Senior VISN 6 Officials Unlawfully Accessed Veteran’s Medical Records

A recent report shows senior VISN 6 officials unlawfully accessed confidential medical records of an employee who is also a veteran.

The employee, Joseph Edger, a senior official there himself, filed a complaint with the failed and ironically named Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection. The complaint alleged VISN Director DeAnne Seekins retaliated against him in a scheme to oust him from his position.

Edger, a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, receives medical treatment from Durham VAMC, which is a medical center under the jurisdiction of VISN 6.

After reporting Seekins, a report, likely a SPAR (see below), shows some of her subordinates unlawfully accessed the veteran’s medical records while Seekins herself was attempting to wrongfully terminate the veteran.

RELATED: How To Get A Higher Disability Rating

Whenever I hear a news story reporting on allegations of a senior official illegally accessing a veteran’s records, I always infer the agency is in full CYA mode and likely engaging in unlawful actions to further some scheme or another.

Every time.

This happens so frequently, especially against veterans employed at VA who become whistleblowers. It also happens against veterans who blow the whistle as patients. Whenever a news story pops up addressing these kinds of unlawfully accesses, likely searching for mental health information they can spin against the veteran, we can almost always assume the agency is guilty.

RELATED: VA Misleading Vets About MyHealtheVet Blue Button Records

Really, though, whether it is Google or Apple or your friendly VISN director, someone is always seemingly sifting through our records who should butt out.

I am curious about stories of veterans who sought copies of their own SPAR report, which is short for Sensitive Patient Access Report. According to VA:

As cited in VHA Handbook, 1605.01, Privacy and Release of Information, a Veteran has access to the SPAR because the SPAR is covered under the Privacy Act system of records, “Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) VA”(79VA10P2).” Specific processes included with the Right of Access are cited in VHA Handbook, 1605.01. The SOP is to be implemented by VHA facilities by May 17, 2017.

I encourage all of you to seek a copy of your own SPAR. Take a look at the handbooks references above. Put in a request at your local VA medical center. Report back here with what you find.

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  1. Veteran Affairs Mid South Consolidated Patient Account Center in Smyrna, Tn Leadership has allowed racism and sexism to go on here for years. If you are a qualified minority male or Veteran then there is no reason to apply to any leadership or supervisor position. There sixty eight leadership positions. Only five are filled by Veterans. The Director and COO have known and approved of this discrimination for years. You cannot go to HR because they are part of the problem. H.R does not see anything wrong with the hiring practices by leadership. Highly qualified Veterans apply for leadership positions but do not get hired. You can look at the last manage hired. A male who is a disabled veteran and a supervisor for multiple years applied to a manager position. A female supervisor with less time and not a veteran was hired. The Director of EEO, Joan Harris refuses to investigate or acknowledge there is a problem. She said it would be to much work to investigate. They will not look into the hiring practices or do any research. Every avenue we take for help is ignored.

    MSCPAC Breakdown
    65 Executive, Manager, Supervisor, or Lead Positions
    3 Executive Positions – 2 Male, 1 Female
    10 Manager Positions – 10 Female / 0 Male,
    22 Supervisor Positions – 14 Female / 8 Male
    30 Lead Positions – 23 Female / 7 Male

  2. @T, (as well as others)
    You might find some interesting info at this link “” I stumbled upon today.

    1. Interesting but it wouldn’t work at the VA. There are too many laws regarding access to veteran medical records and the VA is struggling keeping vista a float as it is.

      The only thing that makes sense from a veteran privacy standpoint is to have all executive level staff members upload their health summaries into vista. Then, and only then once their health information is in the VA system will there be true administrative safeguards on veterans medical records. Essentially they’ll solve the problem overnight. Right now, there isn’t any incentive to,

    2. Must be more update blocking going on full circle again. Hope the commies are having fun.

      Rosie, thanks for the link. One odd and funny read. A whole lotta “glass breaking goin’ on.” Could be a huge hit for song lyrics. All those Phds, MDs and writer fail to mention all the file sharing, all the hands our info is passed around and seen by many during investigations we have to go through in this state for medical care or to get prescriptions, even some sinus meds. After the VA each and every medical office I went to or tried to get into I had to go through all the checks. Pharmacy checks past to present, state and nation wide, how much and what type of meds used, credit checks, financial background and confirmations, bankruptcy checks, criminal back-ground checks, medication usages and checks, insurance checks, any doctor shopping in the state, referrals, types of medical care used or used in the past, on it went. Plus the required files from the VA… if they could find them all or make sense of them. Then the agreements, consent forms, and any other possible goofy stuff each one demands we sign for simple care.

      To confuse is to control. They have the hell confused out of me over this file and privacy stuff. While fully knowing I have no privacy or security. Our local paper even came out last week with a large print front page article stating that fact “so beware” they exclaim. That was also back when the med boards, AMA, DC and the like wanted us to sign those EHR agreements for swift care. Supposedly the EMT/first responders crew could easily access all info about us at the same time some ER room was in seconds prepared to care for us and knowing every little thing about us. “To better serve our emergency health care needs.” “Lightening fast response times for our health care needs.” Insert big laugh here.

      A lot can be discussed about this issue it’s so broad and deep with all the “mergers,’ and musical chairs in DC of IT companies and all the crap going on. No end to it.

  3. “A senior leader with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs has been accused of abusing her power, harassing employees and retaliating against other senior leaders who report to her.” from local Durham, NC news station referring to Seekins.
    The Durham VA hospital has a bad reputation as a place to work among nurses that I know that have worked their previously. One of the reasons is because of leadership from what I can understand.
    This is not a surprise, and another reason Veterans should have the OPTION of receiving private health care if they prefer it.

    1. At least with the civilian option you got some protections, but still 27th in the world in the delivery of health care.

      1. Typo for you March. Its 37th. Italy and France have taken over the top 2. Japan has dropped to 10th.

        The U S ranks #1 in one category. Spending per capita. Italy is 11th in spending getting to #2 overall. France is #4 in spending to get to #1 overall.

        So we spend more than any other of the top 19 industrialized countries getting 18 ranks down in the Third World well below the top 19 over all. And everyone in congress and the AMA wants to pull us down further. Where are the MAGA boys on this?

      2. Hey, take heart. The U S has probably improves some since 2000 with Obama Care. Possibly March has the early numbers on the 2020 rankings.

    2. From personal experience, even if you do get referred to private care, you run the chance of getting your credit ruined because the VA will not pay the bill.

  4. Wow, what a coincidence that Ben posted this story as I just obtained a SPAR form. My interest was out of curiosity not out of any specific suspicion. Well, Okay, I do have a feeling.

    I would like to comment on the previous comments regarding VA female employee’s hatred toward men, I don’t doubt that you are experiencing this type of discrimination, however I am female and, I receive the same treatment! What’s up with that? I just think haters, hate. Hurt people, hurt people.

    I read an inspirational comment today that I think is very appropriate for today’s topic. “There is very little that one can do to change another’s bad behavior into good. That is the individual’s responsibility. However what one can do is try to bring out the good in the bad and hope for the best.” I don’t know, it gave me some comfort. LOL

    In closing, I agree, it is getting old hearing about the corruption in the VA or in government, yet, too bad, if we stop identifying the corruption it will only get worse. Soooo keep on keeping on.

    Peace out

  5. HIPPA violations may be a criminal act and should be prosecuted if the information was shared. I am a nurse at a private hospital, and if private medical information is accessed for “snooping” purposes (can be proved by audit logs), the employee would be terminated immediately upon the completion of an investigation. Hands down, no questions asked: TERMINATION at a minimum….possible criminal charges for HIPPA violations if certain elements are met.

    1. Nurse. That depends on location and location, or state. I can’t, haven’t been able to get any laws or rights upheld. None. Health and Human services, med boards, AMA, “Sixty Minutes News” no one wants involved in the state of Indiana’s corrupted associations, alliances, or affiliations. I’d like to see how some of those “audit logs” work since the VA and all the establishment’s machines can make things disappear or replaced to cover-up some pretty severe wrongs, total lack of ethics, and malpractice. I still haven’t found out how the VA and those contractors used by them use their magical auto deleting emails and reports. When I went back down to request a copy of one contractors report sent that contradicted VA testing and info told me or supposedly in my files. Nope they are deleted after 12 hours of their report being sent that I had been shown previously. Zip history, gone, VA says duh?

      It’s difficult to impossible to get anyone in this state held accountable for anything. Too much nepotism mainly and too much “professional courtesy” I’ve been told straight up. So lay down and be a door-mat for all involved and every corrupt profession and such out there. Can’t do much when cliques and mafia styled families are in every possible position in the state, town, universities, all health care, the hospitals, staff at the VA or CBOC, in every political office, all media, everywhere imaginable and deeply connected. The same political families including sitting attorneys and judges to the Indiana Supreme Court, AG, et al, are in positions generationally and for lifetimes. Ha, no term limits here and not much more to vote for, or to get them voted out. Not here. No way to get around the cliques and cabals or the many connections medical wise or not.

      I’ve been black-balled here so much it’s dangerous. Even my journal of events on WordPress was deleted and put to a chidren’s beginning page. Been totally banned and censored full circle, about. So bad I’ve hit the streets with signs about the HIPPA violations, the corruption, censoring, etc. So bad other unions and elec company thugs tried to burn by home down via a short at the pole claiming a imaginary tree fell on it.

      Got big signs in my vehicle 4′ high, 6′ long about it and park around the hospital to the court house, in front of our lying media sources. A few women have come out from the hospital and wanted to know about the names, including the hospital’s CEO and higher up that refuse to talk to me and their secretaries use their skills to keep me away and give excuses. They all refuse to give me copies of my files from their others claim is needed plus my VA files for further care or to switch from that hospital full of female activist and professional MDs that allow them to attack patients and play games. Since those kind, especially when married to council men, attorneys, MDs, to the wealthy cliques and country clubbers… they can get by with murder and severe patient abuse. Being above the laws and any investigations, period. Yes it’s that bad. Plus the daily harassment calls from all over the hospital and staff. “Identity politics” and good ole VA and medical board retaliation all protected and supported by our state’s attorney general and the rest who are there supposedly to serve and represent us peasants and targets of severe attacks, threats and abuse. And NO I am not kidding and can prove it all. All those forms of VA retaliation, same with civvy health care association’s retribution and activist games go fully approved and no real investigation will happen. From any where top down. Zero, just lies and more covering up.

      Those few women that came out wanting information and such? That said they’d check into see what is going on and contact me? Not a peep after. No files released, care hard to find here, just games and all the connected freaks coming out of the woodwork to participate. Let’s throw in some supported and protected Medicare fraud too. And still can’t find a dentist or oral surgeon to Xray the shattered and dislocated jaw the VA gave me (for just one provable easy example). But they sure did love lying in those files too and doing all the surgeries they could to make a buck. And probably passed any statute of limitations and time frames for any legal remedy which won’t be found here either.

      I need help to write a book, a big one.

  6. An Mr Wilkie wonders why Veterans whack themselves or hate the VA? We need a customer ervice window at every VA location with a serious effort made at measuring quality, safety and efficiency to include a comments section for acts of negligence or cruelty. Vets or family members witnessing such acts should be able to act. The Report of Contact form is a bunch of bull shit and so is JCAHO.

    Keep on rolling your eyes Mr Wilkie, we all know thats the “shine-on” , you’re weak and NOT executive material.

  7. This happened to me too. When I questioned the “privacy officer”, he said just because her name is on your SPAR, doesn’t mean she accessed your medical records.

    Make no mistake, if you are a veteran and an employee of the VA you have no medical privacy like your civilian counter part VA employees.

    Even worse you have no recourse. HHS is a toothless tiger. They can’t or will not do anything against another government agency regardless if you have damning evidence.

    EEO, that’s a crap shoot. The AJ was a hippy chick who apparently dislike men and all but gushed over the agency attorney.

    Until va employees are criminally prosecuted for illegal medical record access, veterans will be a disadvantage with the va in employment advancement. And criminal prosecution is an option according to the CFR, I’m just not sure who does the prosecution. Also, about a dozen hospital employees were just fired for looking at Smollett’s medical records. Never gonna happen at the va.

  8. Ben,

    From first hand knowledge, the VA utilizes constructive discharge when attempting to eject a whistleblower employee. Under Federal law, constructive discharge is illegal. Under the ADA, it is considered discriminatory against one who is disabled. Disabled veterans, unfortunately, do not look to protection under the ADA, and representation from the Department of Justice, ADA Division, when it comes to being victims of discriminatory practice by a Federal agency or any employer. There are certain organizational entities who are excluded in certain Titles under ADA, but for the most part, all employers are held accountable under the new amendment – ADAAA, enacted in 2010. Hopefully, the Lt. Col. veteran has good legal representation.

  9. This is not an isolated case. I was a former employee and veteran who was shot in the head in 1972 and was denied treatment, because the va Regional office placed into my official records.

    Claim denied as all of your official Military records were distroyed, now its up to you to provide the evidence you were shot.

    How all my proof was in those official Military records. They put the following in the records.

    Veteran is 0 percent service connected for ptsd and right next to it, it states Non Service connected.

    Due to the NSC, I was told over and over that you are not Service connected and not qualified to seek treatment.

    I caught 2 employees going through my official patient records and made it to show NSC.

    One has died, good ridence. The other was promoted to section chief. Both were jealous that I held a higher position than they did.

    I could not prove it. But I was able to be seen as an employee, due to the VA closing the facility and employees having a hard time Qualified to seek treatment.

    This was the first time I was able to tell my story to a psychiatrist and that ended up, with the psychiatrist to tell me, well you have PTSD and that was all I needed, was that diagnosis.

    I then found an attorney and went from NSC to 100 percent, permanent and Total.

    So, yes employees are going into veterans medical and military records and more than likely had vital information removed and if the veterans Did not have copies. They are up shit creek.

    I keep hearing about women who are managers or higher positions, treated veterans and their employees, like crap.

    I the Queen ! And I hate men and any man who speaks up or out, I will put them in their place.

    You have been reported as being disruptive and you are going to be punished. That’s for veterans.

    Male employee will be fired or given a lower position and placed into a room with not windows.

    Hell, a current manager and former coworker who hated me and other Men. Lied through her teeth and reported to the Denver chief of staff.

    That (SHE) whittnesed me coming into our local clinic at least twice a month and become disruptive.

    She also told them that she whittnesed me threatening to (murder), employees at the clinic and they believed her and punished me for 5 years.

    I was an Administrative Assistant in Medical Administration. In this position and as the Vice President of the Union.

    I know about VA regulations and know how to find them. The regulations concerning Disruptive Behavior is as follows !

    VA regulations require any and all Disruptive Behavior (Must), be Documented on each and every incident.

    So, the manager ( former Coworker), Man Hater. ( Should ), of had to have completed at the least (4), reports as required by those regulations.

    Knowing this I wrote to the Denver chief of staff, who was the person in charge of the Disruptive Committee and I requested any and all of the written reports that VA regulations required to be completed on each and every incident.

    Their, reply, We have (NO), written reports of you ever being disruptive, but we take these allegations seriously and you will be punished.

    Not only did they punished me without any evidence of me ever being disruptive.

    They went even further and contacted the FBI, who called me. They also notified the office of inspector general office and the manager volunteered and documented in my medical records the following “ I will notify the location police department about Mr Gallegos wanting to Murder employees at the clinic.

    All done with out a single piece of evidence.

    I want to fast forward. I was contacted by the Denver VA Representative. This representive told me and my wife in May of 2017.

    Mr Gallegos first I want to apologize to you for what happened to you back in 2004, when you were reported as being disruptive.

    We the Denver va has determined that the Disruptive Committee back in 2004 had not been run properly and if your case would have come in front of the Disruptive Committee Today, you would have ( never), been punished.

    The next part is typical VA. She, the VA representative proceeded to ask MR Gallegos if we could do something to make this ( right), what would you like to see done.

    Her adittude changed once she heard what I thought was fair. I said thank you for helping veterans.

    What I would like to happen is that the Denver chief of staff or the director write a letter confirming what you just told me and my wife and apologize.

    This request, was met with out right Hostility. The Representative became very Disruptive and pissed off. Stating !

    Why should we apologize to you, for something that happened before we were in charge. Angry !

    I said because I was punished before you were in charge and did nothing wrong and you just admitted it.

    Mam, I have to ask (why), did you even call me, if you are not going to help ?.

    Response ! Because we had to. We received an inquiry from secretary shulkin office and we had to.

    Are you going to write me a letter of our conversation ? Reply (NO), well are you going to tell Secretary Shulkin, what you just told me and my wife, that I was falsely accused and punished ?.

    Reply ( yes ), again that was in May of last year. Do you think anyone has reached out to me, since then. No

    Do you think this female representative even told the secretary the truth. I believe she spun her report to say, I was contacted and everything has been resolved.

    No further action is required.

  10. Need to look up my SPARS. Recently decided I’m a victim of whistle blower retaliation. Possibly even the mistreatment of my seizures with Tegretol. I believe this one to be the case because no other drug was tried between 1990 and 2015. Seems like a no brainer if one doesn’t work try another. Especially when the recommended drug was a different drug.

  11. @fucktheva

    I’m so tired of reading about how some ASSHOLE(S) in the VA has broken several laws and is not in or on his/her way to prison.
    This shits gettin old, brothers and sisters!

    1. Word of day indeed is “Assholes”.

      Utilized in a sentence: ^see Crazy elf’s splendid example and follow suit.

  12. Personally I am totally done and have been doing any kind of communication with the VA or any supposedly government agencies that claim are “here to help.”

    I asked many people and the PAs, records people, about hidden or flagged notes and such on my files. The answer was always no. Civvy MD staff with a paper to sign stated that such info or inner-office notes and communications between MDs or clinics “may not be considered as part of file info and released to us the patient.” Paraphrasing.

    Dealing with the countless amount of those “corrupt women” (the many activist) are an added huge issue that there is, and will never be, an end to. Too trendy and expected by the man haters out there. They are trying to make history and break those glass ceilings aren’t they? The nasty VA IT woman told me when inquiring about their department or her about deleting all my communications and info on my Healthy E-vet account… “you have no right or business to dare question college educated highly trained VA female staff about their jobs or what has been done.” Totally side stepping the issue and after other sad attempts of communications with previous female staff and PAs. Later a nasty male PA said the info could be found or replaced which never happened and more of the attacking and games went into high gear. Talk about some hate, hate crimes or hate speech from those we are all supposed to bow to and never question? Hog wash.

    Majority of those I have contacted over the years have been over ninety percent female do-nothings and insulating secretaries and phonies protecting officials from reports or playing their little games. Not that difficult to see all the hating on males going on either. Hear them roar????

    Like said before. Just because there is some kind of law or act doesn’t mean they will be followed or adhered to on a state or local level. Especially in the totally corrupted open air camp called Indiana. Who cares? No-one. Any possibility of recourse? None. We become the enemy of many. Pity no investigative reporter is interested in coming to discuss some major issues and corruption with me. And still my access to a copy of my files from a local civvy hospital is refused and claimed to be legal all over and again, no help to be found. But there is plenty of attitudes, smiles, laughter or pretending to be professional with their name badges turned around and told also I am not allowed to know the names of clinic or hospital staff???? Oh, and all being female actors pretending to be professionals not activist or political attack dogs with all those special rights and allowances. That can easily get by with murder seemingly it’s so bad here.

    Nothing is private or as told can be taken as private, secret, etc. Nothing. My info leaked out into local politicians that hate me from the CBOC (mostly female) and beyond. Banking info is not that secure as with VA records, how we vote, private phone numbers, et al. When things are mentioned after some stalking or out at a meeting or parking lot??? Over the phone? No such thing as “secure” or private. And this is from LEOs to hospitals to politicians. Can’t get basic rights and freedoms protected or upheld nothing like this will hold water locally either. Just the opposite. Such is life in the new America. Nothing private, no where to turn for safety or recourse. I wanna hear about how free and safe we are in a country full of laws and where we can be arrested or guilty of something just sitting here typing or discussing issues. Total BS.

  13. I see a pattern here most of the directors are corrupt woman.
    Give her a call she might like hearing from you.

    Leadership Team

    DeAnne M Seekins | 919-956-5541

    Director, Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network

    1. I hear you Rabbi Shalomovitchbirgenshekelsteinberg …If ya got problems I feel bad for ya son ,…. I got 99 problems and a bitch aint one!!- Good looking out on the phone number of this scandalous cunt. In fact since she worries about the cushy overpaid hebrew pension slush kitty. Back end bonuses for not doing their fucking job is rewarded, Heavily . Femal directors is way too common in most hospital settings because for some reason woman tend to be submissive devil puppets to the Jew stockholders .. .

      Sounds crazy but these bastards at the top are of Hebrew decent and GOYIM are expendable cattle and business is a booming , with war every year since the FED RESERVE ACT of 1913 . A lie within another lie. Its ironic the only people with courage are the veterans that seem to call a spade a spade. After all if they(directors and stock holders of government pension funds and they would gladly hire prior military only for janitors. Which I find Ironic. Takes a veterans to see through the bullshit , good for him to catch these shady mutherfuckers on the scheme to fire another veteran employee whistle blower. The unions are corrupt as well , by keeping stories hushed and under the rug . Think of unions within Vet Affairs as HR departments ,much like patient advocate lies and deception as if they help the veterans ..

      Smoke and mirrors in this clown car funhouse of china confusion when whistles finally blown to get the story out . Chinese fire drill of the Musical chair directors is their first response when the story is deadly enough . Known in most veterans affairs hospitals as the musical chairs shuffle.

      Much like child molester, murdering rabbis and priests . They move them around the country in a game of deception . If you can’t locate the person because they no longer work there in a specific location claiming to have veterans and employees best interest at hand

      This case s no different . Sunshine is best disinfectant for corruption such as this VET employee. There are plenty Ed Snowdens waiting to tell all , what the Vet Affairs fails to acknowledge is the role in which the story even a story from the get go . I would bet these data bases in house are breached often . Probably daily . Nothing like working where your doctor visits are . Thats a great reason never to work for the VA and believe there is Objectivity in anything they do .

      What is must be like to be a FLY ON THE WALL to hear the discussions taking place in these 8 man round table discussion once they realize they have been by a smart veteran willing to push back and because they were caught accessing the vet employees protected HIPA ACT files for nefarious reasons. This will be a cancer that is just one of many reasons the VA will be in shambles with every new story daily ..

      I think Ben Krause could easily go through the steps in detail to help all vets access their “hidden” NON MY HEALTHY VET file. To se the actual documentation made by doctors who say one thing and document a whole different animal . That happens much more than one can fathom. Add Nurses nefarious documentation to that list of culprits of wrongfully access and documenting something the veterans never said or did. Ben Krause that in itself is whole other cancer that runs deep in the VA. in fact go on any blogging veterans site or even just in prior comments on your site. Its rampid

      1. During her more than 30-year tenure with VA, she has served in numerous capacities including Medical Administration Service, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Service, Administrative Officer to the Associate Chief of Staff for Ambulatory Care, Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Staff, and Executive Assistant to the Director. Ms. Seekins was also detailed to the Department of Veterans Affairs Central Office (VACO).

        “30 years of collecting shekels And screwing the Vet’s”

        Ms. Seekins is an active member of the American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE) and the Central Virginia Healthcare Executives Group. She serves as the only VA representative on the American Hospital Association Board, and was appointed to chair the VISN 6 Services for Research, Radiology, and Education. She holds academic affiliation as an adjunct faculty member with Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)….
        “I can’t find where she holds a Degree on anything, Shit I have a affiliation with triple A , Free towing under 250 miles, LOL”
        in the Master in Health Administration program. Ms. Seekins has recently been featured in FedTech Magazine and Partners, a Press Ganey publication, for her work with the Electronic Health Record (EHR) for excellence in implementing customer service-centric initiatives.

        Pleased to meet you
        Hope you guess my name
        But what’s puzzling you
        Is the nature of my game
        oh yeah

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