Showing posts with label Lake Nona. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lake Nona. Show all posts

Friday, February 15, 2019

453 Orlando area veterans wait too long for appointments?

Whistleblower says veterans are waiting 30+ days to see doctor at Orlando VA

WFTV 9 News 
By: Christopher Heath 
Feb 14, 2019 

ORLANDO, Fla. - Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, sent a letter Thursday to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie demanding answers after a whistleblower revealed lengthy wait times for more than 450 vets.
“I write to express concern with substantiated whistleblower allegations regarding lengthy wait times at the Orlando VA Medical Center,” wrote Rubio. “Your Department found that approximately 453 Veteran patients seeking care at this facility experienced wait times for endoscopy procedures longer than 30 days."
 Since 2014, veterans have been eligible for what’s known as the Veterans Choice Program, which allows vets to seek private care if the VA can’t schedule an appointment within 30 days. 

According to the Office of Special Counsel, the acting chief of medicine of the Orlando VA “instructed staff to not refer some of these patients to community care.” Rubio in his letter wrote that the “delays raised the risk for medical conditions to worsen.” Rubio is asking the VA to outline what changes it has made to ensure these wait times are addressed at the Orlando VA. read more here

Sunday, September 16, 2018

A senior veteran can be fully restored too!

This morning on PTSD Patrol, we're talking about how some people want to think veterans are all broken, damaged beyond repair. You know, the ones who think we're all supposed to feel like giving up.

After over 3 decades, it would be easy for me to explain the difference between "broken" and what a survivor looks like. 

It is like looking at a vintage car that has been fully restored.

A senior veteran can be fully restored too!

PTSD Patrol Sunday Morning Empowerment Zone
Your ride may be getting old, but it is far from ready for the junk yard. Most people value antiques and if you are a senior veteran, that is a great way to look at what comes with age.

You have a lot of miles on your spare tires. Your shock absorbers may be a little worn out. You may need some body work. The truth is, you survived all of the events that put miles on your ride. A lot of them were bad but more of them were good times.
read more here

Friday, December 9, 2016

Florida VA Care Mixed Reviews

Mixed report card for VA medical centers serving Florida veterans shows that Orlando has come a long way in year.
Orlando is now a four-star, while the hospitals in Lake City and Gainesville have been elevated to three-star status, according to spokesmen for those medical centers.
And this part, you need to remember that this part of the Lake Nona VA opened recently.
Michael Strickler, a spokesman for the Orlando VA Medical Center, said the hospital has taken numerous steps to improve service in recent months such as faster scheduling for and access to audiology, optometry and Urgent Care Center treatment.
I was there Monday with my husband. Like most emergency rooms, there was a wait time for tests. They got those done after a fairly short wait. The doctors and nurses were wonderful, as always, but few people know how good they are. After all, beating up on the VA instead of fighting for them is a lot easier on us, but not our veterans. 

Here's a simple reminder of who is responsible for what veterans have to go through when things do go wrong.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Monday, October 3, 2016

Lake Nona VA Hospital Saluted by Birds

We went to Lake Nona VA Hospital this morning and I had a lot of time to walk around. The Veterans Memorial walkway is just about my favorite spot, so brought along my camera. This is the view from the back of the hospital.

 Even the birds did a salute to veterans and formed a V over it!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Lake Nona VA DOM Hospital Fire

No injuries in Lake Nona VA building fire
Orlando Sentinel
Caitlin Doornbos
Staff Writer
July 20, 2016

The facility serves three types of veterans: the chronically homeless, severely mentally ill clients and those suffering from alcohol and drug abuse. Strickler said the facility heat-treats their incoming patients' luggage.
A fire struck the fourth floor of a domiciliary at the Orlando Veterans Affairs Medical Center inLake Nona Wednesday, according to the Orlando Fire Department, and residents are likely to be moved from the center to another yet-to-be opened facility at Lake Baldwin.

A fire struck the fourth floor of a domiciliary at the Orlando Veterans Affairs Medical Center inLake Nona Wednesday, according to the Orlando Fire Department, and residents are likely to be moved from the center to another yet-to-be opened facility at Lake Baldwin.

Just before 11:30 a.m., firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire at the residential facility at 13800 Veterans Way, according to the fire department. It is on the same campus as the newly opened VA hospital center, but is in a separate building.

Fire sprinkler alarms were activated in the fire that struck the patient intake processing area of the facility, VA medical center spokesman Mike Strickler and the OFD said.

Once firefighters arrived on the scene, they extinguished the flames by 11:40 a.m., according to the OFD. There were no injuries reported in the fire, Strickler said.
read more here

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Patriotism and Pretence on Memorial Day

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
May 28, 2015

This weekend was one event after another. I told coworkers it was good to be back at work so that I could get some rest with the usual chaos.

I love covering the events and sharing what the press hardly ever shows.
This is from the Lake Nona VA Hospital Dedication.  As you can see, these cameramen blocked the view of the veterans behind them,
but what makes it worse is, none of them showed the whole event and few put anything on air at all.

I have a unique view of crowds behind the camera. I watch their faces, listen to the folks in the crowd almost more than I listen to the speakers. While the news crews were in the way, I was off to the side, standing in the sun in over 90 degree heat, so that I could see the speakers as well as the veterans. After all it was the dedication of their hospital.

We left early due to other appointments plus, I really didn't want to hear the same thing out of the politicians I've been hearing for years.

There is a vast difference between a politician speaking, reading words but clearly lacking the experience behind the words. They stumble over words that should come flowing out while they choke back words to appear to be emotional. Usually these stunts are followed by screwing up something important like a name or an important event in our history.

They read the words and some, if they are good and practiced enough, they glantz at the words written for them but if you pay close attention, it is easy to tell they don't have a clue what the words really mean to members in the crowd.

Then there are the veterans. When they speak, it is from their hearts filled with the experiences behind the words. Sometimes when they stop, choke back, then carry on, you can see it in their eyes and the change in their tone how much those words truly meant to them.

If you took the same speech about fallen servicemembers and had a politician read it right after a veteran did, you'd booo because the difference is that obvious.

I heard a Vietnam veteran talk about not leaving another generation of veterans behind and how they fight for all veterans to make sure they don't ever have to experience what they were put through. Then I heard politicians at another event talk about how they value veterans and want to make sure they are taken care of, but the words were just words. No emotion. No understanding of what it is like to be a veteran, disabled by risking his/her life because some politicians decided they needed to go but never planned for when these veterans returned.

The Lake Nona VA took about 10 years to get to the point where they started taking appointments and even now they are limited. It is supposed to be fully operational by the end of the year. Think about that for a second. All those years and all we heard out of members of Congress is it is all the VA's fault. After all, why would they want to remind anyone that they are responsible for this and everything else the VA does or does not do?
Jeff Miller
U.S. House of Representatives
United States Representative Jeff Miller serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. The Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is responsible for authorization and oversight of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA.) VA is the second largest department in the federal government with over 300,000 employees and a budget of over $150 billion.

Congressman Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee has been on that committee since 2001. That is proudly stated on his website.
After taking the oath of office in 2001, Congressman Miller was appointed to the House Armed Services Committee and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. He quickly established himself within Washington as a strong advocate for veterans' concerns and immediately supported changes to concurrent receipt and policy changes such as a greater co-sharing between the military and veterans' clinics.

Is this all his fault? No, but like all those before him, they simply don't feel the words they say and none of them have ever accepted responsibility for what they left behind. Mainly, veterans in line waiting for the care they were promised time and time again, years after more years. Most of the talking has been during election years.

The groundbreaking for the VA Hospital was in 2008 and every politician showed up to take credit for it even though building it wasn't scheduled to begin until 2010.  Every politician on that stage was involved in this in one way or another, but as with everything else, they seem to forget it was their job to make sure happened.

When politicians gave their speeches at the other events, their words painfully came out to the point where folks stopped listening hoping they'd finish. When veterans spoke the pain came from living what the words meant and folks hoped they'd be able to finish their speech without breaking down.

Hands wiped away tears for them yet when politicians spoke, hands wiped away sweat because the difference between the pretence of patriotism and true patriots was obvious.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lake Nona VA Hospital Dedication

Published on May 26, 2015 Dedication of Lake Nona VA Hospital was this morning. VFW Post 4287 was there and the National Anthem was beautifully sung by a VA employee Sharon Stephens. As for the speeches, enough said.
Congressman Daniel Webster
Congressman Jeff Miller
Congressman Alan Grayson, late arrival
All the news crews blocking view of veterans behind them.
I left before the speeches but I am sure all those news crews managed to record every word said. You'll just have to try to figure out which ones actually have the coverage online.

Speakers, Mayor Buddy Dyer, Congressman Ron DeSantis, Congressman Bill Posey, Congressman Daniel Webster, Congressman John Mica, Congressman Alan Grayson, Congresswoman Corrine Brown, Congressman Jeff Miller and Secretary Department Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald.

If the news stations don't have the speeches up, check their YouTube pages later.

Orange County Welcomes Orlando Veterans Administration Medical Center To Lake Nona
Rejoice Magazine Staff
Temia Brinson
May 30, 2015
The VA Medical Center includes a 134-bed inpatient diagnostic and treatment hospital, a 120-bed nursing home, a 60-bed domiciliary and an outpatient clinic. The Center will continue to open in phases through 2015.

With more than 1.8 million veterans in Florida, the new facility is capable of providing the highest quality of health care and services to local veterans and their families. The $616-million facility will provide access to state-of-the art health and medical services to approximately 400,000 veterans in Central Florida. According to VA Public Affairs Officer Heather Frebe, the new center should see about 100,000 patients a year.

Secretary McDonald recognized the steadfast efforts of the Central Florida community whose dedication contributed to opening of the nation’s newest VA Medical Center.

“Florida veterans have been lucky to have these advocates speak for them,” McDonald said during his remarks. “The VA can’t do things like this on our own; we depend on congress, Veterans Service Organizations and private partners.”
read more here