Whistleblower: VA problems have hurt hundreds of thousands of veterans

Veterans Wait and Die on Hospital’s Secret List

(Photo: CNN)

Washington, DC — Scott Davis told the House Veterans’ Committee at a hearing on whistle blowers that the problems he has seen have hurt hundreds of thousands veterans.

Davis is a program specialist at the Veterans Affairs National Health Eligibility Center. Davis reported on a litany of issues at the center that he said including “the possible purging and deletion of over 10,000 veteran health records at the Health Eligibility Center. A backlog of over 60,000 pending health applications. Nearly 40,000 unprocessed applications discovered in January of 2013. These were primarily applications from returning service members from Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Davis said he sent a letter to the White House to President Barack Obama’s Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors. Instead of hearing back from the White House, Davis said his boss began harassing him about reporting the issues at the center.

Davis said his employment records were altered, he was illegally placed on a permanent work detail and at one point placed on involuntary administrative leave. At the same time he said there continued to be medical errors, patient neglect and misconduct.

Davis said there continues to be a “reckless waste of federal funds and causing a greater backlog of enrollment applications, for the sole purpose of achieving performance goals,” Davis said. He also said there is a “need to remove ineffective managers.”

Other whistle blowers testified that because of the mismanagement and culture of denying problems veterans have lost their lives.

“Symptoms such as stroke, heart attack, pneumonia, blood infection and other serious medical issues were routinely missed by inexperienced triage nurses or experience triage nurses who were overwhelmed by the flood of patients hitting our ER,” Dr. Katherine Mitchell said who works at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in Iraq and Afghanistan Post said. “It is a bitter irony to me that I as a physician, could not guarantee their health and safety within a VA facility in the middle of cosmopolitan Phoenix.”

The whistle blowers said they were still worried about retaliation when they return to their jobs.

If you could do one thing for me tonight,” Dr. Christian Head told the Congress. “You would relieve the obstructions of this retaliation, and allow me to serve the veterans and work without the fear of retaliation that would be a great gift.”

Head is the Legal and Quality Assurance Associate Director of the Veterans Affairs Greater LA Healthcare.

All four whistle blowers clearly stated that they came forward because it was not only the right thing to do, but they wanted veterans to get the best care they deserve for fighting for our country.

Members of congress said they would try to strengthen whistle blower laws to protect more people with knowledge of wrongdoing in the VA to come forward without fear of retaliation.

TM & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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3 comments

  • Michael l. Holt

    Hello, I am a former VA Whistleblower who can’t get his story told. I discovery the initial Microsoft Windows operating systems IE browser 6 – 11 cut, copy and paste clipboard memory overflow problem.
    I reported the “huge security problem on all government computers in 2006 – 2009.. The national security office,, inspector general and veterans administration head officials did nothing.

    They took the ( huge security alert and tried to cover it up) …. The VISN 20 Chief CIO stated an email the Veterans Administration was not prepared to handle it. They couldn’t stop using the Microsoft Windows web browser due to ( CPRS or computerized patient records system.

    I appeared before the Merit Systems Protection Board. Judge Amy Dunning and won “whistleblower protection”. Which has meant nothing, I am a 40 disabled veteran fired for attempting to stop ” Veterans private health and personal data from being compromised. I have all emails and documentation if someone will contact me. Please

  • Michael l. Holt

    Hello, I am a former VA Whistleblower who can’t get his story told. I discovery the initial Microsoft Windows operating systems IE browser 6 – 11 cut, copy and paste clipboard memory overflow problem.
    I reported the “huge security problem on all government computers in 2006 – 2009.. The national security office,, inspector general and veterans administration head officials did nothing.

    I appeared before the Merit Systems Protection Board. Judge Amy Dunning and won “whistleblower protection”. Which has meant nothing, I am a 40 disabled veteran fired for attempting to stop ” Veterans private health and personal data from being compromised. I have all emails and documentation if someone will contact me. Please

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Larson, Lars (EIS/ VA-NSOC) On Behalf Of VA NSOC
    Sent: Friday, April 09, 2010 11:16 AM
    To: Holt, Michael L. (Portland); Chernenko, Oleg (VA-NSOC)
    Cc: Larson, Lars (EIS/ VA-NSOC)
    Subject: FW: RE:VA21711/ VANSOC0127104
    Importance: High

    Mr.Chernenko,

    Please let Mr. Holt know if this vulnerability exists with the Windows
    Clipboard being cleared prior to connecting to the Internet. This poses the
    possibility for “OS Clipboard data” to be captured through social network
    sites or websites running malware. Thanks.

    Regards,
    Lars J. Larson
    Department of Veterans Affairs
    VA Network and Security Operations Center
    Voice: (800) 877-4328   Fax:    (304) 262-7193
    Hours: Tues-Sat 6:00am-2:30pm
    Email: vansoc@va.gov  

  • Michael l. Holt

    Please Read

    From:Cecil, Mark, Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 2:34 PM, To: Holt, Michael L. (Portland), Subject: Re: Virginia contact, the SOP, and Wish list, No one ever doubted that the Microsoft vulnerability existed. The VA just wasn’t prepared to pull Internet Explorer because of the vulnerability.,
     
    From: “Holt, Michael L. (Portland)” , Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2010 12:28:08 -0700, To: “Cecil, Mark” , Subject: RE: Virginia contact, the SOP, and Wish list, Sir, Please also read what Microsoft release yesterday which validates what I attempted to convey to management last year., Just wondered if we could stop everything, move forward with employee file cleared of any wrong doing and 14days pay being given back., Thought, I would at least ask., thanks, mlh,