Leaders at the Eastern Kansas VA Hospital held a town hall meeting for all veterans, including patients and employees. While there were a fair number of compliments, there were also serious complaints.
One by one, veterans stood and shared.
One man said the hospital saved his life. "With this hospital, people are great."
Another left because of his bad treatment. "It got to the point where it was so bad, I don't come here anymore."
Following the meeting, one veteran and VA employee said serious problems, not discussed in the town hall, continue to plague the hospital.
He’s asked to remain anonymous for the sake of his job. “This town hall is just a facade. I think it's just the wrapping on a package to make it appealing,” he said.
After working for the hospital for 10 years, he said he’s had enough.
“The work environment is where I've hit my maximum. I don't believe enough is being done with the leadership team,” he said. "We have been subject to many, many dangerous situations and we're not talking employee squeamish, we're talking weapons, we're talking assaults."
Director Rudy Klopfer said the VA is making strides and is swift in addressing issues.
"As soon as we find information that may not be positive in nature, we investigate that, if the facts are there then take quick action, to be able to resolve that. We want to make sure the care we provide is of high excellent care,” said Klopfer, who has been in charge for more than three years.
The veteran who spoke with 41 Action News has filed police reports and taken his complaints to leadership, with no avail.
"It has gone through VA management, to VA police, all the way up the leadership team to the VA office inspector general,” he said. "It's kind of one of those things that if we keep it under wraps, it didn't happen, and that's not fair to the veterans, families or employees."
He has also reached out to three Kansas lawmakers for help with his case.
Lexi Sutter can be reached at email@example.com.