Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Still messing with the VA

I continue my saga with the VA...I decided to involve my congressman Charlie Dent... I sent him this note in my attempt to get a physical completed...

Mr. Dent,

I am writing to you to ask your assistance.

I am a retired Army Reserve Soldier. I served in Iraq from Sep 2004 to August 2005. I retired from the Army Reserve in July 2006 after 24 years active and Reserve Service.

I recived no physical upon my departure from Iraq nor when I retired from the Army Reserve. Within the first year back I attempted to get a physical at the Veteran's Administration Clinic in Allentown, PA. During the course of my initial physical I was scheduled for a blood draw. During that appointment I was manhandles by a phlebotomist and shoved to the front desk for rescheduling of blood work. Embarrased, I did not return.

In January 2009 having a change of heart I requested assistance from the veteran's administration to start process once again. I inquired what I needed to do to the Veteran's administration's Inquiry Routing & Information System (IRIS). That request was forwarded to Philadelphia office in Feb 2009 without resolve.

It is now 4 years since my return and today I called the listed number for the Allentown Clinic. I was told today that I should wait for a letter from the Allentown Clinic with an appointment - scheduling would be done by them without input from me.

This brings up two issues for me:
1. I have never been able to address or express dis-satisfaction with the employee at the VA that caused the disruption to my health care to start. The VA has never responded to my inquiry via their system with assistance.
2. As a working individual, I must coordinate my schedule for appointments thus a mailed appointment letter is an inefficent vehicle to plan care

All that I'm seeking at this point is the opportunity to speak with someone at the VA to schedule the appropriate physical events.
Thanks in advance for whatever assistance you may provide,

We'll see if he can assist

'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton


Coach Mark said...

Thank you so much for your service in Iraq and elsewhere.

Great site by the way.

Anonymous said...


I just read your post about the Allentown VA clinic. I have been going to the clinic for maybe 7 or 8 years now off and on depending on my insurance needs.

Please this is only my humble opinion so do not be offended.

Personally, the care I have received at the clinic has probably been the best medical care that I have received in my long life. My primary care physician, although brusque and hurried is very thorough. Sometimes TOO MANY tests and I can't keep up with the schedules when I am working full-time. I get more tests there than I have had all through my life. I can voice some complaints but none about the care.

I have always been treated with respect by my physicians and nurses. Some know me by sight and always say hello. My doctor and his nurses remember me even when I have not had care for a year or so.

Now some of the admin staff and yes phlebotomist have been sort of rude. But, really, don't we see that everywhere. Who smiles anymore and uses manners?

But back to complains, when dealing with the admin staff I just want to YELL, , "Come on, you can smile at least." What does a "how are you and a smile cost? ;-}

Seriously though, the care is a blessing. I was laid off in February and VA benefits are all that I can afford and they are free!

I really enjoy my primary care doctor (even though he spends 40 minutes filling out forms and 15 minutes talking to me), the time he does focus on me, he gets what I say and cares. That is more than I can say for my regular doctor who I pay and arm and a leg to.

The opthamologist was great, the psychiatrist was great, the dietician was great, my primary care physician and the nurses are great and the care is good.

I am very sorry that you did not have a positive experience. For me the care was better than what I have paid for in my regular life.

My advice is to talk to your primary care physician or the administrator of the clinic. My primary care physician would not allow that.



Stan68ar said...

Well Thanks Charlie - for nothing - no response, no assistance...hell not even a form letter

Congressman Charlie Dent - our representative...