Kuster Convenes Field Hearing on Care Issues at Manchester VA
The Entire Field Hearing can be viewed here.
(Pembroke, NH) – Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), the Ranking Member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee, convened a field hearing at the NH National Guard Edward Cross Training Complex in Pembroke to assess care issues for veterans at the Manchester VA Medical Center.
During the hearing, Congresswoman Annie Kuster, Congressman Jack Bergman (R-MI), Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, and Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) questioned:
-Dr. Carolyn Clancy, Deputy Undersecretary for Health for Organizational Excellence, VA
-Dr. Michael Mayo-Smith, Network Director, VA New England Healthcare System
-Alfred Montoya, Interim Medical Center Director, Manchester VA Medical Center
-Dr. William “Ed” Kois, Whistleblower, Manchester VA Medical Center
-David Kenney, Chairman, New Hampshire State Veterans Advisory Committee
“The testimony we heard today highlights the serious problems we’ve seen in access to care for veterans at the Manchester VA Medical Center and at facilities across the country,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I was encouraged by some of the steps the Department of Veterans Affairs is taking to address these challenges including improved recruitment of qualified VA staff and programs to better coordinate care for veterans. I intend to hold the VA and Administration accountable for following through on these changes and improving care for the men and women who have served our nation in uniform. Whistleblowers play a critical role in identifying issues within the VA and I’ll continue to work to enhance protections for whistleblowers and improve quality of care for our veterans.”
“I would like to offer my most sincere gratitude to those who offered testimony at today’s VA Oversight and Investigations hearing and to the whistleblowers who had the courage to stand up and do the right thing for our Veterans,” said Congressman Bergman. “The mistreatment of Veterans at the Manchester VA Medical Center and other facilities around the country mar the image of the many VA facilities and workers that seek to offer quality care for our Veterans. Today’s hearing with Ranking Member Kuster serves as a reminder of the need for additional accountability throughout the VA as well as the dangers of allowing bureaucrats to operate without adequate oversight.”
“We have a duty to provide our veterans with the quality healthcare that they have earned and deserve,” said Senator Shaheen. “I thank Chairman Jack Bergman and Ranking Member Annie Kuster for convening today’s hearing and shining a spotlight on efforts to correct problems at the Manchester VA Medical Center. We in Congress, as well as leaders at the VA, have a responsibility to identify these problems, hold people accountable, and make things right. As we move forward, we must restore trust and accountability at all levels and ensure that our New Hampshire veterans receive the excellent healthcare they deserve.”
“Veterans have demonstrated a selfless commitment to keeping our nation safe, secure and, free, and we must ensure that every one of our veterans receives the care that they need and have earned,” Senator Hassan said. “I am grateful to Dr. Ed Kois and his fellow whistleblowers for bringing forward concerns about serious failures of care at the Manchester VAMC, and this field hearing was an important step in examining the issues at the Manchester VAMC. However, there is much more work to do to address the concerns raised by the whistleblowers, and I will continue to work with partners at the state and federal level to ensure that we are fully honoring the commitments we have made to our veterans.”