Senator demands answers from Wichita VA

WICHITA, Kansas – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran demanded a meeting with the director of the Robert J. Dole Va in Wichita. This week, he got his meeting.

“A particular issue at the Dole VA in Wichita dealing with the residency program at the KU School of Medicine (Wichita) and the residents of that program,” explains Moran. “It was determined by KU to remove the residents from a certain physician… My questioning of the director of the Dole VA hospital, as well as his superior boss in Kansas City, at the Dole VA, was, when did you know this, what did you do about it, (and) has any veteran health care been compromised?”

Moran said he got some, limited, answers.

“And what I wanted to do was make sure this was not something that the VA, particularly the VA nationally, has a habit of hiding things under the rug, sweeping past them, hoping no one pays any attention. And my purpose for the meeting was to indicate a willingness to work to make sure a good outcome occurs. The right outcome occurs and that the VA is working to make certain that, if there was a problem, if it’s proven, that there is a consequence to the behavior and that veterans are not harmed in the process.”

The VA leader for the Robert Dole Hospital in Wichita is Director Francisco Vazquez.

Vazquez did confirm to KSN recently there is an investigation underway in the matter.

“I can confirm that there is an ongoing investigation going on to the allegations,” said Vazquez. “And, being that it is an ongoing investigation, I really can not comment on the specifics of the allegations.”

Moran is also meeting with veterans this week around Wichita for Town Hall meetings.

“What I unfortunately saw and heard today was continued problems with the VA,” says Moran. “This helps me understand how this has still got to be a priority.”

Veterans who say they are still hearing of slow response times at the VA, from lengthy wait times on the phone to setting up appointments to see doctors, say they are glad to see a United States Senator asking questions.

“We’ve been pushing this for years because the VA has not been working,” says Dallas Love, Kansas Commander of the VFW. “And the VA system is supposed to take care of us. It’s not doing the job. I think he gets a better response than the veterans service organizations get. We get the lip service but when a Senator or Congressman comes in they seem to get a little better response.”

Vazquez also told KSN this month the VA in Wichita is working hard to get better response times and improve service.

Senator Moran says he will check back in one week to see what the outcome is of the internal investigation.

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