Acting VA secretary Robert Wilkie responded to a Fox & Friends interview of Chris Wilson about his viral story of the unsanitary exam room at the VA in Salt Lake City.

Wilkie described the deplorable conditions of Wilson’s exam room as “unacceptable” when issuing a press release about the viral tweet in question. Last month, Wilson’s father took photos of the filthy exam room he was placed in while waiting for care and posted them on Twitter and spread the story to thousands of viewers.

Statement From Robert Wilkie

Chris Wilson’s interview this morning on Fox and Friends had a very important message.

The condition of the room Chris was treated in at the VA in Salt Lake City was simply unacceptable, and our team there and across all of VA is doubling down to ensure that exam rooms and other treatment areas meet VA’s strong standards.

Chris also told viewers that his routine six-month follow-up appointment could not be scheduled until February of next year. That’s also unacceptable, and I am directing facility leaders to work with Chris to provide a timely six-month visit as needed.

Chris’s comments in support of health care choices outside of VA serve as an important reminder how critical community care is for our nation’s Veterans, particularly in rural areas common in states like Utah and Montana.

Chris is absolutely right, and as I mentioned last week, with funding for VA’s Choice program set to run out soon, America’s Veterans need Congress to come together now to support this crucial program and pass legislation before Memorial Day that will make it permanent.

Veterans like Chris Wilson deserve no less.

Source: https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=4047

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32 Comments

  1. 05/01/2018

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    All of us are at the start of the Fifth (5) year of this “National Disaster” since May of 2014.
    We recently removed the VA Secretary Shulkin for an Acting VA Secretary [Robert Wilkie] and Congress has refused President’s Dr. Ronny Jackson as a replacement for Secretary Shulkin.

    There are major decisions to be made by the Acting VA Secretary:
    How to Make the VA function better
    How to dial down the Opioid Crisis
    How to get construction of hospitals back on time and under budget
    How to reduce the legal expenses
    How to reduce the negligent deaths
    How to rid the organization of Bad Doctors and Nurses
    How to reduce the number of complaints [100 complaints per month] reaching the task force
    How to minimize the number of cases started by the task force [14.8 per month]
    Find new suppliers/vendors
    Find new equipment to replace the old
    Find out what is going on with the IT Networks and the recent Contract
    Reduce the Retaliation in the System but keep Management firm
    How to reduce Veterans Suicides
    How to improve care to the PTSD and TBI patients
    How to keep Veterans from becoming Homeless and Jobless
    How to keep Triwest and others from double billing
    How to keep the Veterans in good Colleges
    The list goes on for pages

    And nearly the first thing that makes a National Headline for the Acting VA Secretary is a complaint about a dirty examination room. Should that not be reported to the Maintenance Personnel in Utah/Supervisor then to the Director of that Utah VA Hospital—before reaching all the way to Acting VA Secretary? I expect some heads to roll.

    That’s like me telling President Trump about the gunfire two doors down two weeks ago [7 hour investigation] or the bloody [cut by broking a window] Mexican girl screaming across my street today [girl was taken to the hospital]—Rep. Pastor never talked about the bad side of Phoenix—it is hard not too, when it is at your door step.

    Nobody is looking in to the “murders’/”homicides called out by national Journalists [one who is a Judge] and the accountability of the VA executives are like the Bankers during the 2008 Crises/2013 Puerto Rico Crisis—In Iceland they locked up the American and International Bankers after the damage they unleashed on their country.

    During War things do not look pretty, We [Americans] are pretending that Congress has it all together, They are far far far away from having it together —just look at Puerto Rico.

    The VA should apologize to Chris Wilson, but the world around the VA is still spinning the VA out of control.

    Broad measures must be taken fast.

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

    • You mention IT Don….

      Politico a couple days ago had an article trying to smear Trump for a friend of a friend of his holding up the VAs $16 billion dollar IT deal with Cerner.

      They paint it as a couple of cronies being involved in the deal, while at the same time accurately reporting on how bad the software is, and it being “problem-ridden” when implemented at military facilities.

      The story mentions Shulkin a few times, as if Shulkin is pissed off because his sweetheart no-bid contract might be in jeopardy.

      The article does say there might be an IG investigation into the sole source contract.

      If you read the story, you get the sense a number of swamp rats are starting to squeal.

  2. After I first saw the pictures of the exam room at Salt Lake VAMC when Elf first posted the article. All I could think was how could any medical facility find this to be acceptable in any way shape or form. There has to be a major breakdown in management of the facility where this is considered acceptable.

    After taking a closer look at Salt Lake VAMC. I now wonder how Senator Isakson the Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee whose Parkinson’s has clearly progressed to stage 4 with the stiffness, tremors, and the Postural deformities caused by his Parkinson going back at least to 2014. Now with each time he is on camera he is increasingly demonstrating serious memory lapses and apparent confusion caused by the dementia in the late stages of his disease.

    After seeing the pictures for himself will he actually even consider accepting the research as valid that has been done and is continuing at Salt Lake on testing the safety and tolerances of new methods of delivery and dosages of drugs like Rivastigmine used to treat dementia in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease?

    Of course, as usual the VA is falsely claiming it is testing the safety and tolerances of new methods of delivery and dosages of Rivastigmine in PTSD patients. But we all know the truth about that. It is only to get the new methods of delivery and higher dosages approved by FDA by using Veterans as guinea pigs.

    A link to their RIVET research study at Salt Lake A third world class hospital.
    “https://www.saltlakecity.va.gov/brain_injury_study.asp”

    • You’ve mentioned that Cerner deal before Seymore. You might want to check out that Politico article if you haven’t already.

      Interesting stuff on this research.

    • To Seymore Klearly

      When Heinz (old Boss) and I were dealing with Rep. Anderson [Late stages of Alzheimer disease 1988] in Long Beach, Rep Rohrabacher [1990 fake reporters] and Rep. Lungren [Col. Gravel—died on the operating table of St. Mary’s] I can say they will prop him up until rigamortis sets in—-Anderson got a Federal Building named after him [I wonder where Schlesinger ended up—his Aide] in the Sabotage of Slidematic [1998 Cox Report].

      As for Research and Development R&D the organization must have it all together to get their plan complete; America knows this is not happening at the VA,

      Change is happening.

      Sincerely,

      Don Karg

    • Thanks to agent orange I have Parkinson’s. The VA wants to send Me from Louisville to a VA hospital in Virginia to get 2 holes bored into My skull so that electrodes can be implanted that will have a sending unit in My chest to stimulate parts of My brain , this is even though My meds are at a minimum level and They seem to be doing a good job. I told Them no fucking way would I trust the VA to open My skull and fuck with My brain. I would sooner trust a Hispanic Shaman with a knife and a rusty spoon.

  3. “[…our team there and across all of VA is doubling down to ensure that exam rooms and other treatment areas meet VA’s strong standards…]”

    Satan here: We in Hell have extremely high standards in our lowest latitude residential blast furnaces, and some might call them strong, but what the VA is doing to you Vets is just plain wrong.

    Satan here again: We in Hell are pleased to know that our boy Wilkie made sure to throw a final plug in there about CHOICE becoming permanent, because like Hell, your CHOICE Program is indeed Hell on Earth and all the AFGE Minions here in Hell say…ALL FOR THE VETS….(what dirty exam room again, it’s hot as hell here?)

  4. Not to worry. This is just yet another story about the VA, Congress’ inaction, DC not giving a real damn issue that will go down the memory hole, flushed.

    At least I can report I never been in a room locally at the VA hospital or clinic that looked like that. If I did I’d walk out immediately. Bloody, soiled bandages to diapers I’ve ever had to step over at the VA I figured came from uncaring or pissed off veterans. However…. I’ve seen much worse than this in local civilian hospitals or nursing homes. One friend I got fed up waiting on staff to “clean up” I just barged in to see one disgusting mess of him laying in his own fluids and excrement and crusty old too. Matched with stacks of soiled linens on the floor I had to walk through to get near to him and start giving him water and to clean him up. I guess that is how those with a DNR is treated, shoved in a private room to die alone and lay in their messes and leaking IV areas, etc. This is just one of several. But we are the enemy for speaking out on this stuff and hated by other healthy, fun loving veterans who are claiming to do so much for all others. BS. Oh and the blond trophy wives and nurses were sitting on their butts, doing their nails and filling out greeting cards, eating snacks. But we are the enemy.

    Trump and those VSOs along with many others need to cease this PC crap and chronic censoring. Stories need to be told without fear of any medical or political back-lash, threats, loss of care, or other forms of retaliation. That is high priority especially since media refuses to cover vet suicides or about local corruption or total lacks of professional ethics and gross misconduct as heads are turned.

    Also. There is no changing the attitudes of union workers or staff who have zero concerns about patient care or safety. We can see this uncaring or hateful attitudes from the grounds workers on up to administration. There is no fixing mental illness (sociopaths etc), no fixing stupid, no fixing the activism or their agendas, no fixing hiring practices or rules, no forcing those who have no ability to recognize the pain and suffering of others. No training the uncaring or incompetent in quality bed-side manners or compassion. Some things can not be merely faked or faked for long or while not being supervised. Like we see out of DC and Congress.

    • T, you are right; Every Vet knows that there is no cure for the “I just don’t give a shit” and angry attitude in the VA. They don’t care because Fat Pill union rep tells them they don’t have to care. The attitude cannot be cured. only Choice, (Properly funded and quality controlled will work)….Working at the VA is a joke, it is a closed fraternity of I don’t give a shititis.

  5. Great job, Chris Wilson! So sorry that acting VA Suck made sure his final comments were about getting Congress Critters to fund CHOICE permanently…ALL FOR THE VETS….r-r-r-r-ight!

    Satan here yet one more time: Acting VA Suck saying that at the end about CHOICE funding…not accountability…was like me tossing an extra coal shovel of hot embers onto the flames down here…and what dirty facility, what director getting fired…?
    Nope, all about that gravy continuing to flow upon the poop deck of V.A. Titanic. We in Hell are proud of our AFGE Minions still on earth…hang-in there, we’ll be right with you…

  6. CLOSE THEM ALL! THEY CAN’T BE FIXED. YOU’RE ONLY FOOLING YOURSELF IF YOU BELIEVE THAT!!!

  7. When are we, as a nation, going to finally reach the conclusion that the VA cannot provide high quality health care for all of our Veterans? They fail on so many levels that the time to privatize the medical care of Veterans came long ago. Government bureaucrats cannot serve two masters. They are only interested in salary and keeping their jobs. Veterans care is secondary or even farther down the list of priorities. How many more Veterans have to experience this indignity before our country wakes up and solves the problem.

  8. Isn’t it interesting to see how fast people react when someone is in charge where they think they can get fired? Even over Twitter if needed?
    I applaud Wilkie for writing his own press release and taking ownership of this problem rather than letting that smarmy Cashour provide some flippant comment.

    I think Wilkie should be working with his VISN directors to have a look at ALL primary care appointments, not just those in SLC affecting a vet named Wilson. He would find colossal waste and laziness in every VA in the country where schedules are manipulated so primary care providers are not overworked. Having a 6 month checkup scheduled next February is bullshit, and an example of schedulers not trying very hard to insure all of their appointment slots are filled.
    After a recent activity at my own VA, I was told they have well over 200 unused appointments every month, because their schedule is designed for 2 appointments per day per primary care team to remain unscheduled for walk-ins. The scam is they never advertise the fact that the appointments are open and for walk-ins, so they go unused. They then bitch about vets going to the ER instead.

    Wilson waited 45 minutes past his appointment time. I bet that is not unusual. Wilkie needs to look at all appointments held on a given day, and how many appointments were available. He would find it very eye opening.

    Or he could watch Twitter.

  9. Thats not bad some EMS forgot to trash out a room and someone made a cast and didn’t clean up when was it made if it was setting there for days yes bad but let’s talk about the Phx va and all the kinds of mold and OSHA violation and animals we have places that haven’t been cleaned in years have more Mgr,supervisor and work leaders then workers pics on Twitter

  10. I’m glad this vet got most of his problems taken care of. What I’d like to know is where is the person or persons with the attitude adjustment wrench to take care of all the shit attitudes from VA employees towards veterans?

    • I know what ya mean WyldeChylde,

      They be ‘BITCHY, RUDE, and DISRESPECTFUL’ don’t they? They are very ‘INCOMPETENT’ too!

      When I told the folks at my VA those 3 things (B,R&D) and the fact that I refuse to tolerate any more of it…it seemed to calm it down a little bit. Try it, it may help.

      I told them that I thought they were a bunch of stupid idiots but when I found out that they were doing it on purpose, I told them that I would have never thought about ‘CORRUPTION’! They be evil.

      Make me president and it all would be fixed within a week.

  11. Y’all have just stated the one most important thing that needs done at VA!
    SHUT IT THE FUCK DOWN!

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

      Bingo Ce, since they will NEVER GET RID OF THE AFGE, there will NEVER BE A POSITIVE CHANGE AT ANY V.A.
      Talk all you want about change, it will never happen, ever. If they are not willing to rid the VA of the AFGE/SES/SEIU, then they are not willing to stand by Veterans. Your either with Veterans, or your with the unions, you can’t have it both ways.

      Rid the VA of unions like those mentioned above, we all know trade unions are needed, not these other unions.

      Make the VA follow the damn law, if not? then hold them accountable.

      Allow Veterans to sue Dr.’s just like in the private sector.

      Stop the endless wait times at the VBA.

      For those C+P examiners who unjustly denied a Veterans claim, when the Veterans wins his claim, the examiner should be fined the amount the Veteran was not paid, waiting on the VBA to make it’s decision.

      Send a team of tommyknockers into the National Records Archive in St Louis, to kick some proper arse, Veterans records being found in the woods behind the Archive, workers taking Veterans records home and destroying them, workers putting one Veterans records in the records of another Veteran, effectively losing them, in the millions of records, never to be seen again. Give the tommyknockers permission to wipe the smirk, offf of any asshole who thinks it’s proper to hang up on a Veteran who asks a simple question like “where is the rest of my records?”.

      Amazing how you can put cold, hard, evidence, of MURDER, CORRUPTION, AND NEGLEGENCE, complete with names and dates, in the hands of the members of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, and not a damn thing is ever done about it, but wholly shit boy wonder, take a picture of a dirty room, and all hell breaks loose???????????????????????

      PURE…… UNADULTERATED……. INSANITY………….AT ITS FUCKING FINEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      FUCK ALL OF YOU ON THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS AFFAIRS:
      …………./´¯/)………….(\¯`\
      …………/….//…………..\\….\
      ………../….//…………….\\….\
      …../´¯/…./´¯\…………./¯`\….\¯`\..
      .././…/…./…./.|_……_|.\….\….\…\.\..
      (.(….(….(…./.)..)….(..(.\….)….)…..).)
      .\…………….\/…/….\…\/……………./
      ..\…………….. /……..\………………/
      ….\…………..(…………)…………../
      ……\………….\………../…………./
      Isn’t it currious, how many of you ASSWIPES in DC, die of brain tumors? Good riddence……..and happy tumoring…….

      • Hey cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿ ,

        The infamous bill (shithead) clinton made it impossible to sue any doctors in the u.s. because of the study that was done in 1999 (illegally I might add) to the name of “TO ERR IS HUMAN”. Please look it up. It is a very disgusting piece of legislation for both civilians and us. He thinks they are allowed to be let off the hook because “humans make mistakes” so we must forgive them. I say BULL FUCKING SHIT!!!!!

        Him and his SHITHEADED wife are VERY DEEPLY invested into the medical and pharmaceutical industries. If she would have gotten elected we would completely lose all free healthcare. More like a whore…if you know what I mean…both of them.

        I’m with you on the disgust that I feel towards these FUCKING SHITHEADS that can’t make it as a ditch-digger let alone a medical anything.

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

        M disabled veteran: Interesting reading. Thank you, for posting, very confusing indeed.

  12. The vets are practice dummies used to train medical people for lucrative medical careers.
    The so called free medical care benefit is a sham. Staff is so fake when they “shine me on” to get treatment. It’s like their pay check is not enough, they need to “power stroke” veterans to keep the clinic doors open for young healthy vets but slam it shut for the older sick ones like myself.

  13. C’mon boys! Where’s that esprit de corps? Polish up that old brass and put a spit shine on those old shoes. Some of you will get invited to a campaign rally soon enough. Celebrate!! It’s the mid-terms. Veterans will line up everywhere and cheer for promises, maybe wave some flags and extol the virtues of the next guy who will hate the “other side”. God Bless The USA. America loves to love its hero warriors. And we mustn’t forget our bibs so we can lap up every drop of politi-spooge that trickles down our way.

  14. Chris the other thing that must happen is that if a vet has served in a theater of operations where toxic chemicals were used ever then that vet should be seen more than once a year and should be screened routinely for Toxic Chemical exposure. Had the VA done that I believe my husband would be alive today. The other thing that must happen is that DOD must be mandated to declassify all records 50 years or older so that the doctors at the VA can see what these vets were exposed to. It is no fair to the doctors for DOD to keep these records hidden and expect the doctors to know what these men and women were exposed to.

  15. Questions here.
    A year or so ago you all were discussing which persons in the VA medical facilities were AFGE covered. It seems there were some GS grades that aren’t union members. I am wondering if it is pay grade or position that dictates membership and is it mandatory. Also, I am wondering about those Dr./NP/PA practitioners contracted or not, and/or that have outside practices or positions; would they be AFGE; could someone be active members of two unions? I know it’s several questions but, it might explain a few things.

  16. Barbara,
    So very true. Unless theses Vietnam vets have strong advocate in their corner to fight the layers of treatment walls the VA throws up when dispatching care to these men and women they are left to contract these diseases and left to fester until end of life to is all that is left. So you are left to be a total raving b——. Threatening to go to the local news etc to get care, or finally find the one doc in the VA that cares, and They are very few. Then once diagnosed,and you file an agent orange claim where you meet all presumptive criteria the VRO denies the claim outright,citing
    no longer in effect. Then claim the veteran ( mobile Riverine attack force was not in country.
    Kicking you into the endless nightmare of the appeal process. I guess they hope the veteran dies before they have to pony up for bathing these vets in poison everyday.

    Am I mad you bet I am. All veterans deserve the best care our country has to offer, and you should not have to call 20 million patient advocates and,or every other veteran organization to get it.
    Advice to all who have to engage with the VA do your research on both your healthcare choices and the rulings of Agent Orange Act. Never accept the VA’s first, second or third response don’t give up that is what they want.
    Chris

  17. I’m pretty sure why they let the Choice program run out and then agree to fund it later after it has been shutdown because of funding. At least in my experience, they make you get a whole new consult for whatever you are already going to Choice for. Then it’s “Well we can squeeze you in here or squeeze you in there for an appt.” So basically you have to start all over again, if they don’t deny it cause they can get you in all of a sudden in 30 days, three months into using Choice that I had 52 visits for a year, I had to do it all over again. So I go in for their appt. and go to make the next appt. and then they can’t get you in for over thirty days, so have to start the whole healthnet thing over again. But then they decided I only needed to go once a month instead of 52 visits over a year, when it was funded again. Healthnet is swamped with calls all over again, it’s hard to get anyone to send in a new consult in any timely manner and they do everything they can to get you back into the VA. The whole process is so frustrating, that you almost want to give up and say hell with it (Which I think is what they want)….

  18. Another additional failure of Management at a VAMC. Management failing to deal with a Fly infestations for years at the West LA VAMC surgical suits.

    ______________

    Goldstein Investigation: Flies In Operating Rooms Force VA Hospital To Postpone More Than 80 Surgeri

    CBS News May 1, 2018

    “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwHjhuCQ5HM”

    “LOS ANGELES — In the halls of the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center, what may look like decorative lights are really flytraps known as flylights. CBS Los Angeles reports that more than 200 traps had to be installed because of an outbreak of flies that’s gone on for years.

    Behind some of the lights, CBS Los Angeles’ hidden camera found what appeared to be insects caught on glueboards.

    One picture shows the traps are even inside the operating rooms. And for good reason.

    “The flies have flown into the operating room at times, requiring cancellation of surgeries,” said Dr. Christian Head, associate director and chief of staff for quality assurance at the West LA facility.”

    “I don’t believe there’s any hospital in this country that would find it acceptable to have flies on a routine basis,” said Head, who is also a head and neck surgeon at the hospital.

    CBS Los Angeles obtained emails and memos showing the infestation goes back as far as November 2016.

    One titled “Phorid Flies in the Operating Rooms” said, “When spot treatments became ineffective, the ORs closed for terminal extermination and cleaning.”

    CBS Los Angeles learned the operating rooms at the facility were closed a total of 22 days from November 2016 through February of this year because of fly infestations that could jeopardize surgeries.

    “They’re predators, parasites, scavengers,” said Brian Brown, curator of entomology at the Natural History Museum in downtown LA, where over a million types of dead insects are studied.

    The phorid flies are so tiny they’re kept on pins.

    Under a microscope, one can see how they can carry bacteria and endanger the sterile environment of an operating room.

    “They’re attracted to open wounds for the fluids that they need to sustain themselves and also to keep from drying out,” Brown said.

    “They can transmit the bacteria?” CBS Los Angeles investigative reporter David Goldstein asked.

    “Correct,” Brown said. “They could also lay eggs on the open wounds.”

    Also written report at: “https://www.cbsnews.com/news/flies-in-operating-rooms-cause-los-angeles-va-hospital-to-postpone-dozens-of-surgeries/”

  19. Obama White House Holdover Smeared Trump Veteran Affairs Pick: Report

    By Petr Svab
    May 1, 2018

    “The person who initiated a slew of allegations against Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson was a holdover from the previous administration, according to report by investigative reporter Sara Carter.

    Jackson, the physician for the past three presidents, was nominated by President Donald Trump to head the Veteran Affairs Department.

    But then Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) circulated a list of anonymous allegations against Jackson, including claims that Jackson created a hostile work environment and in some instances behaved unprofessionally. Tester said the allegations came from Jackson’s current and former colleagues.

    Jackson called the allegations “completely false and fabricated,” but still withdrew, saying the situation has become a distraction for Trump.

    The main allegations came from Dr. Jennifer Peña, according to four administration officials’ account to Carter.

    Peña has been with the White House Medical Unit since 2014 and was last year assigned by the unit as a physician to Vice President Mike Pence.

    “Pena has had a long-standing feud with doctor Jackson…she’s very jealous that he’s been consistently promoted. This isn’t about being a whistleblower—there are other procedures for that. She went up to the hill and she spoke with approximately twenty-five Democrats…she’s a holdover in the White House and didn’t want Jackson to be nominated,” one of the officials said.

    None of the allegations against Jackson have been substantiated. On the contrary, some of the allegations have been checked and denied by the Secret Service and the White House. Many who have known and worked with Jackson have since spoken out in his defense denying having seen any of the alleged behavior.”

    __

    “She went up to the hill and she spoke with approximately twenty-five Democrats…she’s a holdover in the White House and didn’t want Jackson to be nominated,”

    Full Article At: “https://www.theepochtimes.com/obama-white-house-holdover-smeared-trump-veteran-affairs-pick-report_2510699.html”

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