Manchester VA Medical Center

Manchester VA Medical Center

A U.S. Air Force veteran has sued the director of New Hampshire's veterans hospital over the display of a Bible.

The Christian Bible became part of a memorial table at the Manchester VA Medical Center. It was removed in January after the Military Religious Freedom Foundation said some patients complained.

Peter Biello/NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu has signed into law a bill that allows doctors at the Manchester Veterans Affairs Medical Center to treat veterans at private hospitals.

 

A flood at the Manchester VA Medical Center last year destroyed clinic space. In response, Sununu signed an executive order suspending state licensing requirements so VA doctors could use space at private hospitals like Catholic Medical Center. 

Peter Biello/NHPR

Allegations of substandard care at the Manchester VA have largely gone unchallenged, at least publicly, since whistleblowers came forward last summer. And now we are learning why. 

Dr. Michael Mayo-Smith was the leader of the VA new England Health Care System until last month, when he abruptly retired. He says the VA chose to take a no-response approach and wait for public interest in the allegations to wane. Now that he's retired, he's able to speak publicly about what happened behind the scenes from his perspective.

Peter Biello/NHPR

The task force looking at the future of health care for New Hampshire's veterans has drafted some suggestions for improvements at the Manchester VA, and those suggestions do not include the construction of a new full-service VA hospital.

This task force was put together last year after whistleblowers came forward with allegations of mismanagement at the VA. Dr. Erik Funk was the sole whistleblower to be named to the task force. He joins NHPR's Peter Biello to talk about these preliminary findings.

Peter Biello/NHPR

A task force looking at the future of VA healthcare for New Hampshire veterans has issued a draft report that says the Manchester VA Medical Center does not need to be a full-service hospital.

 

A full-service hospital has been a priority for many advocates, including nearly a dozen whistleblowers who came forward last summer with allegations of mismanagement that resulted in patient harm. 

 

The New Hampshire congressional delegation has long endorsed the idea of a full-service VA hospital in the Granite State.

 

Peter Biello/NHPR

The task force looking at the future of the Manchester VA met again Wednesday and will meet all day Thursday. Members are trying to come up with a tentative set of recommendations on how to best provide VA health care to New Hampshire's veterans.

The task force itself was created as a response to whistleblower allegations of substandard care that harmed some VA patients. Earlier today, in between sessions, NHPR's Peter Biello spoke with the task force co-chair, Dr. Jennifer MacDonald.

Peter Biello/NHPR

 

A new report says the Department of Veterans Affairs has been reluctant to acknowledge fault with how some patients were treated by the VA facility in Manchester. 

 

The report comes from the US Office of Special Counsel (or OSC), the agency in charge of reviewing the VA's response to recent whistleblower allegations.