This morning on KTRS, I went on an extended rant about whistleblower Jose* Matthews, former head of psychiatry at the St. Louis VA Health Care Center, who testified before Congress last night about the backlash he’s gotten since uncovering how the staff hasn’t put in the hours necessary to care for patients but filled out false paperwork to cover their tracks. Matthews explained how both his employees and his superiors at the VA hospital retaliated against him, and how, when he went to the top of the ladder to acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson, he was criticized for not following the chain of command.
The psychiatry department of VA hospitals is crucial because of the vast number of soldiers who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with mental health issues, traumatic brain injury, and post-traumatic stress disorder, not to mention the difficulties of trying to re-join normal life at home after multiple tours at war. But as Matthews has revealed, too many of these veterans have been forced to wait and wait and wait for a system that either isn’t capable of caring for them or personnel who aren’t doing their jobs.
Here are Matthews and three other VA whistleblowers testifying before the House Veterans Affairs Committee last night…
*Yes, Dr. Matthews’ first name is pronounced “joes,” not “jo-zay.”