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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane couple met amid horrors of World War II; home may become haven for vets

Herbert and Mildred “Mickey” James found love amid their service in the 120th Evacuation Hospital, which followed Gen. George S. Patton’s march to Berlin through the Buchenwald concentration camp. The couple’s twin sons also served and are pondering converting their family home near the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center into a home for elderly veterans.

Woman’s 13,000 hours helping veterans leads to award

Jeannie Kyle is the person in charge of scheduling those 48 drivers and nine vans, and she’s racked up some impressive statistics, too. In August, the 62-year-old hospital service coordinator was honored with the Seal Award at the DAV National Convention in Atlanta for having amassed 14,000 volunteer hours.

ER doctors remain elusive for Spokane VA

The Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center hasn’t made any progress in recruiting emergency room physicians and will continue to operate an urgent care facility for the foreseeable future.

VA puts latest estimate of veteran suicides at 20 per day

WASHINGTON – On average, 20 veterans a day committed suicide in 2014, a slight decrease from the previous government estimate, but federal health officials are cautious about concluding the suicide problem is getting better.

Justices rule against VA in disabled vets contract dispute

The Department of Veterans Affairs failed to comply with a law aimed at increasing the number of federal contracts awarded to small businesses owned by disabled veterans, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

Mounting number of victims in VA hospital sex abuse scandal

A former physician assistant is accused of using his position to commit sexual battery and other crimes against at least seven patients at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Kansas, and a lawyer says yet more victims will emerge.

VA moves to fire three more Phoenix executives in scandal

Three more executives are being fired from the troubled Phoenix veterans hospital where a national scandal erupted two years ago over secret waiting lists and unnecessary deaths, the Department of Veterans Affairs said.

Rally centers on veteran, potential weapons confiscation in Priest River

A group of about 100 people in Priest River, Idaho, lined up outside a U.S. Navy veteran’s house Thursday to protest claims that federal officials plan to confiscate the man’s weapons. They were joined by Washington state Rep. Matt Shea of Spokane Valley – who described the event as a “defiance against tyranny” – and Idaho state Rep. Heather Scott of Blanchard, both Republicans.

VA center hits wall in recruiting ER doctors

Recruiting emergency room doctors remains a challenge for the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center, which hasn’t made any progress since December in filling vacant positions. The VA is working with a national recruiter and advertising in outdoor magazines in an effort to entice ER doctors to Spokane, said Ron Johnson, the medical center’s interim director. In the meantime, the VA will continue to offer an urgent care clinic from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, staffed with contract physicians.

Some VA centers miss wait-time targets

The majority of Veterans Affairs medical facilities in Washington are meeting timeliness goals for scheduling doctor visits, but centers in Walla Walla, Vancouver and Chehalis have yet to hit their targets. At the VA hospital in Walla Walla, the worst of the three, 4.6 percent of completed appointments were subject to delays of at least 31 days from Sept. 1 to Feb. 28, according to VA data reviewed by the Associated Press.

Firing of VA hospital director raises other questions

When the Veterans Affairs scandal was breaking last year, there was no delay from politicians and the press in identifying the villain: Sharon Helman. Helman, the former director of the Spokane VA center who had taken over the Phoenix hospital, became the face of the scandal, perhaps even more than former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. A VA inspector-general report concluded that Helman had falsified wait times and that veterans had died while waiting for care at the Phoenix hospital. In the end, she was fired by the VA in a manner that left many of the important questions unanswered and let most everyone else off the hook, despite a well-documented history of problems in Phoenix and elsewhere that pre-dated Helman.

VA fires troubled Phoenix hospital director

PHOENIX — Nearly seven months after the Department of Veterans Affairs became embroiled in a nationwide scandal, the agency fired the head of its troubled Phoenix hospital amid allegations of misconduct and cover-ups.