Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center director talks about improvements

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Friday, June 13, 2014

MGN online

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The director of the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center made a list of improvements the center has made in the past few years to improve healthcare.

"Much has been said about Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, but the real message I would like to share is this: we are a good healthcare facility that works hard every day to get better," Robert U. Hamilton, Director of the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, said.

Hamilton said in a press release that veterans seeking primary and mental health care are now being seen within two weeks. Since last year, the hospital says it has doubled the number of psychiatrists from nine to 19.

The list of improvements from the VA include recruiting specialists, seeing existing patients within 14 days, staffing increases and a web-based balanced scorecard.

The hospital says specialty care has the most improvements, but they don't specify what kinds of care it is and didn't say what the improvements actually were.

"Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center is like an Aircraft Carrier, and this Carrier Group has made a critical turn, and is gaining speed in the right direction," the release said.

The hospital also said it no longer has long wait times.

The letter comes on the heels of last week's federal audit that found significant issues at the facility. After the audit, all three Georgia VA Medical Centers have been flagged for further review.

Meanwhile, the director's letter makes no mention of the federal audit that found more than 130 newly enrolled patients still waiting 10 years after requesting appointments or the audit's mention of the further action concerning issues with scheduling and access management practices.

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