Our veterans have laid their lives on the line serving our country, and we owe them the absolute best in care and services when they come home. The Veterans Administration has been plagued by scandal over the past several years, with the New England administration and Manchester facility in particular committing egregious violations. Whistleblowers from the Manchester VA clinic last summer brought to light allegations of “Third World outcomes” for patients with spinal problems, flies in an operating room, unsterile equipment and other problems with the Manchester facility. The whistleblowers also called for the removal of the Director of the New England VA Healthcare system, Dr. Michael Mayo-Smith, due to allegations of mismanagement.
While it is encouraging to see the removal of the former top official in Manchester, and recent retirement of Dr. Mayo-Smith, there is still substantial work that needs to be done to reform the VA and ensure we are giving our veterans the care they deserve. When I am elected to Congress I will fight every day to implement a consistent continuum of care for our veterans that gives them the resources and support they need to transition back into civilian life, start new careers, and retire with dignity.
The VA’s mission doesn’t end with healthcare, as many veterans struggle to adapt to new careers and lack social support networks. We need to encourage collaboration between the VA and local organizations