Congressman Tours VA Medical Center


Monday, April 9th 2007, 7:12 pm
By: News On 6


As the Oklahoma National Guard’s 45th Infantry Brigade prepares for their next tour of duty, an Oklahoma congressman says he hopes northeastern Oklahoma's VA Medical Center is ready when they return. Congressman John Sullivan toured the VA Medical Center in Muskogee Monday. Because of the News On 6 previous reports on the VA Medical Center, the News On 6 was the only Tulsa television station on the tour as hospital administrators showed Congressman John Sullivan around.

The Muskogee VA Medical Center is not in Sullivan's district, but News On 6 anchor Jennifer Loren reports there are 64,000 veterans in his district, which is why he felt the need to see what's going on there.

"We want to make sure they're getting the proper care that they deserve through the Veterans Administration Hospital, and I think they are here,” said Sullivan. “This is a great facility."

Administrators showed off their new rehab center and some new technology. Along the way, Sullivan talked to a few patients to see how they're faring and asked a couple of employees how their jobs are going. One place he didn't spend time was in the emergency room.

We notified Sullivan's staff that we'd received dozens of complaints about that part of the hospital, but they said they didn't have time to see it.

"Well I have heard people complain about this facility and health care at other veterans places, but you know that's going to happen,” said Sullivan. “We want to be sure it's minimized."

Sullivan believes complaints are minimal at the Muskogee VA when compared to other facilities.

"We've heard a lot about Walter Reed and the things that have gone on over there, but here at this facility, the complaints are only like 4.4% per thousand patients, much lower than the national average," Sullivan said.

His main concern, he says, is making sure the facility is prepared for the next couple of years.

"We're going to see a lot of people from the Tulsa area, from the first congressional district that are going to war,” said Sullivan. “They're going to be utilized more than ever, and I think we're going to see a lot of people coming back that are going to need these services."

If you are a veteran who has complaints about health care, Sullivan says he wants to be your advocate. The phone number for Sullivan's Tulsa office is 918-749-0014. Other contact information is on his website at sullivan.house.gov.

Related stories:

3/13/2007 - Local Veteran's Hospital Under Fire

3/14/2007 - Patients Defend Muskogee Veterans Medical Center

3/15/2007 - Veterans Looking For Answers