Tomah VAMC Hungry Hippos Training Video

LEAKED – VA Staff Playing Human ‘Hungry Hungry Hippos’ Game

Tomah VAMC Hungry Hippos Training Video

Benjamin KrauseAn insider from Tomah VA leaked a video of other Tomah VA staff playing a human version of the game “Hungry Hungry Hippos” while at work during a Halloween carnival on the American taxpayer dime. Like the Hasbro game, winners collected the most balls while chomping at the bit.

I had my way with the video last night and edited it to provide some additional context to viewers who may be unfamiliar with the longstanding problems VA has faced for some time.

The carnival at Tomah VA was organized by the facilities Ethics Officer Leah Finch. The invitation shows it lasted for most of the day. The carnival games lasted from 9:00 AM-12:30 PM. Group games ran from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM. Costume judging was to take place around 2:00 PM in the main dining room.

Tomah VAMC CREW Halloween Bash

Finch has run Tomah VA’s ethics programs during its most troubling periods of unlawful retaliation and illegal opioid distribution to veterans. She started working in the ethics program since 2007. Many patients were injured or killed during the fiasco that followed through 2015.

@afgenational @deptvetaffairs - Priceless video of VA union employees playing games on the clock - #VAisLying Click to Tweet

Numerous insiders have been rubbed the wrong way by other Tomah VA staff and their persistence in denying the problems at the facility now known as “Candy Land.” It earned the name among veterans and Tomah, WI, locals because of the free-wheeling prescriptive practices of former chief of staff Dr. David Houlihan. Dr. Houlihan was formally terminated on October 30, 2015, after a full investigation was conducted into his behavior while running the health care facility.

The above video was edited for entertainment purposes only and to highlight the absurdity of employees at the facility. The below video is the uncut version passed on to me from a VA insider.

This is not the first video to leak from Tomah VA where its staff appear to behave in a bizarre manner. Earlier this month, another staff member leaked a video pushing flu vaccines on employees. The Tomah VAMC goal was to increase staff vaccinations from 56% to 60%. The video was pure insanity and worth a watch.

WATCH: Tomah VAMC Ghostbusters Flu Vaccine Video

Personally, I think VA should do more to encourage team building, honesty, and accountability. If these kinds of ridiculous antics help do that, then fine. However, when looking at the unusual parties at Tomah VA and resultant videos and photos that get published, one has to wonder what is going on there.

There is no question that team building activities led by Leah Finch did little to stem retaliation, harassment, threats and generally unprofessional behavior that resulted in unnecessary patient death and injury.

So what do you think? Are these videos incredible signs that Tomah VA is moving in the right direction or incredulous examples of VA staff misusing taxpayer dollars to act a part without learning how to behave like professionals at a hospital where veterans died needlessly due to malpractice?

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  1. Ben Cason just caught in lying about his claim he was “offered” a full Scholarship to West Point…was not true by many confirmed sources…so what does Carson try to do? Just like the VA, “Oh…I either ‘misspoke’ or being misinterpreted…”! Carson then ried to state…”well, that’s the way they *used* to admit West Point…by word of mouth”, and what Carson was actually alluding to was when he was in ROTC he was “told” he would not have to go through any “process”…meaning, he’s a liar. I know I am paraphrasing and you can check any mainstream news nationally, it’s all the news and evidence…even West Point stated it’s always been a 4 part passage to even be considered for West Point…and never on verbal promise solely.

    Oh…I would rather hear 12 hours of Sen. McCain drone on constantly then 10 minutes of my life listening to Carson’s half asleep mumblings. Something is just not right about him.

    Another God Syndrome Dr. wanting to be President. Using a prestigious institution to try to boost one’s ego falsely, like the way Se. McD. initially did inn his short tenure…it’s unacceptable and unethical.

    1. What do you think a scholarship is. It is free tuition and free room and board. That is what an appointment to the academy is. Stop parsing words about an honest truly gifted man. This smacks of what the dems love to call racism. Go read Obama’s book and look for proof of anything.

      1. I think since Donald trump stated Ben is not strong enough! Ben fell right into his trap and tried to puff himself up, by stating he would do what he needs to do if someone threatened him!

        Bad mistake, this country needs someone that’s does not have to think, they can get votes by puffing them selves up, McDonald did it and he got caught lying!

        Ben is probably a very nice guy and just needs to be himself and not worry about trump!

      2. You do know this is not a forum for politics? I am worried about veteran issues and what the candidates stance is on them. Not the political hit piece of the day – whether it is about a Democrat or Republican. This is exactly why we cannot have a united voice. Have a nice day.

      3. There should be no parties! None! Just the American people! This division only Pitts AMERICANS against AMERICANS!

        It’s supposed to be the United states not divided state’s!

        If someone wants to run for office, just run and accept nothing from anyone! Zero!

        America would be better off, if big money would be eliminated!

  2. @ Combat Veteran’s Spouse, @Lysa and @Nick Savage –

    How do you think my son felt on Halloween this year when his grandpa wasn’t there to see his costume?? Or how he felt yesterday on his 11th birthday, because his grandpa wasn’t there to sing Happy Birthday to him? The reason for my dad not being there? Because thanks to the Tomah VAMC, he is DEAD.

    He is DEAD because of the negligent “care” he received in January at the Tomah VAMC. He had a stroke in the waiting room after waiting nearly 3 hours to be seen – still they did not help him even though my mother and I were BEGGING, instead they put him in a room because they were “really busy”. An hour an a half later he had a second stroke and still they did nothing – they couldn’t give him a CT because their machine was down for maintenance. And instead of following their own protocol which dictated they send him to the hospital 4 miles down the road, they sent him over an hour away – wasting more valuable time. He died two days later, on January 14th.

    Their nurses were not trained to handle strokes or even know the symptoms. They had no stroke protocol. So you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t think that playing Halloween games should be at the top of their list for “team building”. How about some team building exercises that involve teaching employees how not to kill patients?

    My dad wasn’t the only one – this year or that day. Another patient died in the waiting room earlier that morning because they didn’t follow the proper protocol.

    My son cried yesterday when we sang Happy Birthday to him – he said it wasn’t the same unless Grandpa sang it. Try living with things like that every day – knowing that the death was completely preventable. And then watch these bullshit videos of VA employees playing games when they could be learning to care for patients.

    1. The VA seems not to care, the employees have been taught by management, that the majority of veterans seeking are drug seeking or milingiers and nothing better to do, so they treat every veteran as if this was the case!

      Did you tell anyone at the hospital, what happened and what was their response?

      Did they speak with you or sent you a letter ?

    2. I empathize with you. To address the kernel of the problem, however, I think everyone is noticing the terrible behavior of our government They really don’t care a lickity about humans. The more they get rid of, the better. The VA is a very juicy bag full of people to eliminate, according to their minds and the advice given to them by the think tanks that tell them to do just that (albeit smoothly). I talk to many people about things that are coming down in this country (and other countries of the world) and just about all of them are ready for a civil war between the people (constitutional rights) and the government forms (executive, congress, judicial) that are opposed to any rights for the people. And, as others have said on this forum – it is getting worse by the day. “Granny get your gun”
      The VA are throwing these fun events because the employees are clearly effected by the crap the VA is getting these days, playing upon the employee morale, and trying to retain said employees so the World Order can keep doing their thing —erasing the population wherever they can by any means including mafia-like outfits like the VA. So, the VA will never be fixed. It has to remain in a state of mismanagement forever to achieve it’s secret goal. It’s all a show.
      As far as Bob McDonothing – He said the same stuff while CEO of P&G…..”It will take time”. People who owned shares of P&G complained to the Board saying “What is this man talking about? Is this the only thing he knows how to say? We have given him enough time already”
      We are learning he has added another sentence to his coconut-speak… “I need more money from Congress. They are holding the works up for my turnaround here.” And so on and on it goes. The VA…The on and on and on and on…..

      1. I agree with you regarding McDonald. However, unless he is caught playing with little boys in the executive offices, he is with us until a new President is elected. There is too little time left in this administration for any meaningful change – not that McDonald was up to the task, in the first place.

    3. Trust me on this people, the citizens of this “Constitutional Republic” are fed up with all elected and appointed officials. Even high ranking law enforcement officers nationwide are speaking up concerning the illegal activities of this administration.
      I’ve said it before. The “Declaration of Independence” (our grievances against an oppressive dictatorship government), our “Constitution” (our ‘laws’ governing how a government is to be run “for the people, by the people and of the people will not be infringed upon”) and our “Bill of Rights” (Self explanatory to say the least) is now in jeopardy.
      What’s going to happen in the next year is anyone’s guess. But, in my opinion, we must unite. The time for not doing anything, or sitting on the fence is over.

      Now you have to ask yourself, what can I do to make my country safe again. Safe for my children and their children and so on?
      I see to many political figures laughing and snubbing their noses at us. And it pisses me off.

      1. Yes there are plenty of laws that could be used, but are not being reinforced or just ignored!

        IT was said by our officials that the VA has been ignored and people have infiltrated, the system and have been complacent!

        To many management have placed either their friends or family members into positions where they have total control of all VA affairs!

        Then you have the people who want to get ahead and join in therefore they have created a conspiracy and they will try to destroy anyone who tries to interfere!

        And you have people who just want to support their families and know if they speak up, they are retaliated against!

        Yes our laws need to be followed, the VA should not be allowed to make up (butts) or rules that sway away from the law to fit their agenda just for their own benefit!

        They need to drug test every federal employee at least twice a year and if alcohol is detected a breath test administered right there!

        If they register hot, send them home without pay and put on probation! If this becomes a problem, then that employee released permanent!

        The veterans committee should advice every VA employee that if they see something going on that harming someone and nothing is being done!

        The VA committee would look at these cases and have the OIG, look into the matter and report back to the committee and the department being investigated not be involved!

        There are ways to correct these injustices and if the allegations are found to be true they must explain them selves to the committee and the committee make a determination if the DOJ should interfere!

        The DOJ, has to be involved more than ever! They always the VA says, who is the VA! Name names not just say the VA.

        If it’s Bob McDonald name him, is the VA a clerk telling management they should not say anything and the managers follow their advice! Laughable if it weren’t so serious!

  3. Wow, is there nothing else to report??? Staff had parties for Veterans on the units, helped them dress up and be goofy for a day??? The video shows about a dozen people goofing around for about two minutes. There are HUNDREDS of employees at the Tomah VA. It probably took more time for you to edit and post this than it did for the folks who attended.
    Please keep in mind, people have a 30 minute lunch and 2 15-minute breaks allotted to them during the day. This takes things to a really low level. People need some levity in their lives to be healthy.
    Shaking my head at all the hate out there.

    1. How about the marine that’s six feet under, he never got his chance to be healthy!

      He can’t play games with his family! What type of job do you perform for the veterans!

      Have you ever reported a veteran as being disruptive and if so what did he do to a combat veteran, that scares him!

      You should be outraged about your fellow veteran dieing

    2. VHA Central Office is investigating the matter because the overall conduct this past Halloween does not comport to iCare standards. The video is more the tip of the iceberg. Tomah VA staff also dressed up incompetent patients, took promotional photos of them, and posted those photos on the official Tomah VAMC Facebook page for the public to see. This is highly illegal violations of privacy along with other numerous laws. So yes, there is much more to report on this story. The video is a warm up.

    3. This is real regardless of there breaks, the VA employees has it better then most private sector jobs, where meal breaks are disregarded and 15 minute are given and you don’t have time to take them. This is where my problems lay, I went to the VA Emergency Room very sick one day, after my primary care doctor issue me medications that almost killed me. I arrived at 5:00 pm, the intake nurse took my vitals, and stated to me stop looking so hateful, I wasn’t being hateful I were in so much pain, I couldn’t smile, I waited to 5:00 am next morning, I could hear the young nurse and the Doctor, courting and talking in his office all night. The desk clerk even got mad and asked, the doctor if he were going to see me, now all this time during my (12) hours, there were no other patients in the Emergency room, he call me around being very rude, I explained to him the medication that were given to me. He prescribed me a laxative for diarrhea, but I told him, that were not the problem, that I already had diarrhea, and constantly had to use the bathroom. I stayed sick for many days, and discontinued the medication given to me, after almost dying, and got well about a week later.

    4. I think– people LOVE to argue semantics!
      I am outraged that Veterans die every day and their name is not listed in this site!!! that is an atrocity, how can this site or this article writer say he cares about Veterans when the most recent deaths are not listed!!

      1- Dr. Houlihan is not officially fired until Monday 11/9.
      2- How are you determining the competence of the people in the photos? You would need to be a clinical provider, a judge or at the very least have access to these folks’ medical records. I would hate to think you are doing that based on appearances… tut tut tut. Shame on you.

      1. There is nothing Ben Krause can do for dead veterans, but he can inform the living veterans on how to stay alive under a corrupt system. I find his website very important on keeping up with the VAMC,. None of the things he’s reporting is trash to me, why do so many veterans want to attack this man for telling the truth. Let the truth be told, someone need to check on oversight within the VAMC. Ben, if no one else supports you in these efforts I’m here, we all should be truth seekers, where all this lying will come to a halt. I got grandsons, nieces and nephews who will be graduating from High School, joining different branches of service, if we can make the VAMC better for them then Ben has done his job. I don’t tell my grandchildren the things I have endured with the VAMC in fear, they will refuse to enlist.

      2. You know, if you don’t like what is written here, you are free to leave. You are not a veteran advocate, or for that matter, by your own name, even a veteran. How about hopping off your high horse and become a volunteer at a VA hospital? Unless you can prove otherwise, Ben has done more to help veterans in the past month, than you have done in your entire life. Speaking of life, why don’t you go get yourself one? Or, are you just a VA employee hiding your own identity?

      3. So, spouse, you complain of supposedly determining competence from a picture saying a clinical provider or a judge should do that.
        Why such high standards when the VA you are defending thinks competence is determined by asking who pays the bills at home.

    5. Yeah, VA employees need levity in their day. After all, killing vets through indifference and neglect must be so stressful.

  4. I’d like to say a few things here. First I find you to be a hypocrite Mr. Krause how many times Especially in the “chair force.” Were you waisting the tax payers dollars? I mean come on we all did stupid things that the government was paying us for.

    This video is ridiculous though.

    Also that recruitment add you ran saying it was expensive? Highlighted nurses, doctors and other medical professionals that have a job now because of the VA. Despite what you think of them. Some may say the government waisted thousands on your education and business set up that you were only able to snake out of the government because they paid for your education and you use this site And naive veterans to forward your cause.

    I for one do not agree whatsoever with the va healthcare I think it’s atrocious. But to highlight people In a moment of mandatory fun like you never did the same damn thing. You sir are the definition of hipocrisy.

    1. Fox News (Channel 360) just ran this YouTube video with Ben’s name on it twice since 6 AM today.
      I do agree in small part with Marshall, as I am a former VA Volunteer and was in a Vet Center PTSD combat rap group and on other trips and events with the local VAMC veterans. I agree that this was “mandatory” fun but I bet many Pts sure enjoyed it.

      Everyone needs some fun in their lives……and I feel you are being way too tough on Ben.
      More than anyone I know, he is getting the true picture of the VA’s atrocious
      inadequate medical care into the news consistently.

      I am a civilian , so others here will take issue with your definition of them as “naive” veterans.I feel we have a “naive” civilian population in this country who often do not give a hoot in hell about veterans.
      But I am not one of them.

      The video does not depict any VA doctor making a serious medical error, or some VA C & P buffoon denying a claim with an inadequate exam report, or a DRO copying and pasting a SOC narrative, as their so called DRO “Review”.

      The nurses who run the bingo games at the local VA for inpatients have as much fun as the patients do.

      And the PTSD In house programs try to add some levity to their in house programs as well.

      Ben, keep up the Great work you do for all of us!

      If I didn’t have a sense of humor, and could appreciate some fun now and then I would have PTSD by now, solely from dealing with the VA as a widow of a 100% P & T veteran,whose death VA caused.

      1. Berta, when I was getting treatment for PTSD at the Topeka Kansas vamc!

        A group of volunteers, would invite every veteran In the PTSD program to go to their home!

        These people would tell the veterans, This is your house!

        They made dinner for us all, they made us feel welcome!

        It’s the little things that people like you do, that helps the veterans know, that we do matter!

        God bless you!

    2. First of all, if you are to criticize someone for something, at the very least, you should spell it correctly – it is hypocrisy.

      Secondly, you are shooting the messenger.

      Finally, and most importantly, when in service, I don’t recall us taking a workday off and have fun and games. Furthermore, I ran more than one multi-million dollar company, had high moral and never had anyone even suggest such adolescent activities. This is not the first time this VA has done something stupid. A few months back they ran an employee flu shot video which by any measure was asinine. Their goal in that one was to raise the flu shot participation rate by 2%. This VA is under a public and veteran microscope, perhaps you haven’t read that? To call further attention to themselves through wasteful, juvenile antics goes far beyond a lack of commonsense.

      Hypocrisy? I think not. No, allow me to correct myself. I know it isn’t.

    3. @Marshall, VHA Central Office called me yesterday. They indicated the behavior at Tomah VAMC related to the ‘Hungry Hungry Hippos’ game and dressing up incompetent patients in Halloween outfits was not appropriate conduct for any VA employee. It is important to note Tomah VAMC staff proceeded to post photos of patients on Tomah VAMC’s official Facebook page who were clearly unable to grant consent. After I spoke with Central Office, Tomah VAMC removed at least one of those photos since it is highly unlawful to treat patients with mental disorders in that manner.

      The Halloween party lasted most of the day. When I was in junior high and high school, we took a couple hours off from class once in a blue moon for events like Halloween. When I became a grown up such fun time stopped. At no time in my history did I get most of the day off for Halloween fun – neither as a child nor an adult.

      Also, it sounds like you may be upset that I utilized my disability benefits including Vocational Rehabilitation and am now using my “lawyer” skills to take a stand for veterans… which you say makes me a hypocrite? I stand up for the little guy when no one else does and my legal education helps me do it better. If that is your definition of a hypocrite, then I suggest you utilize your own GI benefits and go back to school yourself…

      1. Ben we veterans are very proud of you and your accomplishments!

        What you have done, has given veterans hope!

        Some people don’t like or understand just because a veteran has a disability they can’t accomplish anything!

        Every employee that puts you down is jealous, that you have accomplished so much and helping so many veterans, see the light!

        In stead of attacking you for helping veterans, they should join you in fixing the VA, so veterans can fill safe and have trust in the VA!

        It’s easier to DO the job right the first time, instead of having to do it over and over!

        Ben, thanks for caring!

    4. What have you done lately to help veterans, the citizens of these here United States sent Ben to school and those taxes were well spent!

    5. @Marshall-

      Your insult was also very childish in referring to the USAF as “The Chair Force”…and I take offense to that as a 100% Service Connected Disabled USAF Veteran because for one thing, I never had the luxury of sitting on my ass or a job that even allowed it, as just about all other job titles of training in the USAF.

      You sound bitter and full of “sour grapes” for a variety reasons.

      How about using that energy to educate yourself on WHY Veterans are so outraged in the crappy care the VAMC’s dish out? We received MUCH BETTER CARE while in Active Duty in our respective Branches of Military. Fact!

      The VA is scared shitless because they KNOW we Veterans are onto their lackadaisical methods of treating Veterans…and might want to look that ‘BIG WORD’ “Lackadaisical” to fully understand what we endure.

      Lastly, Ben Krause is using his skills as an advocate for positive change to the VA. For all of us and all future Veterans down the road. All of us Veterans on here also do Advocacy Work in our own ways for Veterans. The Tomah VAMC **KILLED VETS** and made MANY VETS sick by illegally and unethically cutting-off pain and other meds cold turkey…no medical center nor medical professional with a gram of ETHICS would do that.

      You can help us or do not stand in the way because we are a collective force to be reckoned with….that goes for all those VA Employees that are “ARMCHAIR KILLERS”…which implies you do and say nothing, you are just as responsible.

  5. Dear Mr. Krause:

    I watched the video the and I am not the lest bit worried, in fact all that showed was the drag life can be sometimes, if that were all we had to worry about overseas our tour of duty would have been a game, and most likely would persuade me to reenlist.

  6. Dear Mr. Krause:

    I say let the VA staff play the human hungry, hungry game; we veterans can and will put them in t.he well deserved diet until they look like glamor, athletic girls, no pun intended.

  7. No Christian VA employees should be celebrating a pagan god holiday anyway. You cannot serve two gods. Halloween is the devils holiday, whether you know it are not there are demons dressed up the same as humans dresses up for Halloween. The jobs I have had would never let you have fun during the work day. Family day were always after work, unless they were providing a Thanksgiving Dinner are Christmas Dinner at work, all other events were scheduled at the end of the work day are on Saturdays. If this were a training session please don’t record things showing that you only care about how much fun you are having, it looks detrimental to properly helping veterans.

      1. This is not a holiday for Christians, decorating yourself as demonic forces, only elevates one into the kingdom of darkness, giving out candy is innocent, but the devil never sleeps, since sin were introduced into the world by Adam and Eve, with the first bite of the forbidden fruit. This is no joke, but live your life as you please.

  8. Maybe they could have made this ‘Team Building Exercise/Game’ be more realistic in the sense of the very Veterans they serve and have *some* of those objects the “Hungry Hippos” are going over and grabbing represent IED’s and such?

    This is the problem: The VA is more than three times removed from understanding what Veteran have gone through, continue to go through, and the reality of how their very actions and inactions AFFECT Veterans with PTSD and all other ailments.

    Perhaps having Team Building Exercises that have scenarios that actually pertain to HELPING/ASSISTING Veterans?

    The Tomah VAMC’s “C.R.E.W.” does not have “Veteran” anywhere in their “game plan”…it’s all about the “Employee Workplace”…the Veteran part of the VA Employee’s Mission Statement has been flattened by Hungry Hippos.

    How long did Dr. Candy Man irresponsibly RX salvos of drugs that’s even way beyond ANY DEA finding to be over the top, while this VA Team said absolutely NOTHING!??!
    Luckily, a select and effective FEW *did* speak-up, but then the Tomah VA and the VA itself ran over them like Hungry Hippos looking for their BONUS’s among the prizes.

    Did everyone else pick-up on fact that Tomah VA MADE SURE to also allot a FULL LUNCH TIME in addition to their Game Time? This was clearly not just a couple hours event. Almost could interpret this as the Tomah VA thumbing their noses at the scandals that have plagued that facility…or was it just coincidence in the ‘bad timing’? I think not.

  9. OT, but I just received an email from the VA explaining how Bosco A. Baracus (A-Team) had problems submitting his PTSD claim. Clicking the link takes you to a VA benefits site where other claims “scenarios” are listed under various names. One is from Amelia Earhart, another from Joseph Wladislaw (Dirty Dozen), JT Davis (Full Metal Jacket), Jordan O’Neil (GI Jane) etc.
    I suppose they at least didn’t use Benedict Arnold.

  10. What do I think? If an organization has some measurable level of competence, then these exercises, while I think are a waste, might be Ok since the corporate world seems to think these are all the rage now.
    Given that Tomah and many other VAs seem to have quite a ways to go before their competence is measurable, this is a cruel joke and a colosal waste of resources that could be better spent on them actually learning how to do their job effectively. Learning that retaliation is against the law. Learning that nepotism and discrimination against veterans is against the law. That this crap is considered more important than learning those other things shows why the VA is so broken.
    I wonder how many of them think veterans are just Hungry Hippos trying to gobble up benefits? Or gobble up some clerks time that they could be spending on Facebook.
    Every time I go to the VA now and wait long past my appointment time, I will picture VA employees crawling around on the floor like slugs.
    I doubt any one of these people who may have found it hard to participate in this thought, “Gee, could the difficulty I had in doing this be anything like what a disabled veteran goes through every day trying to do simple tasks?”

    1. Here’s an article concerning millions of taxpayers monies being given to pro sports teams so they can honor veterans. And y’all thought these people were honoring veterans out of the goodness of their hearts.

      This was an NBC exclusive,

      “‘Paid Patriotism’: Senators Accuse Military of Wasteful Sports Tributes”
      Nov. 4, 2015
      by Jon Schuppe & Frank Thorp V

      Below the video, the ‘caption’ reads;
      “McCain to Pro Team: Donate Money Made by Honoring Vets”

      In this article, some of the Pro Teams are going to do what McCain has asked. On the other hand, getting any information from the DOD about this was as “pulling teeth”! They just didn’t want to comply with some of our elected officials. Does that sound familiar????

    1. Thank you for exposing this and other things Ben. This kind of activity going on while vets cannot get proper and timely medical care needs to get wide coverage.

  11. Wouldn’t it be just appropriate for the Tomah VAMC to now state they need $XXX Million to do a complete wood reface of that Tomah Basketball Court from all the scratchy belt buckles and all the dark-soled shoes I see on that basketball court?

    Maybe I am overthinking things but what about potential Vets coming on that afternoon as a ‘Walk-in’ that may have been in really bad shape from having their meds abruptly cut off or simply access to medical care? Did they consider themselves 100% free because the VA Employees made sure there were no appointments for at least 1/2 a Friday so they could ‘play’.

    Again, I am not an ass and I know the benefits of ‘real’ Team Building exercises and functions. THIS even seems low-budget for the VA. I would fully expect them to spend a few million on a West Virginia White Water Rafting Team Building Trips with Spas and the works or bungee jumping over the Niagara Waterfalls.

    How is it ethical to be doing this Hungry Hungry Hippo for at least 1/2 a business day that could have been used to well…serve Veterans?

    How does the VA define “Teamwork”? (we work in teams against you?), (Disruptive Committee Teamwork?).

  12. Correction , govt funds earmarked for helping vets in need, were not just likely used for this retarded nonsense, BUT WITHOUT A DOUBT!

  13. I have to disagree with Everyone. Not all Tomah employees are bad. They should have time to enjoy their self. Just like every job should have a human resources department that takes care of their employees. You know this forum is getting to be A cutthroat forum. You can’t just go around finding bad things to point out. I think this is where I make my exit. If all you can do is be cutthroats. Then I want nothing to do with it. Ben block me.

    Nick savage

    1. Mr. Savage,
      Get over yourself. This is a much needed website to focus on all the corruption rife within the VA system.
      Government dollars for veterans were unlikely used to fund this frivolous nonsense while vets are denied DESERVED $$ left and right, falsely, for neededf help, claimas.etc.!
      Just block yourself and quit sniveling!

      1. Name the bad ones on here, you admit your facility has some! Your not helping any veteran by not turning those employee’s in!

        IF the bad ones are let go, that only leaves the good ones!

      2. I’m very sorry Mr Savage but it’s obvious you’re not experiencing what the rest of us are not trying to pile you,but I’m homeless waiting for the VA to pay my pension I was awarded over 33 years ago because they couldn’t afford to pay granddaughters may end up in foster homes because the VA is violating federal law.If it was ran by the book all those people would be under federal indictment by now.The good employee is a reality and I give you that they should help remove the bad guys turn them in

    1. To; Ben, Ron or Ryan.
      I received this today from “Military . com” – “Daily News”
      by Bryant Jordan
      written Nov. 4, 2015

      “Lawmakers Want to Help the VA Fire Poor-Performing Workers”

      In the article they want to ‘restructure’ or ‘revamp’ an old law from 1978, I believe. It had something to do with the “Watergate Scandal” and government employees during that time period.
      Now, if our lawmakers are or were serious about this issue, why haven’t they done something a long time ago? Don’t they have any power to inflict punishment on VA employees who continue to violate all of the veterans rights?
      There’s plenty VAMC’s & VARO’s nationwide that should lose many employees, if they were serious. Why isn’t McDonald doing anything? He’s had multiple opportunities? He’s the “man in charge”!

      1. Veterans need to be very weary, with all the negative news the employees, will probably be on the lookout for veterans, that speak about employees who don’t assist veterans and will report these veterans as disruptive or may become disruptive at some time in the future!

        The veterans committee needs to have a hearing on how the department of veterans affairs abuse this committee!

        Have veterans tell their stories!

    2. It goes deeper than that Eryan. General Counsel oversees ethics and when they knowingly are of VA violating the privacy of veterans medical records, there should be criminal complaints against them. Gloria Wilson Shelton and Leigh Bradley are licensed and admitted into the DC Bar. There are collusion and attorney deceit statues they are violating when they flag veteran records without due process. Gloria had her nomination for Judge for veteran appeals canceled by Obama back in 2011. She is the Chief Deputy Counsel at GC and Bradley heads that department. There is SusanGrundmann at MSPB ho is on the DC bar. I have a whole list and evidence for which they will be exposed under these statues. It is a charge of fraud with this agency collusion tactics, similiar to “mobbing”

  14. Even for someone as cynical of the VA as I am, this is hard to believe. Are you telling me these are actually VA employees at Tomah VA and that they are on the clock?

    1. Maybe this is the Disruptive Behavior Committee deliberations. Each ball has a patient name on it?

      1. You hear every day, by officials that the VA has many, many problems and the VA just don’t care!

        They will continue to abuse the system and laugh at our elected officials!

        Go ahead ask me any question you like about anything I know has been to hurt veterans or my coworkers! I would be more than happy to give you an answer!

        Let me help you spell it!

        THE FIFTH

        Can I be of any further assistance! In that case, I must be off, someone told me I have to get back to the hippo game and after that I have to find a veteran that’s having a bad day!

        So I can report him to the disruptive behavior committee! Those veterans never learn! We have to remind them every day shut the hell up, i’m late for monolopy!

    2. Yes, these are actual union VA employees on the clock… during normal business hours last Friday at Tomah VAMC… it is a real, Joint Commission certified hospital. I’ll be publishing more about this in a few days… it gets really bad.

      1. Ben,
        Nick Savage wants you to block him. He’s kind of upset.
        I believe he’s missing a couple of points.
        1.) This was done during business hours.
        2.) How many veterans/patients did not receive appointments last friday?
        3.) If this was done “after hours” or close to quitting time, there shouldn’t have been a problem.

        Anyone else got anything?

      2. f8f,
        Thought I did. Sorry.

        Btw, namnibor hit it on something here. From what I’ve seen, most VA employees are between the age groups of young, 21 or so, and middle to late 40’s, maybe early to mid 50’s.

        Think about it. Until these current wars, VERY FEW VA employee had witnessed what had transpired during the Vietnam War. Or any war for that matter. That was “the first televised war”! Every night “clips” of that war was broadcasted nationally. EVERY NIGHT. These wars aren’t.
        That was the war where two presidents (Johnson and Nixon) “lost favor with the American public”! Johnson refused to run for his second term, because of Walter Cronkite! Then Nixon was impeached.
        All because of Vietnam and other things!!!

        Side note: After my tour in Vietnam, I was the “Body Escort” for a “fallen brother” (from my unit) whose family watched, on TV, their son killed in Vietnam during a “firefight”! They lived in Pennsylvania. That was my first and only time! I refused to do it again. Even over the threat of an “Article 15”!

        These (young) VA employees of today have absolutely no clue as to what goes on in a veterans mind. When, after combat situations, they return to “The World”!
        Imo, all they see is a good paycheck coming from the government. Their attitudes are, “I got mine! Screw everybody else!”

        I’ve read, on the “military . com” website, that some Army Brass were saying women would, or should, have to “sign up for the draft”! You know, equal rights crap. I put that article on one of Ben’s blog’s within a week or two ago.
        Now, today, on FM radio 96.5 out of Atlanta, Ga. I hear there’s a “bill in the house” talking about a draft. How true, I’m not sure.

        All I’m saying is this, out of all the VA employees there are nationwide, How many are really veterans? And out of those, How many served in a “Combat Situation?”
        I’ll bet, VERY FEW!
        Because of this, I feel that’s why they don’t care!

        Sorry about this rant. I had to get certain things off my chest…..and I know most on here will understand me!

      3. I sent an email on the president site, asking him to help me clear my name from when the VA accused me of disruptive behavior and never produced any proof that this actually happened!

        I was punished by them without any proof!

        I received an email back, nothing about helping me correct an injustice!

        Sounded like a blanket response, so this leads me to believe, eather someone intercepted it and gave the blanket response!

        Or the president could care less, if the department of veterans affairs is falsely accusing veterans of disruptive behavior .

        How can a president call for transparency, when he declined to help a veteran who’s life has been threatened of arrest, federal charges and banishment from ALL VA care and the veteran is innocent of any wrongdoing!

        What can veterans and citizens do, when the most powerful man in the world speaks with a forked tongue!

        Many Americans thought this man, would fight for justice!

        Guess I (they) were wrong, this blanket response, gives the green light!

        It’s open season on veterans and it’s ok, for all federal employees to run amuck! !!!!!!

        Sad, when the president of the United states will let an innocent man be destroyed!

        Three years active duty, six years national guard! Twenty four years federal service!

        A veteran who was shot in the head, tbi! 100 percent disabled!

        Thank you Mr President and my family thanks you, for being transparent!

    3. if any disabilities would not prevent any of them from exercise, i’d prefer to see them do some lite PT/tai-chi or something like that. great for the head & body and teamwork.

      i dunno, i know nothing of these type games they are doing. never heard of it. i do know what “hungry hungry” feels like. a homeless stint taught my mind & gut that.

      the VA never ceases to , whatever , i can’t seem to find a word or two.

  15. Ben I saw something about veteran in lawsuit because they misdiagnosed him.Ben I have ringing in my head I have repeatedly told VA they say tinnitus, sent a machine to try and cover up with sounds .it won’t go away .the ringing is so father died at 51 of astrosarcoma gioblasti cancer runs on both sides of my family. I tried to get them to listen at VA cboc.went to civilian Dr he told me go back to VA .I truly know something wrong inside my head don’t know what to do.I also was taken off many many many meds at VA but that’s been over 1 half years. I’m not sure if it’s numerological or the big C I’m 51 I’m not ready to go yet just don’t know what to do

    1. When the va id a brain scan on me and found the traumatic brain injury, they the neurologist told me that the scan showed some supesious white matter and it maybe cancer ? He stated we don’ know what it is and we will just keep an eye on it ?, I have yearly brain scans! I didn’t know this until I ordered my records and it stated I needed follow up, it took me 6 years of telling my treatment team what I read ! nothing done until I went to Kansas and told them and after 6 years, they scaned me again and that’s when I was told about the brain injury, beside the other white matter!

      called RO two weeks ago and told them I was turned down for the TBI and migrains, was told they would send me the paperwork for a new case! the instructions you need to fill out form bla bla bla and they did not even include the form ?

      Employees just don’t get it (failure to assist) when in doubt go in faivor of the veteran!

      It would not matter if a swat team came in and arrested an employee in front of them, they would just look the other way and state wo, I better cover my tracks better, numb ass, for getting caught !

    2. I had stated before that it upset me that at football games Etc, they would unroll the American Flag and parade veterans or Active duty to celebrate them in front of the public ! don’t know or seen it on the news, that those teams sends bills to the Government and the Government pays them ! Public relations !

      They should make p a big Flag, VA IS LIEING and put that in front of the public ! probley would cost $10,000.

      would love to see the reaction to that one !

  16. This just proves, they just don’t get it! They know their facility was just under investigation!

    They act as though nothing happened at all, a veteran dead, the doctor being released!

    Employees seem to be saying so what if a veteran died! Big whoop, there’s more where that one came from!

    And the doctor, so what, it’s his problem for getting caught! Why weren’t the nurses who gave the veteran those medications to him, since they are nurses, they had to know that amount of medicine was dangerous!

    The staff, just gazing at the veteran and not assisting him aggressively should be just as guilty!

    Just like someone else said the pharmacist if he was doing his job correct, he should have told someone, that’s to much, that would kill someone!

    The director had to approve these hippos to play, again this just shows nothing has changed and they will be more careful not to be so careless next time they want to murder a veteran who has mental problems or as they claim disruptive!

    Veterans are probably scared shitless, wondering if their next!

    THEY JUST Don’t Care! .!!!!!!!

    1. FAX your concerns to that facility if you feel this way about it. Tell them you care. Don’t call. FAX. Two big words written in crayon. “I care”

    2. That hippos game thing is sickening but not surprising at all considering that this is not the first-time they have thrown away also shows that its business as since the new VA secretary haven’t denounced them for throwing away the money.As I have said they need someone who has no military service connection to worry about and go in clean house

      1. That’s like starting have a psychiatrist do brain surgery, they know nothing about that or is it better to have someone doing the brain surgery that knows what it’s like!

    3. I think everyone misses the full intentions of the CREW festival. Every employee at the VA is affected by a few bad apples. These are steps to better employee moral. This did not go on all day. Get your facts. And one more thing. WE DO CARE!!!!!!!

      1. @ Lysa – Thanks for the feedback. I would love to know who won the costume contest? Was it the bumble bee VA employee or the Raggedy Ann dress on a VA patient? Or, was it the apparent stroke victim someone dressed up with cat ears and a cute bow tie?

        Click on the “Photos” tab of the Tomah VAMC official Facebook page before the photos are taken down to pick which one you think had the best costume:

        Now Lysa, while I appreciate your comments, I clearly wrote that the event lasted “most” of the day and not “all” of the day as you claim. The CREW flier plainly indicates there was a break between events from 12:30 – 2:00 PM – probably for lunch – before the costume competition started. Based on the Tomah VAMC photos on your formal Facebook page, I presume the competition lasted for some time.

        When I had a corporate job (very briefly), we had parties after office hours, not during. But when I was in junior high, we had some parties that lasted some of the school day. Similarly in high school we had pep rallies before big games. What went on at Tomah VA more closely resembles whatever our school teachers had us do as children and no corporate environment of which I am aware.

        Last, VHA Central just contacted me about the video so they could better assess what was going on at Tomah before major press outlets get ahold of it, which is also happening. I was told the behavior at Tomah does not reflect the interests of VHA and that Client Relations is looking into it.

      2. What’s wrong with employees invited to brain storm on ways to make the VA better for veterans!

        That way they will fill as part of the process and their constructive thoughts matter!

        Make it a game of caring about the veterans, They need help too!

      3. @Lysa,
        You say you and others care!
        Question, during the time “VA (was) Lying, Veterans (were) Dying” at Tomah VAMC, did you or any of your ‘caring healthcare professionals’ report the criminal activities of any “NONCARING” person?
        With all the people who work there less than a handful actually took the initiative and turned in a report.
        One such person is on here today. He should have been commended for his actions, instead he was vilified.
        Do you have anything to say for yourself in defense of you inaction to actually help veterans? I think not!

      4. Lisa, I agree with you. I worked for the Federal Government and we did team building exercises that might seem silly or stupid, but in fact, they were needed to help motivate employees to work better together. I have been to a few, but they are scheduled and it could have been done during a training session that they have. Maybe this will help? I am not condoning what the VA does in terms of helping Veterans or the claims they are working on, and they need to seriously get working on that ASAP. I could do a better job than most of the personnel I come in contact with at the VA. It isn’t that hard, but people are untrained and wind up doing the work and they just deny all the claims that are too complicated and make us work our butts off to appeal and finally get the claim approved. That’s what I have a problem with. Claims. Just pay them all. We are not making this crap up as they can clearly see. This is another Agent Orange in the making with Gulf War Illness claims. They need to do a lot better job with claims and instead of processing them quickly, how about making sure they are done properly and accurately to prevent a lot of problems to the Veterans.

      5. There is a time and place for everything, this type of behavior is not the time!

        Where was the memorial for my fellow veteran, that went for help and received none!

        How about the veterans moral! Don’t they deserve quality of life!

        Is it easier to drug the veteran to the point of death! Instead of really treating his emotional condition!

        The VA would better served with training to care for veterans!

        this would improve the employee moral by seeing the veterans life improve and the employees knowing they contributed to his recovery!

        If employees would get back to caring about the real mission of caring, which is their job, the rewards may not be seen by the employees!

        But I bet the veterans and their families would start writing to higher management and those employees who did their jobs of caring would be rewarded!

        In order for employees to enjoy their work, They need to be able to do that job and not have management retaliation for employees who report wrongdoing!

      6. Lysa, you may care, but you have to admit that this kind of activity occuring at a VA where a doctor WAS JUST FIRED after an investigation in to veterans dying, drug abuse, etc., looks very bad. The VA has wasted millions on conferences, moving expenses, unfinished hospitals, worthless task forces, 2500 on paid leave, etc., at the same time telling veterans and Congress they don’t have enough funding.
        As for employee morale, my morale would be boosted every day when I thought of the veterans I may have helped that day. Even if providing directions to a clinic or just smiling is a boost from the typically surly clerk or indifferent doctor who gives the impression the veteran is wasting his time. I wonder what the morale of the family of the veteran who died there is like after seeing this. Or the morale of a homeless veteran. Or the morale of another veteran who has his medical history ignored and medication cut off. Go to the VA is Lying Facebook page, read some comments about veterans who may be losing their house, or may become homeless because the VA has taken months to rule on their claim.
        If the VA had a clue about how bad the morale is among veterans desperate for medical care is, or a veteran about to see his family homeless, there would be no whining about employee morale.

      7. So you are proud you look like fools? You, and anyone else who thinks this is appropriate is out of touch with reality. You are defending the indefensible. How much do you think the lost productivity (if the VA had any to begin with) cost the American taxpayer $2000, $3000, $10,000? If it was $1, it was inexcusable.

  17. Add this to their previous Flu Shot idiocy and you have the perfect definition of adolescent behavior. I worked in senior management during my career and if anyone came to me with a proposal to have an all day Halloween party on the company’s dime, i would probably mark them for a quick exit from the ranks of the employed.

    There are certain businesses, health care among them, where frivolity is out of place. Medical care facilities are among them. My mom, who is 92, was in a hospital on Halloween. I didn’t see any witches, goblins or administrative personnel dressing up. If that is there life goal, and they really like doing this (putting on costumes) maybe they can go to New York City and become one of those Characters on the street begging for money.

    Furthermore, with the recent bad publicity at Tomah, one can only say, “What could they be thinking?”

    1. They are thinking that no matter what anyone says or does, they will be protected against any sort of correction. They are thinking that the VA OIG people eat too much when they are together at Thanksgiving dinner at home with them as family members. They are thinking that they are immune from civil action. They are thinking that they cannot be fired for this.

      They appear to be thinking correctly, from this point of view.

  18. The ethics program starts with general counsel. I am collecting their names and finding out where they are licensed so that the bar knows of their malfeasance. All these board games! Ouijas, and now hippos??? Half of the nurses are fat as hell anyway and would fit right in. I am surprised those fat bastards aren’t fart the place up laying on their stomach!.

  19. VA contractors doing the same. Had an employee who was not even listed on contract documents to call us up and tell us the services would be cancelled for my husband. Then she sent an email and stated we should contact the VA for questions. Every one is using the Veterans to swindle money from tax payers.

  20. So…did the Tomah VAMC simply cancel all Veteran’s appointments tat day so they could all ‘play games’?
    I am all for ‘Team Building’ as well and it’s been proven to work to certain degrees in Corporate Environments.
    We are talking the VA here though. A particular VAMC plagued with ongoing serious problems.
    I am actually surprised their “Hungry, Hungry Hippo Game-VAMC Version” did not have variety of controlled medications and Antidepressants scattered about instead of Marbles for the “VA Hippos”…and it’s interesting that the VA uses and CONDONES Kindergarten type “Team Building Games” but yet all but tossed the Team out onto the streets that was sent to Phoenix VAMC to try to do “Team Building” there.

    VA Employees might need the kid’s show character “BARNEY” to travel to ALL VAMC’s and RO’s for Team Building Exercises and Games….or maybe McD, has a DISNEY SOLUTION for this…”M-I-C…K-E-Y…M-O-U-S-E” “MICKEY MOUSE” “MICKEY MOUSE”…or maybe use the Team Building games that I would expect to see at the Philly and Baltimore VAMC’s, which would involve Ouija Boards and Real Psychics…mandatory for bonus qualifications?!!

    How about “TWISTER”…except it would be the VA’s version called “Twisted Psych Dr.”!!!

    These idiots playing games while Rome literally burns. Priceless.

    1. I agree with namnibor. In my opinion, this shows just how immature and childish these VA employees really are. If these people are the kind of healthcare providers VA wishes to employ, oh wait, they are those kinds.

      Additionally, the question namnibor asked about veterans appointments is valid. Were they cancelled? Or, did they just not make any for that day?
      Anyway one looks at it, this was truly a misuse of taxpayers monies….

  21. I would have had no problem with this, IF it, the games, had been done AFTER HOURS! But, since “management” decided to ‘play games’ on the taxpayers dime. Then each individual involved should receive, at the minimum, a “formal reprimand” placed in their work file.

    Has anyone heard if there’s going to be anything done to the VA employees concerning this? Has there been any repercussions? Will there be any repercussions? What are the citizens of Tomah saying? Did anyone send the “clip” to their local news sources?
    Maybe this should be sent to as many of our “elected” and “appointed” officials as possible! Of course, I think they will probably be angry they weren’t invited…

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