The Times West Virginian

Local News

July 8, 2014

Rep. David McKinley talks to veterans about VA issues

CLARKSBURG — Veterans in Harrison County got to voice their concerns and thoughts about Veterans Affairs hospitals.

During a roundtable discuss with U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., veterans with the Meuse-Argonne Post 573 expressed their concerns about dealing with Veterans Affairs hospitals in the area and the state. The roundtable was a part of McKinley visiting the area and meeting with VA directors and union workers.

Some of the concerns included communication between the VA and veterans, and the delays that they have to deal with. They also told McKinley some of their personal stories with VA hospitals.

Veteran Dick Hopkins told McKinley that he had a great experience with the VA hospital in Clarksburg but had trouble with the VA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Hopkins has heart issues and went to the Louis Johnson VA Medical Center for care.

“Out of this VA I’ve had nothing but good care,” he said.

Hopkins said he needed heart surgery and the VA in Pennsylvania continued to make him go through several testings, which delayed his surgery.

“I kept getting weaker and weaker,” he said.

He said with the delays on his surgery, he ended up in the hospital for three weeks. Eventually he was called in for

surgery, which benefited him tremendously.

Some of the veterans who participated in the discussion said that when they are able to meet with officials at the VA or set appointments, they have a good experience. One veteran said he had excellent service when he attended his appointments at the VA in Clarksburg.

Other concerns involved appointments and treatment issues. McKinley made a list of action items he will talk over with his staff about and hopefully determine solutions.

That list includes having Beth Brown, director of the VA hospital in Clarksburg, attend meetings involving state VA hospitals; more privacy, and follow-up calls to veterans six months after treatment.

McKinley told the veterans that one of the biggest problems with VA hospitals is emergency rooms. He said emergency rooms are being packed and several veterans needing care are having to wait a long time.

“That’s the biggest thorn everywhere,” he told them.

McKinley said having these roundtable discussions with veterans about their concerns and thoughts with the VA hospital is important because they are the ones who benefit from the hospitals.

“Some of those action statements are very doable,” he said. “I want to compare them from what I’ve had at other meetings and maybe get back to them so the VA can implement them.”

With the recent news of delays hurting veterans around the country, McKinley said it’s much better to hear the concerns and thoughts from those who are dealing with it daily.

“I don’t like what happened in Arizona where 40 people died waiting for care,” he said. “Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen here in West Virginia.”

McKinley said he will take all the veterans’ concerns and experience from Monday and learn from them. He said he will also work to fix those issues with the VA hospital in the area and the state.

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Farmington Poker Run Saturday

    The Town of Farmington Poker Run is scheduled for this Saturday.
     

    July 31, 2014

  • UMW Rally UPDATE: Roberts and Caputo arrested during UMW Pittsburgh rally

    After marching from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to the William S. Moorhead Federal Building in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, around 15 United Mine Workers of America (UMW) leaders were arrested.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fairmont bank robbery suspect in custody

    Officers from the Fairmont Police Department and the West Virginia State Police responded to an armed robbery Thursday morning at WesBanco in Marion Square.

    July 31, 2014

  • UMW leaders at rally: ‘We will stand up and fight’

    Several United Mine Workers of America (UMW) leaders spoke at a labor rally in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

    July 31, 2014

  • image.jpg HAPPENING NOW: UMW's Roberts says EPA rules will 'devastate Appalachia'

    During a press conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center United Miner Workers of America (UMW) president Cecil Roberts talked about the reason why 5,000 miners and their families are protesting the EPA's Clean Power Plan.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alva Groves Family -ts.jpg After 63 years, remains of Korean War veteran coming home

    After 63 years, the remains of a Korean War veteran are coming home.
    Those remains are of Cpl. Alva Clifford Groves, of Four States, who lost his life during the Korean War. Groves will be brought home to West Virginia on Tuesday, Aug. 5.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • UMW to protest EPA Clean Power Plan

    Members of the United Mine Workers of America (UMW) will be gathering today in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to protest the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan.
    Mike Caputo, vice president of UMW International District 31, will be one of the many Marion County and North Central West Virginia members participating in the rally and march at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

    July 31, 2014

  • Alecto executive to speak at chamber dinner

    The Marion County Chamber of Commerce’s 61st annual dinner is putting a spotlight on the future of Fairmont General Hospital.
    The keynote speaker for this year’s event, scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 13, is Mike Sarrao, executive vice president of Alecto Healthcare Services, the company that is in the process of purchasing Fairmont General Hospital.

    July 31, 2014

  • Korean War Veterans Memorial gets funds

    The Korean War Veterans Memorial in Marion County is closer to completion thanks to an allocation from the county commission.
    During Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners passed a motion to allocate $5,000 to the memorial. The money came from the county’s coal severance tax fund.

    July 31, 2014

  • Fairmont man faces heroin charges

    A Fairmont man has been arrested on heroin charges.
    Tyrell Anthony Smith, 24, of Fairmont, was arrested Tuesday by the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and has been charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin.

    July 31, 2014

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads