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New VA director hosting town hall on Wednesday

Staff Report
July 24. 2017 10:22PM
AL MONTOYA 

MANCHESTER — The recently named director of the Manchester VA Medical Center will host a town hall meeting and listening session on Wednesday at Manchester Community College, the medical center announced Monday.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Manchester Community College’s multi-purpose room. Space is limited, and veterans will be given priority access, the VA said. Veterans are invited to voice their concerns and thoughts about medical care at the Manchester VA Medical Center.

“They can talk about whatever they want,” said Manchester VA spokesman Kristin Pressly. She said the meeting will last as long as necessary.

Al Montoya, the acting director of the Manchester VA Medical Center, will host the meeting.

Last week, the VA announced a top-to-bottom review of the Manchester VA Medical Center, after the Boston Globe reported about unnecessary paralysis of neurosurgery patients, flies in a VA operating room, and red tape that was hampering the Veterans Choice program.

The article quoted several VA physicians, who said they became whistleblowers after their complaints within the system went nowhere.

The article prompted the VA to remove Manchester Director Danielle S. Ocker and Chief of Staff James Schlosser pending the outcome of the review. Montoya was named acting director.

Pressly said the VA meeting is open to the public and anyone can attend, including the VA Office of Medical Inspector, which is undertaking the review.

In a statement, the Manchester VAMC said Montoya has begun steps to restore confidence by providing transparent and on-going communications to veterans, stakeholders and VA staff.

Next Monday, VA doctors/whistleblowers will host their own unsanctioned town hall from 4 to 7 p.m. at the American Legion Sweeney Post, 251 Maple St., Manchester. It is open to veterans or anyone interested in recent disclosures of questionable care at the VA.


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