A very serious situation
On Sunday the Boston Globe Spotlight team released a deeply troubling report about alleged mismanagement and poor quality of care for veterans at the Manchester Veterans Medical Center. You can read the whole article here. Last year, I met with the physicians who raised these concerns. I brought their grievances to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Office of Inspector General. Their concerns are incredibly serious and I'm glad that decisive action has been taken since these revelations went public. I do, however, also have concerns that VA did not act with the decisiveness deserved by these allegations. I'm hopeful that the new top-to-bottom investigation will help get to the bottom of what has happened in Manchester and how we can prevent any lapses in care for our veterans in the future.
In my role as Ranking Member on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, I have asked our Chairman General Jack Bergman to hold a field hearing in New Hampshire in order to get more information about this situation, and I have invited Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin to come to New Hampshire as well. We need to do better for our veterans and their families.
It's imperative to rooting out problems at the VA that whistleblowers, like the ones in Manchester, are able to come forward without fear of retribution. Earlier this year, we passed the VA Accountability First Act to increase accountability at the VA and it included provisions from my amendment to increase protections for whistleblowers. I will continue to work with my colleagues to make sure that when VA employees see something that concerns them they don't hesitate to come forward.
Please be assured that I am committed to doing all I can to ensure the highest quality of care for our brave veterans and servicemembers, and that I take their safety incredibly seriously. They deserve nothing but the best.
If you would like to discuss this situation with our office, please do not hesitate to reach out. You can contact my Concord office at (603) 226-1002, and my Washington office at (202) 225-5206.
I hope you have a great weekend!