PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Veterans Administration hospital in Pittsburgh is trying to change a bad image.
Faced with patient deaths and complaints about care, the VA hosted a tour of its Oakland hospital Friday and promised more and better care.
VA hospitals across the country, including the one in Oakland, have been rocked by harsh criticism.
But a newly-hired hospital director is trying to get the word out that they’re doing a better job for vets.
“We’d like to let people know that we do a lot of good things, offer good delivery of services, we give exceptional care,” said Pittsburgh VA Hospital Director Karin McGraw. “Sometimes that story doesn’t get told.”
On Friday, VA officials showed off their cardiac rehab program, a small facility they say is offered in very few VA hospitals. The facility also offers job counseling services for disabled vets.
The hospital’s new director admits, the VA folks in Washington DC want a better image.
“Our secretary has wanted all of the VA centers across the country to share some of our best practices. What we’re doing to enhance access to veterans to care,” McGraw said.
For Vietnam vet Dennis Hughes, a cardiac patient, things are improving at the VA after decades of problems, especially since they started a Veterans’ Advisory Council.
“Before it was like, nobody paid attention to what veterans had to say. The reason why my council was created was because there was never input from veterans,” said Hughes.
So following a huge scandal, that’s even become part of the presidential campaign rhetoric, McGraw claims patient wait time is shorter and patient care for our vets is getting better.
“I think they’ve done a very good job in meeting those veterans’ needs, and we’re even more focused on it now,” said McGraw.