ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix VA official carries message that veterans care is improving

Mar 11, 2019, 11:56 AM
(Getty Images/Christian Petersen)...
(Getty Images/Christian Petersen)
(Getty Images/Christian Petersen)

PHOENIX – After three years of one-star ratings for the Phoenix VA Medical Center, officials are pushing to convince veterans that their concerns are being heard and acted on.

“We have really been working hard to change the perception of what’s going on here,” Rima Nelson, director of the Phoenix VA Health Care System said Monday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

The VA was scheduled to officially break ground on a large outpatient clinic near 32nd and Van Buren streets later in the day.

The facility was expected to open in 2021.

Nelson said the site will be home to a state-of-the art clinic.

The Phoenix VA was a focal point of a 2014 nationwide scandal of patient neglect, secret lists and falsified records involving excessive wait times.

Since then, senior leadership has been replaced.

Nelson was appointed in October 2016.

The 2018 hospital ratings were released in October.

“The area that’s really keeping us in that one-star [out of a possible five] area is perception,” Nelson said.

“Surveys go out to veterans and we get their feedback on how they think their veteran experience has been here.”

That question accounted for 28 percent of the overall rating, Nelson said.

“That is the one area we have focused on,” Nelson said, “and continue to improve on.”

Better access is part of the solution, she said, noting a website provided real-time estimates of when and where new patients could see a doctor.

She added same-day service was available if a veteran wanted to see a primary care physician or a mental health professional.

Nelson said 6,000 patients have signed on in the past two years.

“That’s great news for us.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Rod Stewart performs during The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on Feb. 18, 2020. in London. (Phot...
KTAR.com

Rod Stewart delays Phoenix concert for more than a year

The Rod Stewart concert scheduled for next month at Phoenix’s Footprint Center is being pushed back more than a year because of unspecified "production delays.”
23 hours ago
(Facebook photo/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)...
KTAR.com

Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team fatally shoots man who allegedly shot at them

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office SWAT team on Wednesday fatally shot a man who allegedly shot at them, authorities said.
23 hours ago
(Flickr Photo/India Water Portal)...
Associated Press

Petitions submitted for new groundwater management district in southeastern Arizona

A proposal apparently headed to the November ballot would have voters in rural southeastern Arizona decide whether to create a new regulatory district to manage large-scale groundwater use for agriculture in an area where aquifer levels have dropped in recent years.
23 hours ago
(Phoenix Police Photo)...
KTAR.com

Police seeking person of interest in Phoenix shooting that left man dead

Police are seeking a person of interest in a shooting in Phoenix last month that left a man dead.
23 hours ago
(Match Market & Bar Photo/Timothy Fox Photography)...
KTAR.com

What’s cooking? Spring Arizona Restaurant Week starts 10-day run Friday

More than 100 restaurants have signed on to show off their menus during Arizona Restaurant Week, which kicks off Friday.
23 hours ago
(Photo by: Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)...
Danny Shapiro

Phoenix gas average eclipses $5 a gallon with more increases likely this summer, expert says

Phoenix has eclipsed an average of $5 for a gallon of gasoline and prices are likely to continue rising for a while, an industry expert said Wednesday.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Twitter photo / Coco5)...
Coco5

Suns star Devin Booker’s all-natural sports drink Coco5 perfect for any activity

Devin Booker is leading the Suns in pursuit of their first NBA championship while also working to provide people proper hydration with Coco5.
...
By Dr. Richard Carmona

Now’s a great time to receive your COVID-19 vaccine

If you haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, now’s the time to join many other of your fellow Arizonans who are doing so right now. No one will criticize you; there is no shame. In fact, you’ll be welcomed with smiles and open arms!
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to in April

April brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Suns and Diamondbacks.
Phoenix VA official carries message that veterans care is improving