July 1, 2022

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WHY SAVING THE VA FROM TRUMP’S NOMINEE IS THE RIGHT MEDICINE FOR OUR WOUNDED VETERANS

3 min read

ANDREA PLATE WRITES – What’s the large deal about Dr Ronny L. Jackson, President Trump’s embattled nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs?

It’s apparent, if the allegations are true. They embody: making a hostile work surroundings. Consuming excessively on the job. Prescribing and dishing out drugs inappropriately, to his personal employees, totally on journeys abroad (meds to wind down, then to perk up over torturous time zone adjustments).

Such allegations, if true, could be horrific in any work surroundings, however maybe nowhere worse than the Division of Veterans Affairs.

For fourteen-and-a-half years, I used to be a social employee on the West Los Angeles department of the Veterans Administration (VA), one of many largest inside this leviathan of built-in healthcare. I handled the psychological and dependancy problems with solders of our wars in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. Watching the information just lately, I’m reminded of: The paraprofessional employee who someway made it to work day-after-day regardless of being in full relapse mode on heroin. When he nodded off at conferences, I needed to slam home windows to startle him awake. It was embarrassing to each veterans and employees. An dependancy therapist, himself a veteran, led substance abuse teams whereas excessive on cocaine (or another stimulant). For some time, he blamed his excessively runny nostril on dangerous bouts of flu or publicity to anthrax earlier than admitting the reality and taking depart. Is it asking an excessive amount of for a substance abuse worker to be sober? My level: VA tradition, as I do know it, entails quite a lot of wanting the opposite means… till the inescapable fact stares you again at you, laborious.

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Watching CNN, I’m reminded of oh, so many issues: About nurses stealing drugs and delivery them to family of their impoverished Southeast Asian house nations. In regards to the extreme prescription and distribution of medicines to sufferers. within the realm of affected person care. I keep in mind the fifty-something Military veteran who died in a motel off-campus, having overdosed on methadone and benzodiazepines prescribed by a number of VA MDs who didn’t coordinate affected person care; and the 27-year-old returnee from Iraq who died in a residential therapy program on VA grounds, additionally having overdosed on prescribed drugs.

Employees-to-staff distribution? Let’s not even give it some thought.

Did Jackson create a hostile work surroundings? Who is aware of? However let me inform you, expenses like that, in such a extremely politicized environment, are made on a regular basis. I used to be as soon as accused of endangering employees security as a result of, with TV pictures of race riots in Ferguson, Missouri, blasting from the TV, I refused to forbid thirty offended veterans from marching downstairs to confront employees over perceived mistreatment of one of many brethren.

In a means, it doesn’t matter whether or not the fees in opposition to Jackson are true. Sure, VA tradition has improved considerably over time, however the battle has not been received and Ronny L. Jackson is the incorrect man to guide the cost. The troubled VA wants somebody squeaky clear—if there may be such an individual — in command. The establishment has lengthy been shrouded by clouds of suspicion. Now could be the time to clear the air.

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Andrea Plate is a Licensed Medical Social Employee (LCSW) who lives in Los Angeles. The UC Berkeley and UCLA Coverage College graduate teaches ‘Gender and the U.S. Army’ in LMU’s Ladies and Gender Research Division. She has simply completed a ebook on working with returning and long-returned American solders titled “MADNESS.”

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