Over the last seven months, I have came to Roseburg on a monthly basis to visit my dad who was a resident (until his passing) of the Roseburg VA Medical Center memory care unit. Almost every time I visited, I would read an article in the paper about the latest terrible thing that was happening at the VA. If my memory serves me correctly, they were all about the poor management of the facility.

These articles painted with a broad brush that the entire staff of the VA hospital were incompetent and were not taking care of our veterans at the level of care they deserve.

I think it is time that the staff at the patient level be recognized for the outstanding care they provide on a daily basis to those who stood up when they were called and served our country.

My dad lived in the Lodge (memory care) unit for veterans with dementia or Alzheimer's, and the care that he received was outstanding. Never once did he lack for anything during his time there. They provided him with the finest medical care, but more important, with love, respect, care and compassion. For any of your readers who have had contact with someone with either of these illnesses, they know how difficult it can be.

The staff of the lodge always, and I mean always, went above and beyond the call of duty taking care of these again veterans.

I think it is time the paper did a series of stories on the staff of the VA, so that you paint an accurate picture for your readers and not just a one-sided view that paints the people on the line who take excellent care of our veterans.

Ron Birchard

Lodi, California

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Perhaps you haven't actually read the articles that have been written by the News Review in the past few months. The staff, as you call them, were not the people being rightfully exposed in the articles appearing in this newspaper over the past five months. The articles have been about the leadership of the facility. Meaning, the director, the chief of surgery, people in upper management positions. The only negative article about the staff (the frontline people who actually do the work) was an article quoting the VAMC bashing it's former employee Laura Follett. Yes, the leadership couldn't wait to malign and disparage a dedicated veteran employee such as Ms. Follett. What you have said Mr. Birchard is true. The vast majority of the staff (the people who actually do the work) at the VA in Roseburg are dedicated, hard working, well intentioned individuals. It is the leadership that has been making decisions and taking actions detrimental to veterans and staff at the Roseburg VA. One can only hope that the VA shuffling of Doug Paxton and Dinesh Ranjan can start the healing process but much more needs to be accomplished to protect the veterans. Thank you for recognizing the wonderful staff at the VA lodge and so good to hear they kept their commitment to care for your father in spite of working in such an adversarial environment.

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