The Atlanta VA Medical Center just shuffled around a large portion of its leadership team after the facility was downgraded to among the worst VA centers in the nation.

With one leader retiring and other being temporarily moved, the agency is investigating why the facility dipped to 1 star out of 5 in a recently released rating. Most of the staff was temporarily reassigned except the facility’s director.

Presently, Chief of Staff David Bower opted to retire. The deputy chief of staff and related chiefs of emergency and primary care were all moved to other positions while the facility is investigated.

“To be clear, this is not an indication of misconduct on the part of any Atlanta VAMC employee,” said Director Leslie Wiggins, director of Veterans Integrated Service Network 7, which oversees the Atlanta VA, in a written statement. “Rather, we are making these changes out of an abundance of caution so that veterans can have the utmost confidence in the facility’s commitment to quality of care.”

A spokesperson for the facility also reiterated the staff changes are typical.

“We want to find out what’s going on so we can begin rectifying any challenges we’re having,” Fluker said. Many of these staffers may return to their former positions once the investigation is completed.

Two significant errors raised eyebrows of investigators in the recent past. Just last month, IG reported the facility’s Women Veterans Health Program failed to complete mammograms of 42 patients in the past three years. Inspectors also located 1 ton of hazardous waste packed into a room in violation of state environmental laws.

The facility also boasts the worse staffing shortages in the country, which likely explains the above two issues.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. One reason i don’t want to use the VA for medical or surgical reasons, because of the ways the hospital staff neglected to sanitize hospital equipment, surgical instruments, can’t take a chance, you must do your due diligence to investigate your Regional VA for problems or reports about the way it operates

  2. Can they look at the Atlanta VBA? Leadership is garbage there too….

    Waste of taxpayers’ dollars by inefficient and intentional delay of processing benefits, claims, etc.

    Want a good example?

    New hires sitting in a training room for months with nothing to do. Oh wait!!! I reported that to my congressman, representatives, VA Committee and nothing (except for me getting fired).

    • They fired you??? For what? Bunch of a-holes…I would sue them for my job back then I would try to find another federal job. The VBA sucks and they had better thank their lucky stars I am not the VA Director because I would damn sure get the VBA side fixed. It ain’t rocket surgery!!! Why don’t you write up an expose’ and see if you can get it published? Write to the President and tell him how you were wrongfully terminated. Don’t let these bass turds win…

  3. I don’t use VAMC’s because it’s so easy for veteran’s deaths to be ignored. They can get away with murder there because nobody cares about just another dead veteran… .

  4. After hearing from my PCP saying I just have to go to PT after my MRI, the Dr.s won’t do anything. After going to PT for over six months and the PT tech saying I was “fixed” and have to pull on the rubber bands for the rest of my life to get rid of the pain, just a little tendonitis. I pleaded to see an actual Dr., I finally got to see an Ortho surgeon (An assistant professor of Orthopaedic surgery at an outside hospital that puts some time in at the VA) who told me having surgery sooner than later is the best option as I had a torn Bicep tendon, torn rotator cuff, and a bone deformity causing tendonitis and inflammation near the damaged tendon(s) that could lead to larger issues if not fixed surgically soon. So I think most Vets that have been going to the VA for any amount of time know when they are just being put through the motions by the staff, even when you know there is a bigger problem. When I had the first MRI about a year ago, a resident said he couldn’t see anything to justify doing any surgery. I was lucky to get a down to earth Dr. that did another MRI, laid down the facts in layman’s terms to me, and would try to get me in sooner rather than later. To say the least, I was pretty much totally surprised it went how it did, (And should)…

  5. OH! This one!!!! Ok so Leslie Wiggins is the main reason the ATL VA is as bad as it is. She hid everything she didn’t take care of behind smoke and mirrors. She talked a bunch of BS and then single handedly destroyed veteran families. She kicked out so many caregivers it isn’t even funny. She signed off on our dismissal, our regional appeal, and then held on to our VISN Level appeal 10 months until she was promoted and our senator inquired before denying it herself. Never once was my husband assessed. They never even checked on him for almost a year and a half and then dropped us from tier 3 to 1 with no warning or reason. Her written statement is the same garbage she fed us a year into her being the director of the Atlanta VA when we met with her at the WWP summit in Gulf Shores, Alabama with several other VA officials. It’s all hogwash to make her seem like she cares and is doing anything to help Veterans. I can’t find a single one who says she did anything to help them, much less, actually out doing things as she claimed to be. She is/was the problem and just like so many other VA’s, she was promoted instead of being fired! She is the same director who put up billion dollar fences around the parking garages instead of helping the veterans that were threatening to jump. There was no focus on the mental health department!!! I’m just glad it is finally coming out just how horrible the Atlanta VA is.

  6. A drastic downgrade to 1-Star and upper management is recycled to another duty area? Where’s the accountability? Disgusting that veterans endure such treatment.

  7. And I thought it was just me!!! Of course their care sucks. I am not using it anymore since I don’t have to. Too bad they don’t do the same thing on the benefits side and not just the medical. The benefit side sucks big time. Good thing I am moving to Florida at the end of the month so I don’t have to put up with their crap anymore. I don’t have to use the VA for anything when I move down there and I will check out the new hospital down there to see how things are and maybe let them get me prescriptions….lol Then again, since I won’t have co-pays anymore, I don’t have to get them at the VA either…Can’t wait until they realize that all the morons that need to be reassigned and fired are finally identified…but hey, who am I trying to kid??? 🙁

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