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Cochran Va Still


Berta
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In part:

"On today (Jan. 4), his final day as Chairman of the House Veteran Affairs Committee, Cong. Bob Filner kept his promise to area veterans and citizens by returning to St. Louis and the John Cochran VA Medical Center, to speak to patients and staff about ongoing patient care issues at the facility. U.S. Rep. Bob Filner of San Diego and U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan of Missouri spoke to reporters at Carnahan’s St. Louis office before touring the facility.

Six months after Filner held hearings in St. Louis about equipment sterilization problems at Cochran’s dental clinic – he said there has been no word from the VA about holding anyone accountable for exposing more than 1,800 veterans to viruses and blood-borne illnesses due to improper sterilization techniques, no any official report on changes or improvements. About a handful tested positive for hepatitis, although it is uncertain whether it was a result of being treated at the clinic."

and more at VAWatchdogToday web site

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Berta

Yes, thank you. Here is the link:

http://www.vawatchdogtoday.org/

IMHO the accountability lies on Shinseki's shoulders, because this is not the only VA hospital with "VA Infectionitis", and the only thing they are doing about it is to fire the employees that dare to complain, trying to "make it right" with Veterans. If the VA can flaunt the "whistleblower" act in that employees face, and fire him with immunity due to the large resources of the VA, then what is to stop the VA from also retaliating on Veterans?

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"If the VA can flaunt the "whistleblower" act in that employees face, and fire him with immunity due to the large resources of the VA, then what is to stop the VA from also retaliating on Veterans? "

An interesting comment.I think retaliation is a strong word but then again- many of us have felt retaliated against by the VA's deliberate failure, after requesting specific evidence from us, to then choose to completely ignore it.

Last week I got a phone call from a vet (still dont know how he found my number)and maybe because I jopined VAWatchdogToday as staff writer----who feared VA could retaliate against him if he blew whistle on them regarding a specific situation.He actually feared an "assasination".

So he wanted me to somehow reveal the information he had, without naming him in any way at all. I guess he figured it was OK if they assassinated me.

At that point I was not interested at all in his situation.

In my opinion if a vet fears VA will retaliate against them for whatever it is they fear retaliation for , they are not relying on their military training at all.If this vet's sensitive and dynamic information ,as he suggested, could help other veterans,he should be willing and able to stand on what he had,himself, in their behalf.

I am hopeful that the fired employee in above story has obtained counsel by now and will sue them.

They fired a VA doctor I know years ago.He sued and got all wages back they owed him for unjustified actions (wrongful termination)and also he got his position back but he told me that he told them to shove the reinstated position -he was officially retiring from VA to enjoy the rest of his life.I still miss him at the local VA as he knew what he was doing.

Edited by Berta
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I had an occasion to speak to the head of the dental clinic at my VAMC about this particular subject. he went out of his way to tell me how the VA had changed the procedure at their MC to make sure sterilization of dental equipment is followed by the industry standard and actually more than is required by them.

He did not like the fact that it has been changed to a centralized location at the hospital and taken away from his people to be preformed by other people in the MC. He says they don't get it done as fast and hurts his scheduling.

He went on to say that as far as he could tell it was a small incident at another medical center and had nothing to do with how other MC do theirs!

I want to believe him because I am having implants put in on the 13th and I am a heart patient and will be premed as to cut down on any type of bacterial infection. I do agree with him some what in the case that if it was an isolated case it should have been corrected at that MC and spot checked the others to see if it indeed was a problem at others. But as we all know the gov has it's way of over reacting to situations because of the out cry. Is this good I tend to think yes and no. I do agree it is definitely needed to be addressed and not hidden the way it was.

I know this is a little off topic but I do want vets to know that changes have been implicated at VAMC solely on the nature of this whistle blower and the circumstances that were brought to everyones attention!

Edited by stillhere
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So he wanted me to somehow reveal the information he had, without naming him in any way at all. I guess he figured it was OK if they assassinated me.

At that point I was not interested at all in his situation.

In my opinion if a vet fears VA will retaliate against them for whatever it is they fear retaliation for , they are not relying on their military training at all.

If this vet's sensitive and dynamic information ,as he suggested, could help other veterans,he should be willing and able to stand on what he had,himself, in their behalf.

Berta,

Sure sounds like this vet wouldn't mind throwing you under the bus !

I would divorce myself from him and his agenda.

As for claimants / vets being in fear of retaliation, boy I can relate to that - BUT - even in my fearing their retaliation

I still stood my ground and filed my FTC (several years ago) against them and had a doctors license revoked forever !

I felt I had to follow through with that to help protect other female veterans that this VAMC doc was providing medical services to.

For several years the VA allowed a full copy of my FTC paperwork to be kept in my VAMC hardcopy records.

I also feel the VBA has implemented retaliation against me for this FTC and support this feeling with how they have

continued to illegally deny and "misplace" some of my claims issues.

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Of course, I dont know if that VA employee who was fired in the article was fired for retaliation, or for other reasons. The fired employee may have been a bad one that deserved to be fired, and it was pure coincidence that him sending the email informing officials of the sterilization deficiencies occurred at about the same time as the firing, but I will agree that it sure looks like a "retaliatory firing".

One thing that bothers me is that the "whistleblower" act is all about EMPLOYEE retaliation, and, as far as I know, there is no regulation prohibiting the VA from retaliating on Veterans who just "might" be upset that their benefits were delayed 10 years or so, for example.

It is certainly up to you, Berta, as to who you choose to help assist with their claims. Obviously you cant help EVERY one. I feel it quite an honor, Berta, when you answer my questions, as we all know you are the most knowledgeable Veterans advocate on the net.

Berta, I have an IDEA as to where that Vet may have gotten your phone number. I recall reading a post which had an attachment to it about a decision or similar VA type letter, and I was suprised to see that it had your address on it, Berta. I didnt think much about it at the time, and figured it you dont care who has your address then who am I to dispute that. However, if they have your address, it isnt a big jump to get your phone number, IMHO. If this is important to you, I will try to find it again..but you may better know what letter or post I am referring to. Maybe you forgot to redact your name/address...I dont know. If you dont want your address disclosed, then maybe you out to at least redact your address out of that post.

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Oh, and I may add this:

Paranoia, which could manifest itself as a "fear of retaliation" by the VA, could well be one of several symptoms of PTSD/depression.

One poster said somthing like, "Is it paranoia when the people you fear are out to get you, REALLY ARE?"

...I think that is hilarious....

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