Salisbury VA sets aside day for veterans with acute needs

Published 4:44 pm Thursday, November 12, 2015

The W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center will join veterans’ hospitals nationwide Saturday in an effort to review lingering issues with health care appointments.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald announced the “access stand down” last week. It will include clinic leaders and administrators at every VA Medical Center reaching out to veterans with significant health problems or past access issues, the Military Times reported.

Bart Major, a public affairs specialist at the Salisbury VA, said in a news release that from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Saturday, a team of clinical leaders, administrators and volunteers will be at the Salisbury VA to reach out to all veterans identified as having the most important and acute needs to make sure they can be seen either in the VA or in the community.

“The Salisbury VA Medical Center is committed to providing timely access to veterans as determined by their clinical needs,” Major said in the news release. “We strive for all veterans to have safe, high-quality, personalized and timely care wherever they receive their health services.”

The “access stand down,” the Military Times reported, comes as VA officials struggle to reconcile reforms implemented over the past 16 months of McDonald’s tenure with continued problems surrounding VA operations and public confidence in the agency.

“We owe veterans more, we owe our employees who serve veterans more,” the Military Times quoted McDonald as saying during a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

VA officials said the goal is to ensure department medical providers are “meeting their health care needs” and to work through potential patient problems,” the Military Times report said.

The Military Times report also said that veterans groups and lawmakers “have expressed concerns with continued wait time problems at VA hospitals and clinics in the wake of the department’s 2014 scandals, where administrators were found to have gamed appointments records to protect their own bonuses.”

On Monday, Major said in the news release, VA staff will “will provide a post-event report to stakeholders and media to maintain communication and transparency as we continue on the journey of continuous improvement at our medical center.”