Showing posts with label Fayetteville NC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fayetteville NC. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

VA pathologist was found to be "impaired" and misdiagnosed patients

Fayetteville VA Medical Center Pathologist Fired, Nearly 20,000 Local Veterans At Risk
5 News Online
Melissa Jones
June 18, 2018
Parks said the pathologist saw 19,794 patients. Letters are being sent out to all of them, or to their family members. The hospital is responsible for 53,000 patients each year, he said. Of the more than 19,000 patients involved, 5,250 have died since 2005, and those deaths are under review. He said they did not know if any of the deaths was related to the pathologist's review.
FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Officials with the VA Medical Center in Fayetteville and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced an investigation Monday after a pathologist was found to be "impaired" and misdiagnosed patients, resulting in at least one death.

Dr. Skye McDougall, the Network Director and CEO of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, began the announcement on Monday.
read more here

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Vietnam Veteran told meds may be cut off at 75?

Local veteran looking for some answers
Courier News
Sean Ingram, Section Editor
“With all of the other problems that are occurring in the world, why would the government want to cause a huge commotion amongst the veterans?”

Ira Johnson served his country in the Vietnam War. His medical list of conditions includes photosensitivity and exposure to Agent Orange. He is on 44 medications altogether.

He wants his fellow veterans to know he was told recently by his primary care physician at the VA Hospital in Fayetteville that his meds would be decreased, and when he reached age 75, they may be cut off completely.

"What purpose is this serving and what will happen to the veterans who are in need of their medications and are unable to obtain them?” Johnson said in a letter. “ ... This is a problem that needs to seriously be investigated, thoroughly reviewed and re-evaluated before any type of action occurs. Why would there be a reason for the medications to be discontinued if they are not being monitored?"
read more here

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Five Days After Suicide, Veteran Found in VA Parkinglot

Veteran’s suicide in Durham VA parking lot highlights problem
By Jonathan Rodriguez
Published: March 6, 2017
“He had gotten partial benefits, and he found out that Wednesday that he went missing that he would not be getting full benefits because of a paperwork error. Had he been a little patient, we don’t think it would have taken a lot longer to get them but he had been waiting, struggling emotionally and financially for quite some time,” Donald said.
RALEIGH, NC – A veteran who took his own life in the parking lot of the Durham VA hospital was in struggling to get his benefits.

Veterans are promised care in return for serving our country, but many veterans say getting their financial support is incredibly challenging.

63-year-old Paul Shuping was found in the parking lot by Durham VA police.

“He tried to do things the right way and it just didn’t work,” his brother Donald explained.

It took five days before police found Paul in his car.

“He was in a seldom used area of the parking lot in a corner,” said Donald.

The veteran served 6 years in the United States Navy. Donald says the care this veteran got at the Durham VA was great, but he was battling emotional issues, depression, and PTSD and had just found out he was denied his veteran benefits.
read more here

Friday, August 7, 2015

PTSD On Trial: Colonel Apologizes For Not Doing Enough For Soldier

Fort Bragg soldier sentenced to more than year of jail time 
(Orendorff) apologized to Fayetteville police officers and fire fighters who were in the courtroom. He said that the Army failed Sgt. Eisenhauer by not providing him the proper treatment to battle his PTSD.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — More than three years after a Fort Bragg solider fired at police and firefighters, the convicted Fayetteville man was sentenced to more than a year of jail time Thursday afternoon.

Staff Sgt. Joshua Eisenhauer was sentenced to 10 to 18 years of active jail time, and 36 months of probation following the active sentencing by Superior Court Judge, Jim Ammons.
Prior to the sentencing, retired Colonel John Orendorff suggested that Eisenhauer be given probation and parole, including time at either the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Bragg, or Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Orendorff is responsible for writing policies and procedures for all soldiers that return from Iraq and Afghanistan, making sure they get proper treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
read more here

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Veteran Went to the VA for Help, He Died and So Did His Wife

Veteran's family sues the Fayetteville VA Medical Center over his suicide
By Greg Barnes Staff writer
December 19, 2014

The family of Paul Wade Adams Sr. of Lumberton has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center failed to provide proper care and follow-up treatment before Adams killed his wife and then himself on July 18, 2012.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, seeks $40 million for the deaths of Adams, an Army veteran, and his wife, Cathy. The lawsuit names the U.S. government as the defendant. The couple had been married 38 years. He was 62. She was 56.

According to the lawsuit, Paul Adams went to the Fayetteville VA on June 15, 2012, complaining of having suicidal thoughts. He was prescribed the anti-depressant Zoloft, the lawsuit says.

On July 4, the lawsuit alleges, Adams tried to shoot himself but was left with only a flash burn on his head.

Two days later, the lawsuit alleges, his daughter, Jennifer Nichole Fairfax, took him to the VA's emergency department. A nursing triage note on that day says Adams admitted having had suicidal thoughts for the previous two months.

According to the lawsuit, Adams was admitted directly into the VA's psychiatric unit, where records indicate that he suffered "suicidal ideation and homicidal ideation," indicating he had thoughts or plans to kill other people.

The lawsuit says Adams spent four days in the psychiatric ward. In that time, it says, VA did not take steps to warn his family or make sure that Adams did not have access to guns after his release.

According to the lawsuit, VA switched Adams' medication from Zoloft to another antidepressant, Wellbutrin. Records show that Adams was to gradually increase the dosage and that maximum benefits would be reached in three to four weeks.

The lawsuit says the VA did not keep Adams in the hospital long enough to test or observe whether the new medication was working and released him while he was still at high risk of committing homicide or suicide.

VA initiated Adams' release - not the family - and left him outside the hospital until his wife picked him up, the lawsuit says.
read more here

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Disabled Vietnam Veteran Shot by Thug in Fayetteville

Disabled Vietnam vet shot during attempted robbery in Fayetteville
July 3, 2014

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Cumberland County investigators are looking for a man who they say shot and injured a disabled Vietnam veteran Thursday morning.

Authorities said the man approached Melvin Morgan, 59, after Morgan withdrew money from a convenience store ATM near West Mountain Drive.

Morgan told investigators the man approached him in the 200 block of West Mountain Drive and demanded money. When Morgan refused, the man hit him in the head with a handgun and then shot him in the leg, authorities reported.
read more here

Monday, May 19, 2014

Fayetteville police ready to respond to veterans in crisis quietly

Fayetteville Police Ready To Silence Sirens For Veterans In Crisis
WUNC Public Radio
May 19, 2014

The Silent Siren program seeks to make a registry of veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injury, so police know to respond to emergencies at their homes without blaring sirens or flashing lights.

Police and community leaders in Fayetteville are working on a local incarnation of the Silent Siren program to help veterans in an emergency.

Fayetteville police responded last week to a call from a woman whose husband, a soldier, was parked outside a Walmart threatening to kill himself. Police approached the stand off without lights, sirens and shouting. They were able get the soldier help.

Fayetteville wants to expand that gentle approach for emergencies involving veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or traumatic brain injury.
read more here

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Platoon of Medics from Fort Bragg Honor VA Patients

Fort Bragg medics connect with veterans at VA Medical Center
Fay Observer
By Sean Neal Staff writer
Sat Feb 8, 2014

Staff photo by Cindy Burnham
Medics visit VA
Retired Army Sgt. Richard Gomez, right, shares a story about jumping from C-130 aircraft with medics from the 1/505th (PIR) Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team. Soldiers from that unit visited with veterans at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center Friday Feb. 7, 2014.

Fort Bragg soldiers reached out to their predecessors today, visiting veterans at the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

And the platoon of medics discovered they had more in common with the veterans than just their uniforms.

"I got to speak with an Army boxer. I used to be a boxing coach myself," said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Davis. "Being able to have that connection with them. Even though there's a generation gap, there's a lot of similarities."

Davis is a medic from the 3rd Brigade's 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the 82nd Airborne Division. Today, he and other soldiers spent time with veterans in the hospital's Community Living Center, which is for patients needing long-term care.

The visit was part of National Support for Veteran Patients Week, which officially begins next week. The soldiers were led from room to room to speak with veterans, gathering to share stories and hand out 3rd Brigade coins.

"Really the main focus is just to remind the community that we have veterans here, and to thank them for their service," said Norma Fraser, the Voluntary Services Chief at the medical center. "The Fayetteville community support is fantastic."
read more here

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Veterans' personal data left in recycle bin at Fayetteville VA

Veterans' personal data left in recycle bin
The Associated Press
Jun. 14, 2013

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — The Veterans Affairs hospital in Fayetteville says documents containing the personal information of nearly 1,100 veterans were found in a recycling bin two months ago.

The Fayetteville VA Medical Center announced Friday it’s notifying the 1,093 affected veterans whose consultation reports from the optical shop were incorrectly placed in a recycle bin over a three-month period. The documents found April 17 contained patients’ names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and prescriptions.
read more here

Sunday, March 3, 2013

8 days after release from VA, veteran killed himself and wife

Fireworks, common unsettling event if you have PTSD and has not been treated. Hell, it can be hard even if they have been treated. This set of a chain of events that should prove once and for all, when it comes to suicides tied to military service, too much of the wrong things are being done and not enough of the good stuff is happening.

The veteran in this case tried to kill himself but survived. For 3 days, not weeks, not months, only 3 days, the VA watched over him. What happened in those 3 short days is anyone's guess. Was it all about medications? Observation? Therapy? Whomever decided 3 days was long enough to undo whatever it was that nearly cost this man his life, should have their own head examined.

8 days after the VA discharged him, his wife didn't survive and neither did he.

Family questions whether veteran got the care he needed from the VA hospital
Fayetteville Observer
Mar 03, 2013

The bullet missed, leaving only a flash burn and giving Adams a second lease on life.

Two days later, Nicole Fairfax said, she drove her father to the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where he told an emergency room nurse that he was still having suicidal thoughts.

Adams spent three days in the hospital's mental health ward. Eight days after his release, he shot and killed his wife of 38 years, Cathy, and then himself at their Lumberton home.

He was 62; she was 56.

Now, the family questions whether the VA adequately cared for a man once regarded by many as a pillar of his community.

Family members say Adams had been severely depressed for weeks before his death.

Adams' son-in-law, Jason Fairfax, said that earlier July 4, Adams and other family members went to Lumberton High School to watch fireworks. Adams seemed withdrawn, Fairfax said, and he paced around a lot.

Two days later, when Nicole Fairfax drove her father to the VA, he told her about his suicide attempt.

"He said, 'I can't do it anymore. I need help,' " she said. "He just kept shaking me and telling me he loved me."

In the week of Sept. 10, a team from the Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Inspector General went to the Fayetteville VA to evaluate patient care and other hospital operations. The inspection appears to have been unrelated to Adams' death.

According to the team's report, it found that the VA failed to properly follow up with nine of 10 patients whose names appeared on a list of people considered at high risk of suicide.
read more here

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fayetteville VA hospital director disputes suicide report

Fayetteville VA hospital director disputes suicide report
Fayetteville Observer
By Greg Barnes
Staff writer

The director of the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center took exception Tuesday with a federal audit that said the VA failed to follow up on patients released from the hospital who were considered a high suicide risk.

Under Veterans Health Administration regulations, the VA keeps a list of those patients and is supposed to follow up with them every week for a month.

In a sampling of 10 patients from the list, the audit found that the VA failed to check up on nine of the 10 after the second week.

"Is it a failure? I wouldn't call it a failure," VA Director Elizabeth Goolsby said.

But she added, "Anytime we don't give the complete scope of care bothers me."

She said steps have been taken to ensure that those services are always provided, including hiring a second suicide-prevention coordinator.

But Goolsby said the audit's sampling was not a good representation of the number of high-risk patients who were on the list in the last fiscal year.

She acknowledged that the list contained the names of 53 patients Tuesday, some of whom had been on it for months or even years. She said she could not recall how many patients were on the list when the audit was conducted by the federal VA's Office of Inspector General over a few days in September.

A report released Friday by the federal VA revealed that 80 percent of all suicide attempts among VA patients nationally occur within a month after a hospital visit.
read more here

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fayetteville VA failed vets at high risk of suicide

Report says Fayetteville VA failed vets at high risk of suicide
Fayetteville Observer
By Drew Brooks
Staff writer
Feb 02, 2013

A recent government audit of the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center shows that the VA failed to properly check on veterans considered high suicide risks after releasing them from the hospital.

The audit precedes a report released Friday that says the vast majority of veterans seeking help from the VA who attempt suicide do so within a month of a hospital visit.

The report, billed as the first comprehensive review of veteran suicides, found that an average of 22 veterans a day committed suicide in 2010.

The audit of the Fayetteville VA was prepared by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General and released Dec. 10.

It found the VA noncompliant in two areas dealing with mental health - workers failed to property follow up with patients in accordance with Veterans Health Administration policy and did not document attempts to contact patients who failed to appear for scheduled appointments.

According to the audit, nine of 10 patients who were on the high risk for suicide list did not receive sufficient follow-ups.

The VA is required to check on such patients weekly for the first month following their release, according to the review, but Fayetteville officials failed to check on the patients for the last two weeks of that period. The report released Friday by the Department of Veterans Affairs revealed that 80 percent of all suicide attempts among VA patients occur within that one-month span.
read more here

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Retired Col. Virgil Thomas "Tom" Deal Jr. died in plane crash

Retired Army Doc, VA Surgeon, Dies in Plane Crash
Dec 18, 2012
Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer
by Drew Brooks

A decorated Army doctor who served in some of the military's most elite commands was identified as the pilot killed in Sunday's plane crash in Robeson County.

Retired Col. Virgil Thomas "Tom" Deal Jr. was acting chief of surgery at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center when he died, but he was well known throughout the military, especially within the special operations and medical communities. He had served as command surgeon of Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., and was commander of Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

"He was a beloved colleague and advocate for the veteran. Our hearts are heavy with his loss," Elizabeth Goolsby, director of the Fayetteville VA Medical Center, said Monday.

read more here

Monday, May 14, 2012

Special Operations soldier, shot by a Fayetteville police officer has died

Soldier shot by Fayetteville police dies
Published: May 13, 2012


A Special Operations soldier who was shot by a Fayetteville police officer has died.

Fayetteville Police said Sunday that Staff Sgt. Mark Lewis Salazar, 27, died after suffering a gunshot wound May 5.
read more here

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fayetteville convoy welcomes home Iraq war veterans

Fayetteville convoy welcomes home Iraq war veterans
Feb 26, 2012
By Drew Brooks
Staff writer
Staff photo by James Robinson
Vehicles participating in the Ride to Freedom to honor Iraq veterans go down Robeson Street on Saturday on the way to the Airborne & Special Operations Museum.
A string of nearly 100 vehicles convoyed across Fayetteville on Saturday as a way for locals to welcome home veterans of the Iraq war.

The convoy, dubbed the "Ride to Freedom" by organizers, left the John D. Fuller Recreation Center on Old Bunce Road after noon and arrived at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum eight miles later.

The ride was organized by the Fayetteville nonprofit organization GOTDAD, after local celebrations of Iraq war veterans failed to materialize once the conflict ended in December.
read more here

Monday, January 16, 2012

Fort Bragg soldier faces multiple charges after shootout with Fayetteville police

Fort Bragg soldier faces multiple charges after shootout with Fayetteville police
Jan 16, 2012
By Paul Woolverton
Staff writer

Kimberly Brown was relaxing in her west Fayetteville apartment with some television Friday night when she smelled smoke and saw firetrucks come through the gate into the complex's parking lot.

In the next 30 minutes, she heard pounding footsteps, men banging on doors, water spraying the outside of her apartment building and gunfire.

Brown's upstairs neighbor, Fort Bragg Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Paul Eisenhauer, was involved in a shootout and standoff with police. He ended up critically injured and charged with 30 felonies, including 15 counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Two police officers suffered minor injuries. One was treated at the scene, the other at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, police said.

And Brown spent the night in a Fayetteville fire station.

The incident started about 10 p.m. Friday when someone reported a fire at Austin Creek Apartments on Capeharbor Court, which is off 71st School Road between Raeford Road and Cliffdale Road, the Police Department said.

Brown said firefighters knocked on residents' doors, asking if they had a fire in their units.

She saw two go up to the third floor, she said, and then heard them talking to Eisenhauer, asking him to open the door.

He refused, Brown said.
read more here

Fort Bragg Soldier in Fayetteville shootout

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Veteran's family seeks answers to his death after leaving VA hospital

Veteran's family seeks answers to his death after leaving hospital

By James Halpin
Staff writer

Anthony Carrol Hayes walked out the door of the Fayetteville Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Jan. 18, 2010, and vanished.

When his bones were found Sept. 26 in a field off Ramsey Street, his family was left with more questions than answers.

Now they want to know what happened to the 51-year-old Army veteran and father of six who seemed to be making progress in his treatment for bipolar disorder - and why he was out on the streets at all.

"This guy is not capable of being out there on his own. He has no family in Fayetteville, not one person. He has nowhere to go. Why would you release him?" said his wife, Cynthia Hayes. "The end result is he's not here now. He's gone. And I think that could have been prevented."

A spokesman for the VA hospital said patients are free to leave when they want as long as they are competent and do no appear to pose a threat to themselves or others.
read more here

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Special Forces soldier in flip-flops caught suspect running from police

Special Forces soldier awarded for putting self in harm's way to assist local police officer

Story by David Chace
FAYETEVILLE, N.C. - The streets of Fayetteville, N.C., are a little safer thanks to the quick thinking and initiative of a recent Special Forces Qualification Course graduate.

Sgt. Valentin Birlean was assigned to the 1st Special Warfare Training Group (Airborne) awaiting transfer to the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Carson, Colo.

In mid-April, Birlean, his wife and son were enjoying their last weeks in Fayetteville before moving the family out west, and were driving down Cliffdale Rd. toward a local park when he noticed a police officer in need of assistance.

At an intersection, a Fayetteville police officer had conducted what seemed to be a routine traffic stop. The officer and the car’s owner stood nearby.

Suddenly, the owner of the car grabbed his backpack, which they’d been searching through, and started running down the road. The police officer attempted to chase after him, but was pushed onto the ground.

Birlean didn’t think twice; he threw his car into park, jumped out and chased after the man, who didn’t expect to have to compete with a Special Forces soldier who could run 5 miles in less than 37 minutes.

Even in flip-flops, it didn’t take Birlean long to catch up with and subdue the suspect.
read more here
Special Forces soldier awarded for putting self in harm's way

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

PTSD is focus of seminar Thursday

PTSD is focus of seminar Thursday [The Fayetteville Observer, N.C.]
Feb. 23--As a licensed professional counselor in Lillington, Molly VanDuser receives anywhere from one to six referrals a day for military families suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Substance abuse, nightmares and withdrawal are some of the symptoms facing troops as they rack up combat deployment after combat deployment.

But PTSD can be cured, said VanDuser, who will speak at the seminar, "PTSD and the Military Family," at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Cumberland County Headquarters Library.
read more here
PTSD is focus of seminar Thursday

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Army Captain's Mom wins Above and Beyond Award for work in PTSD

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Vietnam Vet on death row finally gets Purple Heart

Death row for a Vietnam vet is wrong in so many ways, but add in that he is also mentally ill. What is wrong with North Carolina they allowed this to happen? Why didn't they at least give him life in prison insted of this?

That's one of the biggest problems for Vietnam veterans. They never received what they needed when they came home and they are still being forgotten about. Did he commit murder three times over? Yes. Were families left in pain over this? Yes. But is justice the death of this man when we have laws saying that we don't put people with mental illness to death, and the same nation that says we honor the veterans? I don't think so. There are so many in jail and if we don't start to ask if they should be or not, there will never really be justice for Vietnam veterans no many how many monuments we build or parades.

Death row inmate gets Purple Heart from Vietnam

The Associated Press
Posted : Saturday Sep 5, 2009 13:29:42 EDT

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Guards took the shackles off death row prisoner James Davis and led him into a small room to get the Army medals he earned more than 40 years ago.

The North Carolina inmate slouched over as retired therapist Jim Johnson picked up the Purple Heart and the Good Conduct medals Davis earned in Vietnam, but never received.

But Johnson recalled that as he prepared to pin the medals on the triple-murderer from Asheville, Davis snapped to attention, hands cupped to the side. Johnson stepped back, and the two Tet Offensive veterans looked at each other. Davis then gave a textbook-sharp salute, Johnson said.

A few minutes later, the medals were tucked away. Davis, who will likely never touch them again, returned to his cell on death row, hard of hearing from the bombs that fell in 1968, one of which rocketed a chunk of metal that remains in his thigh. The leg still throbs when it gets cold.

The 62-year-old killer wants to give up all his appeals for killing two of his former bosses and another person in a tool company in 1995, although an attorney continues to fight for him.

“No soldier’s service to our country should be ignored,” Johnson said. “A lot of people would say, ‘It’s just a medal. Forget it.’ Not to me, it’s not. To me, it’s the recognition that every soldier deserves. No matter what happened, his service should be recognized.”

Davis’ attorney Ken Rose brought the two together. Rose is trying to get Davis off death row, saying his trial attorneys did not do their jobs He contends they mostly ignored signs of mental illness in their client that started early because of abuse when he was a child and was made worse through post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the war.

A Veterans Administration physician determined Davis suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and depression. His marriage collapsed, he attempted suicide and he was fired for fighting with co-workers not long before he returned to his job and went on a shooting spree.
read more here