Wyoming Veterans Affairs administrator reported scapegoat for “following orders”


From FNC’s Jennifer Griffin:

Friends of Lt David Newman pressing to protect V-A administrator put on leave as part of the growing scandal in Cheyenne Wyoming – they say he is a “scapegoat and pawn”, urges V-A to publish his bosses – not the little guy.

Here’s what his friend put on Facebook:


While the media is sensationalizing and scandalizing the problems at the Veterans Administration as well as creating monsters out of victims, we would like to offer a differing opinion on the Wyoming telehealth coordinator recently put on administrative leave who was simply doing what he was told to do by his superiors.

David Newman is a veteran himself with over 20 years of military service. He spent a term in Bosnia and another in Iraq. Lieutenant David Newman was a platoon leader on his last mission in Iraq where he and 4 of his men were in a Humvee that was blown to pieces, but all the men survived. Dave could have been awarded a Purple Heart for this incident if he had allowed the army to medic him out. However, he chose to stay with all of his men through the duration of his tour of duty.

At the VA, Dave was the project lead for building a telecommunications truck to go as a mobile clinic to outlaying rural areas in northern Colorado and in Wyoming to better serve those veterans that would have difficulty driving long distances for medical care. He did all of the research and contracted out the work from the plans he had prepared for this project. In addition to being an RN, Dave has a CDL and drives the 18-wheeler to various communities on a scheduled basis. The truck has a waiting room, three exam rooms, a small lab, and the satellite communications equipment so that the traveling RNs and their patients may talk directly to doctors when needed. Attached are pictures of this project.

I think that the media needs to be asking some additional questions about this problem at the VA. (1) Why is there a shortage of medical personnel at the VA so that there aren’t enough appointment slots available so veterans can be seen in a reasonable time. We have had three armed conflicts in recent years with many more veterans in the system that need to be seen by doctors. The system is overloaded for the amount of VA medical personnel being employed. (2) We’ve been told that the VA scheduling system is antiquated and is actually difficult to use. Why hasn’t the system software been modernized? (3) While the two-week scheduling goal seems admirable, civilians often aren’t able to see their non-governmental family doctors within two weeks when they call for an appointment. Bonuses are given to hospital administrators and department heads that have programs that meet scheduling and other guidelines. Has the VA scheduling goal been set so rigidly that a great deal of pressure is placed on subordinates to find non-conforming ways to schedule patients to keep their VA bosses happy.

The only mistake that Dave Newman made was to allow those at the top of the chain to dictate how to do his job. He was specifically told by those above him how to “fix” the VA’s scheduling problems. Fire the higher ups that caused all of these problems, not the little guy.

Please see attached. This the Cheyenne VAMC scheduler who is on administrative  leave. Here is the URL: https://www.facebook.com/friends.of.david.newman