Shaheen Statement on VA Inspector General ReportMarch 07, 2018
(Washington, DC) – Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement in response to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Inspector General report detailing systemic failures at Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs) as well as the VA Central Office. VA Secretary David Shulkin discussed the report’s findings in a press conference on Wednesday morning, and announced a restructuring for several VISNs, including VISN 1 – the VA New England Healthcare System.
“In order to make the necessary improvements to care for New Hampshire’s veterans there must be stable and purposeful direction from the top,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m troubled by the Inspector General report, which shows that problems stemming from VA leadership persist, which significantly impedes the VA’s ability to deliver timely and quality care to our veterans, and the reforms that are desperately needed. This is unacceptable. Given the persistent issues at the VISN level, I believe it is important to move in a new direction and support the decision to restructure VISN 1 leadership. I’ll continue to focus my efforts on helping New Hampshire veterans, and will keep working with Manchester VAMC Director Montoya and the VA New Hampshire Vision Task Force to ensure Granite State veterans have the resources and care that they have earned.”
Senator Shaheen alerted the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) in 2016 to allegations of substandard care at the Manchester VA facility, with information provided by whistleblowers, which prompted an investigation. Shaheen also contacted then-Manchester VAMC Director Danielle Ocker and then-VA Under Secretary for Health David Shulkin about the claims when they were brought to her attention. Senator Shaheen has met with whistleblowers, Manchester VA representatives, Secretary Shulkin and members of the VA New Hampshire VISION 2025 Task Force to ensure there is accountability and that Granite State veterans have access to the full range of care services they deserve.
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