VA Hospital Under Investigation Defies Trump, Refuses To Comply With Subpoenas
By Mick Farthing|December 18, 2017
VA Hospital Under Investigation Defies Trump, Refuses To Comply With Subpoenas

We’ve been aware of scandals at the Veterans Administration for some time. In particular at VA hospitals. Either the wait for care was intolerable, or the care received left much to be desired. This is a national disgrace. We have called on these citizens to make sacrifices in armed combat on behalf of our nation. That they might receive inferior medical care is abominable.

To put it even more bluntly, no nation that ignores its veterans has any right to be victorious in battle. You either decide, upfront, to care for the wounded, or you don’t go to war. The US has been more or less at war to some degree for decades. Caring for the veterans is simply a cost of the war, much like fixing navy vessels. Only in this case we’re talking about human beings, not machines.

It appears that something is very wrong at a VA hospital in Pennsylvania. Sigrid Andrew is the head of that hospital and is under investigation as a result of whistleblowers. Even more damning is the fact she told her employees to refuse to respond to any subpoenas they might receive. So what is happening? Why is she trying to hide from the authorities?

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“A Pennsylvania Veteran Affairs hospital plagued by whistleblower allegations of wrongdoing has emailed a memo to all employees instructing them not to speak with federal investigators or comply with subpoenas, a violation of a U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.

“Instead, the 750 employees of the James E. Van Zandt VA Medical Center in Altoona are instructed to refer all inquiries from numerous open investigations — including the House of Representatives — to Director Sigrid Andrew, the memo states.

“‘Employees are not to respond to a subpoena to appear for testimony and/or to provide any agency document to include but not limited to copies of the Veteran’s protected health information,’ reads the memo, dated last month. It goes on to explain that any search warrant would be conducted by VA police.”

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It must be serious. After all, who sends out a memo instructing employees to violate federal law?

“Agencies currently conducting various investigations include the Office of Special Counsel, Dept. of Health and Human Services, House Veteran Affairs Committee, the Government Accountability Office, the VA Inspector General, and the newly created Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection.

“Whistleblower James DeNofrio has since forwarded a copy of the email to the House VA Committee, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), and the Government Accountability Office. DeNofrio, an Army veteran who is the business administrator for the Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services, has an open case of reprisal for alerting the VA Inspector General and the Office of Special Counsel to a physician who was allegedly working while impaired and failing his physician credentialing standards but still allowed to see patients from 2013 to 2015.

“DeNofrio also complained that 400 veterans were on a waiting list that was so extensive, seven of the service members committed suicide when they couldn’t get help.”

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We can stop right there. 400 veterans are on a waiting list to get treatment? And seven were driven to such despair that they committed suicide?

And this VA hospital director would have us to believe that no investigation is proper. In fact, she has demanded her employees violate federal law by ignoring subpoenas.

Director Andrew at least deserves to be fired for disciplinary reasons, if not investigated for criminal acts. To facilitate such investigations, subpoenas should be issued at once.

And if Andrew can be shown to have recklessly endangered the lives of our veterans, she must stand trial.

Source: Daily Wire

Mick Farthing
Mick is a freelance writer, cartoonist, and graphic designer. He is a regular contributor for the Patriot Journal.
Mick is a freelance writer, cartoonist, and graphic designer. He is a regular contributor for the Patriot Journal.
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