American Veteran News 03.03.16


Sharon Helman, Ex-VA Chief in Phoenix, Pleads Guilty to Felony Charge — PNT The former director of the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Medical Center pleaded guilty today to failing to disclose large gifts she received from a VA lobbyist. Sharon Helman, 45, of Surprise admitted to one felony count of filing a false financial disclosure to the federal government and will be sentenced to probation in April, according to her plea agreement. Helman, who became infamous for the sometimes-fatal delays in medical care that occurred at the center on her watch, was fired in November 2014 for various reasons including failing to report gifts. Helman wasn’t just an incompetent leader. In a scheme dripping with potential corruption, she accepted fancy freebies from a lobbyist and former VA employee whose consulting firm helped business expand their work with the VA. She hid the substantial gifts she received from the lobbyist in her official financial-disclosure reports to the government, according to the Arizona U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Minneapolis VA cleared in three cases of alleged manipulation of patient appointments, wait times — STAR TRIBUNE The Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Hospital has been cleared in three cases where it was alleged to have manipulated patient appointments and wait times.

The results of the three Minnesota cases were part of a massive release Monday of summaries of wait-time investigations nationwide by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs inspector general, the VA’s internal independent watchdog.

In the first case, the inspector general found no evidence backing two fired employees of the hospital’s Gastroenterology Clinic, who said they were instructed by management to cancel appointments and alter records.

The former VA employees told their story to KARE-TV, saying that they were pressured to falsify patient appointment dates and medical records to hide delays, sparking the investigation. In some cases, they told the station, employees were instructed to falsify medical records by writing that patients had declined follow-up treatments even though the veterans had never been contacted.

Iraq War Veteran Writes Thriller Novel Lionizing Veterans — TOWNHALL Matthew Betley, a former Marine who fought in Fallujah, Iraq, has come out with one of the most realistic war stories from the Iraq War in his new fiction thriller book, Over Watch. Using his own experiences on the battlefield and devastating return home, he weaves together a Tom Clancy-esque thriller war novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat! Read our interview below to learn about Betley’s amazing story in the service of this nation. Former Marine Force Reconnaissance officer Logan West emerges from a blackout after drinking away the worries of his ruined marriage and PTSD, an all-too-familiar scene for the recovering alcoholic. But he wakes to more than a killer hangover: a professional mercenary has been sent to capture him. After an embattled showdown, Logan impulsively answers the dead man’s ringing phone, triggering a hasty rescue of Logan’s estranged wife and a global race against the clock to track down an unknown organization searching for an Iraqi flag central to a planned attack in the Middle East—one that will draw the US into a major conflict with Iran. Meanwhile, Logan is battling his own demons, unable to shake the trauma of the ambush that his Force Recon unit suffered at an insurgent torture compound in Fallujah in 2004.

۠• Subcommittee evaluating Gulf War illness — MT

۠• Veterans Affairs watchdog releases reports on wait-time manipulations — NEWSPLEX

۠• VA trying to locate rural NM veterans who need services — KOB

۠• Former Phoenix VA director pleads guilty to failure to disclose financial incentives — KTAR

۠• 34 indicted in tax fraud scheme targeting MI vets, inmates — WOODTV

۠• Soldier’s World War II bracelet returned to Georgia family 70 years later — FOX

۠• Disabled Vet Becomes Face Of Campaign To End War On E-Cigarettes — DC


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