veterans

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Manchester VA is responding to criticism about the medical center's women's clinic. The clinic is currently on the 6th floor, accessible by a flight of stairs or an elevator.

A report on NHPR described how women who have suffered military sexual trauma can find riding in that elevator with men stressful.

Liberty House in Manchester has a new leader. Jeff Nelson took the reins as Executive Director of the nonprofit two months ago. Liberty House helps up to ten veterans at a time transition from homelessness to permanent housing. Nelson spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello about how Liberty House does its work and where he thinks it's going.

The Liberty House provides transitional housing for veterans, helping them out of homelessness. How great is the need for a service like this in New Hampshire?

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: September 22, 2017

Sep 22, 2017

The Graham-Cassidy healthcare proposal receives mixed response in the Granite State. Community college officials are grilled by New Hampshire lawmakers concerned about a recent audit.  And V.A. whistle blowers raise concerns about continued problems at the facility.


Peter Biello / NHPR

Lawmakers questioned officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs and a VA whistleblower today at a congressional hearing in Pembroke.

Convened by Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster of New Hampshire and Republican Rep. Jack Bergman of Michigan, the field hearing was an attempt to understand the allegations of leadership failure behind the mismanagement of patient care at the Manchester VA.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Earlier this year, Keith Howard stepped down as executive director of Liberty House, a transitional living facility for formerly homeless veterans.  And he started something new.

Howard now lives at a converted hunting camp in northern New Hampshire, on the grounds of Warriors at 45 North, where he's going to run writing retreats for veterans.  Howard himself lives in what he calls the Tiny White Box. I went to visit him there. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs has released a list of the twelve people who will serve on a task force looking at the future of health care for New Hampshire veterans.

Since July, a dozen whistleblowers have come forward with allegations of substandard care at the Manchester VA.  One of those whistleblowers, cardiologist Erik Funk, will serve on the task force.

The list also includes four people who are not VA employees and five who are not New Hampshire residents.

Ed Kois, a VA doctor and leader of the whistleblowers, said that's a problem.

 

The Manchester VA Medical Center has appointed a 12-member task force to make recommendations on the future of New Hampshire’s only veterans hospital.

The appointments were the latest step toward reform since the Boston Globe reported in July on a whistleblower complaint, which described a fly-infested operating room, surgical instruments that weren’t always sterilized and patients whose conditions were ignored.

AR MCLIN / FLICKR

The New Hampshire District Court has struck down Manchester's anti-panhandling ordinance, concluding the law violated the First Amendment. Under the ordinance, people were not allowed to accept charitable contributions from motor vehicles, even if they stayed out of the roadway.

  

Elliot Berry, from New Hampshire Legal Assistance, was a representing attorney in the case.

Berry says the federal court decision calls into question the constitutionality of similar ordinances in Concord, Somersworth and Rochester.    

Peter Biello / NHPR

A report by the Department of Veterans Affairs concludes that stroke patients at its Manchester facility received substandard care, including a failure to transfer them to another facility that could provide the necessary tests and treatment.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan is planning to discuss her efforts to strengthen the state's community-based mental health system at this year's Manchester VA Medical Center's mental health summit.

Attendees also will be spending Tuesday discussing the eradication of veteran suicides while addressing access to health care in specialty populations.

Specialty topics will include substance abuse, aging, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and women veterans.

The summit is being held at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester.

Peter Biello / NHPR

As the Manchester VA Medical Center continues to recover from catastrophic flooding, allegations of dangerous delays in veterans’ care, and unsanitary conditions, VA officials and a dozen whistleblowers are trying to chart the future of veterans’ healthcare in New Hampshire. It’s not clear what that will look like.

Peter Biello / NHPR

An employee of the Manchester VA Medical Center says his bosses have retaliated against him for speaking to investigators about problems with veterans' dental care and the Veterans Choice Program.

Gary Von George worked as the Business Office Manager at the Manchester VA. He says he tried to resolve several issues internally.

But he says after Manchester VA leaders learned he'd spoken to the VA's Office of Medical Inspector, he was moved to a different role.

Officials with the VA hospital in White River Junction are stressing this week that veterans are welcome at the hospital regardless of gender or sexual identity.

Details of new White House guidelines for the Pentagon emerged Wednesday and were confirmed by NPR. Under those guidelines, transgender people will be banned from enlisting and those in active service will be subject to removal at the discretion of Defense Secretary James Mattis.

NH DOJ's Charitable Trust Unit

An Upper Valley non-profit that serves veterans is being shut down after an investigation by the Attorney General’s office found evidence of fraud.

Project VetCare provides housing and support to military veterans, as well as a meeting place for students at Dartmouth College who are veterans. The non-profit, which was formed in 2012, owns two houses in Hanover.

Peter Biello / NHPR

A task force created to look at the future of the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center is taking shape. 

The task force was formed in response to whistleblower allegations of unsanitary and unsafe conditions at the medical center. Whistleblower Erik Funk, a cardiologist, was invited to serve on the task force - but he is the only one.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Manchester VA Medical Center will hold a town hall meeting Wednesday in Rochester.

The meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. at Frisbie Memorial Hospital, is a chance for veterans to ask questions of administrators tasked with managing significant challenges at the medical center.

The Manchester VA has been recovering from flooding caused by a burst pipe. It's also being investigated for widely-publicized allegations of substandard care and unsanitary conditions.

The interim director of the Manchester VA, Al Montoya, is scheduled to attend the meeting.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Two high-ranking officials removed from the Manchester VA medical center last month  have been reassigned to positions at the VA New England Healthcare System in Bedford, Massachusetts. 

Town of Stark

New Hampshire is considering establishing a new veteran's cemetery in the town of Stark.

On a 20-acre plot overgrown with brush, the cement foundations of guard towers and a few old fireplaces are the only remnants of a prisoner of war camp from World War II, New Hampshire’s only POW camp.

Officials are weighing a plan to use that land and surrounding forest as a site for the new cemetery. New Hampshire currently has one veteran's cemetery, in Boscawen, but traveling to the cemetery requires a long drive for vets and their families in the North Country.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has removed a third top official from the Manchester VA.

Secretary Shulkin has removed Carol Williams, the medical center's director of nursing and patient care services. It's a move doctors who blew the whistle on problems with the Manchester VA had been calling for.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Complaints about obstructive bureaucracy in the Veterans Health Administration dominated a discussion Monday afternoon between veterans and doctors who blew the whistle on problems at the Manchester VA.

Thomas Fearon / NHPR

Manchester VA Medical Center staffers who have alleged substandard care and conditions at New Hampshire's only veterans hospital are holding a town hall meeting to discuss the situation.

The event for veterans and others is being held at the American Legion Sweeney Post in Manchester on Monday afternoon, five days after VA officials held a similar meeting.

Thomas Fearon

Emotions ran high at a public forum hosted by the Manchester VA Medical Center Wednesday night. The gathering came on the heels of a Boston Globe report alleging unsanitary conditions and insufficient care at the hospital.

Dozens of veterans showed up at Manchester Community College to hear from VA officials about how they are addressing the allegations detailed in the Globe report. Those in attendance expressed concerns about long wait times, rushed doctor visits, and difficulty navigating layers of bureaucracy at the Manchester VA.

Thomas Fearon / NHPR

The Manchester VA Medical Center will hold a town hall meeting Wednesday to hear directly from veterans following allegations of substandard care at the facility.

Interim director Al Montoya will host the forum, which gets underway at 6 p.m. at Manchester Community College.

The medical center is the focus of a federal investigation, following a report in the Boston Globe in which several Manchester VA doctors described unsanitary operating rooms and significant delays in care.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: July 21, 2017

Jul 21, 2017

Two top officials at the VA Medical Center in Manchester were removed after a Boston Globe report detailing  allegations of substandard care at the facility.  New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner attends the first official meeting of the Trump administration’s election integrity commission.  And New Hampshire became the 22nd state and the last state in New England to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.


Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jennifer A. Villalovos; U.S. Navy

 The Manchester VA Medical Center is under investigation after a scathing report by the Boston Globe's Spotlight team  revealed allegations by medical staff of seriously substandard care at the facility. Among the conditions described in the report: an operating room infested with flies, veterans with crippling spinal damage that might have been prevented, and obsolete surgical instruments. We look into what happened, and how these problems fit into a broader picture of trouble with the Veterans Administration.  

Peter Biello / NHPR

Since the Boston Globe's report on unsanitary and dangerous conditions at the VA Medical Center in Manchester appeared over the weekend, attention has turned in part to the hospital's "four-star" rating.

Four out of five stars is usually a good thing, so how did the Manchester VA earn those stars?

Peter Biello

The Boston Globe published revelations on Saturday of dangerous delays in care and unsanitary conditions at the Manchester VA Medical Center.

Michael Samuels

A small group of New Hampshire veterans will gather in North Haverhill Tuesday to learn about farm equipment and the agricultural industry in the state. 

Peter Biello / NHPR

Two top officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Manchester have been removed pending a review of conditions described in a Boston Globe report. Several doctors at the Manchester VA complained in the report of unsanitary operating rooms and alleged substandard care.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The Rochester Farmers Market is offering any veteran who lives in Strafford County a $20 voucher to thank them for their service.

The Vouchers for Veterans program lets veterans spend $20 at any of the Rochester Farmers Market vendors.

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