A United States Veteran (My Father) Is Dying Because He Is Not Receiving Care from the US Department of Veterans Affairs
PS I am posting this to my blog at http://petercfrank.blogspot.com/
[UPDATE 6/9/2014] I received a call from the Congressmember's office on both Friday, 6/6 and Monday, 6/9 -- but only after I called the office, spoke with a staffer, and forwarded them this e-mail. The call back on Friday was to advise me that they had received my forwarded e-mail and would look into the matter and get back to me on Monday, which they did.
The staffer from his office advised me that they contacted the Reno VA facility, which advised them that my father has only been there three times since moving to Reno late last year, and repeated the suggested that I obtain power of attorney over my father.
The staffer also kindly offered to "keep an eye" on my father's status and condition through the VA. The next time I speak with the staffer, I will ask them why they are unable to do more unless I have power of attorney over my father. It should be enough that my father is a constituent, and that I am trying to see that he receives proper medical care that the US Government offered him when he received his Purple Heart.
At the very least, there is one staffer in Congressmember Amodei's office who is compassionate and probably stepping over some stupid rules or regulations to have done as much for me as they did. If this is in fact the case, then I am shielding their identity so they don't get into any trouble over providing assistance to one of their boss's constituents after being alerted to the issue by a non-constituent family member. If you ask me, the whole situation is just utter nonsense.
Finally, an article was published in Military Times about this entire debacle, and mentioned my father's situation, specifically: IG: 69 VA facilities probed for manipulating appointments.
Dear Mr. Gray,I write on behalf of my father, a United States Air Force Veteran of the Vietnam War, who recently moved (just before Thanksgiving) to Congressman Amodei's district in Reno, NV.My father went to the emergency room of the VA Sierra Nevada Healthcare System in Reno around Thanksgiving, complaining of a few different ailments. Long story short, the doctor in the ER suspects he might have a blood clot in his legs and referred him to orthopaedics for a follow-up.Despite weekly phone calls to the VA Sierra Nevada Healthcare System orthopaedics department, my father has not received even notification of an appointment for a consultation with the specialist that the emergency room referred him to. When he calls, they advise him, "Your name is on a list and you'll just have to wait."My father has been unable to go out much because of the severe pain that he has been in, and instead of getting settled into his new home and looking for a job, he has been home-bound due to the extreme difficulty he has with walking.In short, my father's condition has not improved since his visit to the ER and may be getting worse. If he does have a blood clot, he cannot afford to wait months or years for an appointment to have it diagnosed, as he will be dead.My father has no other insurance other than the health care promised him by the US government as a Veteran of the Vietnam War and cannot afford to purchase additional health care on his own, given that his sole source of income at the moment is social security retirement (he is not yet old enough to be eligible for Medicare).Considering the potentially fatal consequences of an undiagnosed blood clot, I find his mistreatment by the Veterans Administration to be absolutely appalling.I have consulted with an attorney in New York, where I live (and where my father is from--obviously not to initiate legal action but to seek counsel), and the attorney has suggested that, should anything happen to my father, the VA Sierra Nevada Healthcare System may be liable for gross negligence and dereliction of care. He also suggested that the hospital should have given him a referral for a vascular consultation, as well as the orthopaedic consult.My father's information is as follows:Peter V. Frank[redacted]Reno, NV 89502The treatment of any Veteran of a foreign war in such a disgraceful manner is reprehensible and a blight upon our nation.I trust your office will see to the immediate rectification of this unacceptable situation.Should you have any questions, you may contact me at (914) 417-9579 or by this e-mail address.Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.Kind regards,-Peter C. Frank