Thursday, October 31, 2013

Agent Orange, Veterans Affairs, VAMC, Homeless Veterans, Hire A Vet

House panel to examine VA spending on extravagant conferences

"E-mails obtained by the committee show that the department’s conference planners unapologetically and recklessly wasted taxpayer dollars"” said a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee staff report. "Taxpayers deserve better. And even more so, veterans deserve to know that the VA is doing everything it can to provide crucial services".

The VA has revised its conference policies since last year to "strengthen oversight, improve accountability and safeguard taxpayer dollars"” Gina Farrisee, the department’s assistant secretary for human resources and administration, said in prepared testimony. The changes include requiring approval from senior department officials, depending on an event’s cost.

Spas and limos? VA work amounted to paid vacation for some feds, House finds

Planners at the Department of Veterans Affairs accepted thousands of dollars in meals, spas, gift baskets and limo and helicopter rides from hotels hoping to host the VA’s lavish conference business, a congressional investigation has found.

The government planners traveled to Nashville, Dallas and Orlando to check out possible locations while treating the trips as little more than paid vacations, according to an investigative report set to be released Wednesday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Memphis V.A. Medical Center Responds To Patient Death Inspections

The Memphis V.A. Medical Center Chief of Staff, Christopher Marino, went before cameras Thursday to respond to mistakes in the emergency department  that killed three veterans.

"We take these issues very seriously and we have acted to address them directly contributing to the deaths"” said Marino.

A health care inspection last  May showed patients who came in for back pain,  neck pain and high blood pressure were given drugs they were allergic to, put on oxygen and left unmonitored.

A nurse also failed to follow-up with doctors on a high blood pressure patient.

The three patients died.


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After years of living out of a homemade camper shell on the back of his truck, Rusty Reed and his dog, Timber, now have a permanent home, thanks to a program offered by the VA and HUD.

Arnold Fisher is angry.

The real estate mogul and philanthropist wants know why the U.S. government isn’t doing more to help the country’s veterans in their recovery from post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

"If we can't do this, we are not a decent people"” Fisher said. "We lose that decency if we can't help those who help us"”

Agent Orange meeting draws large crowd

On Saturday, a town hall meeting was held at the American Legion Post One in Lake Charles for those exposed to Agent Orange.

Over 300 people attended the meeting, along with a group of expert panelists.

Officials said the objective was to bring together everyone affected.

But the meeting was also for family members.

"It can go down five to seven generations, so grandchildren can be having children that have maybe something that is connected to the Agent Orange disease from the very beginning," said Sandra Lopez, Chapter 215 historian.


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