In the first of several planned visits this month, VA’s Acting Secretary Peter O’Rourke spent Tuesday, June 5, in New Hampshire meeting with state lawmakers and leadership at the Manchester VA Medical Center. The visit comes nearly a year after employees expressed concerns about patient safety and access to quality care there and a flood that damaged more than 60,000 square feet of the facility. It has since undergone a major overhaul including rebuilding of the entire leadership team and a restoration of the hospital.
“You have done a tremendous job,” O’Rourke told the hospital’s director, Al Montoya, and his staff during a tour of the facility.
O’Rourke participated in a leadership briefing and a town hall with VA employees, Congressional staffers and members of the Veterans service organizations. He also personally met with patients who receive critical care there.
“I am particularly impressed with the collaborative, transparent and efficient processes you and your team have developed to enhance Veteran care here,” O’Rourke told Montoya.
The acting secretary also visited with New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu who has been very supportive of creative partnerships between the Manchester VAMC and private hospitals. Sununu signed an executive order allowing VA clinicians to provide care at private institutions when the Manchester VAMC was hampered by flood damage. O’Rourke and the governor discussed the importance of continued partnerships and the Governor’s June 11 signing ceremony of Senate Bill 488 which will make the executive order law.
To view photos of the acting secretary’s visit to New Hampshire, visit VA’s Flickr page.