Before the VA hospital scandal made its way to Washington, D.C., and landed squarely on the desk of President Barack Obama, the Memphis VA Medical Center was mired in its own scandal in 2012, the year three patients died in the emergency room. An investigation ensued and the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) Office of Healthcare Inspections concluded that the deaths resulted from inadequate care.
Widespread problems with the nation's hospitals for veterans – including recent reports of delayed treatments, preventable deaths, and efforts to falsify records – drew a strong rebuke from the president: "I will not stand for it," said Obama, who met with Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki in the Oval Office last week prior to a news conference.
The VA facility in Phoenix particularly drew the ire of the president and prompted the OIG to investigate. The inspector general announced the department's findings on Wednesday (May 28th): At least 1,700 veterans at the medical center were not registered on the proper waiting lists to see the doctors, thereby causing veterans to be at risk of being forgotten or lost.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 200 African-American men, ranging from a taxi driver to university professors, sent a letter to President Obama on Tuesday urging him to expand his black male initiative to include black girls and women, saying they were "surprised and disappointed" that the president had sought to include only half of the race to tackle community-wide issues.
A copy of the letter to Obama was obtained by the NNPA News Service.
After praising the president for saying that addressing the needs of those left behind is as important as anything else he is undertaking, authors of the letter wrote, "So we were surprised and disappointed that your commitments express empathy to only half of our community – men and boys of color. Simply put, as black men we cannot afford to turn away from the very sense of a shared fate that has been vital to our quest for racial equality across the course of American history."
(Just as a neighborhood should not be judged by the actions of a few bad apples, neither should law enforcement agencies. The New Tri-State Defender' "Good Blue & You" column spotlights law enforcement officers who do it right. This week's focus is on Shelby County Deputy Charllai Wooten.)
No stranger to learning, Charllai Wooten graduated from Central High School (Class of 2000) and earned a criminal justice degree at the University of Memphis in 2008. True to her degree, she quickly found herself working for the Shelby County District Attorney's Office, where she learned even more while applying all that she knew for four-plus years.
The years spent studying and working in the field of criminal justice came in handy when she joined the Shelby County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) in 2013, landing on the Shelby County Schools "Rapid Response Unit." But before we get to that, let's pick up with Wooten the soldier, who was dispatched to Egypt seemingly in the blink of an eye.
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