Sheridan VA Records Sweep Clean

No violations were found in a recent records review of the Sheridan VA hospital.

During a sweep by Veterans Affairs officials, hospital spokeswoman Jackie VanMark said they didn't find any scheduling problems. Officials focused on the Sheridan hospital after a VA nurse in Cheyenne was put on leave for allegedly telling employees to falsify appointment records.

Wyoming's congressional delegation sent a letter to VA Secretary Eric Shineski on Thursday asking for information about scheduling practices at the Cheyenne VA Medical Center and the VA clinic in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Both of Wyoming's U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, along with U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis said the department only took action against the nurse after an email about “gaming the system” surfaced in media reports. They asked for the names of anyone who may have instructed employees to change records and the number of veterans who may have been affected.

On May 9, the Veterans' Affairs secretary placed the nurse on administrative leave after an email surfaced instructing VA employees to make it appear patients were receiving scheduled medical appointments within 14 days of calling, a VA guideline, according to the USA Today magazine.

The delegation's letter said: “It was only after this statement was widely reported in the media that the VA took any disciplinary action against the employee."

A VA investigation in December found that staff at the Fort Collins VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic, which is part of the Cheyenne VA center, were also trained to make it look like veterans received appointments in 14 days. A training program was implemented afterward to ensure proper scheduling.

The Cheyenne VA covers parts of Wyoming, Nebraska and northern Colorado. The Sheridan VA covers most of Wyoming, with clinics in Casper, Powell, Gillette, Afton, Worland, Evanston, Riverton and Rock Springs.

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