A group of veterans and those who care for them met in Yoctangee Park Saturday to raise awareness of their concerns about management decisions in the Chillicothe VA Medical Center.
Air Force Veteran Dan Ramey, Jr. gave a statement that vets want their treatment within the VA system since the staff are familiar with their needs, and treat them well...but actions such as closing an acute care medical building make it hard for them to believe that management is acting in the best interest of the veterans.
The group collected food and cold-weather items for homeless vets in preparation for a small parade Saturday.
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown has also "demanded answers on plans to consolidate staffing" at The Chillicothe VA Medical Center in a December 23rd letter.
Saturday's statement from Air Force Veteran Dan Ramey, Jr.:
As a veteran, the Chillicothe VAMC has made questionable and unreasonable decisions about how to care for Veterans.
Some of those decisions are closing an acute medical building. This building takes care of medical needs like drug and alcohol detox awaiting program placement, suicidal and homicidal veterans with underlying medical conditions, vets requiring medication adjustments, TB, pneumonia, flu, COPD, pancreatitis, blood and iron transfusions, telemetry, post & pre op, wound care, among other things. This concerns and angers myself and many other Veterans in our communities.
We would much rather get our care here at the Chillicothe VAMC. The staff treat us great, and knows that our veterans are not like other civilians. Our nursing staff has the knowledge of how to deal with the baggage that we carry around daily. So the closings and decision making make it hard for use to believe that it's in our best interest that they care about veterans.
Today there was a local effort to raise awareness to the decisions being made at the VAMC, and to take care of our local homeless Veterans. We had a great turn out and we want to thank our community for stepping up and showing us the support. Our veterans thank you.
In a prepared statement, officials with the Chillicothe Veterans Affairs Medical Center responded with the following on Monday:
"In an effort to more efficiently utilize resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic across the south central Ohio market within VISN 10, the Chillicothe VA Medical Center was directed by VISN leadership to close the acute medical beds, including the COVID care unit.
This change allowed staff to shift to other care areas and increase focus on the most at risk patients living on the Community Living Centers. Urgent Care remains open and admissions for hospital level of care is coordinated with the VA facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati and Wright Patterson Air Force Base, as well as community hospitals.
The Chillicothe VA will reassess Veterans’ needs and work in conjunction with the VISN to further adjust care options as needed."