Whistleblower optimistic new director will clean up Phoenix VA hospital

Apr 12, 2017, 10:29 AM | Updated: 11:13 am

(AP Photo)...

(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

LISTEN: Brandon Coleman, Former United States Marine and VA whistleblower

PHOENIX — A whistleblower said Wednesday that he is optimistic the new head of the Veterans Affairs department will change the culture at a Phoenix VA hospital still struggling to emerge from a national scandal.

“We remain cautiously optimistic that Secretary (David) Shulkin is going to bring change,” Brandon Coleman told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

“Still, it takes time to get these changes put in place.”

Coleman said while Shulkin was not his first choice to lead the VA, he has been impressed by the new secretary so far, especially after Shulkin called for public scrutiny of his agency.

“He’s saying ‘bring it’ because he wants transparency and that’s something that I’ve been yelling from the top of my lungs that the VA needs to do over the past two years in Phoenix is offer some sort of transparency,” Coleman said.

Even though the Phoenix VA has welcomed numerous officials to tour the facility, Coleman doesn’t consider it transparency.

“Phoenix, in typical fashion, they’re great at the dog-and-pony show. They can bring in the president of the United States in — which they’ve done before with President Obama–  and have them talk to exactly who they want to talk to, make sure other people aren’t included, and they can make the hospital look any way they want to,” he said.

Coleman said those crying foul should continue to be heard.

“If we want true transparency, like Shulkin is speaking (of), then whistleblowers need to be heard, too,” he said. “At this point, it’s almost unreal. Everyone wants to act like the VA is OK and there’s nothing else to see here and let’s move forward.

“That’s disappointing, because we’ve got a lot of work to do to fix Phoenix.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A "vote here" sign sits outside a Phoenix polling place in 2022....

Associated Press

Judge rules Arizona’s new voting laws requiring proof of citizenship aren’t discriminatory

An Arizona district judge has ruled state legislators didn't discriminate when passing new voting laws that require proof of citizenship.

41 minutes ago

How Arizona voters can cut through the political noise this election season...

Serena O'Sullivan

How Arizona voters can cut through the political noise this election season

Political noise is ramping up ahead of Arizona's presidential preference election on March 19. Here are a few ways voters can thrive in 2024.

2 hours ago

Fugitive wanted in Georgia may be in Rocky Point, FBI says...

Serena O'Sullivan

Phoenix FBI asking for help finding fugitive wanted in Georgia

The FBI asked the public on Thursday to help find a fugitive wanted in Georgia. Officials believe he has ties to the Phoenix area.

2 hours ago

Gen Z loves Trump Arizona political analyst says...

Serena O'Sullivan

Valley political consultant sheds light on why Gen Z loves Trump

Gen Z loves Trump, according to Stan Barnes, a former Arizona state senator who currently works as a political consultant.

3 hours ago

The Scookie Bar, local skillet cookie company, is partners with NFL...

Serena O'Sullivan

Phoenix cookie company gets new opportunities from NFL business partnership

The Scookie Bar, a longtime food truck turned brick-and-mortar store, will expand its NFL partnership this year for the Final Four.

3 hours ago

Andrew Ormsby, 22, was arrested on Wednesday, police said. (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office photo)...

Phoenix police arrest man accused of fatally shooting victim found in West Valley alley

Andrew Ormsby, 22, was arrested on Wednesday for his involvement in the shooting death of Roy Orozco, 24, Phoenix police said.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Whistleblower optimistic new director will clean up Phoenix VA hospital