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Lead Manchester VA Whistleblower Ed Kois Dies in Car Accident

Ed Kois, leader of the Manchester VA whistleblowers who came forward two years ago, has died in a car accident. He was 62.

Police say Kois was driving on Interstate 95 in Hampton when his car went off the road and struck a guardrail. Police say he likely suffered a medical event. Kois had recently been hospitalized for health problems and had planned to return to work this week.

Kois was the head of spine care at the Manchester VA. In 2017, he and a group of whistleblowers alleged that patients with spine conditions were going without sufficient treatment. 

His allegations caused the VA to change leaders in Manchester, a move Kois says made a huge difference to VA physicians.

"I think part of changing out leadership is leadership became more accountable to us. They started to listen to us," he told NHPR.

Kois is being remembered as a man who cared deeply for his patients. Joseph Maloof of Conway is an Army veteran and one of Kois's patients.

"He was the kind of person that a person like me would take a bullet for. He was a patient's doctor. He was the doctor you wanted to have at the helm," Maloof says.

Manchester VA Medical Center Director Al Montoya says Kois "was a staunch advocate for doing what was right" for veterans.

Peter Biello is the host of All Things Considered and Writers on a New England Stage at New Hampshire Public Radio. He has served as a producer/announcer/host of Weekend Edition Saturday at Vermont Public Radio and as a reporter/host of Morning Edition at WHQR in Wilmington, North Carolina.

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