Hiring Freeze Update

UPDATE: Veterans Affairs Gets Partial Hiring Freeze Exemption After Outcry

Hiring Freeze Update

In response to widespread outcry, Veterans Affairs will be partially exempt from hiring freeze for health care professionals and others.

“The Department of Veterans Affairs intends to exempt anyone it deems necessary for public health and safety, including frontline caregivers,” acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Snyder said in a signed memorandum. “The president and VA remain committed to seeing that our veterans receive the quality care and benefits they’ve earned. This is the right thing to do for our veterans.”

In that signed memorandum from the Department of Veterans Affairs, released earlier today, Secretary Snyder approved numerous positions for exemption from the hiring freeze. Mainly positions “necessary to meet Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) public safety responsibilities” will still be eligible for continued hiring.

The memorandum identifies health care clinician positions, operational staffing positions at new VA facilities, and national cemetery positions directly involved in burying eligible veterans and family members.

Background Of Present Hiring Freeze

This effort is in response to President Trump’s hiring freeze that he enacted earlier in the week that affects all branches of the federal government except the military. However, that decision did allow room for agency leaders to exempt hiring of positions based on public safety needs.

VA then created a satisfactory list of employment positions it needs filled to continue its mission, which I provide below.

Relevant Hiring Exemption Documents

I am attaching various documents related to the hiring freeze for you all to review. I just received these and wanted to pass them on:

Below is a listing of all exempted employment types included as attachments in the memorandum linked above:

VA Hiring Exemption List Of Occupations

Veterans Health Administration

Series and Occupation

0601 General Health Science/Chiropractor

0601 General Health Science/Expanded Dental Function

0602 Medical Officer

0603 Physician’s Assistant

0605 Nurse Anesthetist

0610 Nurse

0662 Optometrist

0668 Podiatrist

0680 Dental Officer

0101 Social Science / Licensed Prof Mental Health Counselor (includes Suicide Prevention positions)

0101 Social Service/Marriage Family Therapist

0180 Psychology

0185 Social Work

0601 General Health Science/Blind Rehab

0601 General Health Science/Nuclear Medicine Technologist

0601 General Health Science/Registered Respiratory Therapist

0601 General Health Science/Therapeutic Medical Physicist

0620 Practical Nurse

0621 Nursing Assistant

0630 Dietitian and Nutritionist

0631 Occupational Therapist

0633 Physical Therapist

0635 Corrective Therapist

0636 Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant/Occupational Therapy Assistant

0636 Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant/Physical Therapy Assistant

0640 Health Aid and Technician/Certified Respiratory Therapist

0644 Medical Technologist

0647 Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist

0648 Therapeutic Radiologic Technologist

0649 Medical Instrument Technician

0660 Pharmacist

0661 Pharmacy Technician

0665 Speech Pathology and Audiology

0667 Orthotist and Prosthetist

0669 Medical Records Administration

0672 Prosthetic Representative

0675 Medical Records Technician

0679 Medical Support Assistance

0681 Dental Assistant

0682 Dental Hygiene

08S8 Biomedical Engineering

0018 Safety and Occupational Health Management

0060 Chaplain

0081 Fire Protection and Prevention

0083 Police

008S Security Guard

0089 Emergency Management

0181 Psychology Aid and Technician

0186 Social Services Aid and Assistant

0187 Social Services

0188 Recreation Specialist

0189 Recreation Aid and Assistant

040S Pharmacology

0413 Physiology

0601 Health Science Specialist – Veterans Crisis Line

0622 Medical Supply Aide and Technician

0636 Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant (Title S}

0638 Recreation/Creative Arts Therapist

0640 Health Aid and Technician (Title S)

0642 Nuclear Medicine Technician

0645 Medical Technician

0646 Pathology Technician

0651 Respiratory Therapist

0670 Health System Administration – Medical Center Director

0673 Hospital Housekeeping Management

0690 Industrial Hygiene

0683 Dental Laboratory Aid and Technician

0698 Environmental Health Technician

0962 Contact Representative

3566 Housekeeping Aid

5026 Pest Controller

7304 Laundry Worker

7408 Food Service Worker


Major Construction

Series and Occupation

0340- Project Manager

0800 – Professional Engineer

1102 – Contracting Officer

1170 – Realty Specialist


National Cemetery Administration

Series and Occupation

0303- Cemetery Representative

0303- Program Support Assistant (AO) (Scheduling Office Only)

1630 – Cemetery Administrator

3502 – Laborer

4701- Operations Supervisor

4749 – Maintenance Mechanic

4754 – Cemetery Caretaker/ Foreman

5026 – Pest Control

53S2 – Industrial Equip Mechanic

5703 – Motor Vehicle Operator

5705 – Tractor Operator

5716 – Engineering Eqpt Operator

5803 – Heavy Mobile Equip Mech

5806 – Mobile Equipment Service

5823 – Automotive Mechanic

6904 – Tools And Parts Attendant

6907 – Materials Handler

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  1. I fully agree. The whole of the middle eastern countries want America to fail. Our country is under a “State of War”! Whether people want to believe it or not. Most Americans can’t understand that. Until the do. Our very Freedom depends on getting them educated.

    While in the Navy back in the late 70’s, we used to say, “Turn the middle East into a “Sheet of Glass”. Wait a few decades. Then go in and take the oil.”
    That’s really about all that’s worth anything over there!

    1. Screw the oil. In the USA we have one of the largest super volcanos in the world around Yellowstone area, and if you go back to WW2 times, during the brief occupation of Iceland by Germany, they built, which still operates to this day a massive geothermal power plant from the heat of the magma below….but what do I know?

  2. There will be a day when the bloodshed of 9/11 seems like a warm summer memory. It is on this day that we as a nation will know that as long as these terrorist countries keep pumping oil which funds these groups that the bloodshed will not end.

    It is then that America will go and take the oil from them as we should have done already. Stem the flow of oil from the wells in the Arabic world and you stop the flow of terrorists from it. We should pursue the oil wells as if they are weapons of mass destruction which they certainly have already been used for. Leaving the oil behind was leaving behind the means for terrorists to thrive.

    It will take a mushroom cloud over a major city in America for this to become obvious.

  3. Hey Seymore,
    Did you hear Trump just added the “Muslim Brotherhood” to the “terrorist watch list”! He did so because Gen. Flynn, Director of the NSA, requested it.
    I wonder what Huma Abadin, (sic), thinks about it! Bet she ain’t happy!!!

    Also, I read where Canada’s Prime Minister is having an “Open Door Policy” now for all Muslims.
    Good. Any of them don’t want to live here. Go to Canada!

    1. Now you can support a wall on the Canadian border. That is, after all, where the 9/11 hijackers came in from. So obviously a more dangerous border.

  4. Let us be brutally honest – the healthcare profession has ALWAYS attracted those people who feel most at home when around the weak and defenseless. The meetings of Narcotics Anonymous is FULL of former nurses who frankly were attracted to the profession for a simple reason; it is where the drugs are. The drug courts are FULL of nurses busted for swapping out patients drugs for their own addiction. Doctors too.

    VHA is where the drugs are. The really, really good shit. All hospitals have this problem tackle but VHA has a blank check, services some of the most vulnerable in our society and has federal immunity from any wrongdoing done on the job. The AFGE went to bat to get a confessed armed robber reinstated based on the fact that the same facility also employed a sex offender and a director busted for posessing…..wait for it…..prescription drugs that were not his. The reason for reinstatement? It would not be fair to fire one for a felony and not the others, so now the armed robber even got back pay while she was in jail.

    VHA is where the drugs are. Humanity has over 15,000 years of traceable history. There is a certainty beyond even the passion for gold that makes one thing absolutely clear – money and crime follow the drugs. Find the drugs and you will find money, blood, and criminals. Money is made making the drugs and selling the drugs. BIG MONEY. And the appetite of the users who steal for their addiction is without end. We passed a few hundred years of laws that have made it very hard to take these drugs from employers who run hospitals, and for he patients that need them – except for the one employer that is tasked with protecting The People from crime and treachery; the United States government.

    We have put criminals, pushers, and addicts in charge of safe guarding the drugs, and We The People dish out hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses to thank them. It is sort of like giving the whore a bonus for the disease she brings.

    1. Dennis,
      One very important aspect of these drugs is “opium”!
      Now, it is very important to everyone, the only “natural resource” of Afghanistan IS opium. The “Poppy Plant” grows very good there.
      As a matter of fact, its been reported the Afghans harvest and protect these crops, even unto death.
      Where is the “need” for this specialized crop? Why, it’s “Big Pharma”! Who wants this cash cow to continue? Why, it’s the lobbyists in all first world countries.
      How many of our politicians are reaping the benefits? I’ll bet we’ll never know that answer.

  5. Dennis,
    I have said many times “Great Physicians”, or great healthcare providers, don’t want to work at VHA’s nationwide. Mainly due to all the scandals and abhorrent systemic management problems.
    That’s basically what was reported down here in Florida a few years, (2 or 3), ago. The wife just reminded me of this fact.

    Plus, I agree with you on this “Clean Up the VA Act”. Why would we need a “Bill” passed to do what is common sense! Oh, wait, it’s “common sense”! Something VA doesn’t have and never will!!!!! If course, our Congress doesn’t have much common sense as well.

    Maybe President Trump can, or will, make VA clean itself up. Or face the consequences of —————!!!!!!
    Look what he just did to the State Department this past Wednesday. And he’s getting ready to do the same thing to other departments.

  6. Hey, namnibor,
    Check out this video. It’s really laughable how these snowflakes become “PUPPETS” to Democrats.
    Watch how even Warren laughs at them.

    “Elizabeth Warren Protests Trump at Logan Airport”

    Jan. 29, 2017. (2:16 minutes long)

    I’m still laughing at these pitiful people. How on earth did the United States educational system dumb down so many so quickly?
    I’ll bet not one of those idiots in that crowd understands just how stupid they sound!

  7. Dennis,
    I remember that “pain management physician” you speak of. He was from Indiana. Hired by VHA in Illiana, Illinois around April 2015. He was arrested in August 2015 by local law enforcement, then extradited back across state lines.
    He faced 3 counts of manslaughter.
    Of course, since then, no word has come out about it.
    I’ll bet the VA is keeping it under wraps!

    1. What do you want to wager that the person who hired him at VA was also the person who hired his replacement?

      1. Dennis,
        Nope, no wager! Gotta feeling your probably right.
        One of the funny aspects of that particular arrest was;
        In the news article, it said the local law enforcement “…found out he was in a meeting!” Whereupon they “…went into the meeting…” and put the handcuffs on him.
        This made me wonder.
        At all VHA’s nationwide they claim “federal land status”. No one but federal law enforcement can enter the premises. Yet, it was local law enforcement who arrested that asswipe. Not the feds.
        Maybe VHA’s aren’t on “federal lands”!?
        Maybe this needs to be investigated!?!?!

  8. Here is an explanation about why a bill introduced last year was needed. More fine examples of the folks VA has to care for our nations heros;

    “The bill requires background checks to determine if a doctor’s license has been suspended in any state. Multiple doctors wound up moving across the country to work for the VA after they were involved in scandals that limited their ability to practice in their old state, including one employee who wouldn’t stop showing his penis to people at work.
    One of the most egregious instances of a VA employee using the state loophole involved a doctor hired as head of opiate safety in spite of his privileges being revoked in another state following the deaths of 35 of his patients; his old state finished the criminal investigation and charged him with manslaughter soon after he started his job at the VA.
    In addition to barring future hiring for the specified class of persons, the bill would require the VA to “begin the process of terminating the employment of each individual” currently working for VA who is in violation of the bill immediately.

    The felonies for which employees can be terminated include sex offenses, fraud, theft, violence, firearms, and kidnapping.”

    My God! We actally need to codify this into law before VA will stop???

    1. Dennis, I don’t recall hearing or reading about that bill. Do you have more detail on it? Do you know if it is being looked at again?

      I would be more than happy to email, call, tweet, etc., my senators and congressmen asking them to support that.

      Of course, the VA might be speed dialing the House and Senate VA committee’s to tell them what kind of crisis they would have if it passed because of the staffing shortage it would create.

      1. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona. “Clean Up The VA Act”. He lists it on his congressional website.

      2. The fact that good honest folks will not work in a sewer is the real cause of VA staff shortages.

      3. I agree. And the fact that the VA touts no need for malpractice insurance and their own credentialing process guarantees they will only get the dregs of the medical profession.

  9. No employment freeze? Here is another drop in the bucket copy and paste of the fine employees the VA hires. Ironically, my point that a person is put in grave risk by going to a VA medical center is actually undermined a bit by this article. Clearly VA employees pose grave risks to those outside VA too;

    This article printed in March 2016. Am I still being too harsh on the VA?

    “A Department of Veterans Affairs employee in Puerto Rico was fired after being arrested for armed robbery, but her union quickly got her reinstated — despite a guilty plea — by pointing out that management’s labor relations negotiator is a registered sex offender, and the hospital’s director was once arrested and found with painkiller drugs.

    The woman missed work while sitting in jail but was reinstated in March with back pay.

    The incident illustrates how union-backed civil service rules that rely on precedent combine with VA’s past failures to discipline problem employees of all ranks to keep convicted criminals on its payroll.

    When veterans at the Puerto Rico VA hospital come to the social work department seeking counseling and guidance, the secretary greeting them, Elizabeth Rivera Rivera, will be wearing a GPS monitor ankle bracelet, a condition of her probation.”

  10. To:
    Jennifer, namnibor, 91Veteran, Dennis, James and all others.
    It’s stories like these, and many more not told, where it would be important to be able to “record”, whether video or voice, ALL VA appointments.
    I believe there should be an outcry over this issue.
    The deceit and deception of VHA healthcare providers is so out of control, it’s become critical AND CRIMINAL.
    I’m not saying there aren’t some great healthcare providers, there are. Problem is, they are far and few in number.
    The more veterans put a light on the egregious acts committed by VHA, the better.
    First, Democrats and RINO (Republicans) need to be called out. They, under Obama and other past POTUS’s, have caused this mess. They now need to be held accountable. Vote them ALL out next cycle, 2018!

    1. Vets definitely need help and yes I should have had a recorder ever were I went. Several people would have been in serious trouble with HIPPA laws and malpractice among other things. But they make it impossible to correct records and to bring to anyone’s attention what’s is really happening. I will try again to send this information to the proper channels. It’s a full time job dealing with this crap. They make it so it’s easier to bow our heads and just suck it up. I’m left paying 3-4 hundred dollars a month for one script due to this and have to carry Medicare insurance to partially cover what the va is suppose to be paying.

      1. That too should be mentioned in your complaint…that this mistake by them has resulted in a severe impact to you getting proper medical care, and a severe financial impact to you because you are having to get that care elsewhere.

        You can use both of those to request that they expedite the investigation into this.

      2. I have so much insane stuff that the ga has done wrong, illegally and has morally defaced me. I could probably owe the va. There is nothing I haven’t tried to be heard to include writing the attorney general, governor, chief of staff local reps, on forums, And nothing getting done. I need test done for a possible life threatening case neighing. They were put in my my choice specialist doctors and it’s been a month and still no authorization waiting on the va to approve them. I call choice everyday and it’s a 1-2 hour ordeal and get a run around and told there working on it and two weeks ago got sent to supervisor lol. I think there waiting for me to die so they don’t have to deal with me anymore. Why can’t we just get any healthcare we want and see whom we want in a timely fashion. It’s the 21 centry and they can’t even set up a computer system that shows we went to an appointment through choice or va and simply send us our travel money. What are these stupi kiasks we have to check in then do travel. Millions of dollars on what looks like an ATM when they know your there $)(& we see a doctor and they have no issues putting everything in our records even )$& they make up. And if they pay for a choice approved apt and we go and they pay why isn’t that proof we’re there?? I have over 40 travel vouchers I had denied. Always been paid by sending just the voucher. Now they want a doctors note. I got all the note from 12 doctors then got them back again saying over 30 days. I didn’t understand and threw away the ones I got back thinking they were my copies. When I called travel they said they had no record of the vouchers in the system. Well they were did the denial letters get saved in the computer system?? They can’t just open my file and pay me. Sorry I’m all over the place I’m just at a loss with the va and the choice program at this time. Hopefully Trump fixes this crap. Probably won’t be in my lifetime!!!!

        Here is another ? If I’m 100% total and permanent and my young daughter has champ va am I suppose to have copayments for her. And why no dental coverage. I was thinking of that is what my va disability check was for: our disability checks are to live off not to pay for health care and travel.!

  11. Here is a copy and paste compilation of a tiny fraction of media verified VHA practices.

    We are going to keep hiring these guys? How many more could be included on this list? Hundreds? Thousands? Does this seem like the America we were born into?

    Two years after a report regarding incompetent VA staff, US Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that the VA was still doing a poor job of checking health care providers’ backgrounds. (At least 63 cases of malpractice between 1997 and 2002 resulted because of the failure of a supervisor to oversee residents. These cases included misdiagnosis, surgical and medication errors, and inadequate care.)

    Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington was investigated after reports of sub-standard conditions at the hospital and treatment of veterans.

    A surgeon at the Marion, Ill. VA hospital resigned after a patient bled to death following gall bladder surgery. Between October 2006 and March 2007 the VA reported that at least nine deaths resulted from substandard care at the Marion hospital.

    The brachytherapy program at the VA Medical Center in Philadelphia was shut down after it was learned that many veterans had received incorrect radiation doses over a six-year period.

    VA Centers in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee potentially exposed 10,000 veterans to viruses including HIV and hepatitis due to inadequate sterilization of endoscopy equipment.

    The VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia sent a letter to more than 1,200 patients who were treated for ear, nose and throat, warning them they may have been exposed to infections.

    Following an investigation at the VA clinic in Murfreesboro, TN, officials discovered that clinic workers were not properly maintaining the medical equipment used to conduct colonoscopies. More than 6,000 patients were notified and offered free testing.

    More than 3,200 veterans who received colonoscopies at the Miami VA medical clinic between May 2004 and March 12, 2009 are at risk of exposure to both Hepatitis and HIV.

    VA centers in three cities were accused of reusing colonoscopy and endoscopy equipment without properly sanitizing the equipment. At least 50 veterans tested positive for blood borne pathogens.

    Approximately 600 veterans received letters from VA informing them of potential neurological diagnoses due ALS—Lou Gehrig’s disease. They were not diagnosed with ALS.

    Officials announced that veterans in South Florida may have been exposed to Hepatitis and HIV after being examined with contaminated medical equipment.

    More than 1,800 veterans at a Missouri VA hospital , were exposed to life-threatening viral infections, specifically hepatitis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). A former employee at the St Louis hospital told a congressional hearing that she warned a year previously that dental equipment sterilization was inadequate, but no action was taken. The VA determined that lapses in dental sterilization had occurred from Feb. 1, 2009, through March, 11, 2010.

    Approximately 80 percent of the 22,500 dentists and doctors and dentists working for the Veterans’ Health Administration received performance pay boosts in addition to their base salary, totaling about $150 million. Additionally, about 20 percent of those medical professionals received performance bonus awards that cost more than $10 million

    An audit of the Fayetteville VA Medical Center determined that facility employees did not complete required suicide prevention follow-ups 90 percent of the time for high-risk patients. As well, the audit found the center “noncompliant” in cleanliness of patient care areas, environmental safety, dental clinic safety, training and testing procedures.

    A VA investigation found that a physician was responsible for misdiagnosed patient complaints and also failed to properly review medication information 56 percent of the time, a step that is “critical to appropriate evaluation, treatment planning, and safety.” Fayetteville VA Medical Center Director Elizabeth B. Goolsby received a performance bonus of $7,604.

    Shortly after the VA Inspector General found systemic failures at the Pittsburgh VA led to a recent Legionnaires’ outbreak that killed at least five veterans and led to VA malpractice claims, the man in charge of the Pittsburgh system was receiving the government’s highest career award that included a $62,895 bonus. The VA’s inspector general is conducting a criminal investigation into the outbreak, which involved bacteria in the hospital system’s water.

    VA failed to release internal documents that corroborated at least 19 preventable deaths and VA officials did not respond to direct questions in a House Veterans Oversight and Investigations Hearing.

    a TINY list of what VA is, and this list is verified. A fraction of the horrific toll of unaccountability.. When you step into their clinic you simply do not know what your own fate will be.

    1. A concise chronological path of destruction of “bad outcomes” from incompetent hiring and training. There’s been many more to fill-in the blanks on above list with just the VA’s inability to get proper sterilization procedures correct. I dare say the VA is more effective in spreading HIV than out in the community in the wild….must have a swell expensive “cure” cooked-up in a VA employee’s garage that they did as a little hobby on the side but on VA time….spared no expense. Works on crows.

      Or is this the VA simply preparing proper non-human test subjects for a future cure? 🙂

      Re-watched the great movie “Jacob’s Ladder” this weekend, which incidentally, is about the VA and DOD testing agents on Vietnam Veterans…pretty creepy and visually could trigger your own PTSD, you have been warned. There’s a lot of symbolism in the movie and one to watch a few times to totally get it all.

    2. They almost killed me in 2014: I had breast cancer and they argued w me for 6 months I was persistent and finally they found it but by then a simple lumpectomy turned into mastectomy, Chemo, radiation and 9 surgeries and counting. The surgeon at the va acutualy told me after the surgery she never felt the lump and had I not been persistent I would have been dead inside of six months. WOW I bet that didn’t go in my medical file. I ended up w the cancer massastitizing in my breast going to my lymphnodes and also massastizing there as well. Va care is horrlble. They also made me travel 6 hrs from home for the surgery never telling as a 100% disabled vet I had options to use choice. I was in the va hospital for a week with a child at home and my two family members with me off work. It was a nightmare then making go to va in Boston from Maine once a week for two months for a simple procedure that was caused by the surgery and not haveing drains placed creating suromas and hematonas. There clueless

  12. I received this today, posted yesterday, (28 Jan. 2017), by “The Alex Jones Show”.

    “Nasty Woman: Ashley Judd Goes Bat Shit Crazy During Trump Record Week”

    Although the title is about Judd, there’s a very interesting portion concerning the VA that we have heard, starts at the 2:10 minute mark to the 3:45 minute mark.
    The whole video is 11:29 minutes long.
    At least we now know VA is getting media attention.
    Hopefully, everyone on here can “share”
    this with friends.
    Remember, President Trump is swamped with things he needs to take care of. The VA is just one of many issues plaguing Americans.

  13. Anyone notice yesterday, two Federal Judges went against Pres. Trump’s signed immigration ORDER, and a NY Judge and then a D.C. Judge decided to overrule The President’s ORDER and allow the cuddly wuddly immigrants in from the named countries into USA….this will be an interesting scenario because the Libtards are still acting as if Pres. Trump is their old do-nothing POTUS Obama….not this time…pop your popcorn, going to be an interesting battle. This was the ACLU acting against the Presidential Order. What’s next? Authorized alley abortions by the Liberal Snowflakes? WTF? These appointed for life Federal Judges need to be outright FIRED for going against the POTUS Order…Drain The Swamp!

    1. Massive airport protests across the USA by butthurt snowflakes is taking place today. Apparently, most of these snowflakes do not remember the late 70’s Iranian Ban(Hostage Crisis/Carter Admn,) where we sent ALL Iranians with Student Visas BACK, no questions asked…same difference now, as we are in serious war times.

      The NAACP, Soros and his BLM crowds have a new cash cow in town…Immigration Protest Season IS ON.

      1. Verified by my own estranged friend that happens to be one of these butthurt snowflakes…acting like a petulant child that had his drinky cup taken away….wah!

  14. I seriously doubt that it was an outcry from veterans advocate groups or that created this reversal of a House Resolution.
    The former beer mogul was thinking loss profits from living veterans, cause dead ones are profitable.

  15. @Ben, Why, I don’t know, but…. I received a PDF this morning from OIG, telling me there’s a hiring freeze. I am not looking to go to work.

  16. ANY time you question ANY clinical decision or ANY VA decision you can appeal it. VA will not help you do this. VSOs will not help you. Your congressional office will not help you. Posting here will not help you. I will not help you (normally I would but I want to smoke a joint pretty quick).

    You must do this yourself after you read for yourself very carefully the tools we have been given. As veterans we are trained in the arts of warcraft but there is no training except that which is self taught when you and I take on the ratscumbagwhores at VA. They will likely ignore the fact you appealled. Appeal the decision to ignore. Keep this cycle going because this paper leaves a trail.

    Before I smoke that reefer, I suggest you Google for this phrase “VHA Directive 1041 Appeal of VHA Clinical Decisions”. Read this directive three times from top to bottom without interuption and be very careful in wording things and doing things precisely as laid out. If you are gonna tangle with the bull then you need to know which end to talk to. Good luck matador – I will be cheering you on from the stands….

    Stepping outside now to smoke. God Bless Oregon Marijuanna.

    1. @Dennis – Brother Dennis, you forgot to mention about the variables associated when a Veteran is in chronic pain, taking medications, and then trying to figure everything out to respond to the Bull w/o stepping into his poo. A little humor on the side, but its true. Long term use of many medications can and will take its toll. Many Veterans are going through this. And, the VA takes full advantage of this. Don’t have to be a scientist to figure this one out. Thanks for your post.

  17. If you honestly place value on your life, do not cross the threshhold of any VHA facility. Suicidal vets place little to no value on their own life so VHA seems a logical choice which is why suicidal vets keep seeking care there. They aren’t stupid, just self destructive.

    1. Dennis – try to throttle it back a tad. Suicidal vets indeed seek help at the VA. If they’ve spiraled into depression, they’re probably out of work or underemployed too. The VA might be the only place they can get help, so don’t discourage that – it could be the last straw for someone. Some veterans – many veterans – have gotten the assistance. I know of at least one and hang around with a “group” of others who have as much admitted they’ve gotten positive results.

      1. The history of VHA’s toll on human life is absolutely undeniable. The facts are not in dispute – you play Russian Roulette my friend if you trust your life to an organization that cannot be held accountable. Have you been blinded to the untold horror stories? Do you these are all made up?

        You speak anecdotally about friends that have been helped. Have you personally seen the college interns with a “deer in the headlights” look in their eyes in a VHA suicide precention group? I have. They are so completely lost, and so completely under and un-qualified it will make you sick. I speak from personal observation – these little girls they send into those groups might be experts at playing Candy Crush online but that is the extent of their experience under stress.

        You are risking your life when you cross a VHA threshhold. You speak of “last straws”.

        Let me tell you about a “last straw”. Four years ago the Roseburg VHA held Disruptive Behaviour Committees once every two years. Now they are held weekly. Do you sir understand what a PTSD riddled vet goes through when his country labels him a traitor of sorts who needs police escort? Sir, the last straw as you say has been handed to 20+ vets per day by the ONLY HEALTHCARE AGENCY in America that actively places its patients under armed guard in order to receive care. This is done by discarding all shreds of Due Process, Civil Rigts, Federal Law, State Law, and medical ethics. From personal experience I can testify that this is also done through falsifying medical record entries, false reporting to police, and making false statement in response to official inquiries made by Congressional staff. This is documented fully.

        Furthermore, internal VHA documents as well as a LITANY of medical professionals who have gone public confirm that the VHA is far more of a risk to mentally ill vets than no treatment at all. There have been YEARS of television reports of doctors who left that syatem on the belief that VHA was harming Americas vets and they wanted nothing to do with handing more vets their own last straw. Eugene Oregon is host to a mental health clinic known as the Johnson House. The mental professionals at the Johnson House are advising mentally ill vets to stay clear of VA mental health care. The counsellor that VHA paid to counsel me said of the VHA mental health clinic, “I hope they level that place into the ground.”

        Do not underestmate the danger you place yourself in my friend, because history shows us that my harsh words sing the truth.

      2. Dennis. I was just reading some of the progress notes done by someone in mental health. It state’s the VA wanted him to review my record’s and then interview me to see what kind of work I could do with my disability.

        It state’s Mr Gallegos does not understand why he is being questioned. State’s when asked about his childhood experences he (me) would start to say something about his childhood. Catch himself and only say positive things about his childhood.

        He does say that he had problems in school and dropped out and only went into the army because his father told him if you are man enough to leave school. You better get a job.

        That is true about My dad saying this and I could have worked in my little home town and back in 1969 times were tough and the only job’s for someone with out completing school. Were job’s working in the field’s and I did that and then decided on my own to join the Army.

        Young people back then and now join the military for many reasons. So this employee wrote. I believe Mr Gallegos had mental problems when he was a kid.

        I knew what he was doing. He was trying to blame me of having a bad childhood and was hiding things. This was a ploy the VA uses to try and deny claims.

        Many other negative things were reported that were at the least stretched the real facts.

        They stated he speaks with his Dead Brother and sees his Dead Brother. Boy o boy.

        I had a friend who made a trip to new york and took pictures. He shared them with me and one picture of a guy, reminded me of my dead brother and I took the picture and showed it to my family.

        They stated ya it does look like him. I knew it was someone who looked like him and the VA made it sound like I belived it was my brother coming back to life.

        I never told them that he was speaking with me and I never tried speaking with him. That’s just crazy.

        Anyway these employees will write down anything they want. He put Mr Gallegos says he was shot in the head. Records indicate he was hit in the head with a tear gas canister, but the truth is ( he the employee) that a tear gas Gernade Blew up in his face.

        These people are so full of themselves, they were not the one there. I was and shot point blank with a real ?.

        In the military and I don’t know what a ? looks like. Veteran’s better get copies of their mental health notes. These employees will twist your words and try to make the veterans sound crazy.

        He said that I was more active when speaking about other thing’s that happened in my life and the shooting was not a concern or I did not speak much about the shooting.

        I had lived with that thought for 40 year’s and how much can you say about something that lasted 30 seconds. I was shot and that knocked me out and I don’t remember much after that. I don’t remember being taken to a German hospital and then to an American hospital.

        I wonder why or ya now I remember I Was Shot Point Blank in the head. No wonder I don’t have much to say about it. No one told me I had a Traumatic brain injury for over 40 year’s.

        The disruptive committee is illegal and they do punish veterans At will. Some people come on here and cry foul and don’t do any research before speaking, they they would do a little investagation work. They would know more about the real facts.

        One day my friend the VA will be found out about how they punish veterans At will using this illegal committee.

        Some people have to have it happen to them personally before they will say, you know he was right. !

      3. Here is how a SINGLE OIG report on a SINGLE VA facility described teir findings in regards to the mental healthcare provided. There are hundreds upon hundreds of like reports and ALL report the same thing decade after decade. Cut and paste from VA OIG report;

        “The JC requires that clinical staff be deemed competent to perform their job responsibilities and that the facility takes action when staff competency does not meet expectations. A competency validation policy or process is required for staff who provide patient care, treatment, or services. The facility s competency validation policy did not clearly identify actions to be taken to correct deficiencies.”

        This was a nice way of saying, “Yep, we killed that guy through incompetance, doggone it, and we really should have done better…”

  18. @Jennifer,
    The American Legion is on the side of VA. Just as is almost ALL VSO’s.
    The two worst, in my opinion, are the American Legion and DAV, (Disabled American Veterans)!
    Neither one has actually accomplished anything worthwhile for veterans.
    Be careful talking to either one.

    Last April, I lost a “brother” to Pancreatic Cancer. He had been misdiagnosed by VHA healthcare providers. They kept trying to say he had diabetes.
    By the time the physician got around to admitting their FUBAR, after he used outside medical care, it was too late. He was already at “Stage 4”!
    This is, in my opinion, the best we veterans receive from VA!!!!!!!!!!
    BTW, my “Brother” was a “Highly Decorated Marine”. He was there in Saigon during “Operation Baby Lift” and then in on the “Landing Party” during “Battle of Ko Tang”! Where the enemy bayoneted him in the left shoulder. He was among some of the last troopers evacuated from the island.
    There’s a lot more to his story, I won’t get into.
    A few years ago, he and a couple others involved in that fiasco, “Battle of Ko Tang”, went to Branson, Mo. for a reunion. He caught up with many he hadn’t seen since his Marine days!

    I hope and pray the VA hires “highly qualified professionals in the healthcare industry”! So far we’ve not seen this to be the case!
    In my opinion, its only gotten worse!

  19. After I called the Associate Director at the Cheyenne VA and read him the part describing Choice on the web site that says “Choice (PC) does not leave you with only choice benefits”; and told him that the veteran’s advocate had lied to me saying I was either choice or clinic. (drove through Cheyenne to Denver to get a laryngoscopy) backed up by the “choice” operator AKA FEE payment clerk both disappeared from Cheyenne. Instead of only one operator for Choice at Cheyenne to interface with the Health Net delivery of Choice now there are several.

  20. @ex va I have talked to travel 6 times at local clinic is that we’re your talking about. Right in travel office where claims are processed. There if no help there.

    1. @ Jennifer, ask for the fee base clerk staff number. These are the clerks who work for the choice program who pay the providers you see. Talk to someone who handles your provider (doctor)claims or give them your name to see what claims they have pending. If you call them it can speed up payments to your doctor.

  21. Crazy elf I don’t know how we can find out about fraud. I do know that the American leaguon is suppose to help us but low and behold I had a very helpful rep but when something bad ended up in my records by a new incompetent doctor ( dirty urgent n test from a male patient) wow I’m a girl I saw my rep and he asked me why I pissed dirty and I hadn’t told him yet. And he told me the chief of staff told him. She the hell was the chief of staff talking to my American leagion rep that violates the HIPPA law. I found out from my nurse case manager. By phone she called me to ask me what i was thinking seeing a new pain Mgt doc and having a positive urin test for Marjawana? I freaked out asked for blood, hair, urin test that day. She found out that the test wasn’t mine the pain doc actually told her that he was overwhelmed was his first week and had a bunch of papers on his desk and must have put it in there accidentally. WOW HOW MESSED UP IS THAT. Then when I tried to get the negative remarks out of my record because now I’m permanently ban from pain meds. No one will help me. Nurse case Mgr don’t remember wha I’m talking about, chief of staff don’t recall, and American leagion (which is suppose to have no contact w va unless the vet needs something) won’t cooperate. So the positive test remains in my records with neumours attempts to get it out. And I’m stuck paying 6k a year for one prescription and I’m 100%. That’s messed up.

    1. Jennifer,
      Here’s a suggestion.
      Get a copy of that “dirty piss test of another veteran” that’s now in your records, write out- in detail- what occurred, and take it to the veterans rep at your Congressman/woman in your area. At the same time, send a letter to your local news representatives explaining exactly what happened.
      Use “cc”, (closed copy) to each one.
      This way all involved, the VHA director, News Medias and your Congressional Reps know your not playing around. “Shine a Light” on it!
      I don’t know if it will help. But talking to VSO’s is, from what you’ve written, isn’t helping your case.

      1. I tried all of that but not to my supplies the test has manically disappeared and just now says I had a dirty urin test. How convient. When I appealed it three times I got letters saying they needed more information. I had date, doctors name, facility and only the test results notes from record. We’re did the original notes go I wonder. I finally gave up the nurse case Mgr that informed me said she had no clue what I was talking about when she was the one I was directly working w at the time, the doctor wouldn’t see me again, and the American legion rep didn’t want to get involved. I was disconnected from the case Mgr on my healthy vet. And the rep for American legion is friends with the chief of staff in which my personal record of this mess was discussed between them. There all in kahoots.

      2. You need to go outside that hospital and submit your privacy complaint at least to the VISN level.

        Call the VISN first and explain why you need to submit the complaint at their level, and why you want them to handle it rather than just referring it to the hospital.
        Tell them it involves the Chief of Staff, nurse case manager and a doctor.
        If you can’t get help at the VISN level, there are email addresses to people that work at VA HQ, including Shulkin, on the VA is Lying Facebook page.

        Email them with the same request, that you need them to handle a privacy complaint involving the Chief of Staff and others, and it is affecting your medical care.

        Have your congressman involved and copy them on any emails sent.

        VA HQ has a long list of FOIA and Privacy Officer addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. Find that and use them.

    2. File a claim for the payment on an appeal form you can get from the FOIA Clerk. Explain the circumstances on the form. It will go up the other side (benefits) and VARO will give the Med Director a call to straighten him and his crew out. 100% means something on the Benefits side once they have given it to you. They don’t want you writing to your congressman over a claim.

    3. Jennifer, get copies of any records indicating you tested positive for MJ. Write a letter to the Privacy Officer at your VA describing what happened. Include the names and positions of all involved, including the person who erroneously put that in your record. Include how you became aware of it being wrong, and who was told it was wrong.
      Write that you are requesting a correction to your medical records, and you want any notation showing you had a dirty urine test removed from your record.
      Include in your letter that you believe it was a violation of HIPAA for them to communicate those results to your representative.
      Inform them you are contacting your congressman to open a case file on your request, then do it.
      Mail, email or hand deliver that letter to the Privacy Officer. Send a copy to your congressman after calling them and telling them what is going on.
      Provide a copy to that Legion representative.
      The privacy officer should initiate an investigation, and speak with all of the people named in your letter, then inform you of what the outcome is.

      Unfortunately, the Chief of Staff is involved. This complaint likely will go through them to be resolved, which is why you want your congressman involved.

      They will have to respond in writing.

      Call that Privacy Officer weekly for updates. If they have no status updates after a week, contact your VISN director and request their assistance.

      The VA should provide you with a case number for your complaint.

      1. If you follow these instructions. Let us know how it goes. When I did this, the VA told me to write a letter stating what was wrong in the chart and how it should read and they would file it.

        What do they think they were reading the letter. Yet they wanted another letter. !

        Veteran’s need to remember they have 2 two files your medical file and a Administrative file.

        You letter will be placed into the Administrative file and will only collect dust.

        No one will ever know you wrote it.

      2. Actually James, when did as I stated when my PCP falsified my records, they did as you said. Asked that I specify what was wrong and how I wanted it changed.
        I gave them a line by line response, and they redacted everything I said was false, and left what I did not dispute.

        The Privacy Officer investigated, my PCP responded in writing that what I stated was true, and the Chief of Staff also put in writing what the outcome was.

        My medical record actually reflects those changes.

        Whether the letters are in my medical record or in my admin record doesn’t matter to me. I have copies of everything involved. The false record, the PCPs response, the Chief of Staffs response and how the record was corrected.

      3. I was and I am being Retaliated against by the Chief of Staff and the Director for trying to clear my good name after a former Co-worker FALSELY Accused me of Disruptive Behavior. So they will not do any thing for me period. They have lied over and over and are keeping a lie going and have even lied to Senators Bennett’s office. Telling his Office that due to the reporting of the Disruptive Behavior the VA NEVER Coded my Official Medical Records for Disruptive Behavior for Disruptive Behavior, They also stated that they never Red Flagged my official Medical Records.

        That is False reporting to a Senator. After they Punished me a M.D., put into my Official Medical Records Veteran states he was STABBED while in the military and that was not True, What I think happened is that the Manager from my local CBOC told the Doctor that I said this or the Doctor heard it from someone else in the clinic.

        They have Falsely Accused me of Disruptive behavior with out any Proof, What is to stop them from calling the OIG, or FBI or anyone else telling them that I had Falsely told a Government Official that I was Stabbed while in the Service. Any Idea what type of Trouble I could be in if they did this.

        These people have ignored any request to change anything, They state those were the facts at the time. I call that Bull Shit and they are Intentionally trying to punish me. For trying and Fight Back. I just hope that Senator Bennett or Cory Gardner will give me some of their time, so I can show them everything I have that would prove my case.

        In the past the VA would reply to the Senators office, with Lies in writing and Bennett’s Aide, Replied we can not make the VA change anything. Now that was his Aide, So the citizens and Veterans when they contact their Elected Officials they do not get the Official to get involved, the official Lets their Aid do Anything they want. The Aid’s are Acting for the Senator and the Citizens and Veterans are not being Represented by the Elected Official.

        They have some Joe Blow do his Job for Him, How is that Justice. The Aids will state, well the Senator is Way to busy to deal with the Small Stuff. This is not a small thing. I have been THREATENED with Federal Charges, Arrest and Banishment from all VA Care, When the VA knows they had or have any proof of me doing anything wrong.

        Now I am glad that it worked out for you, But what about all the other veterans, that the VA will not help, Because if they would do their job and look at the matter properly, would have to Admit they Screwed up and God Forbid if they have to Admit they were wrong.

        If they Admit they were wrong, that means they Assisted in the Cover Up and they could be Sued for Slander and would be admitting to a Crime. They will never Admit to wrong doings and will continue to Retaliate against me, Until I find someone who has the Ba55s to take them to Task.

    4. @jennifer

      The VA has now told me as of last week that they will not provide mental health services. I am 100% PTSD sc. This comes after extensive media coverage regarding their abuse of authority in my case.

      Here is one step you might be able to pursue, and this is a copy and paste from my own notice to them. The wording is constructed around the wording contained in VHA staute.

      “This appeal of the VHA clinical decision to deny mental health services is beng sent via secure message to the facility patiaent asvocate pursuant to VHA Directive 1041.

      Pursuant to VHA Directive 1041 this is a written disagreement over the clinical decision to deny mental health care services at an VHA facility. The decision to deny mental healthcare benefits earned to this veteran rated at 100% sc for ptsd will likely have a significant impact on the clinical outcome of a comprehensive healthcare product.

      I expect the facility policys regarding this clinical dispute to be followed and in any case the ignoring of this appeal in writing will also be appealed as a seperate issue under VBA appeals process regarding denial of services.

      Please respond in writing by first class mail regarding your decision to either grant access to VHA mental health services or to deny such services.”

      Additionally I also filed the following by secure messaging;

      “This is a written official Notice Of Disagreement (NOD) pursuant to VHA Directive 1032, expressing dissatisfaction with the decision by VHA to terminate Mental Health Service provided at a VA facility, and I desire to contest this decision

      In accordance with Title 38, CFR, Part 20, I hereby demand that VA develop this case into a formal appeal for submission to the BVA as required by VHA Directive 1032, dated August 16, 2013.

      Please note that a decision to ignore this appeal will be appealled to the BVA as outlined in VA Directive. Willful Disregard of this directive is a violation of federal law.”

      I attached a pdf file of each of those Directives which can be found online. My iPad has an app that makes a pdf out of any page so it is easy to attach pdf files to secure messaging. I used secure messaging because itouts a date and time on when the message was read. They cannot deny that they received this.

      I hope these example help you. I truly doubt that VHA Roseburg will give a shit about them. Our current Chief Of Staff who did this is an Islamic dentist from Kenya. His native language is Swahili and it is unclear if he understands the importance of complying with the laws of this country. So far he has ignored them.

      1. the attached pdf files I mentioned are the directives themselves. A Kenyan Chief from Swahili land likely has no clue what any directives are so I provided them copies.

  22. Thank u crazy elf. I haven’t been huge into politics due to lack of knowledge but it’s time I am. I have been a disabled vet for 22 years and there care, knowledge and the way they treat the vets is disgraceful. And I don’t think the freeze and hiring a bunch more unqualified doctors is going to help. I think the vets should be able to use any doctors they want (choice health care) which I use. And see any doctors, surgeons and specialists I want. I didn’t known about it until I got breast cancer in 2014 and the va argued with me for almost a year that nothing was there. By the time I had kicked and screamed I had 6 months to live if I hadn’t pushed them to do proper test and figure out I had cancer. In short I could have had a much smaller surgery with much less treatment and less mental health issues. And you can’t sue the va lol. Well you can but whatever you get they keep your disability check until they recoop what you got paid. how is that sueing?? I almost died. And two years later still having surgeries and issues. Because I let the va cut me. No one said I had a choice (CHOICE) I found out after by my Dave rep. And someone else mentioned that all the staff eats free meals. Way back the vets did as well. We got to eat at the canteen of got a food voucher or added funds to our travel. Now we don’t get anything and even if we could eat at the canteen I went to it last week w my boyfriend he’s a vet also and it looked like week old pig slop that’s in Fl anyway and ME Mo just the three I have been to a lot.

    Evea thank you for the suggestion on travel I’m am at a loss and when last speaking to travel I was told that she would process the few she could like 8 out of 47 vouchers and throw the rest away. So I spent two weeks driving around to 12 doctors and getting doc notes and proof of visits through choice approved visits and made copies at home (expensive) and remained everything and basically it just cost me about 30 hrs in time and 237$ WOW that’s the good old va for ya.

    And furthermore it’s going to take decades to fix the va health care. I hope the choice program stays in place.

  23. If Trump has exempted VHA from hiring health care professionals does this mean that VA is finnally going to get some?

  24. Seymore,
    You posted some time ago, about these foreign ALLEGED physicians getting their hands on “fake (healthcare) degrees” so they could be hired by VHA.
    How would one go about finding out more on a person one suspects at being a fraud?

    1. Hey Elf,

      I will be getting back to you on that but it will take some writing with instructions. It is not always easy to determine.

      One of the easiest ways would be to Google the name of the school the person claims to have attended with the term “fake degree” included in the search. It will tell you if there has been a problem with fake degrees coming from that university. Also, you can search for the universities website and find out if they offer the degree program the person claims to have graduated from.

      But some times the catch is finding the name of the school the person claims to have gradated from. That is the part I will have to write the instructions for, given some one hiding a bogus degree does offend time take measures to cover their tracks.

      1. Will write them up latter, right now sweating bullets waiting for test results on my friend. All tests that should have been done a week ago when he was admitted to the Wisconsin hospital connected to the VA Clinic.

        Total absence of any standard of Care. What they did was dope him up throw a diaper on him and put him in a bed. He was so doped up he couldn’t sit up or even talk.

      2. Seymore,
        Thanks for the info.
        The problem being is my PCP refuses to tell me, or the wife, where she went to medical school.
        When asked, she says Atlanta. Nothing more.
        When we’ve asked “what” university, she changes the subject. Seems to me, a person would be proud to say the university they graduated from.
        That’s why we are ‘concerned’ about this.

        It was a few months after we questioned her, you put that “comment” on here about “FAKE” healthcare providers from middle eastern countries at VHA’s.
        Seriously got the wife and I thinking. Because she’s from one of those countries. Yet, won’t even say which one!
        Something isn’t passing the “smell test” with her.

    2. Start with searching on her name Crazy Elf. Narrow it down to find her full name, what her specialty may be and what college she went to. Once you figure that out, web pages like vitals dot com might show where she has practiced.
      Ultimately, you want to find out in which state she is licensed, then go to that states licensing board. More details should be there.
      If she has a specialty like board certified in XYZ, that specialty may also have a web site where you can look up more credentials.

      Its worth it. You can find whether she may have settled malpractice suits, whether she worked at another VA and had to be shuffled elsewhere, etc.

      I found a person claiming to be a credentialed provider at my VA only has an expired nursing license from Oklahoma.
      I found another whose only training was at some overseas, Caribbean school, but somehow the VA indicates her training was in the US, but there are no records of that. I still haven’t figured that one out.

  25. Never heard of a contact representatives, and I thought a psychologist was a half trained psychiatrist. So, what’s a psychologist assistant? I could probably use one. I’m one of many Veterans who have moved around. After receiving meds from at least ten VA’s, (current one 15years), they opened a clinic closer to home. My first visit and this Dr,(?), takes away two meds, changes one med, and tells me to try yoga. Ben, I am finding it more difficult each visit. Thank God for these posts. I was ready for it. I thanked her, and slowly walked away. I called the surgeon who put the stint in my heart and he prescribed what she wouldn’t, for a year. I despise the VA.

    1. Jo3n,
      The female (PCP) physician I see, regularly takes days off. Seems she likes “three day weekends”! Plus, if a Friday OR a Monday is a holiday, she will make it into a FOUR day weekend.
      And btw, she’s from one of those middle Eastern countries also.

      The wife has noticed she doesn’t really do anything to help me with my healthcare. Really a waste of time going to her office.

  26. Thank Ben for reporting on the Freeze.

    Although I note that one department that is still frozen are the positions at the OIG’s Office.

    Also really enjoyed seeing all the snow flakes come out to melt on Ben’s earlier post. Guess they liked the title and thought that they would not melt all over the comment section. I really wanted to chip in and help melt a few of those snowflakes but my mind and energy were needed elsewhere.

    The other thing I was occupied with came to a head when I pulled into an emergency room sallyport at an area hospital. They immediately went into lockdown status. Security officers where there immediate to help transport the Veteran I was assisting into the emergency room. Where he within seconds got the care he needed.

    Care that was being denied at another hospital a few miles away and across the state line of Minnesota and Wisconsin. It is worth noting that the other hospital has a VA clinic attached to it even though my friend was being covered by Tricare and seeing a private doctor. Proper care was being denied.

    Back to the OIG’s Office a few recent reports are listed below.

    1. “Construction Company Owner, KC Veteran Indicted in $13.8 Million ‘Rent-A-Vet’ Scheme”, United States Attorney’s Office, United States Department of Justice, Friday, January 13, 2017

      Jeffrey K. Wilson, 51, of the Village of Loch Lloyd in Belton, Mo., Paul R. Salavitch, 56, of Kansas City, Mo., and Patriot Company, Inc., a business located in Kansas City, Mo., were charged in an eight-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo.

      According to the indictment, Patriot Company was a pass-through or front company for a Greenwood, Mo., construction company owned by Wilson during the scheme. Conspirators allegedly used Salavitch’s veteran and service-disabled veteran status in a “rent-a-vet” scheme to bid on at least 20 government contracts and receive approximately $13.8 million to which Patriot Company would not have otherwise been entitled to receive because those contracts were set-aside exclusively for legitimate veteran-owned or service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. As a result of the fraud scheme, legitimate veteran owned and run businesses were not awarded these contracts.

      According to the indictment, Salavitch, a service-disabled veteran, worked full-time as a federal employee with the Department of Defense in Leavenworth, Kan., and did not work full time for Patriot Company. Salavitch nominally served as president of Patriot Company from July 14, 2005, to April 1, 2014.

      Full Press Release:

    2. “Review of Alleged Misuse of VA Funds at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System”

      “The OIG substantiated an allegation that VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS) staff provided free meals for medical residents without the required meal plan. The VAPHS Director could have authorized the meals under an approved meal plan for residents comparable to those at the facility’s index hospital, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. However, the Chief of Staff, who is responsible for reviewing this activity annually, overlooked the requirement for an approved meal plan. As a result, VAPHS used about $441,000 in appropriated funds to purchase catered meals for medical residents from April 2013 through March 2015 without such a plan. In addition, OIG did not substantiate the assertion that the meals were lavish, but the cost of these commercial meals was more than the cost of similar catered meals potentially available from the Veterans Canteen Service (VCS). VAPHS missed the opportunity to acquire potentially less expensive meals from VCS, rather than using this competitively selected commercial caterer. In January 2016, in response to our review, the VAPHS Director established a meal plan for residents.”

      Report Summary:

      1. What the VA OIG report is probably also not revealing is fact that a great number of VA hires are from middle east, India, and Nigeria and the Veteran Canteen Service probably does not make the ethic foods these new resident hacks will even eat…I say the Veteran’s Canteen Service should be serving ONLY PORK PRODUCTS in that case and make them also eat crow. Plenty of crow around the VAMC’s flying aimlessly and not by ‘choice’.

      2. But the VA Canteen Service also does not have any ethics…to be clear…remember the Starbucks Takeover? That still burns my ass.

  27. I do believe that this hiring freeze is an result to what the Veterans and the public want and that is change.

    Otherwise, Veterans and va would not even be mentioned in the first talks of this new POTUS. I believe thru experience that this is not going to be enough to change the corruption. I do not know if this is a real start, but it has to start somewhere. I do not trust the va in fixing their own problems or the vaoig because they are so much into damage control by protecting the va with bad publicity.

    I believe we need to continue our efforts in demanding change and i believe it will happen. History reflects change and hope to see it soon.

  28. @Angela. Seems you have been close to this situation for a long time now. I’m glad you found your voice, and there are ears to listen. Now, give whomever a swift kick.

    1. Oh you have no idea some days I wonder how I haven’t done something to make myself feel better by tearing a new )$: at the va . And I’m considering sueing then if I get a cool million I be dead before they recoop it through keeping my whopping disability check lol

  29. Also when my choice doctor puts in an urgent test that’s need approval why am I waiting a month for approval. Called choice 7 times and test are for life threatening issues. I think there purposely trying to knock me off. I cost them too much money.

    1. @ Jennifer, see if you can talk to someone in fee base clerking staff. They are the ones who handle the claims for payment. Call operator at medical center and see if they have a fee base office. Just trying to help.

  30. I am a 100% disabled vet that can’t even get prescriptions filled through the va written by choice authorized doctor that is bs. Bring to pharmacy they send you to a choice rep in va they then sent me to urgent care clinic which sent me to another clinic which sent me back to pharmacy and the. To patient advocate. Of which no one in 3 hours could fill my script that I have been on for 10 years filled by the va that my choice approve doctor just wanted to change the dose. I ended up walking out of the va very upset and without my script. WOW

    Another issue I have been getting travel reimbursement for over 6 years by simply sending in travel vouchers. I got back piles of vouchers all stating they were out of the 30 day range which was incorrect. They were wanting me to get a doctors excuse from every visit and resubmit the vouchers. Well by the time I figured out what they wanted the paperwork showing I was at the appointment, even though they paid for it and had my records from visits, I had over 40 vouchers not paid for and had dicarded most of the original vouchers. I went to 12 specialty doctors due to cancer and other service connectioned ailments and got documentation for every last apt. And resubmitted all of them only to get them back again this time saying now they were over 30 days. When i called and spoke to travel I was told that the original vouchers i sent in were nowhere to be found in the system. I can’t wrap my head around we’re all my paperwork went and why travel can’t looks up all the denial letters they sent me and pay me. This is the va simply being lazy. I’m not being paid over 700$ in travel from 4 months. Travel told me that it’s always been that way. That no one has ever gotten paid for vouchers without submitting a doc note with each voucher. So why have I been getting paid so nice 2010 until aug 2016 with only the voucher???????? This is only one of many new things being done to vets wow thanks for our service.

    1. simply being lazy. I don’t think so I think someone put it in there pocket instead of yours maybe one of my comments will get through

    2. Jennifer:
      Went through that problem about a year ago. Wrote a letter to the editor of the Cheyenne Tribune about how “Choice” was working. Got a call from the Choice clinic asking me to deal directly with them. Only recently found out the Rx was being faxed to the “tele medicine tuck” AKA Mobile Clinic and being then re written and faxed by the Mobile Clinic Nurse.

      Wasn’t getting my diapers and found out in tracking down the Rx. Apparently the nurse wasn’t forwarding that Rx. Always get my Keppra the next day.

      So the resistance is from the local VA that is trying to promote the use of the mobile tele medicine clinic which allows mom, the doctor, to work from home. Never see her in person so if you don’t have a good intake person you can’t get proper treatment. Telemedicine should only be for those who have been physically seen by, and is known by, the physician doing the tele medicine.

      1. Thank you I do only deal w. Choice now I’m sick of the va run around. They acted like I had to see someone at the va when scrips written by choice approved doctors with authorization simply need to be faxed to local va clinic or facility directly. Spending hours on the phone with choice there getting better with information. It depends on who you speak to at choice if the person I speak to has poor known I hang up and call back for different person lol.

      2. I hit the $)($ you button and redial lol. It’s my 70 hr a week job as a 100% disabled veteran to deal w va and choice and doctors lol I’d rather be a healthy and at work. My daughter will not be going in the military.

      3. I think every employee needs to be seen in mental health and see how they like people twisting their words.

        I don’t want any of my grandchildren going into the military, my son went in and now can’t hardly do anything and he was really good at sports and I have to watch him deal with the VA.

        He was 100. Percent disabled and shortly after that they started taking it away. Stating stuff like this veteran is fighting this tester and won’t move his legs like I told him to.

        If something does not work, it does not work. Plain and simple. Nope the VA will do what ever is called for to hurt a veteran and take away their disability.

      4. Interesting way to increase the number of veterans seen and treated.

        Route the RX through that truck, then claim you were another veteran treated successfully and given an RX…when they had nothing to do with your treatment other than routing an RX.

    3. You are right about the Choice program and medications requests. I had written on here how I needed Emergent medication for a lung Infection and was handed a Flyer that stated if you are a Choice Veteran and have a prescription from a Private provider.

      You can be seen in our clinic and We may or May not rewrite it, We may send you back to the Private Physician and bring back the Progress note and then we may not fill it then. You must contact the nearest VA hospital to get it filled.

      In my case that was 200 miles away, I called the Denver VA Choice program and was told to drive to Denver and pick them up or go to a local Pharmacy, Have the filled and pay for them and then send in the bill to choice for payment.

      Veterans were told when choice started those Veterans that choose to use Choice, WILL not loose any benefits seeking care at the VA. LIE

      The VA using this Tactic, Is nothing less than a Punishment of Veterans that decided not to use the VA, Pure and Simple. I believe that these policies Vary from hospital to hospital or it maybe a Nation wide effort to Retaliate against those Veterans.

      It has to be Retaliation. VA’s past policy before choice was if your seen by an outside physician, You can bring in that prescription and it WILL be Rewritten and that is the way it should be.

      The VA is and will keep Punishing Veterans any way they can, to try and get them to go to the VA. They do not care if they are hurting veterans.

      You want to use Choice, No problem ! we will teach you.

  31. Ben, I meant to include this in an earlier comment, but forgot to.

    I don’t believe for a minute that this exemption was given as a result of an outcry from anyone. I believe it’s standard instructions sent out to clarify what is meant by public health/safety, and any agency believing they have jobs that meet that criteria, they likely will be able to fill them.

    There may be further delays as those jobs are identified and approved.

    It doesn’t help when only a very few agency heads have been confirmed by the Senate.

    I suspect many federal agencies may have gotten the same thing, but who knows how fast it is becoming public.

    I imagine FBI, federal safety inspectors, maybe some FAA jobs etc., are likely considered public safety, and will also be exempted.

  32. Good to see they kept “Pest Control” on that exemption list…I wonder if that’s inclusive of Disruptive Behavior Committee since we Veterans seem to be the only “pests” they seem to efficiently kill. Just saying…what an exemption list!
    The VA will completely fuck this up just like Choice Program. Wait for it…

    1. Pest control is now considered public safety….not so much when a VA cafeteria had to be shut down because of roaches.

      News articles show that problem at both Tampa and Hines VAs.

  33. Nothing new or special. Public Health was IE VA Medical was one of 3 categories that were not included in the original freeze. No favors, or listening to the 79% that didn’t support his traitorship to begin with. What I want to know is how all of these presumably still Reagan worshipers are going along with this fiasco. I served under Reagan, and ran with a certain portion of his military entourage, if THAT Intel Report that McConnell et al covered up, and Obama LET THEM!!! had crossed Reagan’s desk, 1) the traitor (PUBLIC actions on 17 and 18 Jul fit within Art 3 Sec 3 US Constitution) would be UNDER Ft Leavenworth, and the Kremlin would be smoldering rubble WITH-IN an HOUR of Reagan seeing it… How the HELL are the “Reagan Types” going to justify THIS to HIM when they meet “above”

  34. I wonder what other “weekend crap” will come out tonight or tomorrow concerning the VA?
    Hope Seymore and others are being vigilant!

    1. I am betting the VA’s Industrial Shredders have been working overtime since about Nov. 8th. But even more so last 7 days. These bastards will certainly screw this exemption up and you wait, the VA will then use the excuse to beg for more $$ soon *because* they were required to do so much hiring…and a year from now learn they overspent a few hundred million on color-changing lawn turf and an army of interior decorators to arrange the color-changing lawn turf…just wait for it…but happy to be proven wrong. 🙂

  35. This will be an interesting step in a new direction to make the Government smaller and perhaps much needed help for Veterans all around the country by possibly creating an Expanded Veterans Choice Program sooner than later. Veterans need a choice to CHOOSE to which doctor they should go and if they are not doing adequate job, FIRE THEM!

    1. Be careful what you wish for. The Choice program isn’t up yet. I’m lucky I got a referral from a family member to a good primary care. But not every Choice eligible has been so lucky. And the system for getting your prescriptions filled still has problems. A VA physician has to sign off on the Rx and they can tally too long.

      1. That’s part of the problem with Choice Lem, and why fixes need to be implemented.

        There is no reason whatsoever for some VA quack to sign off on any prescription written by a doctor participating in Choice. Choice is not a jobs protection program for VA doctors.

        Each Choice authorization is given an authorization number. If that Choice doctor writes a prescription and includes that authorization number on the prescription, then there is no need to delay treatment further by waiting to get a VA quack to sign off on it.

        This bureaucratic BS is part of the reason why the VA is in such a mess.

      2. Local resistance trying to protect the “tele medicine truck”. I told the quack when she and her crew could write a correct history and use the forms provided properly I might think about going back to tele medicine. A physician that can’t take an accurate history can’t make an accurate diagnosis. Making a diagnosis and then writing a history to fit doesn’t cut it.

  36. I didn’t notice the OIG position that is open at the Denver VARO being among the hiring positions. Ben if you know any attorneys with experience and interested in helping in that way please put them on to that opening.

  37. Thanks for mentioning Shulkin is not the “Acting Secretary” of the VA. Some miss understand that a selection for Secretary is not a Secretary until confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as Secretary. This is a period to blame the “Acting Secretary” not the “nominated Secretary”.

  38. Thanks for the update Ben. Its as I thought…, exemptions requested under the public safety category.

    I disagree with some listed here that are not related to providing some kind of medical care for veterans…so I wonder if this is Snyder throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.

    I also strongly suspect this is only a proposed list that will have to be approved. If that’s the case, I doubt all will be approved.

    Given the length of the list, I can see why it may have taken a few days to put together.

    Finally, I wonder if Snyder put this out to try squash some of the irresponsible public comments made by VA officials claiming they won’t be able to staff new facilities.

  39. Seems to me the VA has had much trouble finding and filling these positions.
    I know here in Florida, many “High Quality Healthcare Professionals” have refused to even consider working at VHA’s.
    I don’t believe that ‘opinion’ has changed. Mainly due to the “past and current corruption” still plaguing the Veterans Administration.
    Of course, the VHA’s could hire more “sexual predators”, “pedophiles” and other “criminals”! To meet their demands of pretending to be healthcare providers!
    Google: “Sexual Predators working at Veterans Affairs”
    You’ll be amazed at what pops up!
    So, in essence, and I guess, we veterans will be stuck with more third world ‘pretend’ physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers!

    I also wonder why VA needs to hire funeral directors. Oh, wait, it was reported “7 veterans were not buried correctly” a few days ago.
    Seems their “grave sites” were one or two “spots” off. It wouldn’t have come to the director’s attention, until the family members spoke up.
    Then, there’s employees who like to take ‘veterans ‘grave’ plaques” home with them. To use as “driveway pavers”! Remember that!

    I agree 100% with James,
    The VA will “abuse this matter” at every turn.
    If there’s a way for someone, in higher VA management, to put taxpayers monies in their pockets and not report it, they’ll figure out how!

  40. @ James, they have abused this hiring system for years. Let me give you one example: The mental health service line did not have a suicide prevention coordinator for the new suicide prevention team that was to be started at this medical center.
    The chief of the mental health service line knew that this position was soon to be available. She began to seek out social workers and other mental health professionals for this position. She became friends with a social worker and put her as the “acting suicide coordinator for the suicide prevention team”. (This program was new to this va medical center).

    This social worker had no previous experience or specialized education for this position. She was picked based on a friendship. The va claims there is no pre selection for positions. FALSE! This job was posted on USA JOBS only after she had been in an “acting” position for approximately 2 years. In the 2 years the va paid for numerous educational credits for the position this social worker was in and of course she was selected even if you could call this a selection. So, i see where they could hire people for positions within the hiring parameters and have them work as “acting” in other positions. It goes on all the time in the hiring process at the va. That’s the problem the va administrators are genius enough to get around any system or process. In my opinion more diabolical in achieving their outcomes that they want.

  41. James, no, I do not want to “Bet” with you because I know exactly what you are saying. Actually, earlier when this message came out I was aware before Benjamin reported on it and I communicated a plea to a state government veterans service official for the VA to please take this exemption to heart with doing the right ethical and accountable actions. My statements included hiring quality medical professionals. I also pointed out some areas to this official to communicate to VA leadership please let’s put saving the lives of the veterans before the dollar bill and eliminate the worry whether the VA will get the money back the next year. Focus on what needs to be done to medically save the lives with also focusing on preserving the of quality lives. When making decisions, please consider both ends of the spectrum.
    I really pleaded to this state government veterans’ official to for once VA please do right by the veterans. Please VA consult with other medical professionals if in question in order to diagnose and treat veterans appropriately. Yep, it will really be a surprise to me if the exemption is taken to heart.

  42. I thought this was just an oversight in the rush to get things done by the Trump administration.

    Also, I am hoping that the transfer to a private care option will make this need to find additional help moot. Let’s face it the VA can never fill all the positions they need. Before the “crisis” coming to light after the Phoenix scandal, the VA needed some 1300 doctors and nurses nationwide.

    Hopefully, we can move to real veterans choice sooner rather than later. In my case, I mean before I die.

    1. I agree. I can’t see how the VA suddenly found 41000-45000 job openings.

      If there are that many open, then many are open because of poor VA leadership deciding not to fill those in a timely manner.

      1. 91Veteran,
        I gotta feeling a lot, and I do mean a lot, of these “job openings” came about around November 8, 2016 until this past week.

      2. I don’t know why, but my reply to you crazy elf just disappeared.

        It looked like it was being posted properly, but it didn’t appear here.

        Anyway, in part of my reply, I said the list above should be compared to those considered non essential and sent home during a government shutdown.

        If congress doesn’t pass a budget and government shuts down, non essential employees are sent home, but usually paid anyway once a budget is passed.

        If any listed above are non essential, why hire them?

  43. ” Bet ” ! The Veterans
    Administration will abuse this matter, like many of the other issues within the V.A.

    1. The way the list reads Everyone is Exempt. They should have just listed the one that are not Exempt. New Secretary to VA Employee’s ” Don’t Worry Be Happy ” we have this under control. Trump is just blowing off steam and nothing is going to change. Business as Usual !

      Don’t worry about the Whistle Blowers, we will take care of them for you. Now get back to hurting as many Veterans as you can before things change, we will teach those veterans to complain.

      22 Veterans taking their lives a Day, that’s not good enough, If you want your Yearly Bonus you have to do better than that. It should be at least 50 A Day. Bad employees have nothing to worry about, Go ahead Whistle Blowers Make Our Day.

      1. This was on the net. Town hall meeting Bay Pines Florida vamc by target 8 news. Many complaints and many apologies from management.

        IF anyone has been to one of these your not surprised about hearing management saying their are sorry to the veterans.

        At the end of these town forums and after management state’s their sorry.

        They think of the song by Kenny chestney. IT’S 5 Ocock SOME WHERE !

        And off they go to keep doing what they were doing. It’s the VA way to. Let the veterans bitch. Make sure you get their names. We will claim they were disruptive or could become disruptive. These veteran’s are dangerous and must be delt with.

        They won’t change anything I’m. Other employees will tell them to blow it out their ass. Were not going to do anything you say or we will act like we are for a week. If you expect us to work past a week. You better promise us a bonus.

        This news reporter posted this message if you have problems with the VA. That needs to be brough to light call Target 8 helpline 1 800 338 0808

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