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Embattled head of Veterans Administration in New England to retire

New Hampshire Union Leader

March 07. 2018 2:22PM

MANCHESTER — The longtime head of the Veterans Administration in New England is retiring, VA Secretary David Shulkin announced Wednesday.

The departure of Dr. Michael Mayo-Smith as network director of the Boston-based region will be welcome news to whistleblowers at the Manchester VA Medical Center, who have called for his ouster for more than a year.

On Tuesday, U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter, requested Mayo-Smith’s resignation, joining like calls from state leaders of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion.

Shulkin announced Mayo-Smith’s departure as part of a housecleaning at the top of regional management following a scathing report from the VA Inspector General about conditions at the Washington, D.C. VA.

During a news conference, Shulkin named Brian Gamble to oversee the restructuring of three troubled networks, including Region 1 that includes all of New England.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said she supports the move.

“Given the persistent issues at the VISN level, I believe it is important to move in a new direction and support the decision to restructure VISN 1 leadership,” Shaheen said referring to Mayo-Smith’s retirement.

“I’ll continue to focus my efforts on helping New Hampshire veterans, and will keep working with Manchester VAMC Director Montoya and the VA New Hampshire Vision Task Force to ensure Granite State veterans have the resources and care that they have earned.”

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