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Feds Investigating Jackson VA Hospital

By Daniel Cherry | Published 25 Mar 2013 06:04pm | comments
The Department of Veterans Affairs is investigating whistleblower complaints at the G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Hospital in Jackson.  A federal investigation agency says it's found a pattern of problems at the facility.
 
In a letter to the President and Congress, the Office of Special Counsel raised concerns about the G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center. The letter references whistleblower complaints about management practices at the hospital. Ann O'Hanlon, with the Office of Special Council, says there are two new complaints, but past complaints are being referenced due to the severity of the situation.
 
"We took the unusual step in that letter of referencing three other whistleblowers and their allegations about Jackson, some of which have not been investigated by the Veterans Administration because our level of concern about what seems to be happening on the ground there in Jackson."
 
There are 5 complaints over 6 years. They range from understaffing, improper sterilization practices, and a doctor with more than 3 decades at the medical center alleges a radiologist failed to properly read thousands of radiology images. James Theres, spokesman for the medical center says many of these issues have been resolved, but officials will continue to investigate the claims.
 
"The most recent one does go back to one that has been resolved so we're going to look back into that and see if there are any other additional recommendations, things that we may have missed. That's what we're undertaking now. Two of the five are still open and are going to be looked at."
 
Theres adds, the radiologist who is accused of not reading images is no longer employed by the hospital. Dr. Joe Jacobs is a radiologist at the hospital and is also the nephew of the medical center's namesake Sonny Montgomery. He acknowledges the hospital had problems in recent years, but he says he's confident that's been cleaned up.
 
"I feel that we welcome any investigation because we can certainly pass any investigation out there because the hospital is really doing well, and I believe that we do a better job here than you can find most any place in the state of Mississippi."
 
Congressman Bennie Thompson and Senator Roger Wicker have both called for investigations of the facility. The VA will hold a town hall meeting in the coming weeks to hear concerns of veterans. 

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