SecVA: Veteran safety from Coronavirus VA priority


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Coronavirus (COVID-19) safety is a top priority, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said at the American Legion Winter Conference March 10 in Washington, D.C.

With Coronavirus dominating national news, Wilkie addressed VA’s response to the situation, including prevention steps at VA medical centers.

“We are making sure that those who come to us are screened,” he said. Wilkie also said VA is limiting visitors to its community living centers, or nursing homes.

“We need to do that to make sure that those who use VA are protected, that they are cared for,” he said. “We will get over this and we will make sure everything is done to protect those who have done so much for our country.”

Suicide prevention, benefits

Wilkie also talked about the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide, or PREVENTS, executive order. The goal of PREVENTS is to bring together stakeholders across all levels of government and in the private sector to work side by side to provide Veterans with the mental health and suicide prevention services they need. The secretary said VA is weeks away from the PREVENTS initiative task force report. The report will supply a roadmap for greater cooperation at the state, local and tribal level.

The secretary also offered high praise for Veteran Service Organizations like the American Legion. He said through continued engagement and the MISSION Act, Vietnam Veterans are about to receive additional benefits.

“We have finally published the regulations that give financial and material support to the families of our Vietnam warriors who take care of those warriors at home, and it is long past time,” the secretary said.

Wilkie said he has a personal interest in caring for Vietnam Veterans. His father received injuries in Cambodia during the Vietnam War. Wilkie said the nation should never turn its back “on those men and women who provide us the very freedoms that we breathe and live every day.”

The secretary also discussed another group of Vietnam Veterans. He said VA started accepting Blue Water Navy compensation claims in January. Wilkie added that VA expects 70,000 to apply for the benefits “that are long overdue.”


For more info on Coronavirus, see below:

Author

Adam Stump

Adam Stump is a public affairs specialist with VA’s Digital Media Engagement team. He is a retired Air Force Veteran who served 20 years, including two deployments to Afghanistan for detention operations and special operations.

Comments

  1. Amy M Elder    

    I am a Disabled Veteran, been fighting the VA since 2010 when I was told by Social Security that I am unemployable, as in I cannot get any gainful employment that would allow me to meet CoL.I and my family were caught unprepared for this pandemic. Between SSDI and VA disability benefits, we can cover monthly bills, but food and necessary everyday needs have gone up in price where we cannot get the same amount of food and necessary needs for the prices they now have after 2 weeks of quarantine.

    Veterans like me, whom have been waiting on their benefits for years, should have their benefit claims automatically approved.

  2. joslyn Abram    

    If you want to really see what our phy 2 doctors think go into myhealth vet and read what they put in your records about you. Very enlightening. They smile in your face talk crap and write stuff that is only half true or never happened etc. I let them know I read everything so now I primary watches what he says, or doctors you got to tell them too.some stuff is or can be quite damaging making you seem like you are crazy etc or take what’s said out of context cuz it’s not put in there right or wasnt really listening to you. Beware. Womens clinic is the hardest place to get seen. Have to fight to even get any appt.

  3. Confused and concerned    

    Why are agencies like LHI not providing masks and protection for those doing compensation and pension evaluations? The nature of my job puts me near Veteran’s face. I asked for protection and told it would not be provided. This is concerning to me.

  4. RBWS    

    You’re lucky…. I was told not to come in, I might give it to their staff…to just self quarintine and if it gets worse go to the closest ER ( at my expense)

  5. Kenneth F. Black Me.    

    Thank you very much for this update of information. I am a U.S. Army Veteran Retired. Have a great day and more! Take care

  6. Pat Tilson    

    I just called the Viera FL clinic and the response to screening was “We are?” Then he hung up.

  7. Julie Broughton    

    I get better service and coverage at the VA than I ever have at a civilian hospital including Beaumont in Royal oak AKA the fancy places. It all depends on triage and the matter of importance, and nothing comes easy you know that if you have ever had to hurry up and wait by being in the military the VA is honestly the best hospital I’ve been to and takes extremely good care of the people who go there everyone civilian or military have to go through triage and that’s a matter of principle. So do not take it out and the good men and women who service the veterans at the VA hospitals worldwide I am so sick and tired of everyone coming down on the VA when all they have done is extremely good service and care to me. That’s just my personal experience but I’ve been a disabled veteran for 15 years and I hold true to my statement. God bless America, and our commander and chief regardless of who it is

  8. Michael Tabor    

    Interesting that the VA says they are trying to prevent suicides while at the same time they have take away pain medications from vets with chronic pain (and those who were treated before the opioid hysteria began). While the 20 year old junkies on the street get as much as they (don’t) need. Our veterans injured protecting your freedoms are being tortured by CDC mandates of discontinuation or forced tapering. Shame on VA Secretary Robert Wilkie and the lying bastards in the administration for cutting the vets off of their much needed pain relief. I support POTUS more than anyone but he’s got this all wrong. The terrible numbers you see about ODs aren’t even prescription opioids but street drugs laced with fentanyl that have nothing to do with pain treatment for vets. Now many veterans have taken to the streets to find relief and and the VA just uses that to further their false narrative on addiction. These suicide rates would be much lower if veterans didn’t feel like the only way out is death rather than live everyday in pain and suffering.

  9. Lee Wilson    

    I’m a bit concerned about the way the VA hospitals are screening for the Coronavirus. It is mentioned on the CDC’s website that a temperature should be taken upon entry into a facility. All the VA is doing is asking if we are having signs and symptoms of a respiratory problem. It is a well-known fact that we veterans have been taught to suck it up if we are feeling bad. Why in the world would we admit that we are feeling sick. Take our temperature! It’s not a very hard thing to do.

  10. Daryl W    

    I love all these speeches about taking care of the Vets. Giving us the best of this and the best of that. How about this… Speed up some of the appeals and approve our disability claims. My original file date in nearly six years ago, I have been fighting a claim that I know I will end up winning. The VA is just playing games. Seriously want to help, approve these damn claims!!

    1. Milton G Campbell    

      My husband goes to the VA Center here, in Erie. Aside for the fact that they provide excellent care in normal situations, every person who enters the building is asked a variety of questions AND the their temperature is taken. He didn’t realize that the last time that he had an appointment and walked by the tables that were set up at the entrance. He was promptly called back and went through protocol before he could even get through to the hallway to the office. ERIE VA DOES AN EXCELLENT JOB!!!

    2. Sonny E    

      My sentiments exactly VA needs to process claims in a quick manner because when they are going to deny it it takes no time for them to do that but when it comes granting a claim they drag their feet.

  11. ==    

    Was at my local VA (William S. Middleton Memorial) twice in the last two days and once at its auxiliary unit, each time screened… have to say “a joke!” A few questions and off you go. Yes, single ingress, single egress. At no time during the screening a temp was a temp taken… screening???? Only takes seconds. Certainly a factor in ID’ing COVID-19. At least there was lots of hand sanitizer available.

  12. JOHN PAYNE    

    I ASKED THE SAME QUESTION TODAY IF WE WERE QUARANTINED OR CONFINED
    MY ANSWER WAS WE COULD NOT LEAVE THE UNIT FOR OUR SAFETY I ASKED TO BE TESTED I WAS TOLD I HAVE TO HAVE THE SYSMTOMES FIRST

  13. Jerry l Robb    

    I live in Atlanta and am self-quarantining for the flu, I hope. VA does not have test kits , I was told by the VA. Great news.

  14. Harold Hickok    

    I have a question which I hope you will take very seriously: If I call a crisis line for something other than suicidal thoughts, and I tell the representative who takes the call that the call has nothing to do with suicide in any way, how do I get the representative to let go of the subject of suicide? I have had representatives who have tried disingenuous games, or who have clung to suicide to the point of the ridiculous and worse! How do I get them to drop the subject?

  15. Michael Riddell    

    The VA is useless unless you r disabled
    I did 22 years 6 months on Active Duty and have to pay ever for a primary care doctor.
    It suck, you defend your country for 22 yrs and because I dont have a purple heart or any type of disability , the hell with me ..
    Thank VA for your uncaring of us veterans

    1. Dean Edwards    

      Detroit V A Hospital entrances have shut down to two main entrances from both parking garages. They have screeners for symptoms of virus.
      Hospital is shutting down all non essential clinics with fitness center and some others.
      Please call hospital to verify your appointments.
      (313) 576-1000

    2. R. Michael Edgington    

      I am sorry that you have had difficulty at your particular location. I do not think you should cast aspersions on the entire system for your issue. I came away from my 4-year tour with no Viet Cong-inflicted damage but my VA center is exceptionally good. Good doctors, good nursing, good admin. I have never in 4 years of using the VA had anything but support from caring people at the VA Medical centers.
      Former Sgt. R. M. Edgington, USMC

  16. D. J. Stevenson    

    EXCELLENT POINT, Art.
    The local Chillicothe OH VA has shut down one of the two entrances to the facilities and every person requesting entry must supply information for reason for being there..including employees. At a meeting of VFW #108 Aux. last p.m., I learned there is one particular unit that is ‘quarantined’ – whatever & however they define that word.
    In my humble opinion, the way Trump has chosen to address, or not, this issue clearly demonstrates his basic incapabilities of serving any significant segment of the USA population,and further demonstrated by Mr. Wilke and the OH Governor, Mike Dewine who said on “Morning Joe” this morning that he agrees with Trump; but, in his next statement, he said his main concern is for all Ohioans. Then a minute ago I heard from a local librarian that Mr. Dewine is to have another press conference addressing just how he plans on addressing the coronavirus issues within this state. Many of our colleges (OSU, OU Baldwin Wallace, etc.), are closed except open to online studies only. Others don’t even offer online studies. All this consternation is complicated by the fact that Trump & his cronies have denied all of us ready access to the testing. Because? Trump may be more concerned about his money & monied cronies than the health of every American.
    I have a tentative appointment w/a VA public safety officer on the 18th, if that is possible by then. This appt. is to schedule a significant gardening program for the veterans’ benefit in, or who access the facilties’ various units. We’ll see. I remain hopeful for a successful culmination of this Jackson District of the Garden Club of OH project for our vets…sometime this year!, We can wait because our primary concern is for the safety and well-being of our veterans and their families and care-givers.

    1. Michele Cooper    

      It would be nice to leave politics out of the discussions here, there is enough division in our country, let’s be bigger people as veterans.

      1. Johnson Caruthers    

        Politics is the reason that this virus is now widespread in every state and threatens my loved ones.

    2. John Cannon    

      Depends on your income
      I get good care.
      When I worked I had to pay a co-pay and it was less than I would with most insurance and my scripts were $6.00 each I am satisfied with my care when I was 22 I was still in service it was 20 years after I got out before I found out I could use the VA. You must have a good retirement. You can always days pay for private insurance.

  17. David Hill    

    Hand sanitizer can be made if you can’t find any. You will need Rubbing alcohol and some type of alovera gel or any other type of gel like coconut, or seed oil. Use at least 1/4 cup of alcohol 70% minimum and 1/2 cup of gel. Don’t use anything with soap in it. Mix or shake well frequently to ensure that product is mixed. Also make sure you can smell the alcohol.
    I hope this helps some people. I had to do this myself. I live in western Washington state so I feel your pain.
    Be safe and be smart. Common sense is a must for us all.
    Sincerely! SSGT Hill USMC

  18. Michele Cooper    

    I would like to know how the VA is testing for coronavirus?

  19. Michele Cooper    

    I agree they should allow immediate family members to visit, they can supply protective equipment like masks and gloves, etc. to avoid any exposure to anything.

  20. Michele Cooper    

    I get excellent care at the VA.

  21. Richard Dryja    

    I am scared, to get this surgery- if I feel not safe to do at this time.

  22. ron wilson    

    The American Legion may do useful work, but the local facilitiy in our town seems basically to be a bar for drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a neurotoxin which contributes to many of the social and psychological problems we are dealing with.

    1. Dan Pierpoint    

      Same with the one here in Fayetteville, AR. Alcohol everyday. With an occasional Bingo and Taco night.
      Now the VA in Rodgers, AR helps vets get settled in their new apt. or house by supplying free household items, and are an alcohol free facility.

    2. Mary K Berry    

      Amen. That seems to be the norm, VFW is the same. Haven’t been to either since husband passed from Agent Orange

  23. david holmes    

    The VA is probably a major cause of suicide The way it treats veterans with PTSD

    1. Michele Cooper    

      I get excellent care at the VA.

  24. Andre Ricardo Moore    

    Hello I’m a 30% disability Veteran living in Germany and looking to get the new VHIC card with out flying to the U.S. Just to take a picture when I visit the bases here with friends my picture is in the computer?
    Thanks. I’m not a robot.

  25. Jennifer J Carlson    

    This really doesn’t give us any information. For example, I have systemic lupus, an autoimmune condition and I am on basically chemo infusions for it and other heavy duty immune suppression drugs. I already self-isolate due to these drugs generally, even without coronavirus threat. So now I have a routine annual appointment at VA medical center that also presumably will be treating patients who have coronavirus in another wing and it seems rather ill advised to go to a nonessential appointment while on immune suppressors and immune compromised (and with no masks available since they are sold out everywhere) just to be able to retain my VA benefits by checking in for one of my annual appointments. It is an important annual appointment though. But it is not an emergency or “urgent” per se. So I have been emailing back and forth about this appointment and am going in for it but I am very nervous about it and wish it could be farmed out to community care rather than conducted at a VA Medical Center where I have little doubt a coronavirus patient surely will present themselves sooner or later in their ER or elsewhere. So monitoring me for symptoms when I go there does nothing to make me feel better about the fact that the entire building is designed to treat those types of patients and yet in my condition I really have no business being there at all unless I have some emergency need to be there. So this seems dumb and yet here you are putting up a headline about “Veteran Safety” with no substance in the text to actually give me any further guidance.
    Also, those math verification puzzles in order to post your comments here are too complex for disabled veterans and as usual reflect a tone-deafness typical of VA. :\

    1. Kriss Sprinkle    

      Jennifer, I found this in another blog post:
      Call before visiting
      If you’re a Veteran seeking medical care, call before visiting—even if you already have an appointment. Or you can sign in to My HealtheVet and send a secure message. You may be able to get diagnosed and receive care through VA telehealth without having to come in at all.

      https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/72615/vas-recommendations-help-slow-covid-19-virus/

      Telehealth may be a better option for you at this time.

    2. Jada Jack    

      Hey! I’m a vet w/ RA on those same immunosuppressive medications, and these sure are scary times for us! I’d highly encourage you to call the clinic you’re scheduled with and Ask if a telephone conference (Or telehealth which is like FaceTime) in conjunction w/ a rescheduled face to face visit could be considered. If they order all your lab work & xrays in advance (To document any changes from prior baselines) there really is minimal to be done IF YOU FEEL YOUR CURRENT MEDS ARE WORKING…
      If you are flared and hurting; (A) even more reason not to be out (B) they should still be eager to telehealth the appt w/ all the diagnostic tools completed in advance… the last thing the VA wants is a soldier to get COVD19 while visiting their facility!!
      Look how bad poor LifeCare of Kirkland looks right now?!! (Walk of shame people in charge of that facility — Walk.Of.SHAME!!! How many hundreds of lives were effected by the 60 employees leaving and returning to work everyday like nothing was wrong – no self-quarantine to work & home only.. just poorly managed.) Rant Over —
      Best of luck to you in your pursuit of wellness❤️

      PS: and that math problem at the end is ridiculous- just sayin’.

    3. Eileen Erwin    

      Please look into Dr. Steven Gundry. He has written books about the foods we eat and how they affect our bodies. He has helped people with Lupus. I have been on this eating plan for about 3 weeks. I have arthritis and pre-diabetes and neuropathy. I have not had any pain in my body for the past two weeks. It is so nice to walk and wear regular shoes again! Just take a look and decide for yourself.

  26. Kevin C O'Dunn    

    The following is unclear, is every vet scheduled for an appointment meant to contact the hospital prior to an appointment for a screening or is it that those who have symptoms of illness are to contact prior to coming in? Also, is it that with each appointment a verbal Q&A will preclude an appointment? I have an upcoming Dermatology appointment for March 16th in Tampa. I am not symptomatic. If the statement simply read, “If you’re coming in for a health care appointment, call or send a secure message through MyHealtheVet…” but to do what? What is the point of this statement? The statement falls apart. I understand that when I visit that I will be asked some questions… or will I be tested for HCoV-19? Testing is not implied, but nothing is clear so it is like most of the information coming out of the government concerning this crisis.

    Magazine style writing is the wrong way to go right now. Be direct and give each step. All these words I’ve written have not moved me closer to understanding what the VA expects from me. If how the statement reads is still clear to you, respect that I am likely not alone in this. No one should have to fill in the blanks.

    Peace

    “If you’re coming in for a health care visit, stop and call first, or send a secure message through MyHealtheVet—even if you have an appointment. You may be able to get diagnosed and receive care through VA telehealth without having to leave home. If you do visit, plan to get there earlier than usual to answer some simple screening questions. It’s for everyone’s safety!”

  27. Henry R. Alford    

    Humm! What the heck is the symptoms of the Wuhan Virus? Are the different than the one of flu?

  28. Ana Rosa Litteken    

    My husband passed away on April 13, 2013. I have not seen a doctor. I am in need of a Doctor. Am I still allow to attend VA HOSPITAL. I have Fibromyalgia, High Blood pressure, Thryroid low, high cholesterol, asthma, sinus, etc.
    I live in Lake Nona. I used to go to VA Hospital in Broward county.
    Information greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.

    1. Lawrence Kelley III    

      YES. As the surviving widow of a veteran you are still entitled to healthcare & other benefits. If your husband was receiving VA disability, you are entitled to a percentage of his disability payments. Don’t ask VA employees since I’ve learned over the years that most of them have no or minimal training in the VA disability compensation, pension & other surviving spouse benefit issues. Try to find a lawyer near you who handles VA disability & other benefit claims. Don’t waste your time calling the VA 800-827-1000 number since they also have minimal training and often gave me incorrect information, etc. Hope this helps you.

  29. E Wash    

    It states that the VA is limiting visitors to community living centers and nursing homes. Does that include limiting nurse visits to the homebound Veterans and the Veterans in the caregiver programs or the Veterans with compromised immune deficiencies ? Limiting home visits to Veterans only for emergency situations until the amount of time has passed for the Coronavirus to controlled.

  30. Daniel west Hilburn    

    The VA hospitals need to provide gloves and mask to the senior population of veterans who have underlying medical conditions who would be in grave danger if they contracted coronavirus. It would also be nice to have access to hand sanitizers and antibacterial soap. All of these should be offered at the VA medical facilities they are all hard to get items in the stores right now. The VA however could make it mandatory to supply these items to veterans who are at high risk of death if they get the Corona virus. I asked my medical team at the Spokane va medical center (Dr. Olivia’s team)to please send me gloves and mask,I was told they were not authorized to do that and I didn’t get the gloves or mask. This needs to change.

  31. Tamara Matteson    

    I believe our heavenly Father will protect us all and we will get through this virus, but we need to protect our elderly, and our Vietnam Veterans, such as my father! He has 3 appointments Fri at the VA! I appreciate the actions that have been taken to protect our Seniors and our Vets! Thanks and God bless America!!

    1. Johnson Caruthers    

      Why on earth do we need to protect the elderly when you noted that “heavenly Father will protect us all”.

  32. Eric a morrell    

    That article didn’t tell me crap about Coronavirus and what the va is doing….more like just blowing smoke up butts to keep people calm.

  33. Roger Thestrup    

    Can Veterans get help getting Hand Sanitizer through the VA? It seems everywhere is out of it. Can’t buy it anymore, people are buying the whole shelves of it at one time. Anti-Hoarding laws should be enforced in commercial venues!! Please help us Disabled Veterans get this potentially life saving item.

  34. Neal Hamilton    

    When will the VA start testing Vets for this virus?

  35. Edwin hissner    

    Never did anything for my ringing in ear.said it was from my job as a civilian. Had ringing when I was serving in Vietnam..

    1. David Beard    

      Keep trying. Get a second opinion from a civilian certified audiologist. They will determine if your tinnitus is as likely as not from your service.

  36. Robert M doan    

    I am 88 years old a veteran and I am so pleased when I see the veterans department working for veterans, taking care of our veterans and sincerely interested in our veterans. I’m sure you’ve heard this before if it was for the veterans there would be no United States. Thank you for all the help that you’re doing for the veterans and their families. I want you to know that I am supporting our president Donald Trump and his policies and I’m sure that his efforts are showing through your departments thank you very much Robert M doan

    1. David Beard    

      Keep trying. Get a second opinion from a civilian certified audiologist. They will determine if your tinnitus is as likely as not from your service.

    2. S. Dark    

      How could you, Trump is letting Clovid-19 get out of control, he is a total disaster for this country. FYI I hope you not on Medicare because he is reducing its budget. Have you listened to his bull. I don’t understand some people

  37. Arthur Waugh    

    Now that the blue water Navy is taken care of, how about the Thailand vets that were exposed at all the bases. The VA routinely denies everyone except security police, dog handlers and some POL service members.
    I was denied because I had no service time complaints or treatment for the heart condition I now have. I got out of the service a few days short of my 23rd birthday. How many 20-23 year olds were treated for heart issues in the early/mid 70’s.
    More of the VA dragging their feet and waiting for those affected to die off.

  38. Bridy Lane    

    Only MD at Ben Archer, Truth or Consequences is leaving March 31,2020. Then they have only two nurse practitioners for all of the veterans. No one will have a MD as a PCP

  39. Stephen B Kimler    

    I went to the Fort Worth VA clinic the other day because I’ve been sick for 7 days with a dry cough, nauseous and body aches. She asked me some basic questions gave me some antibiotics and sent me home. I asked about if I should take a Corona test and she said they didn’t have them.

  40. Teresa Grant    

    Will “someone” Please look at the Charlie Norwood VA. I’ve sent many massages. No one is listening. This va is substandard especially regarding women veterans. The Women’s clinic doesn’t answer the phone, take more than 72 hours to respond to secure messages. In the last year alone I have contacted the patient advocate at least once a month. Totally unacceptable!!!

    I’m not alone. I have more than 5 women veterans w similar issues. I’d be more than happy to discuss if anyone gives a rat’s ass out there. Seems no one cares here.

    1. RBWS    

      It’s the same in Texas…female service connected vets are treated like an inconvenience….if you don’t need or want birth control, a pap smear, or a mammogram…then they act like you’re taking their time for “real” vets ( and that was actually said to me a couple of times

  41. Art Azay    

    Dear Vet Affairs Team,
    I had to pause while reading your lead story, which said:
    “Coronavirus (COVID-19) safety is a top priority, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said at the American Legion Winter Conference March 10 in Washington, D.C.”
    So. A large group of old vets like myself (age 72) congregate in one place during a virus pandemic.
    Sarcastic Question: What could go wrong?
    Serious Question: Who thought that was a good idea?
    Just wondering,
    Art Azay
    USAF SAC ’66-’70
    Vietnam ’69-’70

  42. Michael Richardson    

    I walked right in the door yesterday for my appointment. No one questioned me about Covid. There was no signage warning veterans about the virus. My doctor, who was wearing a mask, didn’t mention any precautions.
    I didn’t visit some clinic in the boondocks. I went to the Ortho clinic at the DC VAMC.
    Maybe before the VA puts out this kind of information they might want to visit the clinic right down the street.

  43. Daniel L Harding    

    If Coronavirus is so dangerous and contagious, than I have to ask why are the VA police stopping veterans at the front door and asking them if they have been out of country in the last fourteen days. Then they ask you if you have any symptoms of the flu.
    I informed them i did not have a flu, but if i had, they would all have been contaminated.
    The officers wore no protection gear and were standing in a crowd of vet’s entering the VA Hospital. Anyone infected and coughing at that time would have to be quarantined along with everyone else.
    Proper PE is essential for unknown viruses as well as blood born pathogens.
    Also another female officer was making people repeat their answers in loud and boisterous disrespectful language. I yelled back at her “Please don’t shoot nobody!”
    There needs to be an immediate training and procedure change for these VA police officers.

    1. Joe McDonald    

      Same thing with me on Wednesday of this week. They asked the 3 or 4 questions while we were standing in a group. The Officer asking the questions also was right up in my face asking the questions. There were no respect for my personal space at all. But above that, I am being told to stand at a distance from people and this person was right in my face.

      I appreciate the effort to start to try to control admittance to people to the centers but better training is definitely needed in how to handle these new procedures.

  44. S W    

    Why am I not able to make a reply???? I just “posted” a reply and it isn’t showing up.

  45. S W    

    Is this article your big announcement that I can’t enter my V.A. because it has been locked down? Thank you for the heads up! I am so annoyed. I went to my V.A. because I had an appointment there and I couldn’t enter the building. I had to walk around the building to the opposite side to enter and then I am verbally threatened by a woman who was there to “screen” everyone as they entered to make sure they didn’t have the virus. She obviously doesn’t understand sarcasm.
    As a DISABLED VETERAN I feel that the V.A. is preventing me from entering for my appointments and VIOLATING my rights under the ADA. Under the ADA all buildings will be accessible. One question asked was whether or not I had had any problems with breathing. My answer was that my COPD was now acting up because of having to walk around the building!!!

    The signs on the doors are NOT obvious. They are easily ignored as just another poster for some thing going on at the V.A. or in the community. Why weren’t they in a bright neon color that would stand out? Better yet, all the colleges had the common sense to another in the local newspapers whether or not they intended to close at spring break. Why couldn’t the V.A. have made an announcement in the newspapers to inform veterans of this ridiculous fiasco and scare mongering about the virus????? If your intent is to protect the patients in the nursing home units or on the surgery wards then those are the only places that need this kind of idiotic screening, NOT the entire facility!!!

    Quite frankly, maybe all veterans should cancel their appointments and reschedule them AFTER the panic is over, especially in light of the fact that too many of your employees get paid to do nothing!

  46. James Benton    

    I am a veteran who served during peace time ( July 1976 – July 1983). I am having a problem getting benefits because the VA is unable to find my records. I am not sure whether they were destroyed in St Louis during the fire or flood but it is making my life very difficult what can I do!!!!!

  47. Américo Torres    

    Aquí en Puerto Rico no pasa nada. No información.

    1. Lorrie Thomas    

      I will start by saying that I am eternally grateful to the VA for all they have done for my father, a Cold War Coast Guard veteran. My father has lived in a community living Center for the last 18 months after suffering in the amputation of his lower left leg. He also is on dialysis and has a number of medical conditions. So, thanks be to God the VA lets him live at the community living Center as he is to medically complex for traditional long-term care. The staff at the CLC is nothing short of amazing. They take wonderful care of my father.

      Late on the afternoon of March 10, I was contacted by a doctor at the CLC where my dad lives. They said starting on March 11, no visitors would be pretty permitted at the CLC. Although I understand their reasoning, I don’t agree with a full on ban on all visitors. People that live in the CLC don’t get out a lot for the most part. So, visitors are very important for their mental health. I have been going to the CLC six or seven days a week for the last 18 months to visit my father every day. Now, I cannot visit him at all. Medicine and treatments can fix the body. The company of a loved one can warm your soul.

      On March 11, I was told I could not attend any of my fathers appointments with him. My father is legally blind, heart of hearing, and confined to a wheelchair. On March 12 he will go to the podiatrist where he likely will receive bad news on his right foot. I was told I cannot go but a doctor would provide an update. I’m not sure if that doctor is also going to provide my dad with a hug and a reassuring chat after His appointment. You see, my father lost the lower part of his left leg in 2017. Now, it sounds like there’s a good chance he has an infection on his right foot. When you have to hear hard news, i think it’s it’s easier when someone loves you will be there to cheer you up after.

      I really think the VA should reconsider their policy and establish some type of screening for immediate family members to at least be able to visit in a secluded spot in the CLC. Mental health is just as important as physical health to these folks.

    2. Stan Lore    

      The fire at the RPC was in 1973. That isn’t the problem with your records

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