White River Junction VA

Peter Biello / NHPR

The VA's oversight agency is criticizing the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt. for a number of failures to follow standard hospital procedures and ensure patient safety.

In a report issued by the Office of Inspector General Tuesday, investigators say they could not gain reasonable assurance that the hospital provides safe moderate sedation or anticoagulation care. It also listed several other issues pertaining to oversight and data collection.

Peter Biello / NHPR

The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt. experienced one of the worst budget deficits among New England VA hospitals last year.

The hospital needed an additional $8.5 million to meet expenses at the end of the last fiscal year,  roughly four percent of its total budget. The VA regional office in Massachusetts, known as VISN 1, provided that funding.

The White River Junction, Vt. VA hospital serves more than 26,000 veterans in Coos, Grafton, Sullivan and Cheshire Counties in New Hampshire as well as the entire state of Vermont.

Cordelia Zars / NHPR

Patients, employees, and officials with the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont came together on Monday to discuss how the hospital could improve. 

Town Halls like this one are a chance for veterans to take their concerns to the highest official at the hospital. But only one man out of about 50 spoke up, saying there had been a confusion in his appointment times. Director Al Montoya spoke at length to the veterans, saying the way to solve these kinds of administrative problems is by increasing communication.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Enrollment in a program that tracks the genes of military veterans has picked up the pace at a local VA hospital.

The Million Veteran Program, or MVP, is a nationwide effort to put into a database the genetic information of one million veterans. Researchers will use the database to find genes that affect conditions like diabetes or PTSD.