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Home Columns A Cup O' Kapeng Barako US Navy Veteran Wields Cudgel Against Abusive VA Hospital Staff
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Columns - A Cup O' Kapeng Barako
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 21:13

 

A Letter of Complaint to the Administrative Officer of the Veterans Administration (VA) Puget Sound Hospital in Seattle

 

 

April 26, 2011 

 

 

From:   Jesus B. Jose

             6421 Nathan Ave. SE

             Auburn, WA  98092

   

 

To:     Administration

          VA Puget Sound Hospital

          1660 South Columbian Way

          Seattle, WA  98108

          

 

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

I am disabled veteran. On April 22, 2011, at 1:30 PM, accompanied by my wife, I went to the Eye Care Clinic of the VA Hospital for my exam.  After checking in, we sat in the waiting room. This room is a big open space full of veterans, sectionalized according to ailments. We sat in the section for the eye exams. Within this small section, there is a small television, and all the veterans there at that time were all watching the "Breaking News" on CNN.

 

While we were all watching, one of the female clerks barged in front of us and lowered the volume of the television that it became barely inaudible for us. A few minutes later, a second female clerk came and also barged in front of us to turn it down further and said in a scolding manner: "This noise must be turned down or I'll turn it off!"  

 

Some of the veterans there protested and said: "But we cannot hear anything now." Then one of the veterans sitting there said, "You better call someone who's in charge here. The volume should be within our hearing range."  When the clerk left, I turned the volume back up that was comfortable hearing for all of us there. 

 

Then another clerk came, a male clerk this time, and turned the volume back down, saying something about the volume being too loud that they cannot hear their phones ringing. So I said, "But that television is for us, veterans, not for you, guys." A few minutes after he left, two VA police came running in into this waiting room. One of the veterans and his wife, who were also in the waiting room, stood up to talk to the VA police. At this time, I was called in by the Eye Doctor for my exam.

 

When I came back out into the waiting room, my wife told me that the VA police questioned her and some of the people in the waiting because it was reported to the VA police that I GRABBED AND TWISTED BEHIND HIS BACK THE ARMS OF THE MALE CLERK.

 

Of course, no such thing happened. The witnesses who were questioned all said that no such thing happened. The police report that was written said that no such thing happened. This clerk blatantly lied to the VA police. If he can lie as blatantly as this, one wonders how many other lies he had made up about other veterans/patients of this hospital. A staff member working within a medical environment concocting misinformation could endanger patients' lives. 

 

Also, if only the two female clerks had asked us in a CIVIL WAY that the volume of the television should perhaps be lowered down, we would have cooperated with that request. But there were no requests made and heard. All the clerks involved in this incident barged in there in front of us, and arbitrarily cut the volume down to a level that cannot be heard at all by any of us. And to top that, one of the female clerks said, in a threatening voice: "This noise will be lowered down or I'll shut it off!

 

We are veterans, and most of us who come to this hospital for treatment, are elderly and disabled. And our disabilities are the results of our military service during war time.  We don't deserve this kind of disrespect and rude behavior or being talked down to by any of the staff of this hospital. 

 

When my wife and I left the area, I requested from one of the female clerks the name of the male staff member who concocted the "grabbing and arm-twisting" story to the VA police, as I would like to report the matter to the Patient Advocate of the hospital. This clerk haughtily answered: "If I feel I am in danger here in my job, I'll call the cops."

 

It seems that this clerk has the wrong assumption of what kinds of patients seek treatment at this hospital. We are not prisoners or dangerous inmates from correctional facilities. If we, veterans, are perceived as a threat to her safety, this clerk should not be working in a VA hospital.   

 

In the Patient Advocate Office, my wife and I spoke with Mr. Mel Scott about the matter. I also gave him the names of the three clerks who were involved in this incident.  Mr. Scott listened to us attentively and with concern, and said that he had only worked there for two weeks and is amazed at the "amount of complaints from veterans" seeking medical care at this VA Hospital. He said he'll investigate the incident and document my complaint.

 

I informed him that I'll be writing a letter myself to the administration of this VA Hospital and other higher-ups. Also to the VFW Post # 1741, which I am member of, and if it needs be, to the media, too.  And perhaps, also to Senator Pat Murray. Because I believe that this little incident is a reflection of the kind of shabby treatment that we, veterans, receive in this VA hospital, and this need to be brought out into the open, addressed to, and corrected, so as to be true to the hospital's motto and mission to "honor" veterans.

 

Thank you. 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Jesus B. Jose, CPO, USN (Ret)

Disabled Veteran      

 

 

CC:  Mel Scott, Patient Advocate, VA Hospital, Puget Sound

        Bill Peloza, Commander, VFW Post #1741, Auburn, WA

        Senator Pat Murray        

        KIng 5 News        

        Seattle Times 

        Senator Pat Murray

        www.mabuhayradio.com



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Comments (2)
1 Thursday, 28 April 2011 19:05
Jesse,

I really liked your letter to the VA. Some of this bureaucracy is still around. What a shame! Hope someone does something to get rid of those jerks that treated you badly, especially the one that lied.

Gerry Garrison, SCPO, USN (Ret)
Auburn, Washington

Life is short. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.
2 Monday, 15 August 2011 20:02
May 3,2011 I was seen at the Lexington Ky VA orthopedics clinic for my bi-anual knee injection. A student Dr. fouled up the injection. Later that night when the antistetic in the injection wore off I was in extreme pain. The next morning I attempted to contact the Lexington VA ortho. clinic. They refused to take my call. I went to a local Dr. for reliefe. I contacted the patient avolicate and made a complant. On May 10,2011 the Nurse who was in charge of the ortho clinic called me and very rudely inforned me I would report that evening in Lexington 126 miles away. I told her I might not be able to get someone to drive me. She informed me if I didn't make the appointment I would be written up as a no show. I attempted to make the trip. My car broke down about 80 miles from Lexington. They very grudgingly reset the appointment for May 12. On May 12 I reported to the Lexington ortho clinic,with a friend who is an ortho nurse. After wateing for over 4 hours I was seen by a student resident Md. who was very agressive and rude. He was asked if some test could be done to assertain if damage was done by the injection. He snapped that an MRI wouldn't show anything he needed to see. He then exited and informed the Head nurse who was in the hall that I had refused treatment. The nurse came into the exam room. She was very consouling for a few minutes. Then a VA security Officer appeared at the door. At this point the nurse began screeming get him out of my clinic, he is disorderly,threatning,vulger. The security officer told her he would evaluate the situation and act accordingly. The nurse really went went ballistic. She went down the hall screeming get hin out of my clinic. The officer informed me that the nurse had called the security office and charged that 2 men were in the clinic being threatning, blasfeming,vulger language and she wanted us arrested and removed fron the clinic. The officer didn't observe any such conduct so no charger were filed. Thank GOD for an honorable Security Officer. I have been in touch with Congressman Rodgers office and they are investigateing.

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