tv Washington This Week CSPAN September 28, 2014 2:00am-4:01am EDT
basis. i will not be here i am recommending we host these out in the community and will be moving around the city of phoenix and then also they will be going to some of our outpatient cities where we have outpatient clinics in those areas. why do we start off if i can ask everyone to stand please and we will just have a moment of silence to send our thoughts to those that are fighting in the war on terror. all right, thank you. why don't we remain standing and join me in the pledge of allegiance to our flag.
i pledge allegiance to the flag of united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all. all right, thank you. i also wanted to take a moment and acknowledge it's the time of year when we think about our p.o.w. and m.i.a. veterans and i don't know if we have any former p.o.w.s were family members here in the audience? do they want to stand? thank you. we will keep them in our thoughts. i am glenn cortie. for those of you that know me i am glenn cortie director of the dayton ohio va and i was asked to come to phoenix to help out for four months. i arrived july 9 and at the end of my two or will be the sixth of november. i was honored to be ousting tom to help lead the organization as we continue to move forward here
in phoenix. i wanted to also thank our veterans that came out tonight. this is an important way for us to receive feedback and hear good things that we are doing as well as things that we need to do better and we are excited to hear your feedback. i also wanted to thank the family members who support you and we know it's a labor of love to work with helping our veterans. i also want to thank our stakeholders because it does take a community of folks to work with all the needs we have for veterans and there are many things the va does but they're also things that be a can-do and we have a nice partnership here in phoenix with many of our stakeholders. i just want to thank them for their support. today was an example where we were briefing our congressional delegation and congresswoman -- office was showing us to wonder veterans resource guide that
they have developed in partnership with the va and other organizations in the community to list all of the benefits that are available for veterans. those that are offered by the va, offered by the state, offered by the city and other non-profits so a very nice resource you should ask the congresswoman's office for her and she will make sure you get a copy. we also invited folks from the other parts of the va here and i believe we have folks from the benefits office. the young lady here in the back. if you have any benefits questions, we are going to be having her try to address them either as a group of response or individually if you have those kinds of questions and also the national cemetery administration or service for those that honor veterans upon their death. anybody here from maghreb? -- that group? we thought we'd have them here if we have any questions about honoring veterans at their death. i wanted to give you an update on things that have been going on here at the medical center and we will open it up for some questions and feedback. first of all is important for everybody to know that the access issues remain in a fixed
condition. i don't know that's a right way to say that but basically we have solved the access problem and now we have provided the resources we need to assure we are properly using the scheduling packages and the electronic wait list. so far over 7000 veterans have been contacted to want the care of the va in phoenix and we have been able to get them schedule then. we also have been working very hard on recommendations from the office of inspector general and of the 13 recommendations that were specific to phoenix, 10 have been corrected and were submitted in documentation to the ig to support removing those conditions from the report.
i also wanted to make sure that everybody knew about the appendix k in the report. the ig's report, that document is a response in writing to many of the concerns raised in the report. there's a lot of information about what phoenix has done in response to those findings. also this week here in washington providing chairman miller's house veterans affairs committees information about the ig report and there was almost six hours of testimony which was really unprecedented and a lot of good information was shared with the hvac committee so i wanted to make sure the folks took the time to take a look at that on c-span. also our secretary mcdonald is working on a plan that he is going to be rolling out on veterans day. he's calling it the road to veterans day and every couple of weeks there are more and more initiatives that he is showcasing but we are all expecting to see a wonderful announcement of some good programs that he will be implementing on veterans day.
we are also working on the veterans choice act that and we had a briefing on that this week. we are looking at early november probably around veterans day to be announcing some actions with that as far as how you use the ad in the choice cards and things of that nature. secretary mcdonald has also emphasizing a recommitment of all va employees do i care. that stands for integrity commitment advocacy respect respect and excellence and we are personally recommitting ourselves to those values and trying to live that everyday here at phoenix. locally we have got some actions that will be happening in the fall. one will be the beginning of a valet parking system that we will have your november. this will help with a lot with the issue parking on campus and allow you to drop your car off have it kept safe for you and be delivered to you at the end of your visit. we also have a construction project that's going to begin, parking garage and that will begin in the fall as well and we are trying to these parking spaces in the community to help with that transition.
hopefully we will have some remediation here. we also are working in the community on additional space for primary care. we hope to sign the interim this month a lease in the scottsdale area, about a 70,000 square-foot building there that we are working hard on. we also have two other leases in the phoenix area totaling 50,000 square feet and in the first quarter of this coming fiscal year and we have opened him up in the spring and summer. we also have been the choice act of very large health care center a 300,000 square-foot health care center. there will be completed in probably 2019. in the meantime we wanted to try to move on some of these smaller leases to provide some help for the state's problems that we are having here. we also made progress on hiring additional providers for a
patient care teams. that's our primary care area. we now have for the first time in phoenix all of our primary care teams are staffed up and we have six additional teams that we have commitments for and arrival dates for positions -- positions that will be staffing a group as well so we are really doing a nice job with staffing areas for the area to provide the teams that we need to take care of our veterans. finally there has been a lot of concern about our staffing levels at our outpatient clinic and we are taking care of covering that clinic with providers we are sending from phoenix up to show low. we are using our telemedicine programs to provide support. we have one provider that has a commitment to start working there and also looking at other nurse practitioners to come to show low so we are making sure we are covering the veterans needs. there was a rumor about closing that clinic and i want to make sure everyone knows the clinic is open and we are staffing it appropriately.
i also wanted to make sure everyone saw these comic cards. cards.ent these are very helpful for me as i try to move the organization for it. i know some people are not comfortable getting in front of the audience and talking about issues i wanted to offer an opportunity to give feedback and we will find a way to respond to directly to get your contact information about concerns you have or use them as a way of gauging the general feel of the needs that you all have as veterans. i want to turn it over to my acting public affairs officer to talk about some of the ground rules for today's session and then we will open it up for you to give us some feedback. >> good evening. i am the acting public affairs officer at the phoenix va medical center. just a few ground rules. it will be short simple and sweet. we have two microphones set up here. we would like folks to step up to the microphone.
in the interest of time try to make statements as concise as possible. we will take comments and answers if we can get them tonight and if not we will be getting the answers to you as soon as we can so the process will be one question from the left and one question from the right and we will see what we can do to get through this evening. any questions for me at this point or step up to the microphone. yes, sir. [inaudible] >> usually what happens is we have to set some sort of a time in a meeting. we are not restricted to an hour. as mr. cortie mentioned the good news is in the future these will be a regular recurring quarterly meeting at this facility throughout the va so some of the folks are starting to line up and we will start with questions. yes sir.
>> let me say thank you for your efforts. i am sure everyone appreciates an honest effort here and there. my concern is i have been misdiagnosed. i have waited long time to tell mine and i'll bet i'm telling some of your stories. i've been misdiagnosed many times in the years in and this hospital that almost resulted in my death. i am facing a situation right now where for at least two years they have diagnosed me as having pneumonia. all at once they say, oh, we are going to look closer. after two years of this, oh you have end-stage cancer. i try to address this by going to the cancer center of america.
there are doctors here are behind the times. their cancer doctors are so far behind they are not aware of a corporation called t. jan which is a genetic research for cancer treatment. when i asked about these new treatments, the oncology doctors here laughed at me and said that's all garbage. i need, in my opinion i would like to meet very much at this critical time in my life right now, not next week, right now, i need a referral to the cancer center of america and anyone who is facing a situation like mine needs the same kind of referral. we don't have time. their motto around this hospital is okay i have a carotid artery that's narrowed. what do they do? we need to watch that. they haven't looked at it for five years. i have an aneurysm in my stomach. what are we going to do about it
guys? we are going to watch that. so years and years of misdiagnosed and inadequate treatment has led me to this position right here tonight. i am darned angry. i am darned angry and i would like a referral tonight. cancer treatment center of america has given me phone numbers and contacts that they said they would be more than willing to negotiate some kind of an agreement with the va. i have those numbers. does anyone hear me? thank you. [applause] >> i don't know if i got your name but we need to get your contact information so we can get with you and try to help you. if i could have one of the staff -- have you got that there are? that would be great.
thank you, sir. >> also on hand tonight we have a couple of our patient advocates and social workers that could help some of you discuss some of the care, your personal care, your family members' care. >> that is what the advocate does, cover stuff up. >> those folks are in the topaz clinic so if you would like to speak to a patient advocate or a social worker this evening we can arrange for that. we will go to the next question here. yes, sir. >> good evening, sir. i am an army veteran. i have a problem with the va on outsourcing. as you can see i have had neck surgery about a month and a half ago but it took a six-month wait to get that surgery with excruciating pain and many visits to our doctor.
i went through this on july 28 and i'm having complications on my left side, the same things i have on my right. i saw my surgeon that was outsourced to good sam just on tuesday and he ordered a c.a.t. scan with contrast so i started checking on this yesterday and today. my pcp doesn't have it. fee basis doesn't matter. i called back to the doctor's office. they said it's in the processing center and they have up to 14 days to process it. i asked, why? for insurance verification and everything else. i said i'm outsourced from the va. it's a guaranteed payment.
i can't give it to you so they'll have to wait. i go to the patient advocate. they could not do anything outside the va i'm told. the va outsourced me so if i have problems with being outsourced to another doctor or another hospital that va ought to be backing me up. i should not be the one running back and forth from the va to this outsourced doctor for medications or anything else. i shouldn't be doing the legwork. our fee-based section has 30 given unsatisfactory -- about triwest. i was scheduled to go to barrels in the beginning and had everything set up but that rug was pulled out from under date me when i was told i had to go to triwest. so the choice of where we want to go as veterans is not there for us. it's not there. this outsourcing problem needs to be addressed and we need to be backed up. >> i agree with you. we have put the veteran in the
middle of it rather than be an advocate for you. it should be one-stop shopping. it should be one call to the va and that's it instead of having it do all the legwork. >> is going through triwest and the doctor is going to be outsourced from and you're sitting there and all you have to tear coming out of your eyes because you are in so much pain. i will admit and i'm proud of it that i may employee of the va. >> thank you, sir. [applause] >> i am steven robert shakopee sr. and i'm madder than hell. i asked for a biopsy for 18 months. it took my wife threatening a nurse practitioner with legal action to get that biopsy. your urology department tried to force treatment down my throat that would have killed me. the whole 18 months they treated me with antibiotics, high doses
which gave me other health problems and they don't want to take care of it. they didn't want to pay the bill at the mayo for the right type of procedure for my cancer. i had a heart attack. i waited 45 minutes on the phone for somebody to answer. they said call an ambulance. we will take care of it. they still haven't paid the bill. that was in 2010 and i'm madder than hell. i have another question. the urology department as it was were they taking kickbacks from radiation in chandler? i have had six people that have the same problem as me. also, why is sharon hellman still earning six figures on paid administrative leave? isn't it time to stop the clock? [applause] stop the clock.
that's all i have to say. [applause] >> do you think you can follow that? >> i don't think i can follow that. my name is jake. on november 17, 2011 i came here to have my right rotator cuff repaired. during the procedure a surgeon encountered a solid tumor that he wasn't expecting to find. without my knowledge or consent he removed the entire tumor in one piece without first performing a biopsy. a tumor turned out to be benign meaning it didn't need to come out. unfortunately when he removed the tumor he caused a severe injury to my axillary nerve which prevents me now from lifting my right arm. after the procedure, the surgeon refused to acknowledge the injury. he refused to order any test and
he refused to make any referrals. i saw three nerve repair specialists outside the va at my own expense and they all agreed that the injury could not be repaired. we sent the slides of the tumor to ucla were where the chief of pathology found the nerve embedded in the tumor. this injury destroyed my own career as an orthopedic spine surgeon. i filed a claim for economic damages but your regional council sat on my claim for six months and then sent me a denial letter telling me that my current disability is my own fault. i then filed a lawsuit under the federal tort claims act and the assistant u.s. attorney who was assigned to defend the va has done nothing but attack me personally and professionally for the past year.
meanwhile, the surgeon who did this has escaped scrutiny. at the time of my surgery he was a part-time employee working here one day a week. earlier this year the va rewarded him with a full-time job. so i have two questions for you. first, what are you doing about the inadequate care of this facility? wait times mean nothing if the person you are going to see is going to maim or kill you and second -- [applause] second, what are you doing about the process that veterans have to go through when they are injured at the va because congress did not pass the federal tort claims act so that veterans who are injured at va hospitals can be further victimized by your regional council and members of the u.s. attorney's office. >> thank you. [applause]
>> i don't think i can do better than that. i have a situation here that kind of blends between here and claims. i have been bounced back and forth. turn up the volume, will you? i hate this thing. is it on? it's got to be. anyhow i have been bounced back and forth. i came in here, i came in here to the facility with a claim form and i don't want to get anybody in trouble here. it's not my intent to get anybody in trouble but i have been bounced back and forth between the hospital here and barrow neurological and all i keep doing is getting nowhere and they keep coming back. they want to have a test. no, we are not sure, we have to
have a test. the last test i got, i happened to look it up and what does it do? it does nothing. how much did it cost the va? how much did it cost everybody here? it cost everybody here a shot in my arm of $3000. radioactive iodine. what happened was that shot? on the nod note for me to get that shot, i was informed that i am claustrophobic and i cannot lay down for a half-hour or 45 minutes motionless on the table. i need a sedative. guess what? nobody signed the thing. where do you think that $3000 shot went? right down the toilet and where am i? right down the toilet with it because i'm no closer to getting my claim satisfied. i want to have if it's possible get a referral out of the situation to mayo clinic.
i'm tired of bouncing around between here and barrow. i'm not saying barrow is not good and not saying it's not good here but this is getting crazy. i'm two years on this now. not as long as some people but it's getting old. it's getting old. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. are we going to be able to get his information? we will get back with you, sir. >> hello, sir. i want to thank you for coming tonight because the best way to solve the problem is face-to-face with the veterans. i come here tonight to stop one of the abusive policies that's causing veterans to commit suicide and killing veterans. veterans in an abusive situation and with a pack team, doesn't matter if the pack team leaders are abusing the patient or of the nurses are abusing the patient and it doesn't matter if the doctors are abusing the patient. any of those three can cause a patient hell and can you require a veteran to wait 90 days before
he can switch to another provider and you assign him another provider for a whole year that means they are going to get abuse or greater than the one they left and they will be stuck for a whole year without abuser. this policy in memo hc 02 started by sharon hellman, the police queen. we all know her, i think. but the whole thing is i know a lot of veterans and they are all suffering because they are being thrown through hoops and stuff like that in order to get the treatment they really need. i know of veteran that has a brain tumor. they are doing everything but getting an mri for two years. i think the last time they had them doing a sewing class so he could get the mri.
now he has a brain tumor that they can't treat and he is losing his eyesight in these losing his hearing. these scams are making veterans wait 30 to 90 days to switch from abusive doctors and it's not right. this is why veterans are committing suicide because they are stuck in abusive situations. don't get me wrong, there are a lot of good doctors and a lot of good nurses here and a lot of good pack teams here but the abusers here are the teflon abusers because they have -- the people in the veterans administration who cover up the situation. i know the fbi is looking at this and i know the fbi is covering this up because i have been on the fbi's case for many years. they are trying to stop these deaths at the va. i know what i'm talking about because i fought corruption in the united states government and
i beat the united states government government and the supreme court. i know the cover-up is going down. they are swiping and deleting my information. i can give her my information. they stole it out of my files. this is going on. i don't know if you come in the fbi, the cia, the nsa i could care less, you have to stop this nonsense. let me say something about the patient's advocate. they are overworked and understaffed. they do the same job month after month after month. they send all the complaints to the director and which the director ignores other patient advocates have to do the same job month after month after month. for some reason they don't want to change that situation or do anything about it. so we suffer and continue to suffer. if you could do something about this policy to allow veterans to change their abusive providers instead of being stuck with a provider for 90 days with no medication, which kills veterans and a lot of them commit suicide because they see no way out. also just tried in 90 days without your medication and see how many veterans die from that.
>> is that the actual policy that you are reading from? can i see that? >> i got a copy for everybody. i will give it to you. thank you. is the inspector general here tonight? >> no, no. >> yeah, well let me just make one last comment. the inspector general -- says no veteran is dying from time delays, from getting their medication. no veteran is dying from the misdiagnosed or late diagnosed or whatever diagnosed but it seems very strange to me that the media, the propaganda parents say that the whistleblowers are wrong. the whistleblowers are not wrong. in fact they underestimated the number of deaths. [applause] that's all they want is a fair deal.
we served our country. that's all we want, not to be served by tough line of users who have no worries about losing their jobs no matter what type of abuse they do to the patient. this is a setup like i said. you might have the best doctor in the world. if you have an abusive pack team you are still screwed because by the time he gets from the pack team to the doctor it's a 180-degree change of story and then they send you down to the mental health department because they think you're crazy. [applause] [inaudible] >> you said it better than i did. now the situation is, we can't keep on doing this. it's just got to stop. it's why veterans are so frustrated here tonight. they come here and they tell you
and nothing happens. so i suggest you take a patient advocates office, double it and then triple it and then quadruple the patient advocacy office. they don't have a chance. if you could pass on a message to the inspector general, tell him and i think i speak for a lot of people here, the inspector general has his head so far up his butt he is looking at the world through his pee hole. thank you so much for talking to us. [applause] >> thank you. >> i see despite the scandal that we haven't lost her sense of humor. i don't dispute that at all.
is there a ms. karen craig here? is karen craig here? no? okay. on thursday september 4, 2014 at 10:46 a.m., a message was sent for ms. craig on your behalf mr. cortie to exchange users. i'm assuming that's all hands within the va. the subject of this e-mail that was sent out on your behalf is called message from the interim director. more of the rest of the story. "washington post" overblown claims of deaths from waiting times at the va sent on behalf of mr. cortie to the va health care system staff. i wanted to share the story with you from the "washington post." it's nice to see more the facts are getting out into the media. it is a "washington post" fact check article which was actually just recently itself fact checked and proven incorrect by the house va committee that proceeds to bash members of
congress that basically came out and brought to light the scandal at this facility and includes my former employer represented david schweikert. along with republicans and democrats, it was a bipartisan affair. fortunately the va committee and the fine representatives they have pretty much demolished that hearing. exactly. about a week ago, about a week ago today there was an incident where there was an e-mail sent
from this facility that was leaked to the press with private patient information on a veteran committed suicide that use this facility. you have the ig report that dr. sam foote and dr. mitchell called a whitewash with this one statement in their and then you have other statements were not only other va facilities that would seem to indicate that many within the va think that this scandal was overblown. you know based on the e-mail that was sent on your behalf, do you think that our congressional reps who have representatives here, do you think they got out in front of the media and over blew the scandal? do you think that they misled and lied because it would seem from this e-mail that you are implying that. do you believe that? >> no, i believe the ig report found really important issues and challenges for the phoenix va and we are working on fixing them and looking for. >> why are the staff members here trying to undermine the
congressional representatives? just so you all know there is another investigation of this fine facility at the hippa violation. why do staff members here try to undermine our congressional representatives? won't answer it? okay, got it. might as well just talked to the wall. have a good evening. [applause] >> yes sir, how are you doing. william quayle and i'm a vietnam vet and what this whole thing is about is disrespect of the people. last month they cancel that thing and they didn't tell anybody. i drove 55 miles and i'm glad i didn't live where you live. the whole thing is you get the frustration so far into people. that's why we kill ourselves,
because we don't know who the hell to kill and this whole facility like i say, this young lady over here you maam, yes. the bureaucratic part of the va. they don't help you. you turn in the thing and if it's wrong they don't say oh sent it back. you have to send in this. they wait for 425 days. then you get a thing insufficient evidence and if you don't find somebody that knows to tell you, you re-enter and you sit there forever. i mean that's the whole bureaucracy. if you get a paper on your desk that says you need this and this and it's not there, why wait two years? and that's all they do. if you want us dead, tell us. we will blow our brains out but it's disrespectful and the whole god dang place, we are people that were taught to make ourselves hard. we make ourselves hard and then
you walk into the va you go, you get your post-traumatic stress interview and they go at the think abouter killing yourself? oh yeah many times all the time. when it's time to go i will go but then he goes do you have a plan? so you change the subject instead of saying do you have mental health, did you see anybody? the whole thing is they just want to keep their job and as long as they have us that's their job. this facility when you gentlemen, girls and ladies walk in here, when you walk into this place we all feel at home because we thought we were walking onto a military base. but you are with military veterans that you are in a bureaucracy. i mean it's just you know, if we don't save this thing now when we still have a lot of veterans, god help the young kids when they come back because they are going to have a lot of tours of duty but not a lot of people. the politicians are going to go,
you can't do crap for me, son. so god bless america. [applause] >> my name is howard rice and i'm a korean veteran and i had 4 combat missions. the reason i'm here is i do not understand how they work benefits in this va. i tried to help an awful lot of people to get benefits and i have an afro-american gentleman who's in the hospital right now. the guy was in korea. he was supposed to get its benefits and base told him we need this and we need that. you can't go back 65 years. the guy got frostbitten and everything done to him and i just don't think it's right. i know i'm here and i made a move to come because he can't even come down here. he just got out of the hospital. his name is will robinson and i'm really upset that the va has to take this -- and i also found out the va here doesn't do anything.
i'd rather go to the dav. at least they do something over there for you. but they don't do it here and that's it. i got a better reaction down there within two months than i did here in six months. the only thing i will say is i had cancer surgery and it ran $18,000 they didn't keep me but i have to wait long enough until i finally got it done. i don't have a lot to complain about. there are people here that probably have a lot more. i'm trying to get something for unemployed ability and i've been waiting two years to get this for a lousy 10%. now i don't know if you guys have ever been on a carrier or not and i'm telling you what, came back here and i told the doctor you're my hearing is really getting kind of bad. he says well let me give you a hearing test. he gives me the hearing test and he says you hear fine.
i said wow wait a minute. have you ever been on a carrier crew when the jet takes off? it will blow your ears out so don't tell me what i'm doing with my ears. he said i'm sorry we will give you a hearing aid. i set out need a hearing aid i needed compensation for what i did. i fought and finally ended up with 90% and i want that 10% and i'm unemployable now. if you think you can get a job at 82, forget it. [applause] >> thank you. >> good evening. united states army 1983 to 1986. i'm not sure if the media is aware that every year millions of men and women veterans are denied health care because their income exceeds the threshold established by the va. so can you tell me what is being done currently to ensure that millions of veterans and priority groups seven and eight received the health care they were promised when they swore to defend their country? >> yes, i know the priority groups six, seven and eight the
ability for us to treat those groups is really based on congressional laws that are passed. the president signs them and implement them. i don't doubt there's anything going on right now for the veterans that are in those higher income brackets to try to bring more care to them. i can try to find out. >> that would be great. >> i don't know if there's anything happening right now. i know there are some coming in for some veterans. >> 37,000 combined income in phoenix. if you make more than $37,000, you don't get what you were promised. >> i will need to get some follow-up. i really don't know what they are doing about that right now.
>> thank you. >> my name is ted and i appreciate you having this meeting here with everyone that's in this room. first of all, i want to say that i have been to other meetings and i keep hearing the same thing. the suffering and the pain and as long as all these vets are having these issues we are going to keep complaining. when he we joined our military ranks of service we took an oath to take care of this country and this is all that we want is the va to take care of us. that's not asking a whole lot. [applause] the other issue is this. listen to this. when all of you go home today, look up bonus in your dictionary. look it up.
it's the government award to a veteran. hey, that's us. why on earth are they giving bonuses to people that are not taking care of us? if they can provide a service they shouldn't be getting a bonus. for what? and the people above them that are covering for them, there are too many pinocchio's out there covering each other. you can't hide the truth. you can have these meetings and you will keep appearing the same things. as long as they are getting these bonuses, look at us. just look at us. look it up in the dictionary and see what it tells you. thanks. >> thank you, sir. [applause] >> good evening. my name is bob ansell and i was in the united states navy on an aircraft carrier. i was a third class petty officer. i've been coming to the va medical center for 33 years.
in the 80s things were slow but you still got care. it took a little while. all that changed when this new wing was built onto the old building in the parking lot was vastly enlarged. then the staff had the room, the tools and the resources to be organized and enough to deliver the outstanding care all the veterans enjoy today. when i had to go to a different emergency room they helped me financially. when i got a fever a team of specialist put me in an mri machine and they came back and said they thought i had lung tumors that they said they merely had damage to my lungs from valley fever. when i broke bones they were there for me. when i was in terrible pain they were here for me. when i was suicidal, they gave me mental health and medications. the times i came here dying, they saved my life. very often over the years i have
seen -- all i want to say is if you walk the walls of this hospital, watch and talk to the workers, doctors and administration here nowhere else will you find a more positive, caring and truly truly dedicated team of caregivers are you perhaps nowhere else in this country -- i just had to come up here today and tell the truth about this and i have. [applause] >> thank you, sir. >> nothing like having flashbacks because over the period of time that i have come to the va both here, tucson and through the satellite clinic in
prescott is nothing but a nightmare. let me explain. the only way to understand music let me write a book and let you read it because i have seen laws broken. little children did my blood sugar here and that's why i kept coming here. tucson is a diabetic turn me away but wouldn't give me test strips because i had doctor down there in tucson wanted to put me on pills. i almost died of a brain tumor, misdiagnosed me. i almost died -- not the only thing that's helped me is going to outside doctors and having to pay for it myself. you had one of the best doctors on the planet here, dr. roger wilcox was a thoracic heart surgeon who saved my life because of what happened in vietnam that i never got anything for. i'm a vietnam veteran marine corps 1965 to 1969 in vietnam.
the sixth of september, i almost died simply because of the care the va was not giving me. what happened was dr. wilcox at a private practice, i get every once in a while and i'm 100% service connected, get these so growths that pop up in different places all over my body. i had another friend of mine who was in the army. he said phoenix police detective detective. we go to church at the same place and he had asked me this one time, do you ever have the things that look like a boil and it comes out looking like a little sausage thing? i said i had one before i got other marine corps. it grew in my nose and i thought i was going to die. he said well, i have this too. that's about the same time they started come up when you lose weight -- they start coming out in the fatty cells of your body. one of these growing in my leg. i thought well i'm not going to the va because if i go to the va i will bleed to death.
i have had them pop and the whole side of my body, they have to be surgically removed. i saw had another one on my leg so i figured well i have to take this stuff to the dump in the city where i live and i'm going to go to john c. lincoln emergency and have them look at it. when i got there i told them what it was. most people don't know about this kind of thing. he said let me take a blood test. so he took a blood test and he said man, here's what you are going to have to do. i said what? he was upset. i started getting upset because he was upset. he says you are going to have to go to the hospital now. i said i'm in the hospital. he said nope this is just emergency. it's either sierra valley or sunnyslope. i said what's the matter? he said your kidneys had shut
down. my kidneys had shut down. it all started when you're a diabetic and you have infection, your diabetes, your blood sugar doesn't balance. for for almost five years prescott va kept sidestepping this whole issue until it became antibiotic resistance which means there are two destinies on me now. one is my diabetes and i want this to be heard by everybody witnessed. i almost died because like this one gentleman was talking about going from one team to another, 90 days the first one wasn't doing anything so i wanted to go to another one. 95 days later when i talked to her she said you don't do protocols because that's not what they were doing. a simple urinary tract infection is going to cost me my life with diabetes. that's what happened with the situation in the hospital. then i found out matt foreman for diabetes and a heart medication or the blood pressure
medication, i forget what it is. anyway according to the book and they gave me the information for me to see what they were so i've got it written down the worst things to give a person with kidney problems. it all started from a simple urinary tract infection and they wanted to emphasize that it's your diabetes we have to take care of. and once we do that than we have to get your weight off. i've already lost almost 140 pounds. i've lost all my muscle mass. i can hardly walk. my buddies had to push me here. i go to a bike show somewhere in westborough and i have to find a way to get there. i can't walk. i can't do squat. i'm luckier than most guys, to -- i do get that so that's what
i can fall on. right now i'm using my medicare but i have to pay for my own medication. my question is instead of talking on deaf ears i understand that i can get outside care at the va can pay for because i refuse. this is the last time i'll ever be in the va because i've been doing this since 1972 and all they have done is screwed me up and it almost cost me my life, major times, two times. i want to know without me just saying this i want somebody to get hold of me and tell me. i have one patient advocate liz, she hasn't gotten back with me. i think that's her name. to be able to talk to me and tell me is this possible or what do i have to do what do i have to sell my house, finish up my will and kiss my own goodbye? what have i got to do? >> we will call you and give you some information. >> anytime that has ever been happened i've been lied to, every time. every time. this thing about waiting.
i've been waiting and i told her not going to see you. the biggest problem in this hospital and this goes from the clerk to medical, they do not do ama protocols, period. that's the biggest problem. all medical centers do the same thing. in tucson you get the head of the university down there that runs all the stuff that he does they are working with the va wouldn't take me off my test strips and i got a thing there that said test your blood. i walked in there with my blood sugar at 600, 7:38 in the morning because i refuse to come here. i thought they could help it i walked out with my blood sugar still at 600 the clerk, i don't know why they had them in the waiting room walking around. my wife was with me. she's a witness to it. she was really bored and so was
i. the clerk was there and you know when you are 100% and your wife is -- gets champ va. they twisted around where i'm the dependent she's a veteran and i lost my records and then i couldn't do nothing. i walk out with 600. i should've been dead. i had to go to the civilian hospital to stay alive. i want to know if i can get outside help and let the va pay for because they are not going to do anything here. >> let us get your contact information we will get the information you need. i don't think that's lying. >> my wife is going to kill me if i have to keep paying my own medication. my life is in your hands and the only way you're going to kill me is by not doing anything for me. i have another belief system too. i'm not going to die and tell god wants me. >> absolutely. >> there's nothing you can do to kill me until it's my time, my turn. [applause] >> get us your contact information and we will get you the information.
>> my name is matt and i was a combat medic in afghanistan. i was in the army from 2008 until late 2012. it took me two years after i got up to get an appointment. i'm just curious, the general reason the whole va is in trouble is because you have the secret waiting list. am i my relatively correct? >> right. >> that is because you are putting people on the secret waiting list because there are too many people and not enough providers, relatively correct? something like that? >> correct. >> i came here june of this year and i got seen for three minutes by a doctor. he didn't ask me a single question about service related disability and i got a letter in the melting my disability was cut in half. they didn't ask me about my mental health issues. they spent three minutes saying hey what's up. being disrespectful and then sent me on my way. since i got out of the army my
wife left me and i moved back with my parents and i can get a job. i couldn't get a job for the longest time but telling them that made them think that my issues were all better. they scheduled me, living gilbert and they scheduled me for a primary care provider appointment in late august. i get a phone call saying it's been canceled and they scheduled me in september. i get a postcard saying it's been canceled and i get one in early october. i get a postcard saying it's been canceled so i start calling and surprisingly i can get a single human on the phone. i can get an operator who i'm sure has been caused out more than anybody on this planet because she's the only point of contact with the human. i finally decided to screw it i'm going to the clinic. i walk in and tell them i have had four canceled appointments because it does want to talk to someone. after walking and they told me go ahead and talk to this guy over here. he spent an hour answering phones. don't you think it's a little ironic the reason i had to go to a clinic to talk to someone was
because i couldn't get anyone on the phone and i had to wait for an hour for a guy to stop answering the phone? they wouldn't even give me his phone number. so i get talking with one of the advocate people they told me i canceled all of my appointments. i have canceled five appointments and here i am? so i'm curious, you guys got in trouble because you are not making appointments are putting people on these bogus list but now you're being open about it and doing the same thing of making the patients canceled appointments themselves. the only reason they i got tears because i went down and raise hell. i wasn't going to leave unless i had handcuffs or had an appointment today was my planet and they said december won't work? so they give me in the very next day. [laughter] >> there's no rhythm here and i finally got to talk to a doctor who couldn't speak english. i have nothing against
immigration but i could not understand her. i know of a couple of things about medicine surprisingly, i was enlisted whatever. she was telling me supplements that are proven scientifically accepted by every medical society in the world she's told me they would rot my kidneys. she does know the first thing about medicine i have to put my life in her hands? these guys go to clown college and they come here and work for you guys. it's absolutely insane. [applause] thank you. >> my name is brenda lawler. i served my country very proudly as a firefighter emt in the united states air force. [applause] it seems we have a problem with this va in prescott. i was at the prescott va facility.
i was kicked out of there for not being suited for the place, and not even a week later i was brutally raped and beaten. i was the third veteran he did this to. unacceptable, i would think. unacceptable. i was sent down here. unacceptable. for being gay? i got the air force accommodation medal in korea. they sent me to korea after my 17-year-old brother was killed in sedona, arizona, my hometown. [applause] >> my name is martin ridgeway and man i don't know where to begin.
it's been a comedy of errors for quite a while but i will just start with my most recent interactions with the va. this is all sense the new va since all this came to light and we ain't screwing with you no more. sunday night i'm feeling pretty down so i called the crisis line or the guy talks to me and he was a nice guy and everything and he talked me off the ledge and said okay somebody from the phoenix va is going to to contact you tomorrow. thank you, sir. i hang up the phone and i wait all day, all day. at 2:30, i start calling the jade opal clinic because nobody has gotten back to me. and it's busy, busy, busy until 3:30 and manages rings until it goes to a busy signal which means we are just cutting you off, screw you go away. so i call crisis line back because now i'm a little upset.
i call the crisis line and he puts me on hold. yes, i am that guy, 11 minutes. i was ready to hang up when someone finally answered. he rushed me off the phone. this has happened several times when i've called there. okay, good, we we have got other people. have a good day. so, the next day someone started calling. i get social workers who call me. that is great. if i am a social worker, i think of mye of my clients, one patients, one of my veterans comes to me and say, i need your help. this is what i have going on. i say, ok. first of all, i would not say try and reach out to these people. that is ball -- bullshit.
if i hand you a list and say try to reach out to these people, i am going to know what is on the list. trust and believe when you have somebody like me, a cold war veteran, i still have ptsd. 70%. four plus years and we're still playing the game. , i am sitting here and reaching out and saying hey, need help and you say call this. we start going down the list, why not start these first because they are the best one? i go down the list and every one of them is oif -- cannot help you suck-up. sorry, we only do vietnam
veterans or you don't have children or about after for those, i am in tears. i am not ready to call anybody else. anybody. ok? [applause] then, i sit here -- i went as far to tell anybody and you know and -- we go on facebook you go on the veterans affairs page and you search my name martin ridgway and you will see the post. i want everybody to know that if thathen that time comes i commit suicide, it is his fault and this hospitals fault. mccain,ke, john kiersten simoneau, whatever that other guys name is -- anyway,
everybody i have reached out to and all the stand downs and all the town hall meetings and everything else, they have all orher just blew me off passed me on to the next person even when i went back because kiersten simoneau has her thing about helping people and not committing suicide -- i sent her a message and a personal message. i told her i had problems. the everybody get back to me? no. this is about the deal. i understand is not mrs. early olivier -- i know this is not necessarily the v.a.. i have already told my family i have already started clearing my roster.
i needed to talk to my privacy officer. for one thing, they are illegal. i don't want anybody having access to all my stuff. guess what? that has not happened. i called and left messages. i finally saw an advocate and was fortunate enough to see one. well sent ae as message to the privacy officers and never heard nothing back. so, that was on sunday, my initial call saying i am in trouble, i need help.
>> this past sunday? >> [laughter] this was about a month ago. about three or four weeks ago. that was a sunday night. on friday afternoon, somebody finally called me and said you should schedule an appointment to see the nurse next week. really? a week? your doctor five weeks from now. oh, ok. let's do that. you know. what do you say to that? the beauty of that is then i get to go to court and my judge tells me you will come back on this date and you will see me. it is the same time i have with my doctor. i said hey, i cannot make the opponent. they said wait another month. push me off. you know, it is really sad. --i granted when
posted several but the one post i did on the v.a. site somebody did call me back. just to make sure i was ok. is about as far as it goes. everything we get is pure lipservice. everybody says -- hey, we will help you. all these i go websites, all the ba websites, millions and millions of dollars just wasted because you know what? gon i go on there, they ok, try this and something else. because of those agencies and then you are told well, we don't have any money, come back and see us in a couple of months after the new year. that is unacceptable. for homelessng veterans?
monthsck in a couple of after the fiscal year when we have some money? that is an acceptable. >> right. >> there is a lack of legitimate services here at the v.a. that is the biggest problem i have. i am a diabetic and i had a problem since i became a diabetic, controlling my sugar. there is a nurse over at the northwest clinic who calls me fairly regularly and follows up. this is the first one that has ever done that. when i go to the diabetic clinic, they say you are not a client -- get the fuck out because i have shit wrong with my head and i cannot follow their structures and i forget things. you know what? she reminds me of keeps me on track. moremy blood sugar is
controlled than it is ever been because one person cared. that is the problem. how many have i dealt with in the last month? that standingson up and going hey, i am here to warn you, i will help you, i will call you and does because that is the other thing. i come to these account halls and everything and everybody says hey, we will help you a do this and that end something else and then they come to the next one and the same people or the same organizations or whatever say hey, we will help you out, we will follow-up and do this and that. they do nothing. you never hear from them again. that is right. groundhog day. the wait times are ridiculous. i call my psychiatrist -- they call me because i am in
crisis and they want five weeks. i call them back and say i cannot make my appointment and a couple of weeks and they say ok, the next one is four weeks after that, a month after that. aat is not -- that is not recipe for success. know, at one point in time, i didn't feel i was being treated appropriately for my situation. doctor i had it was not an expert, he ha sets of himself. i said ok, next. they gave me another doctor. i go, do you know about this? well, you know, treat people with that. that is not good enough. i know way more than you do. if i know more than you do
about my illness, that is a problem if you are a doctor. if you are treating me and i know more than you do, that is an issue. pharmacist at a clinic get angry with me, telling me i have medication seeking behavior. if you have a heart disease and you came into my office and i am a doctor and says it is because you are fat and i am not giving you medication for your high blood pressure or whatever, wouldn't you be dr. shopping? me, we are going to put you on a medication. i have been on it before and it makes me suicidal. cause, yout does not know, suicide, and depression. gets into a big argument with
me. i go out and she is calling security. my psychiatrist, bless her heart, a sweetheart, she gets me into her office and tells me to chill out which i did. outi go home and i print everything i can find about that. the first place i went was the website. at the very top of the page, everybody has a smart phone so you can bring it up and see i am not lying, there is a big black box. fda, blackbox warning, it is known to cause suicidal thoughts . no, it does not cause depression. really? where do we get these people? be inerson should not charge of any care especially
mental health if she does not know mental health drugs and what their side effects are. that is just wrong. i was the bad guy. i was the bad guy in that. you know? will be called to get some help, you cannot get any help. the patient advocates listen but that is as far as it goes. so, you know, it is a very sad, sad state of affairs. i really want to know what you guys are going to do about it. and one of the issues i do have -- this is -- i understand you are not the claims department. -- it is stillys veterans affairs administration. you know what? if there is nothing you can do about it, i am sure your boss
can or somebody else. that is what i would be doing -- climbing the ladder. water we just grew these people? trust and believe -- i believe in my heart that it cost the v.a. as much or more every month my own benefits than it does just pay them. they are going to pay them in the end. everybody says do not worry, you just have a couple of more years. bva is straight from the travel board. july 23. and when i asked her when i can expect it, she said i was lucky to see them that soon. cool, i am lucky. no, no. you have a real young claim. all the rest of the claims we are working on our four years old.
yours is only for two years old so you will probably get my decision in a year or two ,. . what? i am sitting across from you. you should tell me right now. you have my file. you should be able to look me in the eye and tell me yes, no or send it back for further review. right then and now, not in a year or two. what is that? >> six more years. >> that is my point. these are people speaking from experience. it is not like we make this stuff up. that as the other part. will heame token, call and say we need help they say you talked to the social worker over here. that doesn't mean i got help. >> 80 is the new 40. >> that is right.
in means i talk to somebody. you have some ketamine treatment out-of-town. yes i did. a couple and i cannot continue to do it. today help me? it did. i cannot afford the $250 a month to continue to get my treatments. so, at the same time, you will twist that and use that against me? haveo our doctors and psychologists or whatnot. i can show you in my medical records. they are stating things in such a way that was help us to not get our claim. it will help the claims department. here's the deal -- i have told everyone this from the ground up. it is not that i cannot work. there is a day or two i can.
i just don't know when those are. that is the problem. you as an employer, if you hire me and i am too depressed to get up out of bed and go to work, cannot leave my house for a week, usually i do not call anybody for the first days because i am so depressed. by the time i call, sorry. i am hoping next week is good. you will say thank you, have a good day. that is the problem i have. it is not i cannot find a job. it is real hard because, you know, with untreated ptsd that led to alcohol and drug abuse. that led to prison. led to all of that shit. now, i am sitting here going hey, i am not sure i could do a back. every time i time around, it is used against me. you know, you say you're feeling
better well -- yeah, today. you know, that is the other issue. when they talk to us, they don't take into consideration -- ge e, i missed 30% of my appointments. punch it up and look it up. i didn't. they said you missed all your appointments. they did not my claim. -- they denied my claim. can you punch of my appointments for the past four years? huh. i am not a math genius but that looks like about 30% to me. why? because i cannot make it. it's not because i don't want to or other stuff going on because i don't. >> time. >> thank you. [applause]
>> we have two of our brothers the cannot make it tonight. one is burying his 47-year-old son. is in afghanistan and iraqi vet. you thought it smart to take them off by does and it gave him a heart attack. i don't trust the v.a. i would rather him take care of me than the v.a. you guys have tried to kill me over and over and over and i am not going away. [applause] i am not like some of these old timers. i have a long battle with you guys. hello, i am a disabled veteran. i am a retired federal air marshal. former green beret, army ranger, maple gunners mate and police detective. i've spent my whole life servicing my people. i'm a founder of veterans nonprofit. for years and recovery. i am a huge veterans advocate and writer stand the fight is
not over once we get home, it is just begun. a year ago today, i was homeless with a have a tank of gas. oneen kicked out of my house an order of protection filled with lies from the woman i was not legally married to. i lost everything. i had worked for in my life in the blink of an eye. i left with nothing but the close of my back. i live in the desert until it received a phone call from my mother. i went to south carolina where gathered evidence. there was evidence that was proven to a bigamist and a criminal that was charged with criminal domestic violence and had involuntary committed to a hospital by the age of 16. are presented to my lawyers and the police department. the police department said they cannot get involved because it was a civil issue. my name was forced on documents and she was selling my guns and my savings. and do not make sense that they
would leave her with firearms when she'd not possess them. they said they cannot take them because it was a criminal offense. i was in a state of limbo. a reached out to congress's offenses, police officials, local officials, nonprofits, veterans nonprofits, sos, i was crying. nobody came. evidence went missing. my second and fourth amendments white squirrel violated. my lawyers are telling me they cannot because additional lawyers which i thought every lawyer was a constitutional lawyer. congressmen and state centers were not willing to get involved. this woman was breaking in order protection by stalking me and showing up on my no residents where she found that i live with a police escort. a reached out for veterans and nonprofit groups looking for legal and financial assistance. of thea vicious circle nonprofits doing resources and one nonprofit giving me
resources to the other. i just gave up. phoenix ande v.a.'s was told it would take six months for a therapy appointment and they were giving nothing for the depression and anxiety. that filled me with pills for a long time until i needed them. the court system drain me minutes he, and financially. i just gave up. i give up rights to my son because i do not have the money or resources to fight this corrupt system. i cannot believe everything i thought gore was being taken away. and went to see my primary care doctor during this time began said concerned about a skin growth that was growing up my arm. who knewa doctor nothing about medicine, knew more than it should, she never called me for follow-up. during this time, met another of veterans that help me out. one of them was my mentor who became a dear friend. you look at the spot in my arm and said it was cancer. that itched it and saw
caused cancer. i use natural therapies and the cancer went away. ron should know the v.a. had him listed three times dead. here he stands tonight as a survivor. veterans once the art for this great nation and it is time to step again. and forces officials to do the right thing. as i leave here tonight. there is a good chance i am going to get a speeding ticket. why do we let our leaders disobey the law? one of the six laws is a house built. ill. as it says here
the building and city in the town hall. notwithstanding, any other law displayed with united states flag and the flag shall be displayed below pow flags. i am sure half of you don't even know what it is. it is the flag for the following. congressmen, senators, mayors, nobody is following their law. i have proof and documentation with e-mails that shows everything i said is true. the last time i came to a town hall rally, enough is enough. we need to band together to help is broken down system to get back on track. i found out since this meeting, this is a big
class-action lawsuit. they gave it and replace for malaria. it is lsd. the bad thing is they make as drug addicts when we get into service and then wait get back here, you make us feel bad about being drug addicts. it is time to this be over and for us to stand up and get something done. all you guys want to do is kill us from day one. you been trying to kill us and you are not going to stop until we are dead but we are not going away. we are here and we are here to stay. [applause] >> i am not a veteran but i have a stepfather, a father who is in the military and my uncle who is in the military. wife to somebody that was in the military so i've been around at all my life. uncle.lp my i cannot understand why they are
waiting so long. my stepfather needs surgery. he is at 60% now. they said once he has the surgery then he will be able to get 100%. he can barely walk right now. my uncle ray has an appeal that has been waiting since 2009. we spoke to a woman yesterday named sandy. her aging code is 8026. she was out of utah. we call the arizona office and we got utah to call us back because the lines were so busy so we do not want to lose our place in line and my uncle did not want to hold the phone up to his year for 20 to 30 minutes and they called back an hour later. we spoke to sainndy. she told us the way time on his 893al is 800 and 93 days -- days.
i think he has done those days are ready. on the website it states 465. which one is correct? he called last week to check up on something to see about his claim. they told him you are denied twice for surgery. he has not been up for surgery. he is up for secondary on his right thigh. they keep telling him we paid you for that. no, you paid for the right. they say it is not service related. both of his legs are connected to his body so i think it is service related. [laughter] i have seen my uncle go from his happy person to when someone says the wrong thing to them now he is ready to kill them. the phone with the lady just so he would not go so frustrated yesterday. now, after seeing all of this, seeing my dad go through getting
10% where he was stabbed in vietnam and they took it back from him. how do you do that? he is still disabled. 10% for getting stabbed and needed time in the marines and the navy? something is wrong with the system. i am one of the people that sees the other side of this when they are at home going off, connected the things they need. i physically went with my uncle and his caseworker to the outside physician to get his medical records to bring here. the doctor told him i would not give you any medication until you tell that dr. you will not see him and you will not treat you. he will not give you medication and i will not either. what is that doing for him? he is still in pain. i know, being annexed military wife, they love the pump you
full of motrin. it does nothing. it tears your stomach up. so, he is sitting here walking around in pain, cannot sleep at night. something to wake up, something to go to sleep. there walking around in a haze but we are the one that takes the brunt of it because they will come here, get no help and off.home juspssissed somebody needs to do something about this. is my uncle, dad, step that. i am seeing this and there are whole lot of people. i will say the same thing i sent my kids school -- do more people have to die before anything will be done? 893 days. i think he has done his time. somebody needs to look at his appeal from 2009. [applause] >> thank you.
>> i am a disabled veteran for 24 years. i've been treated in florida, ohio, pennsylvania and now phoenix. i will read my statement first. there are two kinds of people in this world -- the first of people who believe in service to others. then there is the second type of people who only believe in service the self. a person who is the group is service to self. when he was collecting bonuses, other suffered. i was one of them. he is on paid administrative leave. after we trust in the v.a. system when you reward a person who purposely harmed us for money? you say you want to move forward. i do as well. to build trust, we have to go to the source. be to stop funding her. [applause]
i am here to support veterans. we have the power to change things. if we do not make these changes, future generations, your sons and daughters and grandchildren will be treated the same way. make positive changes today but we can work together to ensure all veterans are treated with respect. listen to and medically taking care of the. if this meeting does not take to unite and steps take back the power in a peaceful way. [applause]
2003, heart failure. my heart was at 7%. they gave me my last rites. the v.a. said move her to cleveland. my doctor said it you move or she will die. look at my medical records. one heart doctor. i survived through prayer, not the v.a. -- i have a torn spleen and bulging discs. i have asked for two years for acupuncture. doctor.y have a great isaiah talking to the gentleman, i said i was paying to my acupuncture every week. because5 per week mentally i cannot take the pain
anymore and receive any help. he said i have a copy of my medical records. five times came in person and requested acupuncture. my primary care physician follow through. did great. she sent it to the pain clinic. i never heard from them in two years. ears. fallen on deaf of elected say one other thing. i am powered by self the v.a. and yet i do not have any money for acupuncture. i saved myself and i had to. is two r thing things. i would like to thank my primary care physician.
since i have been coming here, there was not even a nurse. she is overwhelmed, overworked and she is limited by you guys. i go to my primary care and i personally ask, ok, i have back surgery. i still need acupuncture to get me through once a week. they tell me to come back in march 2015, 6 months from now. it will be two years. if you don't stand together and united, we will not win. all be ag you please, veterans, stand together and we will win. amen. [applause] >> thank you. >> good evening. i am the chief petty officer of the navy retired.
i was one of the first that they let into construction, not that we cannot do it but they don't want us there. how many women veterans are here now? please, identify your self. one, two. maybe seven of us maybe. there are, according to my friend in that semi-information about this meeting from oregon, 59,000 women veterans in the state of arizona which means most of them are probably here in phoenix. where are they? i am not going there. for one, the men that we served with our most of the majority now, the vietnam veterans, treat women like crap. if you hear me and do not like that, own it. there was a gentleman in this room right now veteran amy like crap. if you want to act like a man, i will treat you like a man and i
got called a dyke. you know what? the law says something different out but we still get treated like crap. when i went into the military, i grew up army. that i saw alld on all the bases -- they were dykes.whores, sluts, or those do not fit the women. do they, ladies? even if one or two does, does not fit all of us. wicked disrespect in the military. we come here to the v.a. and get disrespected. stop.at needs to not going toam treat you because i don't like your tone of voice. i am sorry. i was a drill instructor for three years. i am a navy carpenter. i worked with the boys in the dirt, ok?
i am not some little thing that goes -- who talks like that except somebody that was taught to talk that way? real women talk like what we do. we are misconceived. with that statement, that came from a physician's assistant who i have made a complaint about and got told -- we are sorry she did that but she is still working here and still abusing people. i had to go out to get treated because this person would not and did not like my tone of voice. i cannot change it. that is the way it is. thing, theer patient's advocate's name is karen. she is a military veteran. she has busted her butt to be a patient advocate.
once things get above her, that is when things goes wrong and nothing gets done. i saw her this last month getting frustrated with other veterans because she is so overwhelmed. i cannot believe that the people here do not know they are not in the clinic anymore. they are here on the other side on the first floor on the other side of the exit. they got moved a year and a half ago because they were so small. now they went to the same thing again. today, she is the only one in there. the last representative left. to try to get a permanent job as a ba advocate and they would not hire her. she get another v.a. job in meza. a good person that really cared but this v.a. said no. she cared too much. i had to take a friend of mine. i ran into her on the outside building.
she is in a wheelchair. she is talking google, gaga stuff. this is not you. i had to go and force the person she had to see to see her. i said something is wrong. i have known her for years, this is not her. do a test on her and see if she is all right. i had to force the person to help me wheeled her automatic chair to the emergency room. had to do that is because of the emergency room here will not accept a patient on this property that gets sick. i was told to call an ambulance from the outside and then you can bring her around to the emergency room or on the outside to another hospital before she can be brought here. the end result of all of this was her doctor overmedicated her. the first thing was that she must've overdosed on person. she has a person living with her
that is watching every bit of the medication. they had her upstairs for a week and a half probably. over six days. i had to advocate for her because the doctor was like -- did you do this, check this? that is held e-mail veterans do. -- get treated. put in a hospital because one of the nurses decided to infect both and not have gloves on when they were doing the swab test. in lieu of that, i got put up in the second-floor. the room was filthy, they had not cleaned it. i was supposed to be sharing a bathroom with the room next to me and it was filthy. before i can walk in there and i can hardly talk -- the voice goes down. i was told get in bed, we will send somebody. this whole entire hospital is filthy. the only reason this room is
halfway cleaned because it is brand-new. there is a friend of mine in meza/ her boyfriend had to go to the hospital and he got put on the bed that was rogen and was put in with rich seat. we get broken beds and ripped sheets, we are veterans. there are pictures of that and going up. there are whole bunch of other women veterans are complaining and got together and gone to the ig and other places. that is how women veterans get treated. by thes no compassion people that work in this building, none. all you are is a body and had to get through you to get to the next one to get to the next one so they can go home. i am a senior individual. i do not get there by putting up with people's crap but i had to bite my tongue in here because if i don't bite my tongue the right way, no offense, the
gestapo gets called. that means the police because when they come in, the button has been pushed, you don't even know of the button has been pushed. all of a sudden, you're being surrounded. all because i do not like your tone of voice. justwas a last time -- you to do my blood pressure, that is all. these people that work in those front offices that you have to go through them to get to your doctor stop you. they you off. they do anything to irritate you from keeping you from getting treated because they are overloaded. >> they are affirmative-action employees that in him along here. >> they don't belong here. they only want veterans working in that spot. you a better is that only served one or two years and cannot handle it. they are in here trying to work with people that are putting their lives in the line and
stuck it out. that is wrong. just because you were in the military does not mean you should be sitting behind these desks. some of those people have ptsd as well when you put the psp of against ptsd, you get fire. is that not true, guys? you are laughing because you know. >> [indiscernible] >> of diabetics. a series of you need to wait and take so many blood tests, this is expanded amount of time and they say we will prediabetic.re now it is eight into it and you are telling me i am prediabetic? how did that happen? ok, maybe because it is in my family? i don't know.
i went through all the things they have here. i have gone through all the little classes. guess what? i am smart enough to know and i have a masters so i'm not some bimbo. i have researched the diabetic stuff. this place right now is teaching the wrong information about diabetic control. their killing you by giving you the wrong insulin. their killing you by saying you can still eat bread. their killing you by saying just graze throughout the day. kills your pancreas and major diabetes worse. they don't have updated information on diabetes. they are sitting there -- the none -- the one nutritionist is telling people that. it is wrong. like the one gentleman was talking about his diabetes is killing them out because misdiagnoses and so on.
i can be proactive. i can look things up. what about the poor veterans that cannot? women that take the initiative are seen as negative. men that take initiative are seen as -- what any person -- what a neat person. been taughtwe have and trained to take care of ourselves and others also. we are not necessarily the prima donnas that are wearing skirts. we are not there for your sexual pleasure but that is what they thought we were therefore in the military and they took advantage. it is called military sexual trauma on top of ptsd. and many women know about that? 1, 2, 3. they come in here and get harassed. there are groups of guys that send over near the coffee area.
they google and all goal on the women going by and do cap calls -- cat calls. that was about two years ago. but, the same little goes on. i hear it from the other women counterparts because we do talk behind everyone's back. ok? that kind of stuff that needs to stop. 59,000 women, where are they? they do not want to come here. last friday afternoon and this friday afternoon, i could've gone home. had a very fine evening. there was acause woman veteran in need. i met her at my truck on the way out.
i saw that she was maybe so i introduced myself. i said how is it going? i said, no, with me. her through a lot of stuff that nobody else would help her with. i said hasn't anybody in the v.a. told you any of this yet? know, but i have been trying but nobody helps me. that means the clinics, the guard dogs that are in the clinic -- and that is all i can call them because they are not human because they have no compassion. they do not do anything. that was the last friday. since 12:00 today, i saw a family in need. the father in a wheelchair, in hospice, they are taking him away from here to get them into michigan. the donna lives in michigan. she came down here to get him. he cannot get his meds.
for the pillr pushers sat there and told him well, you have to wait. you can only have one medicine because that medicine is in need. we have been waiting 30 days already and not shipped it out. in the next breath, he says it was not shipped. she says, give me proof. my computer all of a sudden does not print that. they went back to the clinic. it printed up everything. and said, yeah, this is what you need, you need this now. go back up to michigan. the daughter was about to flip out. i am sitting there, calm down. you don't want them to call the cops. it is ok. the father himself was getting upset and the daughter is telling them to be calm. how can he be calm when he is
going to one clinic to the next? nobody in this place gave a damn. talk to karen. she says i cannot do anything because the father was down in the pill pusher line. i said that as his advocate, his daughter. no, i cannot do that. i am just following policy. she cannot do anything. she goes i have the phone number, i will call them later but they don't want to hear about it. the daughter left on that and in tears. she told me how bad does v.a. is . how nasty and dirty it is. it is not like that in michigan. they treat my father find that is why we're taking him out of here. that is and say much for anybody.
i have had people do passive aggressive behavior. if they do not like you, do not like the way you look, do not like what you sound up because that is your voice, they get back at you or get revenge on you. they don't stop you from getting an appointment that you want. they will stop and not give the doctor the paperwork to sign is supposed to sign. they said the doctor is not allowed to sign that. what? what does that mean? did we not not tickling -- -- did we not all take english? the doctor is supposed to be able to sign this. the doctors have been told they are now on the sign anything. the doctors themselves told me this and i am like what the hell? ptsd -- i got taken out of seeing my doctors because they said that we have to let you go up because we had to take care
of the new veterans. excuse me. i was here first? at the least, that sounds really immature but that is the level they take you to. bear with me. i will make sure i do not miss anything. valet parking. i don't want anyone touching my vehicle. .> amen >> it is bad enough people park crazy around here anyway. i don't want to volunteer taking my vehicle somewhere when my vehicle has my medication in it, my vehicle has my stuff in it that i know i need and i know want them telling me i cannot part my own vehicle. you can put that in your sock and do what you want with it because i am trying to be nice. now, one of the things about parking since as been brought up by you guys.
vans, vans,unch of vans everywhere. parking in spots that patient should be parking in. doctors are taking parking spots off the night shift and they are saving them for their counterparts. they're switching parking lots for the day people. taking the spots of the veterans. that come here and visit, i have seen them do this, they go right up front. they should not be parking out front, veterans park upfront. it is a long way from that back lot. handicapped! collects those little carts are not efficient and if you don't have enough volunteers, they say they don't run. you might as well. that is an efficient.
god bless the volunteers because they busted their butts. they can only do so much because they had to follow some procedure. i spent two friday's here. i found out about this meeting from my friend in oregon it was very high in politics and i said, where did you get this and how come we do not know about around here? i had several veterans looking today, trying to find something about this meeting. a big come back tonight, sign up by the elevator. ooh. i see you guys trickle in -- where is everybody at? the veterans i told already had plans -- i cannot make it. the 27tho you know on from nine to 2:00 2:00, they won the women's veterans fair upstairs? it is not very clear. did not know that did you?
nothing for women veterans. we are second class or worse citizens. if somebody in here thinks that is funny then you should not be in the room if you think that is funny. i brought women through boot camp and i said you are strong navy women, do not let stuff happen. when my strongest recruits is here in phoenix. she was in charge at night when i am gone. she got beat up, raped. this is not the same individual that i brought through boot camp and helped her be strong. shit throughcaught the v.a. also. one of these atrocities need to stop. i have compassion for both.
but, the women have it worse than the guys get treated. i am senior enlisted. i busted my but to get there and the guys who by cannot pass their test, could not read, cannot lay block. when they could not do it as good, they might find a wide -- a way to make me look bad but it did not work. they still do it now. some of the women in here that are working in the building. girls a lookcute at us like we're bad people because we are women military -- we are not like the rest of the women. that does not mean we don't dress up and clean up nice. if i put a dress on, you would not recognize me but i am riding my motorcycle tonight. somebody is going
dyke, dyke. the gentleman inferred i was standing here. have you guys heard the new catchphrase? have you heard it yet? this is their excuse on how to make things better at the v.a. you talk to them, call them, get on the phone. i am helping another veteran, can you wait? i told the gentleman at the front door this before we started but i will let you all know about this. clinictting in the topaz waiting to complain about somebody for being stupid. two employees are talking about personal off work stuff. the phone rang. one of them finally picks up. and never gets picked up because people are talking about personal stuff -- and what they are doing on their own time.
the person finally picks the phone up and says -- i am helping another veteran. can you hold? did not give the veteran enough time to say yes or no. they went on and talked about the personal stuff again. finally, after they were done, they answer the phone again. i don't even know the person was still on the line. that was the first time i heard that phrase and i am hearing it when i get on the phone and trying to get through to somebody. we are helping another veteran now. what am i? chopped liver? that is saying a nicely. what are you doing when you tell us -- i am helping another veteran. >> the patient advocate is doing her nails. she is too busy to help you. >> obviously, you saw that. >> people t
. are watching youtube or doing their facebook. >> i want to make sure everybody gets a chance. joke.ergency room is a they tell you, oh, you're not sick enough. go to your primary care doctor. if you do get seen, you will be there all night long. the last time i was there was when i was in the hospital because my limp nodes were poisoning my symptom -- my system. i accident left my phone in the car. those idiots say you cannot get your phone. it is right there outside the emergency room door. i found a parking space. it was nighttime and fourth of july.
i had a fun time getting in here. i cannot call my family, my friends, cannot call the person who had the keys to my stop to let my dogs get watered. i was in limbo for about three days. when i looked in the medical records, they say you are only in the hospital for one night. fraudulent. why would they make a fraudulent? say what it was. what would it hurt if i was there for 2.5 days or three? why do they put one? i don't know what kind of games they play but the doctors are behind their computer typing away. red tape, whatever it is and the patients are sitting there. the same thing happens to my friends. they sit there and sit there. car problems, sitting there. they should be on the heart problem right now. ptolemy of ad
heart problem right off. that is lying when you really just wanted to see them for your tonsils are you dropped something on your foot. they don't care. they see some physician assistant. i am so sick of these assistants that do not have any training. that may have passed the test but that is a make them any good. these doctors -- the dietary -- cotor.o in and one d there maybe be 10 people having an operation but that one doc tor jumped in the room and said i am here. that substantiate the dr. being in the room with you have students doing major operations. that is bullshit. and i said shit.that is wrong .
the assistant should be looking at learning how the doctor is doing it tom and not the other way around. that is scary. would you like your doctors to be that way? i doubt that. you make big money. a lot more than the rest of us make. how many officers and above are in here? one officer. two officers. well, the rest of us are enlisted and we don't make that money. even if you get paid by the v.a. you're not making that kind of money. but they wouldn't put up with that kind of care and we have to. wrong. oh, and one of the gentlemen that died out of that 40, he was on the v.a. bowling league him and his son. they took an old vietnam veteran man put a pace make anywhere his heart in this hospital and sent him home.
they didn't cake him overnight for observation. his son found him the next morning dead. and i'm sure he would have been saved if they would have just kept him overnight. and that commercial that's on the tv now where the lady is talking about the guy, her brother that committed suicide because this emergency room said we don't have any beds for you go lay down and you can go home when you feel better, go out that door, look up that hallway, there's a ton of beds and they've always been there. at one point -- and this is from people in your staff -- those beds were moved because cameron didn't want them there. but now that she's gone they're back. and i heard that day before yesterday. they're back. they hide them for their purposes. and when they don't need them hidden any more they bring them out. [inaudible] >> that's not a storeroom that's a hallway.