school pacemakers: CHOICE.

  13. Last time I visited the Minneapolis, and it’s been a number of years ago now, like 12 or so, it was a pit.
    In the exam room, the hand cleaner and mirror had been ripped off the wall, there was still someone else’s butt cheek imprints were still in the paper covering the exam table, and there were a number of the little tips they put on the light to check your ears and nose on the floor behind the exam table in a sea of dust and dirt. The chairs in the outpatient lobby/waiting room were filthy, and there was no privacy at the check-in counter.

  14. cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

    ╱╱▏╱▏╱▏╱╱╱╱╱╱▏╱╱╱╱╱▏
    ▉╱▉╱▉╱▏▉▉▉▉▉╱┈▉▉▉▉╱
    ▉╱▉╱▉╱▏┈┈▉╱▏┈┈▉╱╱╱╱▏
    ▉╱▉╱▉╱▏┈┈▉╱▏┈┈▉▉▉▉╱
    ▉▉▉▉▉╱┈┈┈▉╱┈┈┈▉╱

    All this utter B.S. over a dirty room? Blah Blah, and others got it right, not a single outrage over the over 50 Veterans per day, not a single outrage over Veterans being murdered, not a single outrage over the VBA wait times, etc, etc, etc…………….

    Sooooooooooooo, all it takes is a tweeted picture of a dirty room, never mind the dirty truth. Hey, I had a military parrot, I took it to the VA, and they said it had twerpies, and it was untweetable……Remember the video of the rats running loose in Taco Bell? yeah, thats right, it kept people away from Taco Hell, for all of about 10 minutes. This article, and that tweeted picture, will be obsolete, by tomorrow afternoon, just like Veterans. After all, we need to worry about all those refugees down at the border, so much more important than any Veteran. <————————-being sarcastic……..

    Here is the pecking order for those that previously didn't know.
    Snowflake
    Dogshit
    Veteran

    Didn't you get the memo?

  15. Only the finest for our brave warriors and heroes. Let’s go start another war so we can honor another generation fine patriots and bomb the fuck out of brown people for profit and power.

  16. cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

    Waittttttttttttttttt a minuteeeeeeeeeeee……………I KNEW that room looked familiar…………Thats the same room they used to inject liquid Plexiglas into the spines of Veterans, you know, by the fake neurosurgeon that said he wasn’t really a neurosurgeon, but he once saw it done on TV. Yessssssss the very same guy they moved out of the country and gave a raise and made him a flight surgeon,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,yeah that guy, remember? Cause nobody else sure the hell remembers……oppps tic toc, tic toc, tomorrow afternoons is approaching quickly….tic toc…….can feel the memory fading alreadyyyyy…..

  17. If you complain about it, they’ll do everything, including directing their “Medical staff” to lie on you and try to take your compensation away. So very sad. Thanks for your service? Really?

    • Gulf War Vet,
      I wonder what will happen to that vet over his father blowing the whistle on them?
      Like you said, they have 60 ways from Sunday to screw over that vet!

  18. There is no excuse for this. None. There is no question there is room for improvement in the VA. However, I would never go so far as to say to close down the entire VA system, not without having a place to send the vets. Not all VA’s are created the same. I receive my care at the VA also. I come from a family of vets. I am also an emergency physician who worked for the VA…and loved it. Not because of the bureaucracy, which seems to be woven into the fabric of any governmental, state, county or city system, but because I loved taking care of the vets. They were naturally guarded and mistrustful and at times, defensive. In the four years I worked for the VA, I never had one complaint. They knew I cared. I pulled no punches and was blunt. They appreciated the honesty. They were involved in their own care–we were a team. Not all vets had an advanced education, but every single one of them was smart, savvy. They were hyperaware of their environment, perhaps a residual of those years they served. They commanded respect. And I gave it to them. I understood their frustrations. I worked with staff that were what I refer to as “dead weight”; just working until they could retire and collect their benefits. But there were many of us who actually gave a damn and did the best we could with what we had.

    I’ve been in ED rooms like the one above and cleaned them myself. Many times I undress the patient after they are dumped in a bed and left there for me to see. Complaining does nothing, it isn’t as if docs are respected the same way we were in the past, even by staff. If I wanted something done expediently, I had to do it myself or it would not get done. And still I stayed. Because the vets needed me. I’m not being arrogant, I’m being factual. I was verbally assaulted by a nurse when I held him accountable for not following my orders to treat a patient in an expeditious manner. I wrote an incident report. Nothing done. And still I stayed, for the vets. When a doc tries to advocate for the vets, he will be labeled “difficult to work with”…and I was. And I stayed. Didn’t matter what I was labeled, as long as the vets were cared for in the right way. Hard to be an advocate and keep your job. I didn’t.

    I say all that to say this. Don’t blame everything on the physicians. If the room wasn’t clean, it is not the doctor’s fault. We do not run the show, we work within a toxic system. And we do the best we can, but we can’t do everything. I am not a rarity, there are several of us fighting for you. But the government system is a giant sloth. It moves slowly. Everything is a process. You vets know this, you were in the military. The one aspect I probably appreciate the most about the VA is that even homeless vets have access to care. Some of the most diligent patients were the homeless vets who managed to show up for their appointments and pick up their medications. No one in the civilian sector can say that. The homeless get seen, and they also get billed with no expectation that the bill will be paid. The homeless vets, they paid their bill. A long time ago.

    We are fighting for you…because you fought for us. Don’t give up on us. Not yet.

    • Taz – you said, “They (Vets) were naturally guarded and mistrustful…” I think that should be distrustful Miss Trustful is another porn star about to rat out Mr. Trump…..

      And it’s one, two, three, what are we fighting for…

      • “Miss Misery”- Nazareth

        “[Since you came into my life
        It’s the same old situation
        Empty days and lonely nights
        Filled with bitterness and frustration

        Walking lonely in the cold
        Trying to find the answer
        Spend my money on a crystal ball
        And the charms of a gypsy dancer
        Trying to break the spell you hold on me

        Chorus:
        You’re miss misery
        That song you lay on me
        Set me free, set me free
        Please, please, please

        Every day is filled with shame
        My nights are filled with anger
        Hollow lies, forced denial
        If you told the truth I can’t remember

        You know, I’ve got to find my way
        Got to find a reason
        Got to find your weakness
        So I can end your witchin’ season
        Got to break this spell you hold on me]”

    • Taz, unless I missed it, I don’t see where someone said it was the Docs fault for not cleaning up the room. I don’t know who would expect that.

      I do think it would not be unreasonable for a check-in nurse, or even the Doc who gave the injections to notice the room was not clean, and they should move the vet. That they didn’t tells me the practice of providing care in filthy conditions was routine.

      As for not every VA provider being the same, I agree. I have had very good care from an ENT doc in the late 1990’s. The problem is the bad ones seem to outnumber the good ones, and the vets often get the short end of the stick when calling attention to the bad provider. If action would be taken to correct problems promptly, we wouldn’t be seeing pictures of filthy treatment rooms, and BS excuses being made from VA management. The other problem is providers such as yourself not having the authority to immediately take action against a nurse or orderly that is screwed up. Even when problems are brought to the attention of the provider, there is no action taken, which reflects badly on the provider.

      The only acceptable alternative I see to shutting down VA hospitals is to have a non-government 3rd party assess whether facilities should stay open, with results made public within 30 days. Any VA scoring a 3 star should have their management replaced and removed from managing any facility. Any VA scoring below a 3 should be shut down within 2 years if new management cannot raise their score above a 3 within 1 year.

      This multi-year scoring of below a 3 tells me that facility management is not even trying.

      • To put it bluntly, the perception of physicians today is not positive. Doesn’t change the fact that people overall still prefer to see physicians because they want good care. I absolutely agree that an independent, unbiased third party should be brought in to assess and overhaul the entire system. Should have been done a long time ago.

        I belong to a patient advocacy group made up of physicians from all specialties. Quite a few of us are veterans and active duty military. Some are currently deployed. We all see the same issues, whether it be in a military hospital or the VA. We are doing our best to make change, but we have to do it within the system matrix. If we try to be mavericks, we may find ourselves removed from the hospital or clinic and sent to the “field” where we can effect no change. It is frustrating. We were very upset when the VA decided to make nurse practitioners independent(unsupervised) in the VA because we know how much knowledge they are lacking. You do not know what you do not know. They do not have a medical education, they have a nursing education. They are not the same. Some of the sickest, most complex patients one can see are veterans. We hate the idea that they vets are guinea pigs. Yes, it increased access to care, but that doesn’t equate to the care measuring up to the standard. We believe that vets deserve better than adequate care and we are pushing that agenda. We will continue to do so.

        The main message I want you to understand is that there are physicians on your side. We agree that your care is not up to par and we are trying to do something about it. In the meantime, vets need to do what they do best. Be soldiers and keep fighting for better care. Together we will make that change. You all have very loud voices. Believe me, you are being heard.

    • Taz,

      Thank you. Thank you for caring and willing to share. I appreciate you and your fellow doctors for fighting for change and fighting for us, Veterans.

    • Taz: Your story is very touching and I too met Docs like you during my visits to the VA. But I am also educated in design and organizational psychology (with an emphasis on improving environments like the VA) and I can say professionally as well as a veteran that the system is hopelessly broken, and the reasons have to do with the origin of these systems and how embedded the resistance is. Like complex health problems themselves, the issues in the VA are over-determined–there are many factors and the really huge ones are cultural and not subject to change regardless of the number of people involved or the amount of money put toward improvements. A huge influence is the civil service protection system, which does not serve the honest employee in protecting their rights, but the dishonest employee who hides behind the administrative process–all the recent protestations to the contrary, it is next to impossible to remove people and having to do so shifts the game from improvement to administrative review. This probably happens hundreds of times a year in each VA installation…but most of the time the public will not hear about this–the problem people get moved around but not replaced, and they continue to exert a corrosive influence. Also, should you be injured and sue, you find out that (again) the govt has deep pockets to protect/hide malfeasance while the injured party has to find a way to pay–which means its likely that only the worse malpractice gets reported/litigated and the rest is swept under the rug. Vets wear out too–I remember when I was 30 something service connected and I couldn’t figure out why the older vets would go ballistic in the waiting rooms and hallways. Now I get it: after a few decades you have a history with them and you’re fed up…I have been in dirty exam rooms, had privacy protocols blown off, watched people take blood with the fingers cut off their gloves and touching each patient without cleaning those fingers, had a thyroid biopsy without the intention to swap my skin with alcohol beforehand, etc. etc. And while it’s very laudable to be a Doc who cares and wants to stick things out and improve them, or to “be there for the vets” there is a time and place to say this battle can’t be won and to focus our energy and resources on designing and building a system from the ground up that will actually work. For example, ten years of increased funding via medicaid for all vets with appropriate referrals and a similar amount of funding to community based organizations treating homelessness, etc. instead of paying the bureaucracy could hardly be worse than what we have now, and in that time frame we could focus on creating truly visionary integrative care via the inputs of experts who know how to do this sort of thing. Alternatively, we could give vets a Medicaid option and let them choose: those who stay can help ‘create’ the shining VA city on the horizon. Those who are skeptical like me can take our leave. The way in which resources are continually thrown at this completely dysfunctional system is a classic example of how people fear the devil they don’t know more than the one they do. I would happily never set foot in the VA again, and as for the ‘expertise’ factor, I’m sure that Docs who really groove on the complexity of veteran health problems will find other ways to retain us as patients.

      • Well said EcoD. I started using my local VA in Dec 2016 when I finally got the courage to deal with my PTSD and MDD (service connected) but they did the opposite to us (my spouse and I).

        A month after my inpatient discharge we enrolled into a VA program and knew something wasn’t quiet right but when this VA employee told my spouse something I only discussed with my psychologist we knew then something was wrong as this VA employee shouldn’t have known this and we verified with my psychologist she didn’t discuss it with this employee. I was a human resource office so I’m familiar with regulations and policies so I pulled all the governing documents and my medical records and discovered this VA program is breaking so many laws, these nonmedical VA employees are making medical determinations/decisions and performing clinical (medical) duties/responsibilities of a licensed medical doctor.

        We started at the employee, supervisor, VISN supervisor and Regional supervisor, patient advocate and privacy officer and we were opened to great resistance. The privacy officers are useless as they will take verbal information from these VA employees instead of investigating the program and cannot and will not answer me as to how or why these VA employees accessed my psychotherapy notes and medical record. The patient advocate was on our side and even spoke to my primary care provider about the false information being provided to her but yet refuses to act or even tell the director of this VA facility as we uncovered this VA program is affecting all veterans nationwide and discovered millions of taxpayer dollars monthly going down the drain and how they are diverting VA employees hired for other positions into this VA program. The corruption is at the central office down to every VA facility and we cannot get anyone to listen to us.

        So, we understand why the patient advocate will not come forward to some extent but she’s also a veteran and once a nurse herself. We’ve encouraged her for several months to be a whistleblower without listing her name if she feared retaliation but she has refused. We’ve spoken to our Congressman but was only able to verbally give him some of the issues affecting this program and even provided him a letter our VA facility director sent to him filled full of lies with supporting documents who immediately handed it to his office manager to send to his people in DC. He never looked at the documents or asked us for a follow on meeting. He did tell his office manager to schedule a telephonic meeting with several of his office staff in DC within 2 weeks, that was 7 weeks ago and we had to contact his office several times to find out why it hasn’t happened and if there had been changes. We finally get our telephonic conference scheduled for today, May 03. We’ll let you know what happens as we don’t expect this meeting to go very well. Also, we told him we have all the evidence/proof he needs but yet asked for none.

        Congress has been wanting to know what is wrong with this VA program and has had several congressional hearings to find out the issues. We attend a congressional hearing in Feb 2018 and were shocked at the lies or diverges of answering questions of the VA Secretary Shulkin and the women in charge of the VA program. We also realized the VA medical department is not involved at all and made sense to us why none of my three doctors/providers were aware of this VA program and their clinical responsibilities. Another scary discovery is none understood or knows how the VA is handling this VA program. How can someone who doesn’t know about a topic hold congressional hearings to ever find out what the issues are? How can a congressional hearing know if the VA is lying to them or not? (as the saying goes, if their mouth is moving they are lying.)

        We left this congressional hearing speechless and understood the gravity of how our system is broken and why VA has been getting away with everything they are doing.

        NO amount of money or laws are going to fix this system as there aren’t any enforcement and accountability in the current ones, and the VA is allowed to abuse and break numerous laws for personal gain and to cause further harm to Veterans and their families. It’s not just Veterans being harmed by this system and we need to start recognizing them too.

        I agree we should fit in with the social security system for medical or design a similar medical program designed for retirees with Tricare or other and allow the social security to handle the disabilities. Of course, any system has a transitional period before closing the doors for good. The VA will never be fixed and there are some excellent employees working for the VA but it cannot justify leaving this system in place who kill thousands of Veterans annually through suicide, failed surgeries, unsanitary rooms, failure to provided timely care, unlicensed doctors, etc. No, I’m not blaming all the suicides on the VA but at over 8,000 annually if that is the accurate number, the VA is liable for several thousand of those by not providing them treatment or inadequate treatment or causing them further harm.

        How many more Veterans have to die or show proof of the VA dysfunction for real change occurs like closing the doors on the VA medical facilities? It’s broken and cannot be fixed as these decades have proven it.

  19. Lying pig, I put on experience on Facebook and will look for photos of others. Same thing here, was getting a steroid injection in my wrist and he prepped everything on the counter, he turned around and there was no place to work. Without hesitation he slide a garbage can over with his foot and injected me on top the garbage can with nothing, didn’t wipe down or say a word. The patient advocate saw the picture, listen, apologized and went immediately up there to chew some but. I have too many stories and nothing will change because they don’t care.

  20. 91, others. Nothing will change Indiana nor it’s VA or politics/activism. I can’t and have not been able to trust many here if at all. If it comes to them making a choice between themselves, family, lunch on the table, job security, the communitarian or Marx agenda, following the uncaring herd, the choices will NOT be in our favor.

    Here, third parties, inspectors, claimed trusted ones, state or federal agents…. would not be able to be trusted over any thing, period. Been there, done that, bought the hat and T-shirts… paid the prices. I don’t care what it is, media, journalist, poly-ticks, med care, college town cliques, mafias, secret societies, unions, VA, state’s most known millionaires and billionaires, what ever the hell they are. When a state like Indiana is this corrupted, highly censored, and known for silencing their enemies or people like me… there will be no change. When ‘communities” like mine are so closed off and protected by any means necessary there will be NO change and any attempts of change or perceived negativity by their eyes will not stand a snowballs chance in hell for anything to be fixed or exposed. That all includes the country clubbers, race and ball game fans, down town and college cliques, Chambers of Commerce and on it goes. Corruption with benefits pays better than doing good and caring for others equally or when sick treated like we should or with the slightest bit of decent bed-side manner that never comes.

    It will take a lot of squawking to be done until the VSOs and the public get their heads out of their asses and start to care, or fill the streets like the illegals and commies do. Until then we are and will remain the enemy and on those lists that even the Trumpster and his admin seems to promote like the scum before him.

    • T, your state isn’t the only one either. Tennessee is awful too. Several of our VAMCs have a 1 rating. Nothing has been done. I’ve tried recently to expose the crime and corruption in a VA program affecting all Veterans nationwide and I cannot get anyone to listen or do anything about it.

      It’s very sad what our society has become. I feel your pain and disappointment as we (my spouse and I) have went through it and still in it.

      • Brownmoose, very sorry to hear that, saddening.

        WRH. Rivero with guest Alfonso starting around 1:35 for the third hour and his family dealing, dealt with, the government, the DoD, FBI, the courts.
        “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib_KWiJdSu4”

        Some good points are brought up and made in the above video.
        1. The average people simply cannot afford the legal system or for legal help. If one can even find a lawyer to stand up to the local corrupt community and state, or beyond. Big money in medical bankruptcies for that profession alone. Then the other killer high medical costs the sheep just seem to accept while grazing in Hollywood.

        2. A good word was used. “Weaponized” or weaponization of or by the systems that be including the VA, AMA and many others. I think someone out here already labeled the VA as such against us and black listing some of us for the smallest excuses. Plus having a state-wide network to ensure the corrupt and bullies are protected as the attacks continue on against us.

        3. Why the FBI isn’t going out doing their jobs and arresting corrupt criminals or those in the ‘system.’

        4. He mentions recordings in court and we the people not being able to have the rights to gather info or to record proceedings forced on us by authorities. They can record or transcribe we can’t. We’ve lost the rights to catch the real criminals and law breakers.

        5. Two major life ruining systems we deal with today and has been. The most controlling, far over priced and corrupted. The medical systems and legal systems. A third is in my mind always too… the lying media.

        Can’t wait to see what my protesting does against the local hospital creating the same problems the VA staff/union/activist did and at the same time for months. It won’t make the news but I am curious to see how the hospital’s admin responds to it or how fast I get swatted, labeled or mobbed over it all. Fun times we live in. Cough cough. Oops bringing to mind the fourth major issue we have in America too…. rogue and criminal cops that can get by with anything they do and openly claim it.

  21. Sadly this is not an isolated incident. My husband diagnosis’s lung ca.
    After a lung bx and a resulting pneumothorax he was placed in a filthy room Your feet stuck to the floor the table was covered in dried sticky soda old food trays were. On the counter the bathroom was filthy they never changed the sheets in a week never offered a bath if I had not been
    There to disinfect and change sheets it would never have been done.
    The trash was never emptied it was just disgusting especially when the housecleaning staff could be found watching tv in the visitor lounge.
    Hines. guess it dosen’t matter what va hospital they are all the same. Camcox01

  22. Dirty waiting, recovery, and examination rooms are TOTALLY unacceptable. So are cockroaches in the kitchen, getting into the foods, and trailing their body fluids that are filled with more resistant, and more opportunistic pathogens that are living and thriving on the insects exoskeleton. These types of organisms are running rampant in medical facilities today, and there are many other organisms becoming dominant in insects such as ticks, misquotes, flies, knats, etc..

    Have a nice Spring.

  23. Lmao “After all, according to Gribbin, the room was “unsightly” rather than unsanitary,”

    Of course it is unsanitary, it is an examination room or hospital room. As a nurse of 30 years it was not sterile, not even The least it should have been swiped with Germawipes.

    We have no idea how many people or infections and dsease they have had in that room in and out. Cdiff can last six months. MRSA could be in the air.

    Gibbons @GibbonnsisanidiotsaysSavage

  24. They’ll probably try to prosecute him for taking a picture of it. That’s the strategy — punish the whistleblowers. It’s a tried and true practice in the federal government.

    I think we need to demand legislation which expressly permits us to photograph and otherwise record these kinds of situations. They are NOT rarities. They are business as usual. I truly believe we would be better off if we shuttered the VA medical system and made Vets eligible for Medicaid.

    • EcoD,

      I don’t believe it would help to have pictures or recordings because eventually it wouldn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter much now. Yeah, you might get a few days of outcry but in a couple of days which VA knows, it will calm down and back to business as usual because there are no accountability or enforcement.

      Close the doors!

Comments are closed.