Sunday, November 16, 2014

Can Robert McDonald clean up the VA?

We certainly hope so. Our optimism is due to the fact that the new head of Veterans Affairs, Robert McDonald, has come out with some explicit items. He estimates that upwards of 1,000 employees who were involved with fake wait times and other despicable things done to our wounded veterans could be fired. Somebody should. We hope this is not just talk.

But more than firings need to be done. This also gives us hope, as Robert McDonald has also said that he would like a complete overhaul of the VA. It sure needs it.

The bad part here, is that Mr. McDonald has no military experience. We wish someone had a past history working with the military and veterans. Of course the VA is a huge, bloated, misguided organization. McDonald does have experience running a huge company, Proctor & Gamble. That company is actually the largest of its kind in the world. So that is a little hope. Problem is, he is dealing with federal workers and bureaucracy. You can't just fire people and make changes at will. THAT is what really needs to be changed for virtually every federal agency. Incompetent employees and mismanagement should be dealt with quickly, and with little fuss. Not dealing with rules about federal employees.

One big name has been axed. Terry Gerigk Wolf, director of the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System, has been canned. Of course it took 2 years and only after congress passed laws making it easier. She was director when veterans died from Legionnaire's disease due to water at various Pittsburgh VA hospitals. But it took two years.

Of course we would like to give a shout out to dedicated nurses, doctors, and hospital personnel at VA hospitals who we know are on the front lines giving their all for our veterans.

The Veterans Administration is the second largest government agency in the United States. What's number one? Our military. Makes sense to us. Those are our top priorities. Keeping this country safe, and, supporting our military men and women at all levels.

This crap at the VA hospitals has been going on for decades. We'd like to give Secretary McDonald a chance. It can't be done overnight.

There are still to this day long wait times to be seen for our veterans. The total veterans waiting has shrunk, however. Some are now allowed to go to private doctors and clinics. More of this should be done, as well as hiring more people. Good people, that is.

In the meantime, how about you? Can you support our hurting veterans a little more? Can you volunteer your time at a VA center or hospital? Can you help out with organizations that do?

Are you a nurse or a doctor? Perhaps an LVN? Even a patient care person like a nurse assistant? Why not apply to work with our veterans? The rewards will be much greater than anything monetary.

Want some good news? Two VA hospitals in the Tampa, Florida were both named as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures Award from The Joint Commission on hospital accrediting.

Shouldn't all VA hospitals make this list?

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