VA will strive to be better

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The dedicated employees who work at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center have the privilege of providing high-quality, safe, effective health care to the men and women who have served this nation.

In fact, 38 percent of the staff are veterans, including me. We care deeply about our veterans, and that care is a responsibility we take very seriously.

In August 2012, our medical center reported that a number of veterans had not had their gastroenterology consultations provided to them in a timely manner, which resulted in delays in care. This was unacceptable, and did not meet our high standards, so we took immediate steps to increase our internal capacity to perform GI endoscopy procedures.

Personnel were realigned and hired, and improvements were made to increase staff support and patient communication. We also redesigned our consult and appointment processes, re-engineered our endoscopy suite and offered weekend and holiday clinics.

Finally, we took advantage of the many private providers and hospitals in our community to provide care as quickly as possible to all patients requiring GI procedures.

As a result of these actions, the GI consult delays were resolved, and veterans now receive these procedures in a timely manner.

All of us at Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center are deeply saddened by the loss of any veteran under our care, and we offer our sincerest condolences to veterans who have been harmed and to those families who have lost a loved one. Once we discovered these issues, we reached out to the affected veterans and family members to fully disclose how we did not provide the care they should expect.

One adverse outcome is one too many, and we owe it to these veterans and families to ensure that this does not happen again. That is our pledge to them and to the veteran community we serve.

We will learn from this painful lesson and strive to become a better and more responsive health-care organization.

Robert Hamilton

Augusta

(The writer is director of the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center.)

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scoopdedoop64
2430
Points
scoopdedoop64 01/17/14 - 12:22 am
6
3
What about their spiritual health?

Mr. Hamilton I will take you at your word that you care about the physical health of the veterans and that you are at work to make things better. I wish you would also reconsider your policies about letting Christmas carolers sing songs in the public area. People get physically better quicker when their spirits are uplifted. I felt that keeping them from singing to the patients and visitors was over the line and a poor way to handle things at your hospital. It is a shame that a nation which once honored God now has to be careful we don't offend the 3 percent of those who don't like it.

DanK
784
Points
DanK 01/17/14 - 06:22 am
1
2
Beating a dead horse.

The military has policies regarding the way religious issues are managed. The VA complied with those policies. I recommend you look up those policies, which are publicly available. Google is your friend. The policies apply to all military services, personnel and facilities.

corgimom
34779
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corgimom 01/17/14 - 08:30 am
1
2
Dear Mr. Hamilton: The

Dear Mr. Hamilton:

The solution presented to the Alleluia chorus was fair and reasonable. They chose not to sing.

That is not your fault. I appreciate the fact that you respect people of all faiths, not just Christians, and I think you handled it well- it was the Alleluia chorus that did not.

harley_52
24053
Points
harley_52 01/17/14 - 10:10 am
2
1
Stumbling Over A Dead Cow...

The Veterans Administration is NOT a "military service." Nor are its facilities and personnel "military."

You can look it up, DanK.

Google is your friend.

harley_52
24053
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harley_52 01/17/14 - 10:14 am
2
1
When Little Children Singing Christmas Carols...

...wanting to add some cheer to the lives of the sick, dying, lonely, and sometimes immobile and forgotten patients at a V.A. hospital are denied that opportunity simply to suit some political agenda we need to reassess our societal values.

Think about it.

harley_52
24053
Points
harley_52 01/17/14 - 10:18 am
3
1
Mr. Hamilton....

...as a veteran and one who has received medical treatment at both VA hospitals in Augusta I can assure you that the service I've received has been superb in every regard. The medical professionals, the facilities, and the support staff are all second to none. I congratulate you and all your V.A. employees for a job VERY well done.

KasparHauser
364
Points
KasparHauser 01/18/14 - 04:35 pm
0
0
Yeah, Mo Betta Carols
Unpublished

Because we all know it's Belief that actually cures the ills in the hospital and is the very reason the patients ended up there to begin with. After all, if the doctors and nurses just left the patients alone, gawd would cure them...

I wonder why the patients didn't just ask the ambulance or relatives to drop them off at the nearest religious franchise they subscribe to, or a Mother Theresa-style Theology of Suffering ward?

But, then, I guess all the people who don't make it just lack Faith, like all those Heathen in Oklahoma who keep getting wacked by twisters and lightening and drought, oh my!

Keep lighting those secular candles to banish the darkness of Superstition!

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