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Veterans Hospitals

January 22, 1991 | From Associated Press
Veterans' hospitals are prepared for a new responsibility of treating U.S. military personnel wounded in the war against Iraq, Veterans Affairs Secretary Edward J. Derwinski told Congress today. "We will be able to absorb the flow of casualties," Derwinski said in testimony to the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the department. "The morale is high. We are ready to go," added Dr. James Holsinger, chief medical director of the department.
February 13, 2013 | Chad Terhune, Los Angeles Times
Investors didn't give a warm welcome to the incoming chief executive of health insurance giant WellPoint Inc. Shares of the nation's second-largest health insurer fell $3.01, or nearly 5%, to $63 in trading Wednesday, a day after the company named a veteran hospital executive to be its next CEO. WellPoint, which runs Anthem Blue Cross in California and health plans in 13 other states, picked Joseph Swedish to lead the company through a tumultuous...
April 6, 1991 | From Associated Press
The government accepted blame Friday for six deaths at a veterans' hospital in North Chicago, where poor care forced an end to certain surgeries and led to changes in the staff. The concession followed a report last week by investigators in the Veterans Affairs Department, who said they had found improper treatment, untimely tests and unnecessary surgeries at the hospital. "To say it is the worst hospital in our system would not be a fair statement," said Dr. James Holsinger Jr.
November 12, 2012 | By Jack Shakely
If ever there was a poster child for the law of unintended consequences, it is the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Down through the years, few government programs have enjoyed the almost universal approval of the GI Bill, enacted in 1944 and expanded in 1966. I'm one of its fans: It helped me buy my first home (a bungalow in Hermosa Beach) and sent me to law school. As the U.S. military became all volunteer in the 1970s and America enjoyed more than a quarter-century of peace, the GI Bill seemed less necessary and its benefits dwindled.
The typical veterans hospital is considerably more likely than other hospitals to fail quality standards in key areas such as surgery, emergency care and intensive care, according to a major study by the commission that accredits most of the nation's health care facilities.
The Department of Veterans Affairs cannot assure veterans that they are receiving the best health care possible from the more than 170 VA hospitals, warns the ranking Democrat on the Senate committee that oversees the VA. Sen. John D. "Jay" Rockefeller IV (D-W. Va.) delivered his bleak assessment of the department's health care system to VA Secretary-designate Togo West Jr. in a Dec. 19 letter.
June 13, 1989 | From Times wire services
Forty-four veterans hospitals had "significantly elevated" rates of death among patients, and more than 5% of those who died were found to have received inappropriate care, according to a Department of Veterans Affairs report issued today. Veterans Affairs Secretary Edward J. Derwinski, who ordered the report released today, cautioned in a letter to Congress that "no general statement about the quality of care" in veterans hospitals "can be drawn from these findings." Nonetheless, Derwinski said, "we must try to do better."
In a decision that angered many Los Angeles-area veterans, U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jesse Brown announced Monday that the quake-damaged Sepulveda VA hospital will be demolished and replaced with a $65-million outpatient care center. The 431-bed federal hospital has been closed since the Jan. 17 temblor wrecked operating rooms, knocked out heat and water supplies and littered corridors with broken glass, forcing the evacuation of 331 patients.
February 5, 1991
'The nation should brace for a repetition of one of the worst outcomes of the Vietnam era: forgotten vets lingering in inadequate veterans' hospitals. This is a place and time where patriotic fervor and the diligence of a Ralph Nader can energetically combine. Citizens can start by touring the veterans' facilities in their area and telling their congressmen what they find.
October 8, 1989
Unhappy over the massive number of bad home loans that his department has guaranteed, and troubled by how the nation's 172 veterans hospitals are being run, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Edward J. Derwinski has ordered major changes in the department's benefits and medical programs, the Washington Post reported. Derwinski said in an interview with the Post that he has decided to replace Raymond J.
January 28, 2011 | By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
A 93-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor and suspected victim of elder abuse was found disoriented, dehydrated and living in filth at his home near El Cajon this week, clutching his prized possession: a picture of the ship that he was serving on the day of the Japanese attack. Arnold V. Bauer, suffering from dementia and prostate cancer, was taken to the Veterans Affairs hospital in San Diego, authorities said. Bauer's caretaker for the last three years, Milagros Angeles, 63, pleaded not guilty Thursday to four felony counts of elder abuse, theft, forgery and false imprisonment.
September 23, 2009 | Larry Gordon
Brush in hand, UCLA junior Jacob Castaneda was hard at work Tuesday, spreading a fresh coat of brown paint on the exterior of a classroom bungalow at Samuel Gompers Middle School. He was among an army of about 4,600 UCLA volunteers who came to the South Los Angeles campus and seven other spots around the region for a day of community service. "It's always nice to reach out to the community and it's always great to help out kids," said Castaneda, a Mid-City resident who recently transferred to UCLA from Santa Monica College.
September 27, 2007 | From the Washington Post
More than six months after disclosures of systemic problems at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and other hospitals, the Pentagon's promised fixes are threatened by staff shortages and uncertainty about how best to improve long-term care for troops, according to a report issued Wednesday.
September 8, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Heeding veterans and Westside residents, a panel advising the Department of Veterans Affairs on the future of the VA campus in West L.A. has forcefully restated its opposition to any commercial development. At a meeting Thursday night, panel members by a 10-0 vote reiterated opposition to any commercialization or sale of the 388-acre campus. The panel's opinions are nonbinding, but community members said they hoped the strong response would have an effect.
July 26, 2007 | James Gerstenzang, Times Staff Writer
A presidential commission recommended major steps Wednesday to overhaul the treatment of military personnel wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying that a system criticized for shabby treatment and numbing bureaucracy needed "fundamental change."
April 4, 2007 | Mary Engel, Times Staff Writer
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is looking into an unusual series of deaths -- five in three months -- among men in residential rehabilitation programs or emergency housing at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, officials said. The deaths include that of Iraq war veteran Justin Bailey, 27, whose apparent prescription-medicine overdose Jan. 26 was the subject of a Times story last month. "Obviously, these problems go beyond Walter Reed," said Rep.
In a move that has outraged physicians, administrators at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Los Angeles on Wednesday began notifying 29 of its 211 doctors that they will lose their jobs by August as part of cutbacks at veterans hospitals nationwide.
January 23, 1987
Saying they have lost confidence in the Reagan Administration's budget plans, four major veterans organizations called for more than $700 million in increased spending on medical care for veterans. The groups said President Reagan's budget proposal doesn't provide enough to maintain current levels of care at Veterans Administration hospitals and nursing homes.
March 12, 2007 | Mary Engel, Times Staff Writer
Iraq war veteran Justin Bailey checked himself in to the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center just after Thanksgiving. Among the first wave of Marines sent into battle, the young rifleman had been diagnosed since his return with posttraumatic stress disorder and a groin injury. Now, Bailey acknowledged to his family and a friend, he needed immediate treatment for his addiction to prescription and street drugs. "We were so happy," said his stepmother, Mary Kaye Bailey, 41.
February 14, 2004 | From Associated Press
Veterans hospitals in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Mississippi should be shut down, but the administration should scrap plans to close facilities in New York, Kentucky and California, an advisory commission said Friday. The 16-member panel appointed to review the Department of Veterans Affairs' projected realignment of its health care system also agreed with the Bush administration that a new hospital was needed in Orlando, Fla. It disagreed with the recommendation for one in Las Vegas.
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