Problems with the Miami VA, Praise for a VA Training Video

Patricia Kime, writing for the Air Force Times, finds members of Congress questioning assertions by VA staff that conditions have improved for veterans seeking medical at the Miami VA. Here’s part of her story:

Miami VA Medical Center

Two years after 3,000 veterans at the Miami VA Medical Center learned they had undergone endoscopic procedures with unsterilized equipment, putting them at risk for contracting HIV, hepatitis and other deadly infections, the facility continues to suffer problems that affect patient care, members of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee said Wednesday.

From a delay in notifying 18 veterans that their personal information recently was sold for profit, to a miscommunication in August that resulted in the death of an Air Force veteran, the list of issues at the Miami VA is vast — and no one is being held accountable, committee members said.

The committee sponsored the hearing to address specific problems at the Miami VAMC and question a top VA official about department management practices, safety and what several House members called a “culture of fear” that discourages employees from reporting problems.

Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., cited a 2-year-old case of the hospital’s public affairs officer, who lost her email account and her job and was forced to transfer before an investigative board decided the 17 accusations against her were false.

“Things going on at the Miami VA Medical Center are atrocious. And if it’s better today than it was, I can only imagine how bad it must have been if you think it’s moving in the right direction,” Miller told VA Miami and headquarters officials.

You can read the full Air Force Times story HERE.

A problem of stolen identity and improperly removed patient records also surfaced at Tampa’s VA Medical Center. Howard Altman wrote in the Tampa Tribune that VA records were found at a marijuana bust at a Tampa motel back in May. There’s an ongoing local and federal investigation into how the records were removed.

On a different note, the Veterans Administration is being praised by Veterans for Common Sense for its new training video.  The VA recently hired U.S. Army veteran Kyle Hausmann-Stokes to produce the four-minute training video for department employees and new hires. You can watch it below:

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