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HVAC to Examine Preventable Deaths, Accountability at VA

Aug 5, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.— On Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. ET at the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a field hearing to examine the Department of Veterans Affairs’ approach to stopping preventable patient deaths and lapses in care at VA medical centers around the country.

The Veterans Health Administration provides health care services for some eight million American veterans, but a rash of preventable suicides, veteran deaths and infectious disease outbreaks at several VHA facilities throughout the country has put the organization under intense scrutiny. Despite the fact that multiple VA Inspector General reports have linked a number of veteran deaths to widespread mismanagement at VHA facilities, the department has consistently given executives who presided over these events glowing performance reviews and cash bonuses of up to $63,000.     

The purpose of this hearing is to examine whether VA has the proper management and accountability structures in place to stop the emerging pattern of preventable veteran deaths and serious patient-safety issues at VA medical centers across the country. In doing so, the committee will specifically look at VA’s handling of recent events in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Buffalo, N.Y., and Jackson, Miss.

The following event is open to the press:

WHO:             House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

WHAT:            Hearing: A Matter of Life and Death: Examining Preventable Deaths, Patient-Safety Issues and Bonuses for VA Execs Who Oversaw Them

WHEN:          9:00 a.m. ET, Monday, Sept. 9, 2013

WHERE:       Allegheny County Courthouse, 436 Grant St., Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Witness List

Panel 1

Brandie Petit

Veteran Family Member

Atlanta, GA

 

Gerald J. Rakiecki

Veteran and VA Police Officer

Buffalo, NY

 

Sydney N.W. Schoellman

Veteran Family Member

Dallas, TX

 

Phyllis A.M. Hollenbeck M.D., FAAP

VA Primary Care Physician

Jackson, MS

 

Robert E. Nicklas

Veteran Family Member

Pittsburgh, PA

 

Accompanied by:

 

Judy Nicklas

Veteran Family Member

Pittsburgh, PA

 

Maureen A. Ciarolla

Veteran Family Member

Pittsburgh, PA

 

Panel 2

The Honorable Robert A. Petzel 

Under Secretary for Health

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Accompanied by:

 

Thomas Lynch, M.D.

Assistant Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Clinical Operations and Management

Veterans Health Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Michael E. Moreland FACHE
Network Director

Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 4

Veterans Health Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Leslie B. Wiggins
Medical Center Director

Atlanta VA Medical Center

Veterans Health Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Brian G. Stiller
Medical Center Director

VA Western New York Healthcare System

Veterans Health Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Jeffery L. Milligan

Medical Center Director

VA North Texas Health Care System

Veterans Health Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Joe D. Battle

Medical Center Director

G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center

Veterans Health Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

At the committee’s request, individuals to be present and available to answer questions:

 

Charles Sepich, FACHE

Network Director

VA Southeast Network (VISN 7)

Veterans Health Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

James Cody

Interim Network Director

VA Health Care Upstate New York (VISN 2)

Veterans Health Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Joe Dalpiaz

Network Director

VA Heart of Texas Health Care Network (VISN 17)

Veterans Health Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Rica Lewis-Payton

Network Director

South Central VA Health Care Network (VISN 16)

Veterans Health Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

 

Terry Gerigk Wolf

Medical Center Director and Chief Executive Officer

VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System

Veterans Health Administration

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Statement for the Record

The American Legion