Kuster Welcomes Decision by VA to Remove Dr. Mayo-Smith as Co-Chair of Manchester VAMC Task Force
(Washington, DC) - Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), the Ranking Member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee, welcomed the decision by the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin to remove Dr. Michael Mayo-Smith, the Network Director for the VA New England Healthcare System (VISN 1), as co-chair of the Task Force that will evaluate failures in care for patients at the Manchester VAMC and make recommendations for improvements moving forward. Last month, after speaking with veterans and VA officials, Kuster directly discussed with Secretary Shulkin the importance of removing Dr. Mayo-Smith from the Task Force to preserve its credibility. She also provided recommendations for his replacement on the Task Force leadership.
“I welcome the decision by Secretary Shulkin to remove Dr. Mayo-Smith as co-chair of the Task Force responsible for identifying necessary changes to improve services for veterans at the Manchester VAMC,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “We know that veterans have faced unacceptable challenges in access to quality care at Manchester VAMC and throughout New Hampshire. Our veterans deserve better and this Task Force should carry with it the weight necessary to enact real change. For the Task Force to be effective it must have credibility with veterans, VA employees, and the public at large. It has become clear that Dr. Mayo-Smith’s leadership on the Task Force would undermine that credibility. Secretary Shulkin’s decision is an important step toward restoring confidence in the Manchester VAMC and improving care for our men and women in uniform.”