FYI

Just to let everyone know, I haven’t given up on the crusade. I have been upgrading to a new laptop and juggling with life’s little problems.

The new laptop while not top of the line is is far better than what I was using. And since I use Linux it takes a bit longer to get things situated.

I have sent messages to my Congressman and both Senators but have yet to receive a reply. Contacting the media thus far has been a bust so if you have any media contacts especially email addresses please forward them to me. 

Until I can get some help I am a one man show. But I will press onward to the inevitable conclusion, whatever that may be.

Veteran’s Group Marching on America May 20th

Hear Ye

Just today a friend posted about a group that is planning a march in cities across America on May 20th. Visit their site to find a city near you. Here’s and excerpt from their site:

Veterans March On: America started with a very clear mission. You may have already read the mission statement, so you’ve seen what our mission is, but the underlying mission is bigger. MUCH bigger. We are trying to do the one thing that nobody has ever accomplished before. Our larger mission is to unite all Veterans. Once we’ve done that, we will have the power we need to actually solve issues, not just talk about them. We have a goal of ZERO. That’s Zero suicide. Zero denied or delayed care. Zero homelessness.

Their goal is essentially the same as ours, bring real reform to the VA Healthcare System and the VA in general. They want to unite veterans across America and so do we.  This is why I suggested we join forces to achieve this worthy goal.

It is time that we are heard in one loud voice that can not be ignored.

VA Secretary Considering Closing more than 1100 Facilities

Hear Ye

According to a News Article from CBS NEWS VA Secretary David  Shulkin is considering closing down more than 1100 VA Facilities. About 430 of the facilities are already vacant so those perhaps don’t matter so much.  However, if you are like me I don’t trust the Government Officials to make wise decisions.

In other news a suspended Suspended Cincinnati VA Leader was indicted on federal drug charges for writing prescriptions outside the scope of her government license. Whatever that means, but this is a good step, at least I think, in the right direction. Incompetent and arrogant VA managers need to be fired and prosecuted in accordance with the law.

Unfortunately for 40 or so souls lost at the Phoenix VA secret waiting list aren’t likely to see any justice. A report that came after the incident broke concluded that there was no evidence that the Veterans that died, died because of the waiting list. Well perhaps there was no direct evidence of that; however, what were the chances that they might still be alive if they had received the care that they should have received? And let us not forget the fraud perpetrated upon the government by the administrators that profited from their dereliction of duty?

Before this story broke in 2012 the Phoenix VA Administrator was receiving bonuses for the so-called “efficiency” of her facility. Money fraudulently obtained by the virtue of the secret list. A list that should not have ever existed in the first place. So there is evidence of fraud right their under their noses.

But what of these deaths that can’t be proven were caused buy being on the waiting list? My personal opinion is that this is Criminally Negligent Homicide at worst, at the very least it should be Depraved Indifference. But this is my opinion, what do you think?

I’m sure that most of you have by now heard of President Trump’s Executive Order creating the Office of Accountability and Whistle Blower Protection. I have mixed feelings on this. Why wasn’t this done sooner? Why didn’t Obama do this? Maybe it will do some good, we can only hope.

To say that I am frustrated by this Administration dragging it feet along with Congress putting band aides on a gushing would be an understatement. Further more my attempts to get meetings with my Congressman or is Veterans staffer, and Army Vet himself has gone unanswered. Just as trying to make contact with a reporter. I get the feeling of being ignored but I refuse to be put off by this.

I encourage you all to please talk to your veteran friends and get them to visit this site, even if they think it is a lost cause. Their participation in the Survey with help me formulate a plan.

Also if you have media contacts that would be willing to talk to me about this crusade or contacts in high places that might be able to get me in touch with Secretary Shulkin I would appreciate it if you could talk to them about it.

They can email me at: news@vhareform.org

Thank you all.

From the Department of Veterans Affairs

President Donald J. Trump Visits VA, Signs VA accountability executive order, Secretary Shulkin makes new key announcements

 

Today President Donald J. Trump visited the Department of Veterans Affairs to thank Veterans for their service, and VA employees for their work helping Veterans.

While at the VA, the President signed an Executive Order entitled, “Improving Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the Department of Veterans Affairs,” and Secretary Shulkin made three new key announcements at the VA’s Central Office.

The Executive Order is focused on improving “accountability and whistleblower protection” at the VA by creating an office dedicated to that purpose and the position of Special Assistant to the Secretary who will report directly to the Secretary and serve as executive director of the office.

The new executive director “will report directly to me as Secretary so that we can identify barriers that are preventing us from removing employees and people that we have identified that should no longer be working at VA,” said Dr. David Shulkin, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  “We want make sure that we have employees who work hard and are committed to the mission of serving our Veterans.”

The VA will establish the office and appoint the executive director within 45 days of the signing of the Executive Order.

The executive director will advise and assist the Secretary in using all available authorities to discipline or terminate any VA manager or employee who has violated the public’s trust and failed to carry out his or her duties on behalf of Veterans.  The executive director will also assist the Secretary in recruiting, rewarding, and retaining high-performing employees.

At the signing ceremony for the Executive Order, Secretary Shulkin also announced three new key initiatives at the Department.

 

VA Partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services

Effective today, VA is entering a partnership agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services that will allow the assignment of medical professionals from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps to provide direct patient care to Veterans in VA hospitals and clinics in underserved communities.

“My priority has been to improve access to care for our nation’s heroes,” said Dr. David J. Shulkin, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. “By partnering with our colleagues at HHS, we will enhance the availability of clinical care in those areas most in need.”

The initial agreement enables up to 20 officers from the Commissioned Corps to treat Veterans in VA facilities that are most in need of staffing support.  The agreement also allows up to 10 more officers to help support coordination for veterans receiving non-VA community care.

 

New Fraud, Waste and Abuse Taskforce

The Secretary announced a major new initiative to detect and prevent fraud, waste and abuse in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Effective today, this initiative has the potential to save tens of millions of taxpayer dollars currently at risk, for fraud, waste and abuse that can be redirected to better serve Veterans.

The initiative will include bringing in the leading thinkers from the private sector and other government organizations in an advisory committee to identify and leverage cutting-edge fraud detection tools and; and coordinate all fraud, waste and abuse detection and reporting activities across the Department through a single office.
The Department has identified potential savings in the area of improper payments to health care providers, major contracts, contracts for pharmaceuticals, and the delivery of benefits to Veterans.
“Restoring the trust of Veterans and improving system-wide accountability are among my top priorities. It’s essential to ensure that all our employees and the companies that we do business with are being good stewards of the resources available to care for our Veterans,” said Dr. Shulkin.

 

Removing Red Tape at State-owned Veteran Nursing Homes

Effective today, VA is amending guidelines to allow state-owned Veteran nursing homes to follow state guidelines in the construction design of their facilities – removing red tape, while increasing access to services for Veterans.

Up to now, to qualify for federal grant funding for Veteran nursing homes in their state, Governors and state officials have had to follow federal construction design guidelines.  With today’s announcement by the Secretary, that is no longer the case, and Governors are freed up to follow their own state guidelines in the construction design of these facilities while still qualifying for the same level of federal grant funding as before.

In announcing the move, Secretary Shulkin noted that State design guidelines already are sufficient to the task of providing safe conditions for our Veterans and the Department recognizes the need to move quickly to reduce unnecessary barriers to providing much needed services to our Veterans.

Let’s Get the Word Out

I have a favor to ask you all, please help get the word out. At present I am a one man operation taking every spare second I get, even when I’m at work, to get noticed. With some success I might add.

I have successfully contacted the rock band Madison Rising, they have the most kick ass rendition of the Star Spangled Banner I have ever heard. Also Big & Rich and the Willie Nelson camp.  By successfully contact I mean they actually responded.

I just sent an email to a reporter of the Boston Herald that did a story on the Boston VA where 1 in 6 veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries are being improperly processed by having them seen by unqualified medical personnel such as nurse practitioners. Hopefully I will hear from him. So far though main stream media doesn’t seem to care.

Well they won’t be able to ignore us forever. I fully intend to be like a rash that just won’t go away. I don’t know about you but I am tired of our veterans being dumped on.

It’s time to put Congress on notice that we won’t accept any excuses and time to hound the media. We will not go quietly into that good night.

Spread the word brothers and sisters. Don’t let them rest until we are heard.