‘Trailblazer’ Allison Hickey Highlighted By Washington Post

Allison Hickey

In the run up to the disability backlog fix deadline set by secretary Eric Shinseki, under secretary of benefits Allison Hickey is highlighted in her work to meet that deadline.

Allison Hickey is a retired brigadier general and currently one of the highest ranking women in the Department of Veterans Affairs. As a trailblazer, Hickey was in the first waive of female cadets who graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Now, according to the Post, Hickey is setting trailblazing a new path for future veterans seeking equitable access to disability benefits. This new fight is to implement modernization fixes to resolve the backlog and speed up claims.

How do you think Hickey is doing to resolve the backlog? Is she meeting your expectations or is there more that can be done?

I met Allison Hickey in 2013. She invited me to speak with her about the backlog and potential fixes including preliminary grants for certain claims stuck in the backlog for extended periods. While the discussion clearly did not fix the backlog, it was certainly an eyeopening experience to meet the retired general and her staff.

You should read the Washington Post article and check back in to give feedback. Was the Post reporter spot on or too generous?

READ IT: Trailblazer Allison Hickey faces her toughest battle: Veterans Affairs

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  1. I will say as far me it,s been a nightmare I filed in Milwaukee Wis in 1982-83 never heard anything on my claim filed again in N0V 2006 this time in Texas it went to Waco Texas one of the worse VA benefit offices in the USA. i was denied in or around 2008 i appeal to the BVA on 4 issues 2 were remand the other main 2 issues for back injury were denied i hired a VA Lawyer and we appeal to the CAVC in Washington this took a long time maybe about 2 years or so they remanded on a JMR that was in 2010 and sent back to the BVA for a 2nd time it was denied again then sent back to the CAVC again in 2010 in 2011 again it was remand or JMR and sent back to the BVA to the same VLJ Veteran Law Judge but she no longer work for the VA.

    I waited until June of 2013 the new BVA VLJ remand my case back to the VA Waco office pointed out all mistakes or Cue done and in Dec 2013 I was grant 80% the sad thing the rating were low ball rating not correct 3 out of the 4 issue .My lawyer appealed on Feb 2014 on these 3 issues and added 2 additional issues one issues that was over look in 2006 for head injury by the time the 8 yrs have past my conditions got worse . So been waiting since Feb 2014 of my appeal that makes 13 moths already they sent me a SOC on Oct 17 2014 stating why and increase in rating were not warrant but never look at all Medical Reports on a new medical Exam in Aug 2014 my Lawyer pointed all this out on the 60 day count down reply to the SOC the ebunnies website showing BVA decision dispatch on Dec 2014 then went to RO pending BVA appeal in Jan 20 2015 no movement at all back and forth making no

    Look here,s the real kicker after I received the SOC back in Oct 17 2014 telling me they were not going to increase my ratings the VA sent me for Four C&P Exams on Nov 4 2014 all were completed in Dec 13 2014 including the head injury and still have not heard anything everything at Waco Texas or this new place now Janseville Wisconsin

    On my new claim for head injury filed in April 2014 over looked in 2006 went last week March 2015 from gathering evident to pending decision approval on March 20 back to Gathering evident. That ebunnie web site in crazy wasted money. I don,t think anything change is the VA counting all claims on appeal from all the mistakes that happen a the Local VA benefits office that where the hamster wheel begins and the veterans wait years or die waiting and nothing happens to these employees no accountability whatsoever ! I hope that they will design a new system or a private company it.s been to long and to much money being given to the VA corrupted system for many years it.s broke and has been for years social security deals with many more people on a smaller budget and get it right most of the time.

    If the Veterans been getting low ball rating and denied for many years them out of a 169 Billion dollar budget for years where is all that money going if not on the Veterans
    this should be congress highest priority and also our Senators unless the corruption is extended their also. My God help us all.

    1. So have you sent an email showing the timeline of events to [email protected]?
      Let her look into it for you.
      She got Waco to pull my case up and cleared it in 3 weeks in my favor.
      Dont tell her that you demand this or will sue her for that because that is an immediate hand off to legal and you will never see the light of day.

      What worked for me was addressing her by her title and clearly stating that the claim has been stuck in Waco for XX days/months/years and if she could look into it for you and to get the lines of communications going between you and Waco.

      Ask that she get them to call/email/send you a letter letting you kow where it stands.

  2. Facebook
    Congressman Schweikert

    Don Karg 03/17/2015 Dear David Schweikert it has been a few months since I had stopped in your office to deliver information, it’s a study [I know], since then the numbers now do not add up, anywhere. The Mofo.com class action lawsuit in 2007 should not be forgotten in discussion when you have a chance to discuss it with the Legal Department of the VA. My New 55 page book on the VA did not cost $400,000+ and I am almost positive it is more fun to read.

    Don Karg Seven months, more than 476,000 appointments or 68,000 a month currently—they were claiming twice as many [fake patients?] Another way of looking at it—the VA was screwing with 68,000 patients a month or 2267 patients a day. Is this possible? 197 Beds and 3 clinics that see max 150 patients a day [5 patients per hour, per clinic, 10 hours a day [hours are less] according to G.F./George/Dr. Foote] that is 350 at best. So who is on the waiting list [“Classified Soldiers”]? 9121 still? Is it 19 dead Wall Street Journal recent press coverage or 40 dead like most media outlets or is it 293 as stated at the hearing last year? There are 19,500 dead veterans a year, Appeals have doubled, no one is really saying anything new–and Rep. Miller still cannot get answers [after years of requests]. This is not good! And now there are accusations of Carl Icahn/Gannett/USA Today/The Arizona Republic and the Koch Brothers trying to Privatize the VA.

    Butler Smedley
    Retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler claimed that wealthy businessmen were plotting to create a fascist veterans’ organization and use it in a coup d’état to overthrow President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Butler as leader of that organization.

    This plot was confirmed but no one went to jail because they did not go for it.

    They got all the money in the world to wait.


    Don Karg

  3. I was in the service a long time ago, in Vietnam, in war. I am not impressed with any generals or admirals in my life these days. Hickey, Schmicky, Tickey. Not the least impressed. Hickey, as I read all over the internet, is a person veterans and many Congressmen want to get rid of. As with all these fossils, she ‘reacts’ instead of ‘proacts’ according to the ‘soup of the day’. These people are not up to snuff in modern-day management education & techniques. Their ‘mystique’ and ‘awe’ is that they are surrounded by aids and assistants and hold the rank of retired ‘General’. Needed instead to solve the depth and breadth of the problems at the VA, are panels of very intelligent mixed professionals comprised of social experts, business experts, policy experts and veterans themselves. We are never going to see that because VA is a government organization that has to be in ‘control’ of the ‘sit’. In their favor. They will do it by gunpoint if need be. As for Bob McD, we will just have to watch him. And wait.

  4. PRESUMPTION , Someone Please Define That, I know What It Means, HOW does The VA / Dept of Veterans Affairs Define it ? Will They Once Again Change The Defination of the Word in order to suit themselves ? As writtren into PUBLIC LAW Prior To 2002 It Was Ok, Now Its Not Ok, four simple Words – ” BOOTS ON THE GROUND ” how about ” What was Sprayed From Above ” or ” What The Rivers DRAINED Into The Sea ” Veterans are dying from illnesses or suicide due to the BS out of Washington, Its Time To Get It Right !!! We were PROMISED…. Keep that Promise ,,,

  5. VA propaganda, pure and simple. Hickey has a lot to be proud of, but she’s gotten herself in over her head at the VA.

    1. She has helped a lot of veterans, I will agree on that. However, I know of MANY veterans who have BEGGED her for help and she has turned her back on them!! One of those that she and the admin of her undercover “facebook page called VA is LYING” have agreed to screw over is a family member of mine!! She can help every veteran she wants to help but she will not …… and I cannot for the life of me figure out why! I would have more respect for her if she would stop lying to veterans then turn around and purposely have their claim denied! One of the “higher ups” at the VBA let it slip during a conversation. It makes me mad that every veteran is not helped!! Someone needs to remind them that they work for the VETERANS and NOT the other way around!!

      1. When I said that Hickey has a lot to be proud of, I meant in her military career. I am among those who thinks she needs to go. As we all know, last May the American Legion called for then-Secretary Shinseki, VHA head Petzel, and Hickey to resign. The first two did. I don’t understand why the Legion retreated regarding Hickey.

      2. usedto, they need someone to blame for the next problem. Bob is too new to fire, the other two were used in the last problem and Hickey will be used for the next one. Bob will be used later when he has been in office long enough. There is a pattern that has developed in the VA, don’t actually fix any of the problems; just have someone to put the blame on. Get rid of the person(s) and that problem is fixed. That is the way the VA sees it. We know that it is not fixed; however, the VA thinks that by doing this the civilian population will think “problem solved now I don’t have to worry about that anymore” and they go on with their life. If it takes a while before the next problem becomes fire worthy, then Bob and Hickey will go. If the problem is sooner, than Hickey will be the sacrificial lamb.

  6. I have reached out twice to Gen. Hickey and both times there was resolution.
    First time resulted in a claim from 1983 being resolved in my favor.
    The second was the failure of the E-bennies software from recording and alerting my claims person that I had uploaded the required documents.

  7. So, she may care a little more than many of the bureaucrats at every echelon of the VA. That’s great. It really hasn’t translated to any meaningful improvements, though, has it?

    We have long been to the point where we can no longer trust the VA to police itself. That’s the real issue. Congress can pass as much legislation as they want, but as long as the VA is given ANY discretion at all on implementing changes, they will do as little as possible to make meaningful changes. They are invested in the status quo, and many of them have decades of experience in circumventing the spirit of the law,

    I’ll give McDonald the benefit of the doubt for a few more months, but I’m not encouraged by what I’ve seen from him so far. Hickey has had more time in her position. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, as they say, and I’m not convinced she has the will or the skill set to fix the problems in the VBA.

    The only way, I’m afraid, at this point, is to bring in another agency to oversee the changes in the VA, Private industry uses outside consultants to make the hard calls to fix broken corporate cultures and overhaul operations. This is the ONLY solution that would really fix the problems at the VA. We will have to treat the VA like unruly, willfull children by applying “tough love.” The inmates have been running the asylum for way too long at the VA, and only drastic action will return sanity to the agency.

    1. I can get vet after vet in here posting how their claims were fixed in their favor by Gen. Hickey.
      They are trying hard.

      Come over to https://www.facebook.com/groups/VA.is.LYING/ and see and talk to vets there that are getting results, we have vets that will help you get your claims in order if need be.

      Dont be stuck in that world where the VA wins because I am proof they dont.
      I won a 32 year old claim so I know it can be done.
      It started with me emailing Gen. Hickey and in 3 weeks I had money in the bank.

      For me it is working.

      1. Glad it worked for YOU …… consider yourself lucky!! I am proud to hear that a veteran finally got the resolution they deserve ….. however …. EVERY veteran deserves the exact same …. and Hickey and her facebook coherts are playing God with peoples lives and one day it will come back and bite them!! She lied to me personally so I KNOW for a fact that she will not help EVERY veteran even though she could if she wanted to. It’s almost as if this facebook page is set up by the admin to kiss her butt and they decide who gets help and who doesn’t ….. instead of helping every veteran get the care and benefits they deserve!!! I made the mistake of trusting her once ….. and I paid the price!! Again … congratulations on winning your claim …… I wish ALL veterans would be treated the way you were!!

      2. It’s a ruse. Some claims are approved to placate the masses near to readying the shovels and pitch forks.

      3. yeah you’re part of the damn problem. I at least am willing to help but you instead have to try and bring it all down.
        Troll someone else

  8. Congressional Research Services / Statutory Presumptions (by law clerk Nichols October 2010: yes, 2010) is a must read for all Veterans including Vietnam Veterans. Also, must reads are: The January 2010 Compensation & Pension Bulletin Policy (211) Information on Vietnam Naval Operations… provides presumption of exposure to herbicides …to the crew of ships that operated on “rivers” and “deltas” …even though not of it’s immediate ships list: for example, the history of, the USS Newport News CA-148 includes operations in the Vinh Binh Province in the Mekong (9 rivers) “DELTA” December 1968. The June 2010 Compensation & Pension Bulletin Policy (211) ADDITIONAL Information on Vietnam Naval Operations…ships list…Received by the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.. clearly lists the USS Newport News for operations: Cue Viet “RIVER” April 1969. Nonetheless, the Nehmer Court Order : The Nehmer Training Guide (211A) February 2011 Revised, in my opinion, is based on Congressional Research Services / Statutory Presumptions( by law clerk Nichols October 2010), are two documents that should be used (let’s say) as one document. The Buffalo DVA also had access to record of my DD-214. I have the Vietnam Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars; the Vietnam Campaign Medal (at least 6 months contiguous South Vietnam); and, the Combat Action Ribbon. The USS Newport News appeared on DVA’s ships list July 2013 for operations in Mekong “DELTA” December 1968, only ! What happened to operations-received by the Senate Committee- Cua Viet “RIVER” April 1969 ? Yet, as late as the Buffalo DVA 2013 Decision , the Buffalo DVA denied my claims for compensation and heath care because: the Buffalo DVA claimed that of governments records, including their own intranet, the Buffalo DVA could not find record of my service in Vietnam exposed to agent orange.Of making known to the Buffalo DVA that I know of the DVA January 2010 and the DVA June 2010 Compensation & Pension Bulletin(s), I also informed DVA-Compensation & Pension Service (211A)- Attn: Nehmer Working Group Lawyers – 810 Vermont Ave. NW- Washington D.C. 20420 via certified mail. My claim then made significant progress, however, the Buffalo DVA did not address many loose ends. Of The Buffalo June 05, 2014 DVA Decision, the Buffalo DVA Examiner diagnosed my ischemic heart disease as early as 2000. According to the Nehmer Court Order, The Buffalo DVA is required to award compensation within 21 days following eligibility established. Yes, the Nehmer Court Order clearly states: A claim meeting the eligibility requirements of Nehmer can be: A claim inferred by Veteran or VA during review. Such is to say that Nehmer states: The claimant need not file a new claim or a claim for earlier effective date when a new presumptive condition is added. “VA” must search its records to find eligible claimants and award benefits, without any action on the claimants part. Medical records noting the existence of a condition later made presumptively service-connected can in some instances result in an award without a formal claim ever being filed : The Buffalo DVA Examiner diagnosis of my ischemic heart disease as early as 2000 is the example. The Buffalo DVA and The Nehmer Working Group instead of dealing with loose ends disagreements and awarding Retro Compensation, sent my claims / appeal to the Board of Veterans Appeal (board) to which I was told is back-logged to 2012. Yet, Of the Nehmer Court Order giving priority to Nehmer claims, I was told that my claim is not docketed Nehmer. Of pointing out that my appeal on The Board of Veterans Appeal Form 9 is to have my claims/ appeals out of the hands of the Buffalo DVA and processed to The Nehmer Court Order , I was told that to have my claim docketed as Nehmer, that I have to write a letter to have my appeal docketed as (a) Nehmer (claim). The Nehmer Court Order states VA compensates class counsel for all of it’s work on Nehmer claims. So, I wrote 3 times (certified mail) to The Nehmer Working Group Lawyers, over the past year. I have not received a direct reply. The Veterans Choice Card , I gave copy to my IMMEDIATE primary doctor and my IMMEDIATE heart doctor, their offices just minutes away ( not 42 road miles). February 26, 2015, I wrote to the Nehmer Working Group , agin, for loose ends not resolved and Retro compensation; instead of dragging out valid claims over years to provide yearly incentive pay, yearly bonus pay, and/or yearly promotions to merciless mercenaries at the sufferings of U. S. Veterans. Nonetheless, Congressional Research Services / Statutory Presumptions ( by law clerk Nichols October 2010; yes 2010) is a must read for ALL VETERANS. Vietnam Veterans were poisoned, left to suffer, and were abandoned by their own country. The “same” has and are happening to other Veterans. CRS/ Statutory Presumptions is a must read. Where are the “TOP COPS” to arrest VA officials in contempt of Congressional Research Services / Statutory Presumptions and contempt of the Nehmer Court Order: The Nehmer Training Guide (211A) February 2011 Revised; And, to follow through to compensation and health care ?” [email protected]

  9. I have contacted Allison Hickey for help in getting my husband SMC T. She answered me at 10PM on a Friday night and had someone on it by Saturday morning…that’s as far as it has got.

    No one is afraid of the wrath from above. They act at the Indianapolis VBA up to and including Michael Stephens the director like it can be business as usual and no one can touch them. I have met with staff from congress members on the House Veterans Affairs Committee and have an in person appointment with my congressman next week. Congress seems to be starting to understand that the law with regards to SMC T needs to be tweaked so the VA can’t turn 8 lines of law into over 500 pages of confusion.

    I am keeping well detailed notes and I sent you Mr. Krause a message earlier asking if you would like to either edit or co-author a book on SMC T with me. Just as VocRehab it is a confusing big dark secret.

    It will take veterans themselves having enough of the VA to change it. Be active, vote, go in person to your senator or congressman’s office, meet with reporters. I have met Robin Paul the Indy VA worker. By accident when they thought she was on my husband’s case. No loss as far as I can see with her leaving the VA over making fun of veterans in that email about a cartoon. But, if it wasn’t for the bad publicity she would still be there business as usual.

    Allison Hickey may have a good heart but she is ineffectual when it comes to helping veterans. That has to change.

    1. Robin, as you know I too go to the Indy VA. You have taken the words out of my mouth when you state how bad this VA is. The ones who are supposed to help you act as if they are so far above you and they almost act as if they know they are exempt from any type of punishment and the law. I have noticed that the employees that are not in the position to help are nice. The ones in the cafeteria, the help desk, the ones who check you in at your appointment, ETC… I have had no trouble with, it is the others who should not be helping are the problem. I still think nothing will happen to these individuals until something really bad happens and then I doubt if nothing more than some re-assignments and some slaps on the wrist will be the end result.
      I still think that nothing will happen to Robin Paul as this has already been forgotten and that is what the VA is hoping so they don’t have to do anything more than tell her to not get caught again.

      1. We should meet up some time. I think there is powers in numbers.

        I got an email back from Stephens setting my husbands next hearing. Reading thru this transcript is painful at best. It says he went to the Iraqi Ranger School. He went to the ROK (Republic of Korea) Ranger school. I emailed them back…one is an elite school run by our ally and one was run by Saddam Hussein. I get the feeling they are not even sure who’s side they are on!

  10. I think that Under Secretary Hickey is trying to do the best she can in getting the claims worked quickly. There are still many working the claims who do not read the packages, and to appear they are doing something try and pass off a settlement that is minimum as quickly as possible

    I retired active duty AF/ANG in December 2013; after 36 years of total service. My package was ready and I submitted my claim in January 2014. Did all my VA appointments that included x-rays, blood draw, sleep study and optometry.

    I was told that the earliest of my case would be Sept 2014 and the latest would be March 2015. I tried contacting the doctor to explain the letter and I could never connect with him. I tried talking to a nurse or health staff at the VA and they told me that they did not know what the tests meant. This was concerning to me, because they should be able to look at my medical records and give me some hint what it all mean.

    In September 2014, I received a letter that there was a settlement. Only 20 percent? They only showed my total time in service as 13 years? Sinus problem was not a factor in anything neither was my back problems, elbow, vision or sleep apnea?

    Now I have less than a year to rebut the finding. It is obvious the person only glanced at my file. How did they get 13 from a DD214 that says 36 years?

    I wish I had known about this web site and Benjamin Krause before I first filed. I am now getting my education through these blogs and the Voc Rehab kit I ordered yesterday. This fight is not over and I intend to be prepared.

    1. How can Hickey be accomplishing anything impactful when, for example, the claims backlog at Pittsburgh VA has increased considerably over the past five years, as has the number of appeals to its decisions on claims? Of course, the appeals are so high because so many veterans’ benefits have been denied despite the legitimacy of their claims; which is what “startled” Chief Justice Roberts

      ROBERTS: Counsel do you — do you dispute your friend’s statement that 42 percent of the time in Social Security cases the government’s position is unjustified, and 70 percent of the time in veterans’ cases?

      YANG: Well, I think that reflects the stakes often, Your Honor. Often times the government does not contest, for instance, the $2,000 EAJA award (attorney’s fees) and because it’s the government, has to –

      ROBERTS: So whenever it really makes a difference, 70 percent of the time the government’s position is substantially unjustified?

      YANG: In cases in the VA context , the number’s not quite that large, but is a substantial number of cases at the court of appeals –

      ROBERTS: What number would you accept?

      YANG: It was, I believe in the order of either 50 or maybe slightly more than 50 percent. It might be 60. But the number is substantial that you get a reversal, and in almost all of those cases EAJA –

      ROBERTS: Well that’s really startling, isn’t it? In litigating with veterans, the government more often than not takes a position that is substantially unjustified?

      YANG: It is an unfortunate number, Your Honor. And it is — it’s accurate.

      VA and the Government also keep feeding the reporting media with data on veterans waiting for healthcare while the vast majority of veterans claiming disabilities are denied compensation that may prevent them from a homeless existence and a worsening of their condition.

      1. That isnt her job. I understand being upset and angry but you need to channel it for the betterment of all the Vets instead of handing out worthless information and trying to pass it off as gospel.

        Come on over to the FB page VA is LYING.
        Talk with us, discuss your claim and we will try to help you win it.

        Dont just sit around and bad talk people….all you prove is that you can bitch and do nothing else.

      2. On top of everything you think the VA came up with “as the crow flies”??
        Boy you are a sucker for sure.
        CONGRESS wrote that into the legislation (try looking it up before you speak).
        Congress was given the choice by the CBO to limit the mileage and it will cost $10 billion or dont and it might cost $50 billion.

        Which do you think they went for??

      3. @Dave

        Exactly what do you think Hickey, as Under Secretary for Benefits, is charged with doing?

        You are wrong. She has everything to do with veterans benefits, including the compensation aspect I mentioned above.

        And, I don’t have a claim. Fortunately, I don’t need VA.

  11. I will repeat myself over and over again, like a broken record, and that is “when I see it I’ll believe it.” Until such time it will be the same old same old. A crusty Master Chief Petty Officer once told me that “excuses are like assholes. Everybody has one and they all stink.”

  12. I e-mailed Under Secretary Hickey about my claim and she did reply with an e-mail in which she stated who would have my claim looked into. My claim did have some activity right after the e-mail exchange; however, it is still in the same place it has been for some time now. At first I thought that something would be done and that I could get this finished. I have no idea what is going to happen with the claim. I was told by my local VFW that I should drop the claim because the claim has had a change in the diagnosis and coding. I was also informed that I would most likely get a reduction in my benefit because of this. I did send them the letter to withdraw my claim and now I am not sure as to what will happen.
    I think I will e-mail Hickey about this and see what she has to say about what I have been told to see if I have been given some bad advice. I will say that after my e-mail to her that she passed me off to a couple of other people who did not help. They looked at what had been done and commented on that and did not have an opinion as to what they could do to help or what would be my best route to go.
    The article did not seem to show what she is doing different to help with the backlog other than to have people working overtime. If the article would have had numbers to show X amount of the backlog claims that had been in limbo for some time and those have now been completed. Showing the backlog of claims is being treated fairly and accurately would help as well. I think that showing concrete evidence is helpful. If we can see that of the claims that have been in the backlog, X amount were completed (meaning that they have been decided and the vet has accepted the decision) and X amount are still active. To say that the backlog is being taken care of and that they have reduced the amount of them is good for the news and makes her look as if she is doing some good but if the claims are being decided without having a fair and honest look then she has done nothing that anyone could do.

    1. I complained the Buffalo RO had not sent me any acknowledgement for my 2 pending claims for over 2 1/2 years.

      I got 2 immediate ridiculous denials and emailed 4 CUEs on one denial and another big CUE on the other denial

      They are now at VACO, because I contacted Ms. Hickey.

      It will show the VACO that my RO not only does not apply VA case law, they cannot even read.

      This has been my 20 year experience with this RO for all of my claims, and I ended up succeeding anyhow,.after I took additional steps and raised some hell.

  13. I am all for “trailblazers” and specifically, women shattering “glass ceilings”, and for setting a precedence for fellow future female officers breaking through the “good ol’ boys mentality”, and she certainly deserves accolades for doing so.

    However, I am not quite convinced that Under Secretary Hickey FULLY comprehends that a good place to apply major changes remains at her “higher levels within VA”, namely, the VA OIG itself, where if it were not for investigative reporting like great veteran advocates like our Ben here, it’s never UNTIL there’s already been a good established history of systemic problems at specific VAMC’s that are shed light by such reporting that any action is taken well-after the fact…and for we Veterans to see these perpetrators of atrocities to simply be made to “early retire with FULL PENSIONS”, or simply placed on Administrative Leave, with the OIG also having a well-established track record of either never properly following-up or even blatantly NEVER releasing any or just selective parts of such reports MUCH later on, if ever, after it’s already out of sight and memory of main stream news…well, Hickey needs to wake-up and be that very reported “trailblazer” and change the OIG to have non-affiliated 3rd party entities as a checks and balances on the OIG because as long as the VA is allowed to literally be the “fox guarding the henhouse”, no realistic long-term change will EVER take place.

    This article read more like a synopsis of her curriculum vitae rather than telling of what her ACTUAL PLAN OF ACTION TO FURTHER CHANGE A BROKEN SYSTEM, but instead, we more or less heard regurgitated info most already knew. I was particularly put-off in absolutely no mention of the NO CHOICE CARD debacle and since she is in a direct position, along with Sec. McDonald to change the way the VA has chose to interpret “40 miles as a crow flies”, I was disappointed to not hear a peep of such a “current issue brought forth to mainstream media”, that is affecting SO many Veterans being able to receive care.
    I do not mean to be crass here when I state the WP article was no more than a “PUFF PIECE” that did not provide ANYTHING new to the table, which if the table is the VA, it’s full of cracks and splinters and want to see her use her position to make MAJOR changes, including being more easily to outright fire employees and management, yes, including VA Dr.’s, without consequence from the Unions and make it so those same people can NEVER work with Veterans or any gov’t employment…treat them as traitors of our USA, because they are in their negligence to USA Veterans, which is supposedly the antithesis to their job in working at the VA.

    Allow me to see Hickey lay the law down and place the fear of God in ALL VA employees the way President Reagan had to act with the whole Air Traffic Controllers, which meant firing ALL whom was on strike…anyone remember that? This President is also more or less acting in dereliction of duty in NOT using his power to FIRE these people or at least ordering the Secretary to do so…change is going to HAVE to come from the top–down, and all am hearing are talking points, not so much feeling that “Change We Can Believe In”.

    1. “good place to apply major changes remains at her “higher levels within VA”, namely, the VA OIG itself,”
      First off General Hickey had zero to do with the VAIG. Her department was claims and benefits.
      “Hickey needs to wake-up and be that very reported “trailblazer” and change the OIG to have non-affiliated 3rd party ”

      Again dude General Hickey has nothing to do with the IG. Her department was CLAIMS and BENEFITS..

      ” I was particularly put-off in absolutely no mention of the NO CHOICE CARD debacle and since she is in a direct position, along with Sec. McDonald to change the way the VA has chose to interpret “40 miles as a crow flies””

      The 40 miles as the crow flies was placed into the LAW by CONGRESS. Damn dude where in the fuck do you get your misinformation????

      General Hickey had nothing to do with the Choice program. For the third time she is in charge of claims and benefits.

      “I was disappointed to not hear a peep of such a “current issue brought forth to mainstream media”, that is affecting SO many Veterans being able to receive care.”

      This is Dr. Clancy’s area as the under secretary for health (VHA).

      “Allow me to see Hickey lay the law down and place the fear of God in ALL VA employees the way President Reagan”

      When I file a claim it goes to Waco RO. I had a claim stuck there for 32 years. 1 email to General Hickey and the dam burst and I had cash in the bank 3 weeks after her email.
      Second claim I emailed her about about , with 12 months of no action, was taken care of in 2 months.
      Last claim to Waco was for PTSD. Took 7 months to clear that one up.
      I give all the credit to General Hickey’s emails about me and Waco seeing my name and putting me in the #1 spot to get rid of quickly.

      Now that General Hickey has resigned I expect that I will hit the bottom of the pile, especially with my NOD I filed.

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