Showing posts with label VA Hospitals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label VA Hospitals. Show all posts

Friday, May 8, 2020

Navy Vet got tired of waiting for prescription at Pensacola VA...went back with AR-15

FBI: Veteran tried to enter Pensacola VA Clinic armed with AR-15-style rifle, handgun

Pensacola News Journal
Colin Warren-Hicks
May 7, 2020
He returned to the clinic two hours later, carrying an AR-15-style rifle that was loaded with 20 rounds of ammunition, with one round in the chamber. The safety was turned off and "ready to fire," the affidavit stated.
After allegedly making threatening comments to a witness in the parking lot, a U.S. Navy veteran approached the Pensacola VA armed with AR-15 style rifle. (Photo: Gregg Pachkowski/
A U.S. Navy veteran is facing federal charges after he entered the Pensacola Veterans Affairs Clinic on Wednesday armed with an AR-15-style rifle, 34 rounds of ammunition and a handgun because he was upset COVID-19 policy changes were causing his prescriptions to be filled too slowly.

Howell E. Camp, 58, was stopped by police before he entered the building and was taken into custody.
read it here

Friday, April 17, 2020

Veterans Affairs lifts restrictions on masks for health workers...and is now under investigation

update VA pledges more masks for medical staff who were rationing supplies

Federal investigation launched as Veterans Affairs lifts restrictions on masks for health workers

ABC News
Quinn Owen
April 17, 2020

The numbers of infected employees continue to grow along with the rising case count among the nation's veterans. So far 284 veterans seeking treatment at VA-run facilities have died while the number of confirmed positive cases reached nearly 5,000 on Thursday.

Federal officials have launched an investigation into allegations that the Department of Veterans Affairs is putting its health care workers in danger as they continue to work on the front lines fighting the novel coronavirus, according to a Department of Labor letter obtained by ABC News.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation comes in response to a VA union complaint last week that medical workers who were exposed to infected patients did not receive coronavirus testing and lacked sufficient protective equipment, including N95 respirators, eye protection, face masks and gowns.
read it here

VA secretary refuses to share documents that detail PPE supply, lawmakers say
The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has requested the documentation dozens of times since March 23. Eight Democrats on the committee, including its chairman, Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., wrote to the White House Task Coronavirus Task Force on Thursday morning asking that it be shared immediately.

“If VA does not provide our committees with timely information, we cannot adequately exercise our oversight responsibilities, nor can we work with VA to minimize the harm to our veterans caused by this pandemic,” the lawmakers wrote. (Stars and Stripes

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Miami VA hospital rationing medical masks...but USAID sent them overseas?

Report: Federal Agency Shipped Face Masks Overseas as Veterans Affairs Hospital Rationed Them

National Review
April 3, 2020

A federal agency reportedly shipped face masks overseas from a Miami warehouse even as a nearby Veterans Affairs hospital was rationing them due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Boxes of N95 protective masks for use by medical field personnel in New Rochelle, New York, March 17, 2020. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had a warehouse of face masks sitting unused in Miami while a Veterans Affairs hospital in the city was telling its health care workers to use the same face mask for an entire week, Fox News reported.

Later, USAID exported the masks overseas. Since then, however, the administration has reportedly halted USAID shipments of personal protective equipment out of the country.
read it here

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Wrongful Insulin Injection ruled homicide at Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center

Veteran Affairs Sued Over Westmoreland County Veteran’s Death From Wrongful Insulin Injection

CBS Pittsburgh
March 3, 2020
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, alleges an unnamed employee who administered the injection was not qualified to be a nursing assistant and that hospital staff failed to take appropriate action to stop the employee from giving the shots.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A woman is suing the federal government over the 2018 death of her father from a wrongful insulin injection at a West Virginia veterans hospital.

Melanie Proctor filed the lawsuit Monday against Veteran Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie. It details a “widespread system of failures” at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg that led to the death of her father, former Army Sgt. Felix Kirk McDermott.

Federal prosecutors have said they are probing the deaths of up to 11 patients at the hospital.

Proctor’s lawsuit said McDermott, 82, was admitted to the hospital for shortness of breath and concern for food aspiration pneumonia on April 6, 2018. He was placed on antibiotics. He had no medical history of diabetes and there was no order for insulin to be administered to him.

An autopsy performed more than six months later at an air base in Dover, Delaware, determined McDermott had received an insulin injection and his death was ruled a homicide, the lawsuit said.

read it here

Friday, January 10, 2020

Minneapolis VA Health Care Center failures connected to a Minnesota veteran’s suicide

Minneapolis VA cited second time for failures in the suicide of a veteran

Star Tribune
By Mary Lynn Smith
JANUARY 10, 2020
Hospital officials say improvements have already been made to stop such tragedies.
For the second time in 16 months, a federal watchdog agency has cited the Minneapolis VA Health Care Center for failures connected to a Minnesota veteran’s suicide.

“I want to die,” the veteran said after he was admitted to the medical center in the spring of 2018. Three days later, a nurse overheard the man talking on the telephone, saying he was going to die in the hospital. “I want you to have the seven acres for all the help you have given me,” the vet told the other person on the line.

Hours later, police responded to a report that a patient had attempted suicide on VA property. Despite CPR, the vet died.

It was the second time within weeks that a veteran had taken his own life at the medical center.
“When someone dies by suicide, there are all kinds of questions about why, and one of the things you learn to tell yourself is that it’s no one’s fault,” she said. “But having a government report in black and white in front of you that says no, actually these things did go wrong in the care of that person, blows that out of the water. It’s devastating to know that someone could have done something that would have given your loved one a better chance at survival.”
read it here

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

"VA officials overlooked or were unaware that a doctor was on the data bank’s list" and veterans suffered

Wichita VA fires doctor who medical board accuses of botching operations in Missouri

Kansas City Star
DECEMBER 30, 2019
The Government Accountability Office earlier this year faulted the VA for not always doing a good job checking the credentials of the doctors and other health professionals it hires. The report did not single out the Wichita hospital, but said that in some cases VA officials overlooked or were unaware that a doctor was on the data bank’s list.

Jim Guillaume of Independence blames the 2013 death of his wife, Susan, on a surgeon’s incompetence. Missouri officials agree that urologist Christel Wambi-Kiesse was out of his depth in the operating room. RICH SUGG RSUGG@KCSTAR.COM

The Department of Veteran Affairs hospital in Wichita has fired a doctor who Missouri regulators say botched operations while he was in private practice in the Kansas City area several years ago.

The VA began its investigation of Christel O. Wambi-Kiesse in September after The Kansas City Star reported that Missouri’s Board of Registration for the Healing Arts was seeking to discipline the 44-year-old urologist for allegedly harming patients while performing robot-assisted surgeries that were beyond his abilities.

The board cited three examples, all during 2013, while he was working for a now-defunct urology clinic associated with Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence. One woman died from a massive infection two months after Wambi-Kiesse punctured her bladder while performing a biopsy and failed to repair the damage, according to the complaint. The Star independently confirmed her identity as Susan Guillaume, who was 69 and lived in Independence.

“He poked two holes in her bladder, and then he said ‘we’re just going to let it heal naturally,’ “ her husband, Jim Guillaume, said in August. “Heal naturally? All that poison went into her abdominal cavity.”
read it here

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

We have to hold all of them accountable for veterans suffering

Holding people accountable for veterans in misery!

Wounded Times
Kathis Costos
December 18, 2019

Another case of someone reporting somethings that are wrong. There is no mention of the "contributor" who wrote ‘Parking lot suicides’ at VA hospitals prompt calls for better training, prevention efforts All it has is "Denton Staff Contributor" with a mention of "The Washington Post’s Julie Tate contributed to this report."

The article starts off with this.
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Alissa Harrington took an audible breath as she slid open a closet door deep in her home office. This is where she displays what’s too painful, too raw to keep out in the open.

Framed photos of her younger brother, Justin Miller, a 33-year-old Marine Corps trumpet player and Iraq veteran. Blood-spattered safety glasses recovered from the snow-covered Nissan Frontier truck where his body was found. A phone filled with the last text messages from his father: “We love you. We miss you. Come home.”

Miller was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal thoughts when he checked into the Minneapolis Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in February 2018. After spending four days in the mental-health unit, Miller walked to his truck in VA‘s parking lot and shot himself in the very place he went to find help.

“The fact that my brother, Justin, never left the VA parking lot – it‘s infuriating,” said Harrington, 37. “He did the right thing; he went in for help. I just can‘t get my head around it.”

At this point, one would assume it would be an important enough report to have been well researched, however it apparently did not deserve careful research.
The most recent parking lot suicide occurred weeks before Christmas in St. Petersburg, Florida. Marine Col. Jim Turner, 55, dressed in his uniform blues and medals, sat on top of his military and VA records and killed himself with a rifle outside the Bay Pines Department of Veterans Affairs.

“I bet if you look at the 22 suicides a day you will see VA screwed up in 90%,” Turner wrote in a note investigators found near his body.
Yet this was not the "most recent" suicide at the VA.

March 14, 2019, again in Florida, Brieux Dash committed suicide at West Palm Beach VA. He hung himself on the grounds.

In April of 2019, two veterans committed suicide in Georgia in two days.

In August of 2019, it happened in North Carolina when a veteran committed suicide in the parking lot.

There were more, but it depends on who is doing the counting because veterans cannot count on anyone to get this right for them. You would think that with all the news reports focusing on this topic, things would change, but no one is ever held accountable for their broken promises.
With more than 50,000 community organizations nationwide also committed to preventing veteran suicide, bill sponsors said their proposed legislation also would allow the VA to work more closely with those groups to reach more veterans and to make sure veterans know about all available resources.
The "contributor to Denton" also got this wrong.
Sixty-two percent of veterans, or 9 million people, depend on VA‘s vast hospital system, but accessing it can require navigating a frustrating bureaucracy. Veterans sometimes must prove that their injuries are connected to their service, which can require a lot of paperwork and appeals.
While it is true that there are around 9 million veterans in the VA system, they are not depending on VA hospitals for their healthcare. The VA released a data sheet for all the veterans collecting disability compensation by states and counties. This chart released in 2017 gives you a better idea of how the 9 million veterans are using their benefits but also a good time to remind people that there are about 20 million veterans in this country, so less than half use the VA.
We no longer have the luxury of trusting what reporters tell us. We should no longer have the patience to wait for someone to be held accountable for all of this.

The last 4 presidents, including the current one, need to be held accountable.  The 100 Senators serving right now need to be held accountable, along with all the others who have been voted out of office. The over 400 in the House of Representatives need to be held accountable, along with all the ones voted out of office. The State representatives, also passing bills and using tax payer funds to pay for services on the local level, need to be held accountable. The 50,000 groups need to be held accountable for all the money they have been getting from Americans pockets. None of that will happen until we hold the media accountable for deceiving the public!

Find something that was reported and is wrong, call the out on it! Nothing will ever change until we demand it!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Veteran casually mentioned suicide plans at routine appointment

VA staff’s instant action prevents a Veteran suicide

by Kristen Parker
September 25, 2019
Many common risk factors for suicide are treatable. As a community, we can #BeThere and save Veterans lives through stories of hope and recovery.

In the photo above, Cleveland VA’s lifesaving team includes (from left) Jose Rivera (ED nurse manager), Kimberly Miller (infusion clinic nurse), Jennifer Davis (dietitian), Erin Valenti (infusion clinic nurse manager), Alexandra Murray (psychiatry intern) and Rocco Burke (police officer). 

It’s not often that we talk about suicide in terms of lives saved, but recently, the Cleveland VA team saved a Veteran from ending his life.

He came in for his medical appointment for treatment just like any other day. During a casual conversation with a VA team member, he shared his plan for suicide. He had lost hope and didn’t feel he had anything more to offer.

The VA team member wasn’t a mental health provider, a nurse or a doctor, but is a compassionate VA employee who knew how to #BeThere. The VA team member immediately engaged members of the Veteran’s treatment team.

They showed compassion and talked with the Veteran about his needs and together, then they developed a plan that helped him feel safe.

Every member of the VA team flawlessly executed their role to save this Veteran’s life. They got him to the emergency department and, eventually, to the psychiatric assessment and observation center for further treatment.
read it here

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Deaths at Clarskburg VA Hospital investigated as homicides

UPDATE: Death of veteran at Clarksburg VA ruled a homicide; Claim alleges there could be up to 10 more cases

August 23, 2019

A claim filed by Tiano O'Dell law firm says that retired Army Sergeant Felix McDermott received a fatal dose of insulin while a patient at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center.

According to the claim obtained by 5 News, first reported by the Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram, McDermott was admitted to the VAMC on April 6, 2018. He died of hypoglycemia, or severe low blood sugar, on April 9, 2018. He was 82.

The claim states that employees never told McDermott's family how he died. He was buried 4 days later.

On Oct. 23, 2018, McDermott's remains were exhumed and sent to the Dover Air Force Base for an autopsy and investigation.
read it here

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Another VA parking lot suicide

Veteran dies by suicide at VA Medical Center in Asheville

by: WSPA Staff
Posted: Aug 5, 2019

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WSPA) – U.S. Department of Veterans Afairs officials said a veteran died by suicide while in the parking lot of a Western North Carolina VA medical center on Sunday.

According to the news release, the veteran died by suicide in the visitor parking lot of Charles George VA Medical Center just before 8:50 a.m.

The Asheville Police Department is investigating the incident.

“We are saddened by this loss and extend our deepest condolences to the Veteran’s family, friends and caregivers,” officials said in the release. “Suicide prevention is the VA’s number one clinical priority. Charles George VA Medical Center and its community outpatient clinics at Hickory, Rutherford County, and Franklin have many services for Veterans who are struggling with mental health concerns, such as depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, military sexual trauma, and substance use disorders.”
read it here

Monday, July 22, 2019

New Hampshire VA urgent care cutting hours? Seriously!

New Hampshire veterans hospital scales back clinic hours

Associated Press
Michael Casey
July 17, 2019

This move comes as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs presses for the use of urgent care clinics nationwide as part of the Mission Act that went into effect last month. Critics have expressed concerns that offering more private care could undermine veterans services.
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The urgent care facility at New Hampshire's only veterans medical center is reducing its hours, forcing veterans to go elsewhere to get treatment in the evenings and overnight.

The Manchester clinic now offers around-the-clock care but after Aug. 30, it will only accept walk-ins from 8 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. daily. If an eligible veteran needs urgent care outside those hours, center director Alfred Montoya said there are nine other clinics around the state they can go to.

That list is expected to grow.

This move comes as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs presses for the use of urgent care clinics nationwide as part of the Mission Act that went into effect last month. Critics have expressed concerns that offering more private care could undermine veterans services.

But Montoya said the move is welcome, and part of an effort to offer even more health care services. The urgent care facility will relocate to a stand-alone building connected to the center. Mental health services will also be offered there.

"This is not privatization," he said. "This is expansion of services, modernization of service in a data-driven, patient safety focus that really brings it all together."
read it here

Friday, June 28, 2019

What the Dems need to know about veterans

What should the next president know about veterans?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
June 28, 2019

For the last couple of nights I tried to make it through watching the Democrats debates, but ended up changing the channel.

How is it that they have missed what our veterans actually want in return for their service?
We heard a lot about how awful civilian healthcare system is. We know that, since we live with it all the time. So how is it that none of them managed to acknowledge that sending disabled veterans into that system subjects them to the same problems they are already dealing with in the VA system?

It puts them into a long line of patients who were there before them. New patients always have to wait for first appointments. 

It makes them wait even longer to see a specialist, if they find one willing to deal with the VA.

What makes all this even worse is the fact that civilian doctors do not understand military culture or their unique healthcare needs.
That's the conclusion of a study published in Family Practice titled "Caring for veterans in U.S. civilian primary care: qualitative interviews with primary care providers."
This is not a new issue for them. It was one of the reasons the VA started in the first place. Veterans are not civilians and their wounds, the healthcare issues that created the disability originated with their service to this country. In other words, they pre-paid for their healthcare.

Taking a look at the civilian healthcare system, their track record is too unreliable to subject veterans into that system.

While current military and veteran suicides have increased, the suicides in the civilian population have gone up as well.
Suicide rates among people 15 to 64 increased significantly during that period, rising from 10.5 per 100,000 people in 1999 to 14 per 100,000 in 2017, the most recent year with available data, according to annual research published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics..."
How is it possible that President Trump and members of Congress thought it was a good idea to send veterans into worse care instead of fixing the VA?

How are they not ashamed to admit how little they know about our veterans unique needs?

We have the same problems in civilian care the veterans have to deal with. We wait for appointments, then wait for appointments with specialists. 

We deal with insurance companies deciding what care they will pay for instead of what doctors decide is necessary.

They cannot sue for malpractice if the doctor does not work for the VA
A doctor who he thought worked for VA, but was actually an independent contractor, botched his diagnoses delaying treatment for months. In the meantime, his condition became so grim that he feared for his own life. According to documents obtained by Connecting Vets, the hospital openly admits that Tally received second-rate care while at a VA emergency room in Loma Linda, Calif., about 56 miles east of Los Angeles.
But they can sue the VA if their care was provided by the VA.

PTSD is something that over 7 million Americans are suffering from, but the President thinks private doctors should also take care of veterans dealing with PTSD combat caused? They cannot even take care of the first responders suffering from what their jobs did in their own communities!

This "choice" is not what the veterans want or deserve from any president! They want a VA that works for them!

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Now that VA suicide prevention office getting new leader...will they figure out wrong awareness being raised?

VA’s top suicide prevention official departing in July

Military Times
By: Leo Shane III
June 26, 2019
At least 24 suicides have occurred on VA campuses in the last 20 months, several in public areas. But department officials insist that the suicide rate at those clinics and hospitals has actually decreased in recent years, even as visibility of the problems has risen.

Dr. Keita Franklin, who has served as the National Director for Suicide Prevention at VA for the last 18 months, will step down from the job in July. (Zachary Hada/Air Force)

Veterans Affairs’ top suicide prevention official will leave that post next month as the congressional focus on the department’s efforts continues to increase.

Dr. Keita Franklin, who has served as the National Director for Suicide Prevention at VA for the last 18 months, will step down from the job in July. Officials said the move was not related to any issues with her office’s performance but instead based on other career opportunities outside of VA.

Dr. Matt Miller, the current director of the Veterans Crisis Line, will fill the post in an acting capacity until a permanent replacement is selected.

In a statement, department leaders praised Franklin for her work in the last few years, giving her credit for “key successes” in improving mental health care for veterans. Prior to joining VA, she served as the Defense Department’s top suicide prevention official.
Last fall, lawmakers blasted the department after the Government Accountability Office found that more than $6 million in suicide prevention and mental health support outreach funds went unspent by the department in fiscal 2018. Officials blamed that mistake on leadership changes at the department in prior months, including the firing of former VA Secretary David Shulkin.
read more here

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Blind veterans in Florida got their hands on flag they can feel!

Blind veterans get a flag they can see with their hands

WCJB ABC 20 News
Landon Harrar 
June 13, 2019

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -- Even if they can't see it, they know it's there and it's there for them.
Here's how blind veterans in Lake City are being honored with their own type of flag that they can see, with their fingers.

It may not be very big, but for the visually impaired veterans in Lake City, it's powerful. A plaque with the stars and stripes raised up so you can feel it with your fingers and the pledge of allegiance written in braille now adorns the VA hospitals walls.

The sight of the flag over Iwo Jima boosted the spirits of marines fighting there.

But there are now many veterans who can't see at all.

Humberto Rodriguez is a U.S. Army veteran who is totally blind who he said "it is important from the standpoint of being blind and the place like we are now in the VA hospital in Lake City. It's very important to know that you're remembered because we're a very small percentage of the population the blind percentage is less than 2 percent."
There are nearly one thousand legally blind veterans in North Florida and four times that many categorized as visually impaired.

Judy McMillan works as a case manager to blind veterans through the VA, she said "to not be able to see the flag is kind of sad. To be able to touch this and remember all the things that this means to you, this way he can touch that and it's going to bring back all those memories of colors."

James Hodges served in the naval reserved and is classified as visually impaired, he said: " you're never far away from it and it's never far from you. So to be included and know there's a flag there for vision impairment even though we can't see the flag, we still can."
read more here

Monday, April 22, 2019

Vietnam Veterans of America giving back to others for Easter

Veterans giving back to veterans

FOX 2 News
April 21, 2019

Detroit, (FOX 2) - Members and volunteers of Vietnam Veterans of America were spreading some springtime cheer this past Easter weekend.
 The day started with delivering care packages to patients at the VA Medical Center in Detroit.

"It's our way of giving back, to tell them thank you and we appreciate them," said Vietnam Veteran of America member, Paul Palazzolo.

The organization does this twice a year. Members and volunteers say back scratchers are always the most popular item.
read more here

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

In two days, two Georgia veterans went to their local VA, and killed themselves

update Mom filed lawsuit against the VA

update 'I just wish they would have found him and stopped him:' Central Georgia family mourns after veteran commits suicide

The family of 28-year-old Gary Pressley is now searching for answers after he took his own life in the parking lot of the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center
In this case, Pressley's family says the VA did have the chance to help him, but didn't act. His sister, Lisa Johnson, says she called the VA to tell them her brother was threatening suicide from their parking lot just moments before he killed himself. read more here

Two veterans kill themselves at separate VA medical centers in Georgia

Atlanta Journal Constitutional
By Jeremy Redmon
April 8, 2019
The victim in Atlanta was 68 years old and shot himself, according to a person familiar with the investigation who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
Two veterans killed themselves at separate Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals in Georgia over the weekend, refocusing attention on what the VA has called its “highest clinical priority.”

The first death happened Friday in a parking garage at the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin, according to U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s office. The second occurred Saturday outside the main entrance to the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur on Clairmont Road. The VA declined to identify the victims or describe the circumstances of their deaths, citing privacy concerns.
read more here

It happened 27 times last year when veterans screamed for help as loud as they could. They committed suicide in public, and most of the time, at their local VA. Too bad too many only spread the "suicide awareness" instead of healing awareness. Had that message been spread...maybe these two veterans would have found hope instead of their guns.

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife because you can defeat PTSD and live a better life.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Veteran committed suicide at VA Medical Center in Riviera Beach

UPDATE:Report finds local VA leaders 'lacked awareness' ahead of veteran's suicide

In a statement to CBS 12 News, the West Palm Beach VA said that “since the time of the review, the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center has taken action on all of the OIG’s recommendations.”

U.S. Army Sergeant Brieux Dash took his own life inside the West Palm Beach VA Hospital on March 14, 2019. After his death, Sgt. Dash’s family told CBS 12 News they believe he was suffering from PTSD. Sgt. Dash served two tours in Iraq.

An investigation into the hospital by the VA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) began five days later, naming an undisclosed patient’s suicide as the purpose of the inquiry. The report was released August 22, 2019.
read it here


Reports detail veteran’s final days before VA Center suicide

Brieux Dash hanged himself March 14 at the VA Medical Center in Riviera Beach.

The Palm Beach Post
By Eliot Kleinberg
Posted Mar 25, 2019

The local VA confirmed Dash’s suicide on Tuesday after The Post inquired. The agency said it was the first at the center in at least five years, and that two other attempts were thwarted in the same span. But, it said, “One life lost to suicide is one too many.”
RIVIERA BEACH — Brieux Dash was in trouble.

The U.S. Army veteran had a military family by blood and another by marriage. He joined after high school and went twice into combat. And came home with post-traumatic stress syndrome.

The Palm Springs man raised a family of three and was able to graduate college. But his demons were gaining on him.

After weeks in which he couldn’t sleep and acted erratically, and after he several times admitted to suicidal thoughts, his wife made the tough call to have him confined on March 11 for a mental health evaluation, under the state’s Baker Act.

At the place where she worked as a pharmacy technician: The VA Medical Center in Riviera Beach.

“She felt he would be safe, monitored and get help he needed there,” the family said on a money-raising page it posted this week. The posting said Dash had spoken to his family on Wednesday, March 13, and they believed he was improving and would be home by that Friday.

Instead, on March 14, the 33-year-old hanged himself, according to the VA and the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner.

He left behind his wife of 13 years and three children.

The Palm Beach Post, in most cases, does not name suicide victims. Dash’s family gave permission, and also was up front on its money-raising page about Brieux (pronounced “Bruce”) Dash and his life and his suicide.

As a mother, I knew he was not the same person that went over there the first time,” Shenita Nelson-Simmons said Thursday from her home in Rochester, New York, where Dash was born. She said he had been diagnosed with PTSD while in the service.
read more here

Friday, March 8, 2019

Sad Update:Veteran driven to VA by Jimmy Johns, gave up fight to heal

Jimmy Johns delivers disabled veteran to VA freaky Fast

You may remember that story and now, you'll sadly know the rest of it. Another "VA parking lot suicide." 

Sister of Columbus vet who died by suicide wants answers from Veterans Affairs

Camila Orti
March 8, 2019

Model cars, old photos and stacks of well-organized medical records.

That's what Lisa Nagengast was busy packing away in boxes Thursday at her brother's apartment in Columbus, Nebraska.

"I'm just trying to make sense of everything that has happened," Nagengast said.

She's cleaning out Greg Holeman's apartment, because he isn't coming home.

"I already know the statistic for how many veterans commit suicide, and now my brother is one of those," Nagengast said.

Holeman, an Army veteran who served as a mechanic, fatally shot himself inside his pickup truck on the night of February 25, a Platte County Sheriff's Office lieutenant told KETV NewsWatch 7. The 48-year-old was parked outside of the Columbus Community Hospital's emergency department.

Nagengast filed a missing person report with the Platte County Sheriff's Office after a physical therapist reached out to her to let her know Holeman had missed his Tuesday and Thursday appointments.

Investigators found Holeman in his pickup truck in the hospital parking lot on Thursday, February 28.

"It just takes your whole breath away and you can't even think or focus," Nagengast said.
read more here

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Snippets Military/Veteran News


Collection of reports in one post for faster viewing. Check back during the day for more.
(trying something new on this so let me know what you think)

From Military Times

VA Needs to Do Better Credential Checks on Its Doctors, Report Finds

Chief Master Sgt. Shannon Rix, 92nd Air Refueling Wing command chief, gives a commemorative National Salute to Veteran Patients Week pin to Mike Olmstead Feb. 13, 2017, at Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center, Wash. Olmstead served in the Army from 1944 to 1947 during World War II and is currently the community living center’s oldest resident. (Mackenzie Richardson/U.S. Air Force)

In sum, the GAO said the VA and VHA should make better use of the wealth of information on providers in the National Practitioner Data Bank.

In some cases, "providers had administrative or other non-disqualifying adverse actions reported in the NPDB," but VHA still determined that they could be hired, the report states.

It cited the case of a doctor who had surrendered his physical-therapy license for failure to complete physical therapy continuing education.

"Although his license surrender resulted in an adverse action in [the data bank], VHA determined that there were no concerns about the provider's ability to perform as a physician," the report states.

In other cases, "VHA facilities overlooked or were unaware of the disqualifying adverse-action information in NPDB," it adds.

"For example, VHA officials told GAO that, in one case, they inadvertently overlooked a disqualifying adverse action and hired a nurse whose license had been revoked for patient neglect. This nurse resigned in May 2017," according to the report.
read it here
On but from We Are The Mighty

5 Weird Fears That Only Service Members Have

Yay, getting to stand around in squares in a different country! So exciting! (U.S. Army Spc. Gage Hull)
5. Any acronym that ends in X probably sucks (Cs aren't great either)
CSTX, MRX, CPX, they all suck. ENDEX is cool. But if you get called into SIFOREXs or NATEXs, forget about it. There goes weeks or even months of your life. 

SINKEXs will monopolize your time, but at least there's usually a nice, big explosion you get to see.

Oh, quick translations — those are Combat Support Training Exercise, Mission Readiness Exercise, End of Exercise, Silent Force Exercise, National Terrorism Exercise, and Sink Exercise. Basically, if you hear an acronym with an X in it that you've never heard before, there's a good chance you're going to spend a few weeks in the field practicing something you know how to do. 

This message was brought to you by the letter 'C.' 'C' is just glad that you hate it a little less next to 'X,' because 'C' usually gets the blame thanks to things like JRTC, NTC, and JMRC (the Joint Readiness Training Center, National Training Center, and Joint Multinational Readiness Center, respectfully).
From Oklahoma Watch
Stitt’s Pick for Veterans Secretary Accused of Underpaying Veterans
Gov. Kevin Stitt’s pick to becomes Oklahoma’s next secretary of veterans affairs and the military is facing accusations that his consulting company violated federal labor laws by underpaying veterans.
Federal court filings show that 15 former workers have sued Tulsa-based Check-6 along with its founder and CEO Brian Brurud, whom Stitt appointed to the unpaid cabinet position in February. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans. One of the plaintiffs lives in Louisiana, and the company has an office in the state. read it here

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Is your VA closing too?

Large-scale closures of VA facilities could be coming sooner than expected. Here’s why.

Military Times
By: Leo Shane III
February 27, 2019

WASHINGTON — Veterans Affairs’ version of a base closing round could start years ahead of schedule, department officials told Congress on Wednesday.
Veterans wait for their rides following treatment at the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Medical Center in Seattle in March 2015. VA officials on Wednesday said an asset review set for 2022 could be moved up, to better gauge where medical facilities are needed. (Elaine Thompson/AP)
Under the VA Mission Act signed into law last year, the president is authorized to appoint an Asset and Infrastructure Review Commission for the department in 2022. To inform the group’s work, VA officials were given three years to perform regional market assessments across the country to determine areas where there were medical facility shortages, gluts and other challenges.

On Wednesday, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said those assessments were delayed slightly late last year but could still be finished in the next 12 months. If so, that could create a problematic gap between collecting that information and starting evaluations in 2022.

“We’ll come back to you this summer and give you an assessment of where things are,” he said. “If we can, to meet the expectations of this committee and the changing need of veterans, we’re going to come to Congress and ask to move that timeline up.”

The idea of a base-closing-style round for VA has been controversial for many advocates, including lawmakers who could see major hospitals in their districts closed due to dwindling patient numbers.
read more here