American Legion reschedules town hall meeting in Augusta



The American Legion, the country’s largest organization of wartime veterans, has rescheduled a town hall meeting in Augusta that will focus on the past, present and future of health care at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. March 10 at American Legion Post 205, 2102 Highland Ave. Anyone interested in VA health care is invited to attend, especially veterans currently enrolled at the Norwood VA hospital.

A previous meeting planned for Jan. 29 was canceled because of severe weather.

Members of the legion’s System Worth Saving Task Force are holding the meeting. The program was created in 2003 to monitor the quality of health care at VA medical facilities nationwide.

The System Worth Saving teams will visit the Norwood VA to interview patients, staffers and administrators, which in November reported that three cancer patients died and 5,100 other veterans had consultations delayed in the hospital’s gastrointestinal program.

“We conduct these site visits each year to evaluate and report on the quality of health care our veterans are receiving,” said Ralph Bozella, the chairman of the legion’s task force. “Our next report will take a comprehensive look at VA health care since we first started evaluating it.”

Bozella said the input and feedback received from veterans during the town hall meetings “helps us to understand firsthand what challenges and recommendations they have for improving their own medical care.”

The town hall meetings and hospital visits are conducted by members of the task force, which travels to about 15 VA medical centers each year. The task force compiles reports based on its findings and submits them to Congress, the White House and senior VA leadership.

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