Thursday, May 21, 2009

VA Official Recycles Testimony While Nothing Changes at VA for ill Gulf War Veterans

Written by Anthony Hardie, 91outcomes

( -- In a stunning discovery reported here at 91outcomes first, Dr. Lawrence Deyton, Chief Public Health and Environmental Hazards Officer in the Veterans Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recycled large portions of his Congressional testimony this week from testimony he gave to Congress nearly two years ago, on July 26, 2007.

This week's May 19th, 2009 hearing was a critical review by the powerful House Veterans' Affairs Committtee's Subcommittee on
Oversight and Investigations, entitled Gulf War Illness Research: Is Enough Being Done?

Despite appearing with two other highly paid VA bureaucrats --
including Mark Brown, who not surprisingly also appeared with Deyton at the July 2007 Congressional hearing -- no one at VA apparently wanted to bother with writing much new for Deyton's testimony except filler justification on VA's traditional and by law reliance on the Institute of Medicine "for independent and credible reviews."

Whole paragraphs from the 2007 testimony were recyled into Deyton's testimony on Tuesday.

From countless veterans' accounts, there are literally thousands of employees within VA dedicated to the VA's mission of serving those have borne the battle and their loved ones, particularly at the VA medical centers and clinics across the country.

Yet, it is no wonder that VA health care providers have no new treatments to offer the 175,000 to 210,000 ill Gulf War veterans when the the callous indifference of VA officials in Washington like
Lawrence Deyton can't even find new words to describe his work unit's lack of new findings that might help these ill veterans.

Ironically, one of the new statments in the closing comments of Deyton's testimony this week was, "VA is an evolving organization that operates in a rapidly changing environment."

Apparently that didn't apply to his own testimony, indicative of the lack of change of his work unit during the last two decades, which is still without treatments, answers, or information for ill Gulf War veterans, their health care providers, and their families.

Change is needed -- Desperately.

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