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    Success of ‘going negative’ changes campaign strategies
    [ # ] Former Sen. Robert Dole to help lead Walter Reed investigation
    March 6th, 2007 under Senator Dole

    — President Bush named former Sen. Bob Dole and former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala on Tuesday to lead an investigation of problems at the nation’s military and veterans’ hospitals.

    “We have a moral obligation to provide the best possible care and treatment to the men and women who served our country,” Bush said in a speech to the American Legion. “They deserve it and they’re going to get it.”

    Already grappling with low approval ratings and eager to avoid charges that he failed to act promptly, Bush said an interagency task force of seven Cabinet secretaries, led by Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson, would be convened to determine what can be done immediately to improve veterans’ care.

    The president announced last Friday he had ordered a comprehensive review of conditions at the nation’s network of military and veteran hospitals, which has been overwhelmed by injured troops from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The review came in the wake of disclosures of shoddy outpatient health care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, one of the nation’s premier facilities for treating veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    “I am concerned as you are about the conditions of Walter Reed Army Medical Center,” the president said. He said troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan were being subjected to bureaucratic delays and required to live in substandard conditions.

    “I’m concerned about the fact that when they come back they don’t get the full treatment they deserve,” Bush said.

    His appointment of Dole and Shalala was greeted with applause.

    Dole, as a young Army officer during World War II, was grievously wounded in action in the Italian Apennine Mountains. He spent years in treatment and underwent numerous surgeries. He went on to become Senate majority leader as a Republican lawmaker and later ran unsuccessfully for president.

    Shalala was secretary of Health and Human Services under President Clinton. She is now president of the University of Miami.

    Nicholson _ who on Monday announced new measures to speed the processing of military benefit claims and cut through red tape for soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan _ said Tuesday the horror stories emerging from the hearings were “unacceptable.”

    “It breaks my heart,” Nicholson told CBS’ “The Early Show.” But he drew a distinction between the benefit claims backlog and the delivery of needed medical treatment. “If they come to us for health care they are admitted immediately,” he said.

    Read the Comments

    [ # 2168 ] Comment from Hal Stribling [April 16, 2007, 2:13 am]

    Can the website of the commission to improve veterans’ healthcare be addressed on the Internet? If so, please provide the website name. Please name it using regular English, NOT initials such as pccww. my searcher will not recognize any web site that has initials only.

    Thank you.

    Hal Stribling
    301 West South Street
    Union, S> C.29379

    email address:

    [ # 8146 ] Comment from trnyrbttjy [July 3, 2007, 5:29 pm]

    Hello! Good Site! Thanks you! clwmukcnxrkama

    [ # 53315 ] Comment from Gene Schenck [May 18, 2008, 4:42 am]

    Bob Dole thanks so much in all your help in improving the care in Veterans Hospitals.
    I am a veteran from the Vietnam days
    and get my care from the Bob Dole Veterans Center in Wichita, Kansas.
    Thanks also to Tom Sanders Director of the Wichtia Center, we all see some great improvement since Tom took charge.

    [ # 91866 ] Comment from LtCol (ret) Edwin Kennedy, Jr [October 7, 2008, 2:56 am]

    RE: Walter Reed Army Medical Center — My son went for treatment at Water Reed for a severe neurological disease in 2005. His care was superlative. The WRAMC doctors were absolutely great. Their neurological department is staffed by terrific doctors. However, the U.S. Military Academy brigade surgeon and chain of command abbrogated their responsibilities and literally dumped our cadet son on us for his care after sending him on an involuntary medical leave for a year. In violation of Joint Federal Travel Regulations, U3500, the Military Academy forced us to care for our son and transport him to numerous treatments and appointments. Cadets at West Point are members of the military (Title 10) and under the care of the military until discharged. His care was the responsibility of the Army — not his family. If how they treated my son by refusing to complete his infusion treatments and then sending him home with no plan of care, imagine how they treat other soldiers in the same predicament without access to relatively close medical facilities. If we lived in Russell, Kansas, we would have been in very serious trouble. We were fortunate to be relatively near a large regional hospital with outstanding neurological care in Kansas City or my son might be completely invalided due to Myasthenia Gravis. Despite the hardship it caused us, we gladly did what the Army was responsible for since our son needed care. Walter Reed did their part, the U.S. Military Academy failed miserably. Shame on the West Point chain-of-command for failing to set the standard. The only bright spots in my son’s experience were two outstanding doctors who replaced the original West Point Brigade surgeon. Dr. Simmons and Dr. Hustead undid much of the damage done by the original brigade surgeon and were of major assistance when my son returned to West Point with their kind assistance. My son is now serving as a commissioned officer.

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