2 members of Congress tour the Roudabush VA Medical Center

July 1st, 2014 at 5:44 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

WISH-TV news was the only television outlet invited to take part in a tour of the Roudebush VA Medical Center Tuesday.  The invitation came from two members of Congress who are concerned about the level of care at Roudebush and other VA facilites.

Rep. Jackie Walorski and Rep. Susan Brooks teamed up for a guided tour of the Roudebush VA Medical Center.  Walorski is on the Congressional committee that oversees the Veterans Administration and had never been here before.

She came because Roudebush is one of 122 VA medical facilities flagged in a report by the Inspector General citing problems with wait times for appointments other issues.

“I wanted to come here and meet the people face to face,” she said, “meet the administrators face to face, the staff, more importantly talk to the veterans.”

One of the veterans she and Brooks met is retired Air Force pilot Ron Schaeffer of Westfield.  He provided them with a testimonial based on three surgeries and other hospital visits.

“So, I’ve spent a lot of time here,” he said.  “I’ve gotten good care here at the Roudebush Medical Center.”

Even so, Hospital Director Tom Mattice knows there is a problem with public perception.  “There is an image problem out there,” he said. “We are certainly trying to address it in anyway we can locally.”

Brooks and Walorski met privately with hospital officials and part of the tour was conducted without the media.

“We all wanna work on behalf of veterans, make sure we’ve got the best health system possible,” said Rep. Brooks.  “There’s still some issues.”

“I’m concerned about the level of care all over the state of Indiana,” said Rep. Walorski, “which is why I’m making these visits.”

Representative Waloski left the hospital with questions and, she said, a need to do more research.

She said that eventually she will issue a report on what she found out, but she also concluded by saying,”We’re going to turn this around.”

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