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About jcolwell

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    E-5 Petty Officer 2nd Class
  • Birthday November 17

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  1. Berta, hope your holiday was good. This is really maddening. It is a shell game. She probably ate TH dinner at Sharon Hellman home in phoenix to catch up on how to handle us folks in Phoenix. Or maybe they went to the Hot tub in Vegas .........just unreal.
  2. Now she is off the payroll. The head of the troubled Phoenix veterans' hospital was fired Monday as the Veterans Affairs Department continued its crackdown on wrongdoing in the wake of a nationwide scandal over long wait times for veterans seeking medical care and falsified records covering up the delays. Sharon Helman, director of the Phoenix VA Health Care System, was ousted nearly seven months after she and two high-ranking officials were placed on administrative leave amid an investigation into allegations that 40 veterans died while awaiting treatment at the hospital. Helman had led the giant Phoenix facility, which treats more than 80,000 veterans a year, since February 2012. ADVERTISEMENT The Phoenix hospital was at the center of the wait-time scandal, which led to the ouster of former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and a new, $16 billion law overhauling the labyrinthine veterans' health care system. VA Secretary Robert McDonald said Helman's dismissal underscores the agency's commitment to hold leaders accountable and ensure that veterans have access to high-quality, timely care. An investigation by the VA's office of inspector general found that workers at the Phoenix VA hospital falsified waiting lists while their supervisors looked the other way or even directed it, resulting in chronic delays for veterans seeking care. At least 40 patients died while awaiting appointments in Phoenix, the report said, but officials could not "conclusively assert" that delays in care caused the deaths. About 1,700 veterans in need of care were "at risk of being lost or forgotten" after being kept off the official waiting list at the troubled Phoenix hospital, the IG's office said. "Lack of oversight and misconduct by VA leaders runs counter to our mission of serving veterans, and VA will not tolerate it," McDonald said in a statement late Monday. "We depend on VA employees and leaders to put the needs of veterans first." Helman is the fifth senior executive fired or forced to resign in recent weeks in response to the wait-time scandal. Helman did not immediately respond to telephone messages Monday from The Associated Press. Helman, who has worked at the VA since 1990, has been on paid leave since May 1, shortly after a former clinic director at the Phoenix site alleged that up to 40 patients may have died because of delays in care and that the hospital kept a secret list of patients waiting for appointments to hide the treatment delays. Dr. Samuel Foote, who had worked for the Phoenix VA for more than 20 years before retiring last December, brought the allegations to light and says supervisors ignored his complaints for months. In an interview with the AP in May, hours before being placed on administrative leave, Helman denied any knowledge of a secret list and said she had found no evidence of patient deaths due to delayed care. Helman told the AP that she takes her job seriously and was personally offended by the claims of misconduct. "I have given over 20 years of service to this mission. I am proud to lead this hospital," Helman said. "I have never wavered from the ethical standards that I have held my entire career, and I will continue to give these veterans what they deserve, which is the best health care." A
  3. Agree with all of you. More heads to roll but most already have that life time pension in place. I think each and every veteran is responsible for demanding timeless in care. Today my husband is at a private dentist getting his teeth fixed after many many years. I had to contact an advocate who wanted to get an attitude with me , but I helped her get over that attitude and request me a outside dentist due to long waits. She even did all the paper work over the phone. Approved in 24 hours. My husband would not push back on timeliness but I did it for him and got what I needed. My next target is the lady who hands out travel pay who is rude and acts as if she is the treasury of the VA... She is on my list . Patsy
  4. Now , lets see if they use it . FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 23, 2014 VA Demonstrates New Telehealth Scheduling System to Veteran Service Organizations New software system intended to improve Veterans Access to Care WASHINGTON Representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) met today with Veteran Service Organizations (VSO) at the Washington VA Medical Center for a hands-on demonstration and discussion about VAs telehealth programs and services. The hands-on demonstration included a presentation of VAs new Clinical Video Telehealth scheduling software which launched last month and is intended to improve how VA employees schedule telehealth appointments. As we launch new programs and services, it is important to include our VSO partners, said VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald. Todays demonstration is an important part of our collaborative process. We welcome our VSOs feedback. Like us, their goal is to ensure Veterans have the access to the quality care and services they have earned. Telehealth rapidly is becoming a popular option, particularly for Veterans who do not have a VA health care facility close to home. In fiscal year 2014, VAs national telehealth programs served over 690,000 Veterans and accounted for more than 2 million virtual visits. For more information about VAs telehealth program, visit www.telehealth.va.gov/.
  5. Relax and enjoy your deserved compensation for your loss of heath. My husband feels exactly the way you do and I keep reminding him what he gave us health wise . It is interesting the guilt many vets feel after success. it will get better. Take care . patsy
  6. Husband been getting dental care at Phoenix VA since July 2014. The office staff and dentist are great. He told us he would have my husband teeth done by Xmas. Well we aren't done and next appointment is Dec 23rd. being a spouse and RN ( husband said sometime a bitch ) who does not understand the word NO, I was told no referral would be given to out side VA for dental . I contacted patient advocate at Phoenix VA , who agreed to email PCP and dentist at VA and sure enough got a call this am that I will be called Monday with by outside appointment to fix my broken teeth. I did drop the words wait times were too long . Just don't take no for an answer push it up to the next level. My husband is the guy who takes what they say and lets it go. He wont even go get his travel pay after appointments because the lady at the window acts as if it is coming from her own checking account. I make him get it and take me to lunch. I plan on engaging her next time he goes to VA and report her up the line as being rude and abrupt with the vets. I am sure the new CEO in PHX would like to hear all about how she treats vets. Patsy
  7. jcolwell


    That is great news. Great feeling enjoy and spend wisely. Jim
  8. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 29, 2014 VA To Make Phoenix Whistleblowers Whole WASHINGTON Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald today announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), working closely with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), has successfully resolved whistleblower retaliation complaints filed by three individuals from Phoenix. At VA, we take whistleblower complaints seriously and will not tolerate retaliation against those who raise issues which may enable VA to better serve Veterans, said McDonald. We depend on VA employees and leaders to put the needs of Veterans first and honor VAs core values of Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect and Excellence. Based on the validity of their claims of retaliation, each whistleblower has settled their complaint with VA and two have accepted new positions within the Department. Working with OSC, VA has taken several steps to strengthen whistleblower protection and enhance accountability within the organization. VA leadership has sent a message to all VA employees regarding the importance of whistleblower protection, has emphasized that managers and supervisors bear a special responsibility for enforcing whistleblower protection laws and has met with employees at VA Medical Centers across the country to reemphasize that message. Additionally, VA is committed to achieving compliance with the OSC 2302 © Certification program, and has established the Office of Accountability Review with a direct reporting line to the Secretary. Its charter is to ensure leadership accountability for improprieties related to patient scheduling and access to care, whistleblower retaliation and related matters that impact public trust in VA. ###
  9. Local AZ republic Newspaper today reports that senator J McCain VA representative was notified of the issues atlocal VA prior to CNN and national media getting involved. His person did not respond and has refused interviews with media. I am angry because this is the same person we ask to help us on our VA claim twice in past and really did nothing but send a canned letter to RO. Based on the reporters info Mc Cain and office did nothing. I have lived in AZ for over 40 years and have always supported this man for his great service. It is so disappointing to find out that a senator in Florida Miller was the one who finally got the national attention to the horrors in this VA. I will vote very different next time and I hear he is running. Shame on him for not listening and taking the lead on this national issue. PC
  10. This list probably will give you all an idea of who at PHX is looking for a job. Their salary is first and the bonus they got is the second figure. They have not released the exact list yet but these title make me think they may be in the pile. JC Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System FISCAL YEAR 2013 BONUSES Learn More At: OpenTheBooks.com TOTAL FY2013 PAID BONUS: $337,885 Source: Freedom of Information Act Request, Office of Personnel Management, Washington, D.C. Employee Job Title Salary Bonus HELMAN, SHARON M HEALTH SYSTEM ADMIN $169,900 $9,345 PITTS, DIANE R GENERAL BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY $127,958 $5,000 SOUZA, MARY L PROGRAM MANAGEMENT $120,203 $3,975 BELL, WILLIAM A PHARMACIST $127,042 $3,500 AGUAYO, SAMUEL M MEDICAL OFFICER $228,132 $2,827 HENDRICK, WINDY HEALTH SYSTEM SPECIALIST $108,781 $2,500 POKORNY, CARYL A HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT $75,067 $2,500 MUNSHI, ELIZABETH B MEDICAL OFFICER $217,889 $2,500 KURTZ, CHRISTOPHER A MEDICAL OFFICER $208,872 $2,250 WELSH, MICHAEL J DIETITIAN AND NUTRITIONIST $112,077 $2,150 GRAY, VAN A INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT $105,484 $2,000 WAGMAN, DOUGLAS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT $86,476 $2,000 KOZAK, ISABEL M NURSE $114,101 $2,000 RAMSEY, CHRISTINA L VETERANS CLAIMS EXAMINING $105,484 $1,925 THOMAS, ANGELA J MANAGEMENT AND PROGRAM ANALYSIS $83,687 $1,800 DODSON, KELLY MARIE CONTRACTING $89,265 $1,778 RAU, KURT A ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER $108,791 $1,500
  11. I read the whole report and yes I see some well deserved Jail time for some of the people at the top and at the mid level for unethical practices. The nurse
  12. No more Veterans to run a complex medical organization. I believe they need a private large health care leader such as Kaiser, Banner Health etc to come in and deal with the VA issues . I like S he served well and he is a devoted vet and I am sorry he got let go ..but lives are at stake. He was a great military leader but does not mean he can run a complex medical organization like the VA hospitals. PC
  13. Hey all, here in Phoenix. Husband just needed a script renewal for his Metaforim for DM2. Called the clinic and the PA wanted to see him before he would ok script. I have told this idiot ( I am a RN ) that the nephrologist had done labs in May and that he wanted him to continue the med for now and that he would let my spouse know when to stop it. The PA wants lab done every 3 months ( what a waste for those who really need it ) we refused.... The VA said he needed to come in and see the PA and get labs every 3 months etc. I told them there is 1700 vets waiting for appointments and we did not want nor need one as we have all private docs and just need the usual annual script renewal.I told them to call one of the 1700 vets waiting and give them that appointment Got a call back from clinic later today and they renewed the script for one more month. The PA is afraid to make decisions. I will always take the word of a private doc over the PA at the clinic. We have a appointment Monday at dental clinic and I plan on speaking to medical director about this PA and his lack of performance. We have been taking this med for 2 years but once we got meds from VA it has been a nightmare. This is an example .. why is he afraid to do the job he was hired to do. Are they hiring the bottom of the barrel? PS.. I was not happy when he told us all about his implanted insulin pump.........husband just about fell over......I plan on raising hell about this waste of $$. Yes it is broken and no it wont get better soon.......glad to hear they fired all the PHX leadership team...........I still have a active AZ license and I am so mad I might just go out of retirement to help deal with this mess. God bless you all for those of you who don't have a bitch of a wife to take them on..............later The mad RN
  14. Lazy employee who are not competent and have no interest in becoming competent in helping anyone at any time. They have jobs for life. I would love to know the turnover rate at these VA hospital and clinics . No one every leaves or quits why would they .......... The good apples are there but hard to find them in the barrel.
  15. In the private hospital world the hospital is responsible to follow-up to make sure burial occurs for any patient or even babies within a certain period of time. Veterans are not allowed to be buried in a paupers grave. We had a policy that every week we contacted the funeral home or whoever to see if burial had occurred and we kept this process up until it was addressed which might take a month but not years. We were also required to make all attempts via letters to any known last family address to find the next of kin. I know there is a VA reg that does not allow a veteran to be buried as a pauper. They have a policy they just aren't following it. PC
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