Tomah VA

Tomah VA Announces 100-Day Plan In Face Of Abuse Investigation

Tomah VA

Benjamin KrauseTomah VA confirmed allegations of patient abuse the same day it pushed out a release to national press that it is starting a new facility improvement plan for the second time.

The timing of the press release as picked up by the local and national press was certainly curious. Last Thursday night, I confronted Tomah VAMC public affairs office Matthew Gowan about allegations that at least one clinical staff abused a patient on film.


Gowan confirmed those allegations that night. But not before he released Tomah VAMC’s new 100-day plan to fix more problems at the facility since investigations started into drug abuse at the facility. Gowan stated an investigation was ongoing.

SEE IT: Tomah VAMC 100-Day Improvement Plan

In an email, Gowan confirmed the allegations:

“A Nursing Assistant has been cited for Disorderly Conduct (carries a $250 fine and $25 administrative fee) based on a VA Police investigation into this matter. Additionally, the Nursing Assistant was removed from patient care duties during the VA Police investigation and will not have patient care duties during the ongoing Administrative fact finding.”

RELATED: New Patient Abuse Allegations At Tomah VAMC

The allegations indicated the nursing assistant repeatedly pushed a patient who did not defend himself. The patient was in the psychiatric section of the facility, and the incident was caught on tape. Like most people, I’m not sure what other facts might assist in the investigation nor why the VA employee would be charged with disorderly conduct instead of assaulting a mentally handicapped individual.

SEE IT: Tomah VAMC 30-Day Improvement Plan

Nonetheless, Tomah VA announced its 100-day plan to improve and the press corps largely gobbled it up without discussing the contents of the plan or why the previous plan was insufficient to improve.


Tomah is still working to bounce back following firmed allegations of inappropriate opioid treatments and retaliation against whistleblowers. Current allegations include patient abuse, broadcasting false credentials of doctors to patients, and general fraud, waste and abuse.

According to sources, problems hiring competent clinicians and related staff have severely deteriorated the morale at the facility. Nursing assistants are supposedly not allowed normal lunch breaks or work shifts. Tomah VA has been forced source health care services from non-governmental providers.


Ms. Victoria Brahm just took over the helm at Tomah after a stint at Iron Mountain, Mich., and VISN 12 headquarters. No doubt Brahm is implementing steps to move Tomah into the direction of a normally functioning medical center.

Here is the plan:

Open Access to Care

Improving Access for Veterans

  • Continue to work psychiatric staffing issues for the Acute Psychiatry Inpatient Services unit.
  • Charter the Medical Center Access Committee.
  • Launch three recruiting initiatives designed to attract mental health providers to Tomah and primary care providers to our Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC).
  • Explore expansion of operating hours at the Wausau and Wisconsin Rapids CBOCs.
  • Assess the Community Living Center Bed Management Plan for the next two years by January 29, 2016.
  • Expand the Optometry Clinic at the Wisconsin Rapids CBOC.
  • Partner with Madison VA Hospital to recruit a shared Infectious Disease provider.
  • Expand Home‐Based Primary Care services at the Wisconsin Rapids CBOC.

Improve Employee Engagement

Continuous Improvement of the Tomah VA Culture

  • Deliver a shared strategic direction for the Medical Center by January 29, 2016.
  • Continued engagement with the National Center for Organizational Development (NCOD) for assistance with cultural change.
  • Open an Employee Wellness Center.
  • Provide resources for Managers to create a Personal Development Plan.
  • Communicate MyVA initiatives to staff through monthly staff meeting by April 1, 2016.
  • The Acting Director will host monthly Employee Listening Sessions beginning in Q2 FY16.
  • Continue Patient Centered Care training through FY16.
  • Conduct “Conflict Management” and “Alternative Dispute Resolution” training by April 1, 2016.

Continuous Emphasis on the Importance of Leadership/Employee Interaction

  • Continue supervisor communication initiatives and accountability through staff meetings and rounding.
  • Provide supervisors with additional training related to:
    • Effectively leading people and establishing a culture of trust.
    • Developing and implementing quality staff evaluations.
  • Increase fair staff recognition and praise.
  • Continue regular rounding by Medical Center leadership.
  • Associate Director for Patient Care Services (ADPCS) will host quarterly Nurse Town Hall Meetings beginning by the end of January 2016.
  • Post the Associate Chief of Staff for Mental Health Services position.

Restoring Trust

Improve Union Partnering

  • NCOD Action Plans – ADPCS will review the NCOD Nurse Survey finding with Labor and distribute those findings to staff nurses. ADPCS and Labor will develop appropriate Action Plans.
  • Continue routine Labor/Management rounding
  • Labor and Management to participate in quarterly Employee Forums.
  • Reestablishment of the Diversity Committee.
  • Deliver an Executive Summary of the monthly Labor/Management meeting to all employees.
  • The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) provided additional proposed actions to continue building and facilitating partnerships and improve employee engagement and morale. Labor and management will work together on an implementation plan for the following recommendations:
  • Provide training for Management and AFGE Officers and Stewards on Interest Based Problem Solving and Interest Based Bargaining to facilitate healthy working relationship for effective problem solving and smooth implementation of Changes in Working Conditions.

Improving the Veteran Experience

  • Utilize Veteran Focus Groups (OIF/OEF/OND, Women Veterans) and Kiosk reports to obtain just‐in‐time customer satisfaction feedback.
  • Conduct Veteran/Stakeholder Town Halls at Veteran population centers semi‐annually (La Crosse and Wausau).
  • Identify the most appropriate membership and actions for the Veteran Experience Committee.
  • Continue to develop informational and educational articles for Veterans.
  • Maintain weekly office hours for the Director to meet with Veterans.

High Performing Network & Best Practice

Tools for Providers

  • Provide additional new provider mentoring opportunities through Service Line provider meetings.
  • Initiate quarterly joint leadership meetings with Madison VA.
  • Continued development of Integrative Medicine Initiatives


  • Utilize Daily Plan Program on Acute Care Unit to improve Veteran/Provider shared decision making.
  • Continue monthly Mock Codes and follow‐up reviews.
  • Train nursing and medical staff in The First Five Minutes regimen. The program is designed to assist staff in developing the confidence, technical and critical thinking skills needed to recognize and respond to an unstable patient.
  • Provide quarterly LEAN training opportunities for staff.

Care in the Community

  • Demonstrate continual improvement with the Choice “Opt‐In” rate. Shows our support and continued focus on using Choice to maintain access to healthcare services.

Think the new fix-it plan will be the magic bullet Tomah VA is looking for?

SOURCE: Star Tribune

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  1. Letting the VA get away with screwing the veterans and getting away with unethical behavior is no one’s fault but the Veterans themselves. We as veterans have enormous power and that power needs to be displayed right away. All veterans need to organize in the millions and march mainly on Washington, DC and for those who cannot travel march onto their local VA Medical Centers and VA Affair Departments. In the millions, we can close down DC for weeks. March in front of the White House, Congress, and the Veterans Department. Tell the President, Congress and Secretary McDonald (the green berate who served in Nam and O’Bama’s yes man) to immediately fix the VA to perform its functions in favor of veterans. Fire unethical bureaucrats immediately, fire leave with pay bureaucrats who have been on paid leave for an unexplained extended time, fire bureaucrats who have retaliated against whistleblowers, make good on whistleblowers, no pensions for bureaucrats who have resigned but had unethical issues, fire those bureaucrats who have plead the fifth in front of Congress or at the minimum put them on leave without pay and reduction in benefits and many other actions against the VA to numerous to mention. If the President, Congress and the VA Secretary do not enforce the changes, we should give them 16 hours to get out of town or million of veterans will physically throw them out. If the police or federal agents get in our way, they will also be thrown out. Enough of this B***S***.

    1. I also think it’s time veterans do go to Washington and other places and demand reform and now.

      That is the only way for veterans to be heard. I think everyone even duty anyone that wants to rally should be welcome.

      Their is to be no guns or anything that would give the police or anyone else the excuse to say the veterans are trouble maker’s.that will get nothing done.

      Again two wrongs don’t make a right. We must not let them doing what their doing.breaking laws to get what they want.

      Peacefully assemble.don’t have to be a mob.that defeats everything we stand for.

      We want justice.

      1. I am hoping that as veterans we have all seen the injustice of war. We should know that a show of force with peaceful intentions is the only way to fight this battle.
        This is a war of public opinion, one that can only be won by continusly showing and reminding the american people that we deserve to be properly cared for. While demonstrating that the VA and our government continually fails to provide the support we require with the money paid for by the tax payer.
        Privatization of the care would fix some of the problem. Those that have mental illness are still undertreated and uncared for in our communities. The homeless (many vets) would end up on disruptive type committees and banned from treatment as well.
        I am hoping to see more organizations like twenty 22 many. We are seeking to setup a homeless shelter for vets in olympia. We are getting donations and have naturalpaths donating time to help treat our veterans. This is a plan that will work. Vets understand vets. If you get combative with me, I probably said something wrong that triggered it, no committee required. I will learn not to say that to you.

    2. I have to disagree with the philosophy that the veteran must fight for thier own rights. Oh its true in todays system that is whats required, but its not right.
      Far too many vets dont have the ability to fight for thier rights, most dont even know they have them.
      I learned in military science that for proper communication you should never write to your soldiers above the 6th grade level. It was vital to KISS (keep it simple stupid). This would assure that all members of your unit fylly understood your orders.
      Ever seen disability and compensation paperwork? Its a lot of rules and regs written in legal terms. Hardly the sixth grade level.
      Why is it I was supposed to use 6th grade english per militarty doctrine when writing to my soldiers for understanding, yet they are given legal type documentation and asked to decipher it to obtain medical care?
      Simply put, we dont want you to fuck up taking the hill, but we will do everything in our power to insure you fuck up being cared for after.

  2. 12/02/2015

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Good Work…making the call.

    In Medina, Ohio Walmart was putting the veterans in the cold, in WEST HEMPSTEAD, New York, the small town decided to raze a Navy veterans house while in Florida, and Phoenix gets another old [same] management boss from LA.

    Meanwhile the “pending status” is making news from the Stars and Stripes.

    Lockheed [Peake & Principi] have been too silent with their C&P Scandal over at QTCM.

    The Universities are in hot water, and the temperature is boiling up.

    And the Charities are also very silent as everyone has noticed that this VA Mismanagement has not disappeared since May of 2014.

    Talked to an old Navy veteran from Nam—-not very happy with the VA here in Phoenix [Donut Hole problem —$300.00+ a month for meds/insulin].

    “What is under your Christmas Tree this year?


    Don Karg

  3. Trolling Trolling Trolling!!!

    Hay you Hungry Hungry Hippo’s from Tomah. You do understand that your IP addresses are being recorded with each post you upload to this page?

    Also I hope that you know that Benjamin Krause the person who wrote the article above is not only an Investigative Reporter but also a Veterans Law Attorney. I should add that Ben also enjoys a great working relationship with A.J. Lagoe and Steve Eckert, Investigative Producer KARE 11. Below are a few links to some of their work. Both are regarding unqualified doctors working at the VA.



    I truly am looking forward to hearing what Ben has to say about a pack of Hungry Hungry Hippo’s from Tomah leaving their troll excrement all over his comment section in this story.

    1. I saw this Kirk and it is embarrassing. I also wonder who is taking care of the patients. This is awful and I think taxpayers should be up in arms. I am.

      1. @Kirk,
        I too have been trying to educate her. But, alas, too no eval.
        When I said “blowing smoke” she, in her minds eye, interpreted it as to “smoking something”! Lmfao!!!

      2. Crazy. Really? Seriously? I was trying to get you two to ease up on your sarcasm? Damn! YOU were the person who told me to be more understanding. Why don’t you take your own advice instead of being so cynical.

      3. Its odd how kirk is so quick to point out trolls and answering before reading.
        I am a troll because I disagreed with crazy elf while showing a different argument that has the same solution. Shut the VA down.
        Perhaps kirk should practice reading whole comments before naming trolls.
        It may be even wiser to listen to members that worked in healthcare systems (especially the VA) and try to fully understand how the system is failing us. Then we have true arguments to take to the government to achieve our goal.
        Please Shut down the VA and instead setup programs to help the homeless and other veterans that the private sector does not tend to well. Allow private doctors to handle the rest. We dont have enough good providers in our nation to go around. The system to see them and be cared for by them should be streamlined, not delayed so as to save money.

      4. Hey Crazy Elf,

        Did you happen to notice drb0701 is always backed up by Dustin Bruce. I am sure the troll will come back as “Dustin R Bruce 0701”.

        Imagine that we are being haunted by a troll going through a sexual identity crisis. Who also lack any creativity when creating new names to troll with.

        What does a person call it a he/she or just it.

      5. Crazy Elf — it also proves you were right about the VA only hiring from the bottom of the barrel.

      6. See I told you! You just couldn’t do it. You couldn’t just shut up (about what you know nothing of) and leave it alone. You just have to be hateful and name call, even on Sunday. I will pray for you!

  4. @drb0701
    You say this is your first time on here, or any veterans blog.
    Well, let me be frank.
    Many, if not the majority of people, who come on here have had horrendous experiences at numerous VA’s nationwide.
    So, when anyone comes on here defending this corrupt governmental entity, it’s extremely hard to believe anything they say. Thus, “Troll Alert”!
    Maybe you were a great healthcare provider. Or, maybe your just trying to “blow smoke”! No one on here has had any “conversations” with you. So we are sceptical to say the least.
    If you can, try feeling the pain, frustrations and animosities we (the majority on here) hold toward VA!
    If you can’t do that, then NO ONE WILL BELIEVE OR TRUST YOU – EVER! Except maybe another VA employee!

    If your not part of the solution, then your part of the problem!!!

    Lastly, you may not be aware of the following. But there are individuals on here that have way more experience dealing with the corrupt VHA than you!
    You might want to do some fact finding about VA’s nationwide before defending them.

    Here’s other great sites–

    “VAWatchdog dot org”
    “VA is Lying
    Veterans are Dying”
    (This one is on Facebook)
    “VA Secrets”
    “VAntage point”

    All of these should open your eyes to the egregious acts committed against veterans by VHA & VBA employees….

    U.S.Army & U.S.Navy – Retired.

    1. There might be someONEs on this blog that have more experience dealing with the VHA in Denver or the VBA than me. If I didn’t tell you, I have been threatened with my job on several different occasions and as a single Mom of two that has got to say something to you. My first husband was a VN combat vet who died at the age of 42 and that was 22 years ago. While at the VA, I have shaken in my boots when standing up for other veterans, but no one ever saw. I never stood down, because to do so, would have meant they won and I lost and I do not give up or lose, especially when I am right.

      I was a great healthcare provider as I did my best, all anyone can ask for. I came in early and left late just to get my patient care done. I did not ask for CTE or OT because Management would tell employees who had to ask for OT or CTE they needed time management courses. My time management was just fine, I had too many ill patients who needed to be taken care of. I came in on Saturdays and worked the whole day. I came in early to see patients in the morning before they went to work. No one else was in the clinic but me. Some would call me a martyr and if I went around telling people (other than you) about it, I might be, but I didn’t go around telling people. The job needed to be done and I did it. So, yes, I was a dedicated healthcare provider and I am proud about my service both at the VA and during my time in the Army. I give 100% or more just to get the job done.

      This is my first time speaking up on the blog and I just had to tell you about the 90%, as it irritated the hell out of me. I have been reading you and others for months about the unfairness of the VA and ventilating your anger. I do have empathy and I also understand your frustration and anger towards this big inanimate slow working blob of an organization.

      I have horrific stories I could tell you, but I won’t as they are private to me. I have been put through the ringer and I am so glad to be out of that GOD forsaken hell hole. And when I have to go to the Specialty Clinic on 6th floor, I start shaking. I thought it would get better and maybe it will, but so far it hasn’t.

      I have been reading this Blog about other VA’s. So I am not totally unaware of other VA’s, but as you suggested I could read more and will. Thank you for the sites and I will look at them.

      And I do not smoke…so blowing smoke would never be in the equation for me. I can tell you, I think I can be trusted, but you and others will have to be the judge. I don’t come here to tell you that you are wrong about things you have experienced, but that there are more good employees at the VA trying to do right by you and others. I am sorry this hasn’t been your experience.

      1. Many of us Veterans *have* been to other VAMC’s in different States and there lies a huge problem: The VA is *not* standardized across the board, thus you can actually have been treated for years say out in Washington State at a VAMC and then move to say, Wisconsin or any other State, and what has happened to more than a few Vets is the new VAMC decides to not honor the very established medical data and prescriptions established that works for whatever given ailment…they play “God Syndrome” and will act as if you have to start all over just because it’s a different VAMC…this also has had the effect of the new VAMC deciding that they do not LIKE the given disability rating that was from VARO of Vet’s former State, so the new VAMC decides to get their State’s RO involved, reduce or completely remove disability rating, effectively making many a Veteran homeless and yes, even take their own lives.

        No Standardization facilitates corruption and total lack of discipline. This VA is supposed to be a ‘System”, just as when Active Duty one went from one Base to another many times and the job remains the same only the faces and names are different.
        The only Standardization the VA has done pat is “Systemic Corruption”. That makes what ‘good’ VA Employees remain look ‘bad’ especially from our point of view which is that “good employee” generally will say nothing about what they see is wrong around them for selfish, job preservation reasons, so no longer a “good VA Employee” by any logic. The Nazi’s at the Nuremberg Trials all said the same unacceptable thing, “We were just following orders”…tainted fruit.

      2. I certainly didn’t know about all this changing of VA SCD. I never got involved in doing any of this and never would. And nobody ever asked me to do it.

        I was there not to take my patient’s down but to help support them when they were standing up. Remember I am a disabled veteran myself.

        I have been harping about Pharmacy for years, as it seems totally wrong not to have standardization of medications. Why change a person who is doing perfectly well on a medication just because it is not on the formulary at the Denver VA. We can get it, but we have to justify it, but we can get it and should. I do not like playing around with my patient’s medications when they are working. Counterproductive to good patient care!

      3. Years ago I was in the Houston VA Gulf War Referral Center supposedly because those referral centers were supposed to provide more in depth testing on illnesses the local VA couldn’t diagnose. I was given several prescriptions and told to get them filled at the Oklahoma City VA when I got home. I tried, but the Pharmacy wouldn’t even look at them. They said they couldn’t verify they were valid. When I suggested they look them up in their computer, she said the VAs systems were not hooked together. She said the only way to get them filled was to see local providers who would write new prescriptions. It was a collosal waste of money.
        Yet the VA can find negative information on your medical record from years ago to justify denying a claim.

      4. The VA is supposedly connected with all VAs, esp. within their VISNs.They could of called the providers in Texas or had the Pharmacy call. It takes time, but that is their job!

      5. Well, we would not need a blog like this if the VA were actually “doing their job” , and following established regulations, at al.

        They do not even listen to the House Veterans Committee and blatantly lie to members of Congress and that goes all the way to the VA Secretary. We have seen it over and over.
        This dysfunction extends to individual VAMC’s because for some reason the Managers of individual VAMC’s seem to interpret the regulations any which way they want.
        Tomah VAMC was already under scrutiny from atrocities “Dr. Candy Man” was doing and even killed a Veteran…and then Tomah VAMC gets caught abusing Veteran Patient.

        VA needs an enema!

      6. I have heard their lies. McDonald is no better than the last and I can see why people get frustrated. You think things will change and they don’t. It makes me tired!

    2. My suggestion is to wait and see before calling troll alert and blowing smoke. These terms generally just make the good natured people shut up. Thus you are only doing to them what thier directors did.
      They get shut up a lot. So please if VA providers come to speak, dont shut them up. Instead listen and find the holes if there are any. I doubt you will find many coming here to fight the va pr fight. This sites voice isnt big enough to scare them.

  5. Shut it Down ,appears no one trust or usues VA I will never Trust them again,sure don’t hear any problems with Healthcare that the politicians have .Someone remind me what exactly.these Elected Assholes do ? Besides making a huge mess

    1. Omg. Make all senators and congressman authorized for care at the VA. Mandate they are not to recieve private insurance. Are these men and women better than our soldiers that fight for our freedoms? I am guessing the VA would change in a week.

  6. That is so wonderful that they have a plan and a 100 day plan no less. What about more serious charges against the Nursing Assistant. The VA Police are not the only law enforcement agency!

    The State of Wisconsin has a portal “Complaints Concerning Health or Residential Care in Wisconsin” where this patient should immediately file a complaint. Not to mention violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Misdemeanor or Felony Assault!

    The VA facility is inspected by the State of Wisconsin just as in other jurisdictions.

    This abused patient needs legal representation to assist with filing criminal charges with the VA Police for assault against the Nursing Assistant.

    There should be no room in any healthcare environment for someone that would abuse their powers under the color of authority! (Yes I know that is usually reserved for law enforcement), but in this case the Nursing Assistant is acting as a representative of the Federal Government and has far reaching powers within the scope of their duties. This is just a thought and hopefully will lead someone to step up and represent this patient.

    In Wisconsin, the crime of battery (intentionally causing injury to another person, including an unborn child) will be punished as a felony when it causes substantial or great bodily harm, or is committed by or against certain people.

    (Wis. Stat. §§ 940.19, 940.195.)

    Batteries that merely cause bodily harm (that isn’t “substantial” or “great”) are punished as misdemeanors. For more information on these crimes, see Battery Laws in Wisconsin.

    “Committed by or against certain people” – does that include psychiatric patients being assaulted by medical staff. I would imagine it might.

    1. The “VA Police” are on the purse strings and marionette strings of the VA and VA’s Disruptive Committee, and Vets have learned they are not exactly to be trusted, no matter what State or Jurisdiction a person lives in because the simply protect the VA’s interest, not so much protecting Veterans from the VA. A very twisted Catch-22 or better known by Vets that “The inmates are running the asylum”.

  7. Since we all know that 90%+ of VA physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers graduated at the bottom of their classes.
    If any one of them were to speak out against anything, do y’all believe their being told something like,
    “Go ahead, report it. Then you can find work out in the real world!”
    Of course, this is just wishful thinking.

    We all agree.


    1. Crazy…that is simply not the truth. I was on the Honor Roll throughout college, residency and many of my colleagues were also. I worked at the Denver VA for 27 years (retired July 31, 2013) and might I add I worked my butt off. I never claimed OT, came in on Saturdays and Sunday’s if I hadn’t completed my work during the week. I saw patients at 0630, so they could get to work and not get in trouble with their employer. So for you to say what you have been saying is offensive to me and others. Not all VA employees are bad nor did 90 percent of them graduate at the bottom of their class.

      And we all don’t agree about shutting the VA down. I am a patient at the VA and my NP is stellar. So please don’t include me when you talk for everyone! Thanks for your time.

      The NA is likely represented by the Union. He/she will be given their due process and should be fired if proven guilty. There are videos on all impatient mental health wards, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to prove. Patient abuse is never acceptable, never, ever!

      1. To comment on graduating at the bottom of thier class is ridiculous. Fact is most VA healthcare providers make less money than thier counterparts in most parts of the country. So thier ability to obtain and retain quality staff is truely unobtainable. Couple that with constant investigations and pissed off vets to deal with. Makes me feel sorry for the people that have to work for this system. That sorrow quickly fades as I see them working there and accepting the subpar treatment they provide while saying they are doing the best they can.

      2. I got a decent salary, but not for the amount of hours I worked. I enjoyed my work with the veterans in the Homeless Program, but I did not enjoy being asked to do more with less, which was frequently the case. Generally, we didn’t have enough staff to do the job and if they did hire enough, there were not enough rooms to put them in. Catch 22!

      3. The other catch 22. Healthcare providers in the VA system must follow thier rules regs, provide care that is often outdated, using only the approved medications.
        Case in point. American lake va pain clinic requires a 2 hour class once a week for a month to see a provider. Don’t even get me started on forced education before assessing a patients learning needs or ability. In yhis class they heavily emphasize the dangers of narcotics. They all but said long term use will kill you. Ok got it thanks dont want them. They briefly mention natural remedies that help chronic pain. Pt, chiropractics, massage and acupuncture. I was estatic, this is what I needed. When I approached the instructor and asked what treatment modalities were available through the VA. Narcs and PT.
        They say narcs dont work. They say they will kill you. Yet they pay for us to get narcs and wont pay for the natural remedies they themselves report as working. Takes this pill and die….its all we offer.

      4. The Pharmacy Dept pretty much rules what providers can prescribe and if we want something outside of the formulary we have to justify, justify, justify. Denver does not hire Chiropractors, but they have started Yoga classes. I heard there were some Docs doing acupuncture, but it’s rare. I am on daily narcs (a reason I retired early) and they help some, but not completely. My back is shot and I have already had one failed back surgery. I go to a private PT, as trying to get an appt at the VA is near impossible. I still have my private healthcare insurance, but I don’t want the VA to close, as there are some services I think the VA does better, i.e. Prosthetics, PTSD and I think our Homeless Program is good. We still need more housing, but access to healthcare is easier if you come thorough the Homeless Program. I think many veterans would miss coming to the VA. So maybe giving veterans a choice in where they want to be seen is the answer. Providers in the community don’t have it so good either. They must see 20-25 patients a day. I don’t think they feel good about coming to work. I need to,turn in, but it has been my pleasure to,speak with you. Take care!

      5. You may not have had enough money for your specific clinic, but the VA has certainly had enough money for lavish conferences in the past, moving around managers to game the system with moving expenses, committing blatant fraud to gain bonuses while vets die and to award bonuses to any swinging Richard that shows up to warm a seat. Then there are the billions wasted on construction by managers that shouldn’t be building an outhouse.
        Correct the rampant fraud, waste and abuse and the rest of the VA might operate properly.

      6. Our clinic never had enough money or staff to deal with the influx of our new patient flow. And I totally agree with you about fraud, waste and abuse, but this is generally done by the SES employees not the regular staff. There are veteran employees who attempt to do the right thing for our patients and staff. However, after we speak up our lives are made so miserable we either have to file EEOs, hire attorneys or leave the system. The VA should be the “employer of choice” but it is not.

      7. Drb your right there are employees that do care and provide great care

        You have to admit.there are also employees that don’t do their jobs properly and that’s a really big problem for the veterans.

        What department did you work for.if you don’t mind telling us.

        Since your retired and the va can’t retalate against you.I’m sure you seen some things you would like changed.

        If you could change something within the VA to make things better for the veterans.What would it be and how would you do it.


      8. For the last 25 years I worked on the inpatient/Residential PTSD program, then the outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Program/Homeless Veterans Program. I was always in trouble for expressing my opinion, so I am not afraid of saying what I think now or then!

        There are so many things I would want to change. Staffing would be a big one. Not enough staff to do our jobs well.

        Space, never enough space and patient confidentially is out the door, as there is none! Confidentially is so important to our patients and trust is a very big deal. SES employees are able to give themselves bonuses, so instead of those bonuses, lease some office space where VA employees can see their patients.

        Time…I think we need staggered shifts, so we can see veterans before and after work. There is some of that being done in Denver on Saturdays and Sunday’s, but I mean regularly scheduled staffing, M-F. Veterans unemployment is high, so we want to encourage their working rather than make it more difficult for them.

        If a decent Manager sticks up for their employees, they get demoted and eventually leave because they can’t take the reprisal. So that leaves the awful Managers who do as they are told to do. I think being in Management would be difficult, because they have to live with their decisions and always are walking on eggshells, as
        their Supervisors rule. Those good Managers should be allowed to manage their units as they know their staff and their units/wards.

        Polypharmacy is another big problem for the elderly and actually not so elderly patients. Just take a pill and I will see you in a year. No wonder they are confused. Some can’t tell you which way is up! It’s horrible! I think this goes on, because once again we don’t have time to really listen to the patients. We just medicate and sometimes overly!

        To dovetail onto the pharmacy bit above, prescribers have to argue with Pharmacy about drugs that providers know will be better for their patients. I know it’s about cost, but there is way too much interference from Pharmacy.

        VAs should carry the same medications. It shouldn’t be that hard to do.

        Hire more qualified veterans and put them in charge (if the veterans will do it). Most of the people who get in trouble and speak up are veteran employees. Veterans follow rules, regulations, policies whereas the others don’t. The others use them as loose guidelines only.

        Cleanliness. The VA, although older, is filthy. Housekeeping sits more than they stand. They are the only staff that get to take breaks. It’s gross. I once saw a housekeeper clean a toilet, not change her gloves and walk down the corridor with the same gloves on holding onto the rails where patients hold onto. I did confront the housekeeper and call her Supervisor
        about the issue and they did some remedial training. The housekeepers generally are able to empty staff’s garbage cans, however. They are totally useless and this affects everyone’s morale, patients and staff. I have been in many VAs, some are clean and others are not. So I don’t think it is just a Denver problem. When and if we ever get the new VA in Aurora, the housekeepers will not have the excuse of its an old building.

        Staff should be able to appraise Managers on their performance. Managers should get in uniforms rather than heels and suits and help the inpatient staff. Managers should work alongside their employees, it shows they care and the employees sometimes need that help of another pair of hands.

        I can go on and on, but here are just a few of my suggestions. I sometimes wish I could be a “secret shopper to catch employees doing good things”. The morale is low when all you hear is work harder with no staff to support the mission.

        Thanks for listening.

      9. Thanks for your honesty and your comments it’s good to hear an employees point of view.

        There has been many reports about veterans being reported to the disruptive committee.would you mind letting us known.what you known about this subject.

        It seems that some veterans are being accused of disruptive behavior and the VA employees not having to produce any written evidence and the committee only using hearsay evidence.

        Have you ran into any employees using this committee just to get back at veterans for questioning them about their treatment or saying something about an employee.

        How would you rate higher management such as the chief of staff.chief of psychiatry and the past and present director.

        I also was a former employee and understand that some employees may do something like this just because they might not like that certain veteran.

        Just trying to get an employees view on those type of situations.

        Have a good day.a fellow veteran.


      10. I happened to be a voting member on the Disruptive Behavior Committee and you would want me to be there, as Imwas the only veteran. The Committee is chaired by a Psychologist or Psychiatriast. The other members are legal counsel, RNs, SWs, PharmDs, ward clerks and patient advocates. There are computer progress notes entered on every veteran who allegedly misbehaves inappropriately and I believe they are titled Disruptive Behavior. The progress note is reviewed by the Committee and if any restrictions happen they are already prescribed by Central Office (first, second, third offense). There is not much interpretation from the Committee, as they either fit or don’t. Before I was on the committee, I understand there were veterans who were banned from care at the VA, but this banning is no longer happening. The patient may be told they need seen at another VA, sometimes far away, which is a pain, but they cannot be refused care. The patient can also be told they need to be escorted around the hospital by the VA Police, but this is also rare now. There are flags on the progress notes telling staff what the offense is and these flags are to be reviewed on a yearly basis by the Committee, unless someone, either patient or staff asks for a review earlier. We were late on a lot of those reviews so we met more often than 2xs a month to catch up. Were there flags put there because staff were vindictive and just didn’t like veterans…perhaps? We do have those nutty employees who,like power and control, but luckily they are far and few and the Committee knew them. If I knew the patient which I likely did, as I worked there for so long and knew a lot of veterans and employees, I would tell the Commitee, I did not think the patient warranted flagging. We did have some patients who acted inappropriately, but it was rare and usually around uncontrolled pain and the Pharmacy being slow. I would be angry also if my pain was not managed correctly.

        The SES employees, Director and all the upper Managers were not veterans, at least when I was there. I hear now we have a Chief who is a veteran and some of the sloppy employees (chronically late, abuse their SL) are being held accountable, which is good for all. Before this new Chief, the GS employees kind of ran the show, as an earlier predecessor was involved somehow with the AFGE President

        I hope I answered all your questions. If not, please ask again. I have to go for now, but I will answer your questions as soon as I can.

      11. At least you are forth coming.what happens when hearsay is involved.

        What if there is no progress note of the veteran ever being disruptive ever.but a administration manager reports a patient being disruptive and when the veteran requests any and all proof used to punish such veteran and higher management tells a congressmen that the veteran was never punished for the reporting.

        Yet the veteran has all his medical records.that state otherwise? And the veteran actually punished for five years with the employee never made to provide proof of the allegations.

        Why does the disruptive committee.not require proof and each time the veteran makes inquires through the dav.etc and the committee lets the very same employees making the allegations answer the inquires.

        That’s exactly what happen to me and at every turn.higher management and the disruptive committee would not give the veteran any way of getting justice even when they have no continue to denigh the veteran any of his civil or constitutional rights.

        What can a veteran do when the disruptive committee ignores the it easier to keep telling a lye.instead of getting to the real truth.

        I’m a veteran that you helped punish and are part of the problem.since you sat on the committee and did nothing to stop it.

        Now you know why veterans are so Fed up.with the VA.they would rather cover up.for a manager.than to listen to the veterans.believe it or not the Denver Disruptive committee really did me wrong and I’m paying a heavy price for it.

        The committee you sat on placed into my official medical records. IF the VA ever hears that I’m ever reported as being disruptive again.YOU will be arrested.federal charges placed against you and you will be banished from all VA care.

        Now that same employee is still in the management position and has total control of me and she only did so.because she did not like me when we used to work at the same hospital.

        Pretty bad don’t you is it possible for this to happen with no oversight at all.

        I really need someone to explain this injustice to me. I think an explanation is required.


      12. I am sorry this happened to you. I was on the Committee for about 3 years and retired over 3 years ago. I don’t remember hearing about you, but I don’t know your full name or what the complaint was about. I can tell you your case should be reviewed on a yearly basis, so you can ask that it does. I have never seen a disruptive patient not have a progress note, as we didn’t have anything to follow. And you have a right to see and have a copy of the documentation. They just can’t say something about you and not share what you supposedly did wrong. There has to be something in writing or it doesn’t exist. Do you at least have a letter from the Chair telling you what you supposedly have done wrong. You can ask for a review and to sit down with whoever has blemished your record or their Chief, and I would tell you to do so. You deserve to have your records and I can certainly see why you might be angry. Take someone with you as your witness! Call Regional Office and ask to speak with their Attorney’s. Also get a copy of the Patient Bill of Rights, as you have rights also.

      13. Yes.they told me I had been disruptive on numerous occasions.that I would come in at least twice a month and become disruptive.

        They can not give dates.times or who the employee was that heard me being disruptive.

        Do you know why?.simple it never happened period. It was plain and simple retaliation committed by Martha Martinez lead administrator and former coworker who just hates anyone saying anything about her period.

        I know one of her family members and she told me.that many other family members can’t stand her to arrogant.

      14. I do not know this person, and her name doesn’t even ring a bell. Doesn’t sound like a very nice person, so it’s better I don’t know her.

      15. Drb0701 just gave you the information you need James in her comment about how the Disruptive Committee operates. They supposedly meet as often as needed, with progress notes made on the veteran which would suggest shows why the veteran was disruptive. If I were in your position, I would send a FOIA request to the Denver VA, and request any information they have in their possession regarding you and this committee. State in your request that this may include meeting minutes of the committee, any progress notes on you and any allegation made.
        If they can’t provide that, then there is no basis for them having you flagged. If you do get any information, perhaps you could read through it and correct any lies by putting it in writing back to the committee.

      16. I have been framed by an employee and the Denver Disruptive committee let it happen without requiring proof.

        Does not matter how many times they meet.if they are willing to keep a lye alive and the veteran never getting a say so about it.

        Again if someone is disruptive it should not be the VA employees to be judge.jury and prosecutor.

        If an employee makes an allegation of disruptive behavior they should be required to call law inforcement and not take that role.

        And if the employees are unable to provide any proof of the allegations.the veterans should not be punished.
        So no this former employee did not explain why this happened and continues to happen.just because a disgruntled employee does not like the veteran.for what ever reason.

        The committee was told.I would come into the clinic at least twice a month and no reports ever done.

        And their story changed at least three times. First they stated I wanted to hurt the rater.then changed to I wanted to hurt employees at the Denver vamc and then changed again to I wanted to shoot certain employees at my local clinic.

        What ever the procedure.none were followed in my case and the employee was able to retaliate against me with just hearsay.
        How would you like to be falsely accused of wrongdoings and punised and you known you are being railroaded.

        And no one cares enough to get the real story and put the blaim where it really belongs.

        VA needs to stop punishing veterans when the stories keep getting changed.

        No government agency should have the ability to punish someone and act like a court.where the veteran is not able to defend themselves.

        Don’t you believe in justice or is it ok to punish an innocent person without giving that person a chance to defend themselves.

        Evidently you have no this effects the well being of the accused and their mental health and well being.

      17. Please ask for all records (FOIA) pertaining to the Disruptive Behavior Committee attached to your SSN. There are progress notes on you and again if there is no documentation there is no complaint.

      18. What good would that do.when the director told the congressmen office there was no written evidence.but collobrated?

        They refused to say who collobrated the allegations.YOU must remember this is a very small town.where this employee knows everyone and are her friends.that would do whatever she says or get on her bad side.

        I know employees who would not cover up for her.but the disruptive committee failed to give myself and them testify in front of an impartial enity.where they would not be retalated against for telling the truth.
        I have asked repeatedly for all employee.employees involved to have a lye detector test completed and if they pass the test.I would never bring the matter up again.I even offered to take the test.

        It’s just not right for someone to accuse someone of wrongdoings and not be able to defend themselves.

        They are breaking the law by not requiring tangible evidence.seems some don’t care about the real truth.because they would have to admit they made a mistake and punished an innocent person.

        The only thing in the chart is the progress note.where they took action to punish me and never looked into what I have been saying really happened.

        It’s the same thing as me telling hit a patient and them punishing you.with no proof and you can’t do a darn thing about it.

        How would you feel then.

      19. James, if you submitted the FOIA for any information on you related to this and they could not produce it, then you have a basis for a complaint of them punishing you for no reason. That could be provided to the Congressman. On the other hand, if they provided information that you believe is false, it would give you a chance to refute it in writing, which again puts them in a position of punishing you for no reason.
        Since how this committee operates has been explained, it shows there should be plenty of documentation to support their claim that you are disruptive. If they cannot produce it, they have no basis for their claim.

      20. Yes.that is what should have been done.but no one will investigate.I was told by Hal out of senator Bennett’s office.that the senator’s office can not force any investigation.just make inquires and that’s it.

        So.the VA can say anything and that’s as far as it goes. All VA did was send it back to the very same employee who made the allegations to answer herself.a person would never be able to get to the truth.if the criminal is able to answer any and all inquires themselves.

        This employee even went so far as to tell the senators office and the DAV one reason why I could not return to the local clinic after the two year probation.

        Was that since I would not admit to being disruptive.that I would be punished for an additional three years and the disruptive committee agreed.

        So this employee was able to do what ever she wanted to do to me and no one questioned her as to the vality of her claims.

        So the senators office holds no power to make the VA to do any investigation period.

        Why even have one. Criminals have more rights than veterans.

      21. I know, I don’t know about your case, as I would never use the word punish, nor would I be so harsh on you. I would also think that you being a Supervisor would mean something to other Supervisor’s, but I guess not. That is just my assumption and obviously wrong on my part. Yes, your Congressional Reps will look into things and say they cannot make the VA do anything, but they also say they can make things uncomfortable for the VA just by asking. You know, as well, as I do, the VA hates Congressional inquiries. I don’t have a copy of the policy as I threw that out long ago.Unless, it has changed, annual reviews are done and you should be afforded that, I don’t care what you are accused of.

      22. I’m a former medical administrative assistant and retired medically for my service connected disability.

        24 years and 3 years active duty where I was shot in the head and completed six years national guard.received superior performance awards.suggestion awards.

        Was able to get every member of my medical unit.EMT qualified through the state. Was posted in the VA a hero for saving a man’s life after findings him hanging from a tree.

        Never been reprimanded. Went from a GS 2 employee to a GS7 administrative assistant in 5 years.

        Some people don’t like people who suceed in life and will resort to destructive behavior to prove a point.that they can distroy all of that by telling one simple lye.

      23. I said in an earlier email that veterans get in more trouble at the VA, because they know about rules, regs and policies and they follow them. Whereas other staff do not follow and use only as loosely written guidelines, if at all. Veterans also ask more questions and you know questions are generally not well received in systems where you are supposed to do what you are told. You have a lot to be proud of!

      24. Yes.I worked very hard to accomplish.what I have done and it took one venditive person to tear it all apart.with no reguard to her actions.

        I fought for fourty years for my disability and will keep fighting this injustice until someone listens or I die.

        My grandchildren will see that when your right about something and someone thinks they can say other wise.they have to stand up to them.until the truth is reveled.

      25. If you submit the FOIA request as has been suggested, then that request will likely go to the Privacy Officer. They have a legal requirement to respond and will do so in writing telling you that they have received your request. They have a legal requirement to respond and provide the documentation you request within 30 days, or you can sue them. They can ask for more time, but given it is a simple request they should be able to respond within the 30 days. If they respond with any documentation, you can review it, then respond to the Privacy Officer why it is false in writing. You can also provide why that is false in writing to the committee. Even if they claim they cannot find any information, they still have to tell you that in writing, which can also be provided to the committee on writing. Either way, it is a process you can follow that they have to respond to, and will allow you to clear your name.
        If you were told that you are being punished for an additional 3 years, then there will be documentation showing why, and progress notes. All can be used to prove what you are saying.
        If you submit the FOIA, the person accusing you will not be involved. Even the Director cannot stop a response to your FOIA request since they are legally required to respond.

      26. As stated before.the reason I was punished an extra three years is because the disruptive committee.let the employee who accused me of the disruptive behavior answer the inquires herself and stated James cannot return to this clinic”because he will NOT ADMIT to being disruptive.

        They let her say and do anything she wanted to say and do.they even let her sit in on the committee.during the time they made the review.

        They state they don’t even known who she’s in the official medical records.that she was present during their disruptive committee.but I was not offered to attend.

        Bob McDonald’s office told me twice.that the VA in told them she no longer works for the veterans administration.Stephanie was the one who told me this.she is one of McDonald’s employees.

        About two weeks ago.I sent her another email.advertising her that someone misinformed her and that the employee in question is still working for the veterans administration as the lead administration officer.

        I just can’t understand why people are trying everthing to cover up for her.

        The key is to get her husband under tell the truth as he is a key witness.who can tell them what was said during our conversation and how she reacted to my comments and his testimony would shead light on how.she got so pissed at me.

        That it got to the point where it was eating at in order to get back at me.she falsely accused me of disruptive behavior.

        Again they admit they have no written evidence and only relied on hearsay and then stated but it had been collobrated? This was their excuse to go ahead and punish me.
        I asked repeatedly for them to tell me.who collobrated it. They refused to provide that information to me or the senators office.

        Even when the local DAV rep made an inquiry.guess who replied to the are correct.the very same employee who accused me of disruptive behavior.

        Guess where that DAV is working now.your right again. The employee who accused me of disruptive behavior.hired her and works directly under her.

        I had told that DAV lady a lot about how I had been treated and I’m positive.she relaid everything to her new boss and friend.

        I don’t feel safe going to that clinic and you can see past coworker has so much hate for me.that she lyed to everyone and no one questioned her or forced her to furnish any proof.

        Don’t know why people would like to believe the worst about someone.before they get all the facts.

      27. James, until you make an effort at obtaining any records the VA may have on this issue, it will never be resolved.

        Cut and paste the following in an email to the Stephanie you mentioned in your comment, copy McDonald, and copy whoever you contacted in the Senators office.

        Change the Xs to the appropriate information, then email it to them.


        We have previously discussed/emailed about my situation regarding the XXXX VA located in XXXXX Colorado.


        My name is James XXXXX, social security number XXX-XX-XXXX.

        I request copies of any record, electronic or in written form the VA possesses regarding me and the Disruptive Committee at XXXX VA. I believe this committee is now chaired by XXXXX.
        I understand a Disruptive Committee may meet at least once per month to review any veterans that may be deemed disruptive. I also understand that progress notes are required to be entered after each meeting. I request copies of those records and progress notes.
        In addition, I request copies of any investigative reports or statements made pertaining to me and this committee.

        I also request a copy of the VA policy these committees are required to follow.

        I understand you have 20 days to respond to this request, with records provided within 30 days of the date of this request.

        Please mail those records to:
        James XXXXX
        1234 XXXXX
        XXXXX, CO. 81XXX

        I can be reached at XXX-XXX-XXXX if there are any questions.

      28. Do a FOIA? You can’t help yourself without the records. It sounds to me that you feel defeated, but you aren’t. Get whatever they have on you? Remember your case has to be reviewed on a yearly basis. This cannot go on forever without good DOCUMENTED reasons. Find out, if Dr. Haberchauk (sp) is still in charge of the Disruptive Behavior Committee? Get a copy of the Patient Bill of Rights, yes, you actually have rights. Sometimes staff forgets, it’s ok to remind them that you are more than your SSN.

        In answer to your last question, I would feel angry, sad and unheard if somebody accused me of things I didn’t do. And I would fight them with every avenue I had available to me! Do the FOIA.

      29. No, he is the Chair of the Disruptive Behavior Committee in Denver. I thought you said initially you were from Denver, but I may
        have misunderstood you, as now you say from a small town.

      30. Yes.a very small town.where most people known each other or are related to one another and that makes a climate where you make one have a very good change of having to deal with more than one person.

        They will gang up on who ever messes with their relative or friend.

        IF the VA or someone that is neutral would take each employee and promise that they would not be retalated against.they would find out what happened is pure and simple retaliation.

        And better yet.if they would question her husband where he is made to tell the truth.he would advise them that she over heard me and her husband talking about how I felt the chairman of a certain committee.was not using that committee to it full potential.this was not said in anger.just conversation.

        I did not even know she was his fiance.until he put his fingers to his mouth.indicating for me to be she was sittings in a car next to me.

        And then she being told by the director.that he was going to appoint me as the new chairman of that committee.

        This made her so got the better of her and in order to get back at me.she made up the story that I had been disruptive and her superiors fell for it and the rest is history.

      31. Your story (for lack of a better word) seems very complicated. There is nepotism going on throughout the hospital and I personally knew a couple who dated and eventually got married and they continued to work in the same clinic. The male wanted to be her Supervisor and I raised serious concerns as he would be responsible for her appraisal which clearly would not look fair. It didn’t happen. The male is now retired and the female works in Golden.

        This still doesn’t solve your problem. The (DBC) just cannot hold you accountable, if there is no paperwork. I wished I still worked there, I would try to help you get this resolved. Dr. Lawrence
        Haberchak (sp) was the Chair of the Committee when I was there.

        You asked before if staff can create problems that don’t exist or lie? I said perhaps, as I have seen it, but it is rare to my knowledge. I know for a fact, the Committee looks at who the employee reporting is. How many times they report, etc?

      32. I also think it’s rare.but it did happen and I would love for someone to give me and any employees who have stated I had been disruptive take a polygraph test.

        I bet any one mine would be steady and the others would register as a ten on the Richter would probably knock the examiner out of his chair. LOL

      33. Unfortunately, I don’t think they do lie detector tests at the VA. And it’s too bad they don’t.
        Arapahoe County Sheriffs Department gives all prospective employees lie detector tests before they can be selected (or at least they used to).

      34. It can be done through the VA.I was present when an employee was ordered to do one.due to a theift that took place at our VA.

      35. The first thing they do with any potential problem is get them labeled and discredited. Nothing you as a patient becomes real. Then you get frustrated and show it, now you are a threat and bam you have no rights as you are disruptive and nothing you say is true.
        Here take more meds….give it time….it will all go away. Thats the only service provided our vets from the va.

      36. Honestly, since I have retired and become “just a veteran” I may have been put in that position. Only once, but I do know how it feels. I complained about a Pharm Tech mumbling something snarky under his breath about me taking my phone intercom off while talking with him. I had no problem complying. I asked him what he had said and he refused to answer me and then hung up on me. I had his first name, so I called his Supervisor and left a phone message re his behavior. I don’t know if he got in trouble, but I asked he be counseled at least. I did notice my meds took longer to get than usual. I asked why and the excuse was having problems with UPS. I am documenting everything.

      37. All of this has been done.but they don’t want to look they would rather ignore it.
        They would rather keep denying they made a mistake and just hope I stop trying.

        The employee must have something on someone at the higher level or owed her a favior.anyway they refuse to meet with me and counsel

    2. The only way to fix the VA is to close it and give every Veteran a Health Card good at ALL Doctors and Hospitals anywhere in the World.
      The VA is like a barrel of rotten Apples and just removing a few will not save the barrel.
      We as Veterans did not Serve and go to war for the sole purpose of free healthcare,but we were promised it by a Grateful Nation who no longer seems to be Grateful anymore!!
      Semper Fi

      1. I went to a community Urgent Care because my regular PCP in the community was too busy to see me. I got sent home. Later that night, I got very ill, drove myself to the community ER and was admitted with acute renal failure. This was the community healthcare system you are asking for. I lost a kidney, so do not think the community is better, as it isn’t! There are good and bad health care professionals within the VA and outside of the VA. Be very careful what you ask for!!!

      2. The vast difference is there are much better avenues available in the private sector to hold providers accountable, and weed them out quickly. Since the VA exempts their providers from any accountability normally available in the private sector, we end up with people that don’t give a damn about anything because they know nothing will be done to them. We’ve read so many examples of behavior that would likely result in criminal charges if the same happened in the private sector. I have a longer post on this since it appears the media doesn’t much care about accountability in the VA either.

      3. The VA pays out millions of dollars in malpractice claims every year. I don’t have the numbers at the tip of my fingers right now, but they pay. The Urgent Care Dr. who treated me should have known what was wrong with me because it was classic kidney symptoms. I was so sick when I saw him, I don’t even remember driving to or from his office, probably pretty toxic. I called him after I got out of the hospital 7 days later, and cussed him out, as I didn’t have the money to hire another lawyer to sue his butt! Big deal, made me feel better for the time being. Point is you can get bad care out in the community. I did. There are some really good providers, Dr’s and Nurses within the VA system and outside in the community, but you won’t know just like I didn’t when I went in seeking help at Urgent Care. I go to the VA to see my PCP every 4-6 months, but I also have a PCP in the community who is able to see me for acute problems.

      4. They may pay out millions, but the lack of accountability by doctors, nurses and any other provider of care at the VA is so pervasive that there is no chance to clean it up unless that changes.
        This is a long comment, but explains why the VA will never be fixed.
        Most that come here to Ben’s blog have heard me question repeatedly as to whether VA doctors have to be licensed in the state they practice. They may have to be licensed, but they are exempt from any accountability from any state enforcement, unless it becomes politically necessary to investigate, such as the case in Tomah and Indiana.
        After Ben posted his blog about the lack of credentials in Minnesota, I went to my own VA web site here in Grand Junction and copied every provider name and position on the site…103 in total. I then compared them to a state site that requires every medical provider practicing in the state to register a public profile at the site. I called that state office, and was told ANY medical provider was required to have a profile, including VA doctors and nurses. I was told even if they provided telemedicine from another state, that they were still required to have a profile. These profiles are required because of a law passed here in Colorado after a kid died from treatment from an incompetent doctor that had been sued before, but his parents never knew the doctors history.
        Out of those 103 providers listed on the VA web site, I found 17 that did not have a profile at all ranging from nurses to doctors. One doctor’s VA listing showed it was updated as of September 2014, but her state site profile showed her license to practice expired in 2003. Out of those 17 that did not have a profile, 6 of them received a bonus according to the USA Today database. Out of the 103 providers, I found profiles on 13 providers that had been sued or disciplined at least once, 7 of those 13 that had been sued twice, including one who received a $3000 bonus. A nurse had settled two malpractice claims at the Phoenix VA, but is now working here at Grand Junction.
        I then copied all of the names from the USA Today database that received bonuses at Grand Junction. There were 413 bonuses given at this small hospital. Bonuses given while I was told I could not have a PT machine after knee replacement surgery because the VA did not have the money to pay the rental cost to an outside company. From the USA Today database, I found another 17 that got a bonus, but are not listed on the VA web site of providers. 13 of those 17 did not have a profile on the state web site. There were another 4 whose state profile showed their license to practice had expired as long ago as 1992, yet their title in the USA Today database showed they still provide medical care as recently as 2014.
        I provided this information to several news organizations, and only got responses back from 2. One reporter said he spoke with the Chief of Staff that worked in the state office that requires the profiles, and was told that VA or federal service medical providers are exempt from that law, but could not explain why many VA providers have a profile.
        Nobody gives a shit about whether VA providers follow the law, or are properly licensed because of that exemption. Nobody cares if some quack doctor that has been sued multiple times is still practicing medicine because we’re only veterans. I cannot fathom why any VA provider has to have any license, credential or profile since nobody seems to give a damn about enforcing requirements that any other medical provider has to follow.
        Until this lack of accountability is changed and that exemption is removed, the VA will never be more than third world medical care…if that.

      5. To Bob. I agree with all but one sentiment.
        I feel we have a grateful nation. I feel they like us, have allowed our government to misuse public funds on a broken corrupt system that doesnt work.
        Its time the VA and government stops lying to the veterans and the public with promises we are being cared for.

    3. I have to agree with you Crazy Elf. Most VA health care employees are from the bottom of their classes. drb0701 claiming he is now a retired employee after 27 years of being one of the turds in the cesspool is just trying to polish himself, and the VAHC system, up to look like something other than a turd and a cesspool.

      Dustin Bruce is another troll for the VA.

      The VA Health care system needs to go.

      Also just have to say thank Crazy Elf for the work you have done and are doing for Veterans. Don’t let these two rotting turds from the cesspool spoil your day!!!

      1. Sorry skipped a word I meant to say– Thank You Crazy Elf for the work you have done and are doing for Veterans. It does make a positive difference.

        Also as an after thought I want to add that the two turds trolling this site that I mentioned above drb0701 and Dustin Bruce are not Veterans, only claim to be a former and a current employee of the VA Health Care Cesspool and both claim to have the same disability of a bad back.

      2. Claim to be a SCD veteran! I am an04, 66C SCD veteran and a retired VA employee. And I am definitely not a troll or a turd. My patients at the Denver VA actually appreciated me for all my hard work. Grow up and sound some what intelligent in your thoughts. Stop throwing negative comments towards ppl you do not know! I am attempting to join the conversation but it is obvious you do not want to hear the other side!

      3. @Kirk,
        Thanks, I wondered if someone, other than myself, saw through the Troll Alert!?
        BTW, go to today’s blog. I’ve commented n these to Trolls. I ask some pertinent questions to them.
        I also gave a website to google. It’s called ;
        “Confessions of a VA Scheduler”
        by: Craig Patrick

        Great article and video.
        Check it out!

      4. First off I am a she not a he! Second I did not graduate at the bottom of my class. Third, the VA has a stringent process in place for all providers to assure their credentials are in order. I am sorry you think all VA providers are rotten, but they are not. You can believe me or not, I don’t really give a rats ass! I am just telling you to be careful for what you ask for, because the community healthcare system is not much better. The insurance companies run the whole damn healthcare system and community providers are mandated to see around 20-30 patients per day. The last I knew at the VA they have to see around 15-20 patients per day. Your choice! I did retire from the VA after 27 years, and I am also a SCD veteran so I have both the VA and my private Dr. I like it that way, so not all of us want what you want!

      5. From what is being found, VA providers don’t seem to care much about credentials since there are at least 3 VAs where provided have let them expire, or just didn’t bother to get them in the first place.

      6. They sent me emails, inhouse memos, came to my office to chase me down and that was a month before they were actually due. It bordered on harassment. From what you say, I guess all VAs are not the same.

      7. Really? There is an AMA web site that contains a list of web sites in all 50 states where medical licenses can be looked up. In addition to that, claimed credentials by other VA doctors can be looked up at other sites to determine if they are valid. Given the number of VA providers I found at my own small VA who had lapsed licenses, I bet it’s much more prevalent than you think.
        As I said in that other comment, nobody gives a shit whether any VA provider has proper credentials since nobody cares to hold them accountable. They’re exempt. Remember?

      8. If this is as you say it is, than why aren’t you reporting these providers to the State you live in. Every health care professional at the VA has to be licensed and there license must be current. I could live in CO. but be licensed in MN. I still have to follow the rules of MN. even though I practice in CO. Makes it difficult for upper Management (Director’s Office) to follow as every State seems to be just a little bit different. The Directors Office is responsible for making sure everyone is current on their licensing. They were close to being neurotic when it came to my licensing and as I stated, I had a month to go before my license even expired. Report them. I don’t know how current the AMA is but you can go to DORA and look up licensing in CO and see who is current and who is not and who has problems with their licenses.

      9. Read my comment elsewhere on this same post about what I found on DORA. I found nothing in the state law exempting the VA from state requirements, and was told they were not exempt when I called them and asked.
        I gave this information to a USA Today reporter who was somewhat interested. He eventually called the Chief of Staff at DORA and was told that VA providers were exempt from the Skolnik law. It doesn’t make any sense that the state is so anal about every private provider having a profile, but not the VA. Hell, DORA requires Nail Technicians and Limo Drivers to be licensed, but according to that Chief of Staff, the VA gets a free pass.
        In Colorado, according to DORA, you can screw up someone’s hair style and have a complaint filed against you, but if you maim a veteran for life when a VA doctor screws up, it’s no big deal.

      10. I don’t understand this. Licensing for everyone is mandatory and there are regulations. If I didn’t have a current license I would be fired. I need to look into this. Maybe Westword would take your story. Have you tried them. This needs exposure.

      11. I tried USA Today, Dailycaller, the Ft. Collins paper, News 9 in Denver and a few others. I provided links to DORA, the VA web site, a link to the USA Today bonus database and the names, titles, the Skolnik law, bonus amounts and whether they were sued or disciplined. All of the information could have been easily verified at the links provided.
        As I said, I got email responses from just 2 organizations. None have done any reporting on it.

        Read my other comment on the details. At least 34 providers could not keep their DORA profile updated, or keep their license from expiring, but several managed to get bonuses.

      12. I can get a name/number of a reporter at Westword who loves stories about the VA and you can talk to him. He took on a sexual assault charge at the VA. The VA was trying to shut it down. His article was released and then Channel 9 news wanted in. And now Congressmen is involved. Lots of VA attorneys and now Office of Special Counsel (OSC). OIG wouldn’t touch since OSC involved. Out of this 3 EEOs have occurred, employee left before investigated and may have abused patients in nursing home (community living center). Huge mess. VA should have listened rather than ignoring other employees complaints. Their usual behavior, ignore and hope it goes away.

      13. On no if they get “caught” they dont ignore it. They move the person then make a press release with lots of promises and no action. They say give us 100 days when vets have been dealing with crap for decades. 100 days wont change the problems they created over decades. But after 100 days, most people will forget about it, that they count on.

      14. There are many more of them than you or I. And you aren’t a professional liar or spin Dr. Thus, you have to be on their tail all the time. Making noise, bringing it back up so they can’t forget. It takes lots of patience and most people get tired and eventually give up. That is what they are hoping for. Don’t give up and don’t let them forget you. If they don’t answer their phones, don’t return your messages, show up unannounced and stay there till you get a meeting with them. Keep track of every single meeting, names of people who attend, and what is said.

      15. Unannounced.and then complain to management.very good way to set them up to be reported to the disruptive committee don’t you think or is that the plan

      16. Please….If you want this settled do a FOIA to get the records. I am not your enemy but you are seeming to want me to be. Again and for the final time….There are progress notes on you or there is no complaint. Do the FOIA to get your records and then you will see what their concern is? And then you will have everything they have. IF you truly want this settled, you have to do the work.

      17. All of this has been done.again there is no evidence what so ever that shows that I have ever been disruptive period and you stating I’m trying to make you the enemy by me speaking exactly why I’m in this position.

        The employee Whom falsely accused me only did so because I made a comment about the way she had been running a certain committee when we use to work at the same VA and that’s when the employee became my enemy and only verbally accused me and that was good enough for the disruptive committee.

        It’s just that easy for someone to get mad at a veteran and become so upset that they are labled the enemy and can falsely accuse that veteran as being disruptive and everyone covers up for that employee.

        Why is it that some employees are afraid of the truth and just listen to what the veteran is saying just might be the truth.

        And correct the situation and prove they really care what happens to a veteran when they known.if this would ever go In front of a judge.the judge and jury could see it was all a rouse and force the Department of Veterans Affairs to reverse their findings.from lack of evidence.

        It may hurt someone’s ego.but is a small price to pay to ensure justice prevails.

      18. I am telling you, it isn’t that simple! The DBT has to have documentation. If there is no documentation, there is no complaint for the DBT to review. 91 gave you some stellar advice. Please listen to him! No paper trail, no complaint for the DBT to review. Therefore,complaint is BOGUS.

      19. You are correct it is and was bogas and the disruptive committee fell for her lyes and instead of correcting the error or lyes.the committee did nothing to stop it dead in it’s tracks.

        Maybe you don’t mind having your name drug through the mud.but I care very much about honesty and the truth. Seems you are making some friends on here.

        Tell the truth about why the committee was really formed.he’ll they do even known what justifies disruptive behavior.just wing it.if a veteran gets hurt so what.we’ll get it right just trial and error.

        And what an error. Sounds like if you don’t like what someone says your the type that would make sure they are payed back.just to say now what.

        Taught you hu.

      20. No James. I am not the type to be vindictive. I don’t have it in me. You are very wrong in assuming I am interested in payback. It sounds like you feel defeated and don’t want to do the work and maybe you are just tired because it seems whatever you do nothing changes. In so many words, you say you want your good name back and I tell you that I know the process. You say the process doesn’t exist and they have no progress notes on you. I am telling you the process exists.You don’t want to do the FOIA and I can’t make you do it. All I can say, is do the work and eventually your name will be restored. If they have no paperwork on you, they cannot condemn you to a lifetime of being involved with the Disruptive Behavior Committee. Small town or not! If you haven’t already, ask for the policy regarding Disruptive Behavior Committee’s?

      21. I have read it and it clearly state’s this should be used for administrative reasons.which was the this case and no one wants to own up to it and do a through investigation.

        Why is it so hard to believe what the veteran is saying is the truth and noting but the truth.

        Are we all lyers and can’t be trusted and do not deserve our civil and constitutional rights aheard to.third world’s do this to their people.the United state’s your supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.what the VA has done is make you guilty and left with no way to prove their them not doing just diligence.

      22. You are correct. This is the United States of America and you should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. You do not feel this has happened from all your emails and that is wrong. You have the policy and if they are not following the policy then they are wrong. You have a right to be heard. The Patient Bill of Rights says so.

      23. Glad you agree.the problem is no one wants to really look at all the true facts. Who owns the responsibility of findings the real facts.

        Its sure not going to be the chief of staff and the acting director acts like she could care less.

        Telling me to write down what’s wrong and how it should read and it would be placed into my official records.

        I use to be the fileroom supervisor and I known exactly what file they are speaking about and it Will end up in the administrative file.

        Where it Will never see the light of day and that would accomplish nothing but to hide it even further.

        Who’s job is it to correct an injustice such as this. Heck I’ve even had a doctor place into my official medical records.veteran was stabbed while in the military.

        This is not true and another example of how a veteran could get into trouble by making false claims of being hurt in the military.

        Management did nothing about that eather. If the doctor would have done her research.she would have seen that I was stabbed and that a VA surgeon saved my life.

        It really seems to others looking in that many employees.are not doing a good job and just write whatever they want and again the Denver vamc did nothing to correct it.

        What ever happened to the prior director.why were they investigating her and after McDonald had a visit she retired.

        And what type of person is the acting director.she’s seems to take orders from the chief of staff.

        I worked for the VA for about 24 years in administration and known a little bit about how it works and seen employees retaliate against each other and I was given the task of investigating and many.many times it was he said she said. They were acting like spoiled kids and both would be told to stop trying to get the other in trouble or they both would have administrative action taken against both.

        Its not that hard to find the truth if their willing to search and not let hearsay into the equation.

      24. I can’t argue with anything you said. Is this administrative file you are talking about the one Supervisors are not supposed to have but do? The one where they put reminders, but no names, and SSNs are not to be attached, and it is supposed to be under lock and key? That administrative file? If you know they have one on you, you can request to have a copy of everything that is in it. Go to AFGE and see if they can help you! I know you say you were a Supervisor, but AFGE should want to help you.

        Ms Roff was way over her head, way over. What does a Dietician know about construction…only what she is told would be my guess. That by no means gets her off the hook, and maybe she will get in trouble. I know that Comgressmen Coffman from Aurora is hot on the Denver VAs tracks. I have also heard that the VA made no room in the new hospital for a PTSD unit. Who does that? I know they were making sure the TBI program had enough room, however, don’t just not have a PTSD unit, as they go hand in hand in my mind. I think it was you who talked about knee jerk reactions…well that seems like one of them. Not for sure, but my guess would be Ms Roff retired, before she was asked for her resignation or fired.

        I don’t know the interim Director. I did read she didn’t plan on staying, which means she knows how problematic the Denver VAMC is and she wants to leave already. Not sure if Denver is any worse than other VAs, as it seems Tomah, Phoenix have really been in the spotlight.

        Denver’s policies are not always kept up-to-date, but it’s usually just a time stamp and a signature. I can’t remember the last time, I saw an administrative policy actually get revised. Most of the staff don’t read the administrative policies anyway, unless they are in trouble. I read administrative policies, as I used them to make points.

      25. The patient has two files one for medical and one for all other administrative paperwork.

        What file Where you speaking of sounds very interesting in may hold the something very.very important and I think should be brought out in the open.

        I think you may be able to help more veterans than you ever imagined if your willing.

        Hope you say yes.Ben has a private email and someone will give it to you.


      26. Yup I am playing santa clause, keeping a list. I am keeping a journal of interactions with employees. I have sent formal complaints when I have found unsafe practices. We are in a climate where they kneejerk react to true complaints and can people. I figure I cant get rid of them all, but for every one that leaves, theres one more that cant hurt other vets. Next goal is to take on thier over prescription of narcotics and psych meds while the suicide rate, OD rate, and rate of addiction is unbelievably high. They are literally killing vets.

      27. Polypharmacy is a huge problem and truly it shouldn’t be, if providers are paying attention. All providers have easy access to the list of medications and EVERYTIME you visit a clinic you are supposed to review your medications with your provider, not only prescriptions provided by the VA, but outside providers and OTCs. Pharmacy is supposed to be on top of everything. Everybody, to include yourself, is responsible for your healthcare. Ask questions and insist on answers. Know what you are taking and why you take it.

        Keep documenting. Dates, times, who says what, etc. If you see something unsafe, report it, if you notice it isn’t being taken seriously, report it again. Go up the chain. If you can, take someone to your appointments, they can act as your witness, if necessary. This is good info for the community healthcare system also.

      28. I’d be more than happy to email them the info. Problem is, it will take some digging to find out the facts of whether DORA requires the profile. Everything points to it being required, but who do you believe when a reporter says they talked to the DORA Chief of Staff and they claim otherwise.
        Whether it is required or not, it shows the substandard care veterans receive when you can be sued multiple times, yet veterans are kept in the dark about it. It also does not resolve the fact that several DORA profiles show expired licenses to practice, yet the VA still lists them as providers.

        By the way, when I called DORA, I was told even if a VA provider was licensed in another state, that states medical board would go after the VA doctor for not keeping up with state requirements.

        Post the name or a link and I will track down someone to send the information.

      29. The other reason why I don’t buy the claim that the VA is exempt from state law and creating a DORA profile is because there are many VA providers that are “affiliates” or contractors, and may work at a private hospital or have a private practice in addition to working at the VA. The DORA profiles showed several VA providers do exactly that.
        I say providers because DORA has many medical professions that require a profile, Doctors, Nurses, nursing assistants, radiologists, pharmacists, physical therapists, etc.
        Does claiming a VA provider is exempt mean they are also ignored in their private practice? Does it mean a surgeon can screw up at the VA and it will be ignored, but if they screw up later that week in their private practice the state will finally investigate? If so, why does the state consider veterans to be second class citizens unworthy of protection under the Skolnik law?
        Even the VA Chief of Staff here has a profile which shows he is actually licensed in Florida having previously been at the Bay Pines VA. If he thinks he requires a profile, why doesn’t he insure all the rest of his staff also comply with the law and also have a profile?
        The law requires any medical provider register and create a profile within 30 days of starting work in the state. Failure to do so is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Failing to do so a second time is a Class 6 Felony.
        As for anyone else reading this, if you are interested in whether your VA doctor is qualified, you can search on “medical license lookup in all 50 states”. That will take you to an AMA web site that has links to all state web sites where you can look up your favorite VA doctor. Some states require a good deal of information even if they work for the VA.
        It’s a little shocking to see your VA surgeon settled a malpractice claim in 2015, or your radiologist settled 2 malpractice claims, or your VA nurse settled 2 malpractice claims at the Phoenix VA in 2011 and 2012, and is still working for the VA, just at a different one.

      30. His name is Alan Prendergast. He has a direct email at the site. Go to Westword Alan Prendergast and fill in the blanks of your story. I think you have a real story which needs to be told. There was no number listed, but I will ask a Psychologistbfriend of mine if he has it. I know the two have worked on stories before.

      31. drb0701– You claim to have been the top of your class yet here you can’t even read a comment. I haven’t said anything about pertinent questions.

        From your prior comments it is clear you haven’t even read what Ben wrote about the incident at Tomah. Although Ben makes it clear by including a quote from the email he received that the person was only charged with Disorderly conduct and only faced a possible $250 fine and a possible $25 administrative fee.

        You make the claim, and I quote, “The NA is likely represented by the Union. He/she will be given their due process and should be fired if proven guilty.”

        You also make the claim, and I quote again, “Third, the VA has a stringent process in place for all providers to assure their credentials are in order.”
        That myth has been dispelled here on this blog by Ben and Care11 in prior articles.

        So take your turd polish and go back to your cesspool you are going to shine on this blog Troll.

      32. I had to go walk my dogs so excuse me on the untimeliness on my reply back to you! And I lost my original reply, so here goes. I will do my best to respond to your accusations! Like I wanted to say before, I am not a computer expert, but was a health care professionally at the Denver VA for 27 years, so please spare me your nasty comments about my computer skills.. I haven’t been on blogs spewing my anger and disgust at inanimate objects for years. I actually worked taking care of America’s finest at the VA in Denver. And guess what…my patients actually appreciated and liked me for what I did for them and for my going the extra mile!

        Your “turd” comments do not really offend me at all. In fact, I feel very sorry for you, as you are obviously a name calling, hateful, angry, resentful, sexist, belligerent bully. I ran into your kind while in the Army, and I guess you remain uncivilized and can’t deal with intelligent women having different opinions! We make up more than half the population dude, so you are the one missing out.

        Your claim about health care professionals not having to show credentials is erroneous. Where did you get your so called “proof”…another angry person like yourself. Plain and simple, Kirk, if you don’t have your grades, licenses, registration, certifications, and they are not from an accredited school…You Don’t Work! PERIOD! You can take that to the bank! This recredentialling occurs every two years. And since you have never worked at the VA, I would kindly ask you to refrain from lying about the process. You have no PROOF, so just quit with your vitriol and stop bloviating!

        As far, as the NA who allegely abused a patient, he or she will get their due process, which, unfortunately takes some time. Ben knows about due process, if you don’t! If there is a video, that will be extremely helpful! It sounds like the community Police were called so the person who allegely abused the patient will be or has been charged by two separate entities. Patient abuse rarely results in firing on the spot, as everyone gets a chance to tell their story. I know this is presumptive, but I think even you, would want fairness to those mean, evil VA employees who come to work everyday
        to cause you all kinds of problems.

        I have every right to be on this blog, as I am a Disabled American Veteran, so I will remain and you can just deal with it or not, like I said I don’t give a rats ass what you think! I had hopes of being able to offer insight, but all the name calling says you and Crazy are not interested in any insight other than your own!

        You don’t know me, so you should have no opinion of me. I don’t ever need to correspond with you again, because I have said what I wanted to say to you. So you do not need to reply. I have a feeling you will, however, as people like you cannot keep their mouths shut when they ought to!

        You know you are not right, right? Get help! Anger kills and takes up so much of your energy. You only have so much time on this planet and if you haven’t already chased all the good people out of your life, you need not to!


      33. @drb0701,
        Evidently your ability to read is somewhat dubious. Because I said “go to today’s (1 Dec.) blog”. This blog is from yesterday (30 November)!
        The questions I asked are simple, if your willing.
        As far as knowing what “sex” you are, it’s hard to figure that out. Because you have used a “handle” or “initials” on you comment(s)!
        And you never stated if you were male of female.

        So go to today’s blog and answer my very simple few questions.

      34. Why are you compelled to be so nasty to people? This is my first time on a blog and I am trying to understand how to use. Try being helpful, rather than hateful. It looks better on you!

  8. Dear Mr. Krause;

    That really is nothing but a drop in the bucket; if that is all the VA employees at
    Tomah, then I say anyone else in civilian life, should get nothing
    more then these criminals in the VA.

    Otherwise it becomes a Constitutional violation to show preference to punish some severely on similar charges over others who do not get punished because of a title they hold.

  9. Albert Einstein once said the most complex thing about the Universe is how simple it is to understand.

    Corruption doesn’t start or stop with any one incident or any one person. Corruption is an identity. The VA has shown a remarkable ability to either attract corrupt people, or to corrupt the people that stay there. The medical field has long attracted drug seekers because of access.

    Corruption is a persona the VA has. There isnt one employee that at some level allows abuse to take place around them, or does not or wont report lies.

    VA is a mentally ill patient. This seems clear. Its time to give VA a “safe place” to go for a while.

    1. Yes, you described what is a ‘System Problem’, and why my mantra will remain that ‘The VA Needs An Enema’.
      (Borrowed in-part from the original Batman Movie and Jack Nicholson as The Joker when he said, “This town Needs An Enema”!!)

      The System Problem Needs Flushed and Reset. Vast undertaking but please someone tell me any other way and is it even a pragmatic and logistical solution?

      It was a VERY similar stench from the woodpile that soured all adult beverages and pissed Americans off that sparked our Revolution and telling England to Piss Off!

      Maybe America and it’s government has become so corrupt that we should be following the already laid out procedures by our Founding Fathers as recipes? I say this because equal representation by and for the people has flew the coup and worry our votes no longer wield the power we may think they do.

      1. First, they have tried to “fix” the VA for as long as I have been alive. They dont need another system. Everytime they (anything government related) get thier hands involved, it creates a huge time dump just to get a decision. Then once a decision is made another time dump to interpret it (often differently) at each facility to try and adopt. Logistically they created a beaurcratic system with no checks or balances that has no chance to perform.
        They cant compete with private because the price model is different. The VA doesnt earn money for services. There is no incentive to provide better service faster with a smile on your face. In many instances we see now where its the opposite. They get bonuses to save the tax payers money. Best way to save money in healthcare, first don’t give it. Second, if you do give it delay it as much as possible and use older technology and medications we can afford. Thats how the VA saves the tax payers money.
        In the end. Keep choice but monitor the living heck out of it. Let the vet…the patient call thier doctor, say I am using choice, and have that provider determine if a choice consult is needed. Thats putting it in the hands of the provider. And before you go screaming fraud abuse and all that realize. We are not all idiots. If you create it then tell the vets we are only spending this much, the vast majority of vets will not misuse the system, we will not leave our brothers and sisters behind.

      2. Namnibor: With the massive unhindered slaughtering of our brother and sister Veterans, through the VA Health care system, you know deep inside that our current election process is just an illusion.

        Our current system of Government has just taken a major turn for the worse.

        You might want to check out Dr. Meryl Nass, M.D. recent post on her blog at “”, titled “Obama’s Stake in the Heart to the Inspector General system at 70 federal agencies: “No records for you!”.

  10. I read that 100 day thing, as one of the “not so smart” veterans, I think my problems with the VA aren’t the ones they are working on. I have problems when I have to phone them. They lie. When critical meds don’t arrive, I call, they lie. When, without my knowledge, they reschedule an appointment, and the day before I go, the 180 mile round trip, they call and tell me I missed it, they lie. In that 100 day fix, I will bet it’s full of misdirection and lies. I agree, close down the VHC. It’s a haven for inadequate dr’s, and liars.

  11. What do I think? There is so much to say but I’ll keep it brief.

    1. Why are abusive employees “removed from patient care duties? They should be fired. Assuming this is on video, what more needs to be investigated? And a disorderly conduct charge. C’mon. A slap on the wrist for a vile act.

    2. Until the Veterans Health Administration is honest about what is happening within these walls, the abuse, fraud, waste, etc. will continue. These “accusations” are happening everywhere in the VA throughout the nation. A 100-day plan means nothing if we are not addressing the core issues. Let’s be honest.

    3. The plan? Bureaucratic talk. Patient centered care training? This is teaching employees how to be decent human beings. The fact that employees need to be told this type of stuff is very sad. I could pick this plan apart but why expend the energy? Let’s see less talk and more walk.

  12. 2 things. 1. I think the Choice thing at the end of the plan is interesting. It appears to be a bureaucratic metric HQ uses to report to Congress on how well they are doing. Unfortunately, measuring whether a veteran opts to use Choice and whether they actually receive timely and quality care are vastly different things.
    2. The charge of disorderly conduct seems to be the absolute minimum action the VA could take that they only took because of a whistleblower and knowing it was on video. Taking further action might require being mandated to take other harsher action or require mandatory reporting to some other entity. It might also allow the veteran or the veterans family to pursue other legal action if harsher action was taken. Now, it will appear as minimal as if the nurse got into a loud argument.
    It would be interesting to know what steps the VA took against any witnesses to the abuse who failed to report it. Obviously someone witnessed it if the VA police can substantiate a charge of disorderly conduct.
    Ben, if you ever get a response from Gowan, it would be nice to know why the VA didn’t pursue something with more teeth. It would also be nice to know what other action, if any at all, they are taking against any witnesses who failed to report the abuse.

    1. The Choice thing is a scam. The VA wants to appear to be fulfilling the legislation passed. They give vets a choice. Then they control how and when you can make that choice.
      They also have so many rules and so many individuals that have to look at your chart and make a clinical decision (none of the individuals are clinical) that the uneducated vet has no choice.
      In order to get my appoiments I had to first recognize a problem. Many vets, especially those tirned away as disruptive, have problems they are not aware of. These individuals have no choice.
      I had to know what specialist i need to see. Then tell my pcp I needed a choice appointment. I had to know it was possible, most vets I talk to have no clue wtf choice is, other than they dont trust it
      Then I have to get in contact with the specialty clinic the VA “would send me to”. This is the fun part. Took over 30 days for me to get in telephone contact with the american lake va. I called twice a week and left messages. I spoke with the manager of the chehalis va as well as patient advocates from seattle and american lake. Yet it still was over 30 days before telephone contact was attempted by the american lake va gi clinic.
      When I finally talked with the scheduler she informed me I could not have a choice appointment. She said she could get me an appointment in seattle. I said too far I get choice. She said no sir I can get you a closer appointment here in like 90 days. I said too long I get choice. She informed me I was mistaken. I asked to speak with her manager. After some time discussing it, I was finally given my choice consult. What i find interesting is I also learned if a scheduler can’t meet the choice requirements, they send the consult to one of thier providers to determine if the vet needs an appointment sooner.
      How can a provider look at a consult, have no health history on a individual for a decade, then make a clinical decision on the urgency at which a patient needs to be seen. Just adding more time and potential for neglect.
      Then the consult must pass through a choice champion before it can get its stamp of approval. Dunno why it takes 2 doctors and at least two office personnel to determine if someone needs to see a provider. Seems to me most people only ask to see providers if they really need to.
      You could save lots by losing the rubber stamps, then paying for as much healthcare as possible.

  13. I don’t think M’s Brahms came up with a “100 point fix it all” on her own. She was most likely offered the promotion because she knows someone, accepted the promotion with guaranteed bonuses, was handed the “100 magic fix it list” and told exactly what to say to the media………..We all know that’s how VA works. That list came through multiple layers of senior administration crap with one thing in mind, look good in the eyes of the politician…….the money cows…. Thank G…d they saved us once again..

    1. Yes the magic fix it list is a slap in the face. When will these politicians (lets face it thats all the admin are at the VA, word spinners trying to save face) learn that words are nice, we want action. You can cover our eyes anymore. The internet allows us to see. You cant say fancy things and expect it to go away. Fixing the problem requires action.
      Unfortunately this problem would take decades to fix. I am pretty sure they know it. If they want to truely see what vets think of the choice program, take the authorizations power away from the va, then no one would go to the VA and you could close it down.

      1. That is ABSOLUTELY the solution to the VA problem. Take away the approval process from the VA and allow vets to go anywhere we want regardless of distance. After going through all this it’s all I got. Gives vets the freedom to use the VA if they love it but gives those who’ve been abused by it go somewhere else. It’s a win win for vets which is why the govt bureaucrats will fight tooth and nail to prevent it.

  14. The 100 day plan is just it. Not to get caught lying, cheating or killing someone in that period of time. It is hibernation time for hippos this time of year. The VA is the laughing stock of the medical community and law enforcement there and the OIG is the laughing stock of anyone entrusted to defend the Constitution under the color of law.

    1. @CorpsmanuP, namnibor and all veterans.
      What do y’all say to a “former Marine” who won’t help other veterans? I thought the Marine “code” was “don’t leave a brother behind!”
      Well, this Marine says he doesn’t want to get involved because it raises up his stress level. He only wants what he wants. I say bullshit.
      I guess all those years I gave helping veterans get something (compensation) from VA, didn’t mean a damn thing. Plus, my trying to help veterans today doesn’t mean a damn thing either.
      As far as this crap from VA today, that damn ‘interim director’ needs fired along with thousands of other VA pretend physicians, nurses or any other healthcare workers.
      Rant over for now!

      1. BTW, This so called “former Marine” just informed me there’s “no such fucking thing as a disruptive committee”!

        Sorry folks, but I’m a little pissed right now!

      2. The problem is they dont have enough people to handle the workload they created. Firing more will only make it worse. They need to scrap it and allow private doctors to treat all vets.
        The endless cycle of firing idiots to be replaced by more idiots doesnt help.

      3. Sorry Dustin, I also meant to say shut down the VA. It’s just another waste of taxpayers dollars. We got enough of that going on in Washington now.
        I bet more than half of the different governmental agencies in existence today are worthless. Y’all can go on Facebook, Twitter and other social medias and see for yourself exactly what I’m eluding to!

        Facts are facts, VA needs to go!!!

      4. @crazyelf- I do not agree with your “former Marine’s attitude”. Why? Because I have serious anxiety/stress and yes, PTSD, and YES this stuff with the VA daily definitely stirs-up that ugly sediment and raises my blood pressure and takes me WAY OUT of “my comfort zone”, but with your “former Marine” stating that, why would it not sound just as self-absorbed if I as a former USAF enlisted just said, well, I only care about former USAF and not everyone else?
        We as veterans, regardless of 4 Branches and Coast Guard, we may have wore different colors and such, and worked in various areas, but we at our core are ALL Veterans and are in this together. Period.

        I have trouble sleeping anyway but there’s some or many topics on here that make that often even worse, but am not going to play avoidance behavior while Veterans are not getting the best possible care and treatment and the VA is Lying while Vets are Dying.

        Rant over and out.

      5. @elf, that Marine needs to stop using that title if he doesn’t honor the code. As for this psychologist or social worker commenting on disruptivd behavior, they are the primary ones engaged in unethical conduct by disclosing private medical information to administrators and the DBC . If a veteran is not a danger to himself or others and a clear duty to warn is not before these doctors or licensed professionals, They should not be releasing information to no one. This is what makes the DBC illegal. It is a due process issue based on gossipy employees that are vindictive.
        That fuckbox needs to sit her funky ass down somewhere!

  15. Bullet Points seem to be manufactured by the VA very quickly…only in an attempt to ‘cover their asses’, but it simply escapes me WHY that employee is not punished in the exact same way ANY Veteran would be if a MUCH lessor event were to take place and the Disruptive Committee is sicked on Veterans like rabid dogs.

    I agree with crazyelf in that it reads like a bunch of typical PR Double Talk.

    That employee will be on paid leave while they investigate for “Disorderly Conduct”, which is yet another slap in the face of true accountability because THAT was ‘Dereliction of Duty” and DO NOT FORGET that it’s on film AND the charge should be “Abusing Disabled and Elderly”, not ‘Disorderly Conduct’.

    How can the VA properly ‘discipline’ when they are seemingly ONLY protecting their OWN employees, not so much Veterans.

    We have played the “Wait And See Game” so many times that it’s quite the insult to expect anything different than what’s taken place or not in recent past.

    Also, that bit about the VA finding a “shared Infectious Disease Dr.” is rather interesting because the VA TRIES to BOAST that the VHA is the LARGEST Infectious Disease Providers in the USA Medical System and it’s simply an outright LIE.
    In my large Metro City the VA built a brand new over-budgeted VAMC and they did NOT have ANY Infectious Disease Dr.’s or even a Dept. at the old location and now at the brand new huge facility there’s STILL NO Infectious Disease Dept. or Provider with the VA expecting all that are typically WAY TOO SICK to travel long distances for G.I. issues, nausea, et al., but yet, they EXPECT and REQUIRE if you use the VA, you MUST travel all the way to Dayton, a good hour and half, to get any Infectious Disease Providers…then the VA tries to use medications that are at least a DECADE OLD rather than the cutting edge improved drugs out there.
    Sorry for rant but I have consistently observed over years that the VHA and VAMC’s do EXACTLY WHAT **THEY** want to…and it’s not placing Veterans First nor taking into consideration of the inherent travel restrictions of such patients with the various medication side effects let alone from diseases themselves.

    This announcement of a 100 Day Plan may make nice “sound bits” for the VA Spin Machine and Media, but the fact that just THIS Tomah VAMC has totally NOT GOT IT the FIRST TIME under fire of scandals, how are Veterans supposed to have some kind of ‘new trust’ by a regurgitated Bullet Points Plan?

    Trust is EARNED, and until true accountability exists with the VA, we will not be holding our breaths in some kind of “Hope You Can Believe In”…already have been let down terribly by our President, The VA Secretary, VAOIG, and The House Veteran Oversight Committee…and our POTUS has FULL FAITH in ALL these idiots. HOW do we have trust on our ends with that kind of egregious track record????

    Rant over until we see the Tomah VAMC fold-up into itself like the owner’s home at the very end of the first Poltergeist Movie and disappear off the map. The sad thing is that is but ONE of MANY VAMC’s with same exact problems and much more.

    1. I forgot to add that with my VAMC requiring Vets needing Infectious Disease Specialty Clinic to travel way more than 40 miles (about 3x that) to Dayton, the VA WILL NOT reimburse Travel Pay even for a 100% Disabled Service Connected Vet…guess why?
      Wait for it….the VA claims that since the provide a VA VAN for such trips the travel pay is not authorized if you do it on your own…and, that VA VAN WILL NOT STOP for nauseated or chronic diarrhea situations because “they are on a schedule”…it’s a fat slap in face because the VA is ignoring the very inherent health conditions and made a Catch 22 in which if you DO drive on your own, it’s on YOUR DIME and the “Choice Card” cannot be used because of the damn VA VAN SHUTTLE situation…they simply ignore medical facts of these conditions.
      Morons, all of them whom make these policies. Morons!

      At this point, I will not be surprised if Tomah’s “Candyman Dr.” is re-employed somewhere else in system on the sly.

      My brother and I were talking over Thanksgiving and he finally has had it with the VA Medical Treatment he has received….esp. when his blood pressure and heart issues were found in par by now his civilian Dr. he is using with his work’s health insurance, whom just told him that the meds he has been RX’s by VA not only were told NOT to be used by the FDA for safety issues, but his Dr. said that most probably his very conditions have been made worse by VA prescribing meds that clashed with others and about 20 years behind rest of civilized medicine.

      So a family with two Veterans have chosen to not use the VA for our health because of concerns for our lives and my brother’s wife is a RN whom has been trying to tell him these things for a while. Sad state of affairs.

    2. I agree, the bullet point plan contains quite a few items that scream, “SEE! WE ARE DOING…SOMETHING”, just not anything truly measurable to prove something concrete was done to fix that shithole. Other bullet points are nothing more than a catch-all of things they should have been doing all along.
      That is a good point about what they would do if a veteran did the shoving. At a minimum I would bet the VA police would be involved and charges of assault would be made, along with many other steps taken against the veteran.
      Yet every VA I have ever been in proudly displays the Patient Bill of Rights…as if it means anything more than just wallpaper.

    3. People. You fail to understand something. ALL healthcare employees are afforded the protection given to the VA employees. Sickness and the possibility of death along with mentally unstable patients MAKE ADMINISTERING HEALTHCARE DANGEROUS.
      The federal government stepped in to protect healthcare providers. Patients are protected differently as they are disabled. Someone paid to care for and treat the disabled abuses them. These individuals cannot defend themselves, therefore the penatly for the abuse should be greater.

      1. How can employees Report a veteran as being disruptive and said employee not required to provide proof of said disruptive behavior.

        Some employees are telling lyes and higher management punishing the veterans with no evidence period.

        Where is the veterans rights.they have no way to defend themselves against those employees.where is the justice in that.

        How about the employees who are mentally ill.who protects the veterans?

      2. Thus the problem with the system. No one is helping those incapable of helping themselves.
        Those that are able soon find out it takes no proof at all to have you labeled. As soon as you don’t seem to toe the line, you are quickly discredited and often labeled combatitve or dangerous and thus worthy to deny care.
        The combative disgruntled vets that are a pain in the ass to deal with….the VA created. You can’t begin to understand the mental frustration and patience required to get any care at all at a VA facility. No wonder combat vets go there get fed up and make people nervous. I’d be nervous too if I knew the system I worked for pissed off so many guys trained to kill.

    4. VA earned our trust. We trust them to not care for us, or provide such horrible untimely care folks die first. I trust that to be true. Privatise it already and let the vets pick thier own healthcare.

  16. If a Veteran lays one finger on a VA employee isn’t he then arrested and charged with assault.

    If they have a video of this employee assaulting a Veteran the employee should be suspended without pay until a new investigation is completed. The people who choose only to charge the employee with “Disorderly Conduct” should now also be suspended without pay and investigated for dereliction of duty.

    The only message that is being sent out by the actions at Tomah VAMC is that Veterans are not safe there and Veterans do not receive the same protection of law as staff members and the only reason for VA police at Tomah are to protect staff members from Veterans and to cover up crimes committed against Veterans.

    They need to shut Tomah down!!!

    No 100 day list of bullet points is going to fixed how the staff and police at VAMC Tomah see Veterans.

    Any Veteran connected to any VA health care professional is truly putting their health and lives at serious risk.

    1. I am forced to use the Va deathcare system at this time. I am documenting thier delays and lack of education. I am documenting and talking to managers of staff members I find that are not there to help. Fortunately for me, I am a health care provider. I know what it should look like. And I know thier language, thier lack of safety, and thier focus of saving money.

      1. Dustin: No one is forcing you to use VA Healthcare. While your circumstances may encourage you to use it you are not being forced.

        There are alternatives to VA Healthcare.

        Just know that if you are connected to any VA Healthcare professional in any way that you are putting your health and life at serious risk.

        Also know that most health care providers will have nothing to do with the VA Choice program. The reason go beyond money and have to do with the lack of ethics involved with the Human Subject Research Veterans are being used for at all VA HealthCare Facilities.

      2. Your right I am not forced to use the VA. For healthcare at this time I have no other option. After my back conditioned worsened and herniated I was terminated. I have no healthcare now. I suppose I could just not go to doctors and die. Thats what happens when you go through the VA for healthcare anyway.

  17. Sounds like a lot of “double talk”!
    To fix a problem, one first has to admit to a problem! The ‘sentence’ received was far less than it should have been.

  18. I think the government needs to step in and create a single healthcare database that all providers have access to and all patients have the pw for it. At that point most problems with delays related to disability claims, access to care, and medical doctors that have ALL the patients valid history together in one place. This would also make most of the HIPPA violations go away.

  19. They should look into the chehalis wa clinic. Even american lake va staff say they are all new and incompetent. First pcp i saw resigned after my complaints. First psych I see asks me why I am there to see her if I dont want drugs. This is what they sent me two weeks after suicidal type behavior. Drug on list…depakote. This drug should be nowhere near an unstable person. Yet i havent touch alcohol but one apple cider in over 6 months. My history of alcohol use was 3 to 6 beers a day at one point. She made sure to check the substance abuse box.

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