Dr. Calhoun earns respect
Many in our community know of the battle to restore the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center to a fully functioning hospital. The position of veterans has been that we need the Intensive Care Unit to provide adequate care for the more than 100,000 veterans in southern Oregon and northern California. This position has been criticized by the VA leadership, the same leadership that gives out numbers as phony as three dollar bills and adjusts wait times to justify hefty bonuses at the taxpayers’ expense.
The Douglas County Veterans Forum has taken the ICU position not only for veterans, but also for the hardworking VA employees who work face to face daily with veterans’ health needs. DCVF’s position is not for those who sit in lofty, plush offices, seemingly concerned only with numbers, how to spend money that looks good on an annual budget paper, or most importantly, how to justify their annual personal bonuses that come as regularly as Christmas.
I recently read the U.S. Senate report, “Friendly Fire: Death, Delay and Dismay at the VA.” It sickened me. I’ve always been unbelieving of the VA leadership proclamations that our ICU is not justified because of “safety issues” and a lack of need.
Finally, there’s a statement from within the VA that I have the utmost faith in and trust completely: The News-Review’s June 27 guest column by VA Dr. Philo Calhoun. He has the highest respect of those he works with and those he serves. This justification for a low complicity ICU is a report that could be titled: “Truth and clarity from within the VA.”
An ICU is not only the right thing to do, but it would put into action the words on our county signs: “We Honor Veterans.”