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Temple: Local VA Leaders To Reorganize Operations

Temple (July 3, 2014) Central Texas Veterans Health Care administrators are speaking out in hopes to regain the trust of veterans.

A closed- door meeting was held Thursday with local media and director, Sallie Hanfelder, and her executive team.

"I think we are always trying to find out how to better communicate with employees and veterans," Hanfelder said.

The meeting followed a protest done by several veterans in front of the Temple facility earlier this week.

A local group, Citizens Defending American Veterans, held signs in hopes officials would provide answers regarding delayed care.

The main issue was poor communication, she said.

The Central Texas VA received an average of 350 complaints a week from staff and patients, most that deal with communication issues.

The FBI agreed to investigate the Temple VA.

"We don't know what they are coming in for, because they're (allegations) that are criminal they have no obligations to us, and they don't want to compromise their investigation so we do what they ask us to do," she said. "We get the people they want to see and we have very strict rules about not asking other people about what they were asked by whoever it is coming in to investigate."

Local VA leaders welcome the investigation, and are now working to fix several issues.

The director admitted the clinics were not meeting the standards to process soldiers claims for Integrated Disability Evaluation Services exams, and claims for veterans Compensation and Pension exams.

However, staff had since corrected the issue in June, she said.

She is also monitoring scheduling clerks in the eight area clinics, and her team is working to make sure all veterans are treated with respect in a timely manner.


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