Raises concerns that VA response to previous inquiry indicates the agency does not sufficiently emphasize adequate employee training and oversight for health care workers
Washington (October 2, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) pressured Robert Wilkie, Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Dr. Richard Stone, Executive in Charge of the Veterans Health Administration, to obtain additional information on how the VA applies education and training standards for health care workers and manages related resources.
In addition to expressing concerns about the systemic voids in leadership that may have exacerbated issues around care quality and living conditions described in a recent Boston Globe investigation, Senator Markey asked about the VA’s standards and resources for the training and supervision of health care workers. A January 2018 response to Senator Markey’s letter indicated that there appears to be little structure to, or oversight of, the training of VA employees directly responsible for the wellness and safety of some of our sickest veterans.
In response to a troubling Boston Globe article from last October about care provided at the Bedford VA Medical Center, Senator Markey wrote to then-VA Secretary Shulkin, calling for a swift investigation into the death of veteran William Nutter in 2016. The investigation is still ongoing.
“This absence of consistent, uniform training is particularly concerning in light of a recent story in the Boston Globe and USA TODAY alleging disturbing, substandard care at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, also known as the Bedford VA,” wrote Senator Markey in his letter to Secretary Wilkie and Dr. Stone. “I have met many of the competent and compassionate individuals who care for veterans at the Bedford VA, and it is shameful that these latest allegations cast a shadow on their good work at an institution dedicated to caring for those who have given so much to this country.
“We must not allow any maltreatment of our nation’s veterans to be accepted as normal, especially when training and educational resources are available to help prevent it from occurring in the first place.”
A copy of Senator Markey’s letter can he found HERE.
Last week, Senator Markey met with Ryan Lilly, the new Network Director of the VA New England Healthcare System to discuss this and other issues pertaining to veteran health in the New England region.