Tag Archives: Homeless vets

Phoenix Veterans Affairs Hospital Exposed for Keeping a Secret Waiting List that Caused the Death of 40 Veterans

Video posted by Washington Free Beacon Courtesy of CNN

According to CNN, the Phoenix Veterans Affairs hospital kept a secret waiting list; as many as 40 U.S. veterans have died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix VA Hospital. People familiar with the way Phoenix V.A. Hospital operates believe that there may be more than 40 deaths. However, upper management have devised the plan to create two lists, one is the real list, and the other is the decoy list, also coined as the secret waiting list.

When a patient is added to the secret waiting list, then dies waiting for an appointment, they then are removed from that list, ensuring that know one will ever know that the patient was ever there, hence the name “secret waiting list.” The decoy list was created to give the impression of the V.A’s efficiency by alluding to the fact that veterans are being seen and treated within a timely two-week cycle; when in reality it may be several months to over a year before veterans are actually seen and treated.

 CNN correspondent, Anderson Cooper, interviewed a retired VA Physician, who stated that the managements plan was to destroy the evidence of there ever being a waiting list, all for the sake of looking good by showing an improved wait time for patients to be seen and treated. However, they were too late with that plan before being exposed.

The V.A. Hospital is the largest healthcare facility in the country and Serves 8.7 million veterans. According to the Veteran Affairs, “they operate the nation’s largest integrated health care system with more than 1,700 hospitals, clinics, community living centers, domiciliary, readjustment counseling centers, and other facilities.”

Infographic Courtesy of Associate Press

Infographic Courtesy of the Associated Press

According the International Business Times, there is evidence of bonuses awarded to executives at troubled VA hospitals and lengthy ongoing disability claims backlog. This has happened on numerous occasions, more recently in Roanoke Virginia.  The House Committee on Veterans Affairs even created a website  highlighting the V.A’s short comings, here is a copy of a letter  sent from the House Committee on Veterans Affairs to President Obama and Secretary Shinseski, April 2013, regarding the claims of the V.A’s slow response time .  Granted, the VA does have numerous veterans that need servicing, however it is inexcusable to allow anyone to die, more specifically a veteran that has entrusted their lives into the hands of the VA. Why should any veteran die simply to have the hospital and management look good at getting veterans in and out in a timely fashion, and to receive a bonus on top of it for doing so?

Here is a clip of one Atlanta’s homeless veterans, Jay Williamson, as he complains about what he had to endure due to the V.A’s slow response about his living situation. Because of the V.A’s slow response, Williamson lost his home and is now living in the Atlanta Mission, a homeless shelter.  Williamson, previously interviewed, complains of waiting for over two years to receive help. “What I can’t understand, is they have all of that government money, I can’t understand why they’re not doing anything; we have needs also” says Williamson.

Veterans, including John L. Stamatiades, left, hold a banner at a news conference to announce a lawsuit against the federal government, alleging the misuse a 390-acre plot of land in West Los Angeles that was donated some 130 years ago to house veterans who need care after traumatic military experiences, at the Los Angeles Veterans Administration center in Los Angeles Wednesday, June 8, 2011. The suit alleges that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs leased much of the property at its West Los Angeles facility to private entities, instead of using it for veterans' permanent supportive housing. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Veterans, including John L. Stamatiades, left, hold a banner at a news conference to announce a lawsuit against the federal government, alleging the misuse a 390-acre plot of land in West Los Angeles that was donated some 130 years ago to house veterans who need care after traumatic military experiences, at the Los Angeles Veterans Administration center in Los Angeles Wednesday, June 8, 2011. The suit alleges that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs leased much of the property at its West Los Angeles facility to private entities, instead of using it for veterans’ permanent supportive housing. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

With the recent uncovering of the secret waiting list, how much more is the public unaware? What other questions needs addressing concerning the V.A? The public needs to know what else is happening behind closed doors that negatively affect the veterans. What can communities do to help the VA better serve the veterans who fought for and served this country, and what can be done to help improve the VA’s response time? These questions must be addressed.

 

Frantz Fortune Takes the Initiative to Help Get Homeless Vets Off the Streets

Veterans Empowerment Organization of Georgia (VEO) & Frantz Fortune

VEO for Homeless Vets from Dawn on Vimeo.

Frantz Fortune is the Executive Director of Veterans Empowerment Organization, also known as (VEO).  This organization was created & founded by Frantz Fortune, a social worker with years of experience working directly with the homeless population.  40yr old Frantz Fortune is a dedicated husband who has been married 17 years and a father of two, ages 8 years and 16 years old.  Fortune is a native of Haiti and has resided in the states for the past 22 years. Prior to running the VEO Program, Fortune was a real estate investor that began in 1999, up until the economic crash in 2008.  During that time Fortune took advantage of the crash and created an opportunity to build the Veterans Empowerment Organization.  He says it keeps him very busy, but it’s something he loves doing.  Fortune stated “I’m a selfless person and I have a desire to help.”

Frantz

Frantz Fortune, Founder and Executive Director of (VEO) Veterans Empowerment Organization of Georgia, seeking support to help get homeless vets off the streets.

Frantz made a point to say that “I don’t let trouble bother me, I just do what is needed to help.”  He even explained to his     children “you’re going to have to share daddy” knowing that the time spent away from home will be time invested in helping   feed, clothe and shelter the homeless vets and to help them to regain their independence and dignity.  “I have an awesome wife who allows me to be away while she takes care of home, so I can work” says Fortune.  His passion for serving others is a part of who he is but, he also remembers when he left a third world country to come to the United States, how he was afforded opportunities when he needed it; looks like he’s paying it forward, literally Fortune has used most of his own money to develop this program, but he can’t do it alone;  any support is always welcomed and appreciated.

Frantz has big ideas, big dreams and a desire to see a VEO opened in every city and/or state in the U.S.  He would even like to see other organizations like VEO help to solve what he calls a crisis, stating that there are 300,000 homeless vets in the U.S. and 2,000 in Atlanta alone.  He Spends time getting to know the Vets, which helped him to learn the man and understand them as humans and not just homeless.  Fortune is very ambitious in his dreams and desires to help the homeless; he also has a desire and goal to open a canteen to feed the homeless.  According to VEO, today Fortune is helping Atlanta to solve its homelessness problem through his work with The United Way and the Positive Outlook Foundation.  “We seek to create living conditions that will promote independence, dignity, and a sense of purpose for veterans who are currently under served and in need, including the mentally ill, those who have substance abuse problems, or physical disabilities.”

To help Frantz Fortune in his quest to get homeless veterans off the streets, don’t hesitate to stop by the VEO of Georgia to  lend a helping hand or donate food, money, or your time.  They can also be found on Facebook and Twitter, every little bit  helps, so be a blessing.