Providence VA official relieved of duties amid allegations of racism, homophobia

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A manager at the Veterans Affairs Regional Office in Providence has been relieved of his duties pending disciplinary action, following a complaint from a co-worker that he created a “toxic work atmosphere.”

Stephen V. Pina, the Veterans Services Center manager, who also has been embroiled in controversy after a Facebook post suggesting that New England Patriots players who kneeled during the national anthem on Sunday were dancing monkeys, is “no longer engaged in processing benefits claims,” according to Mark Ramos, a spokesman for the Providence VA office. 

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The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a proposed rule that would allow VA providers to treat patients in any state via telehealth, regardless of where they are licensed to practice.

The Department of Veterans Affairs made moves Friday to publicize Secretary David Shulkin’s travel schedule, following scrutiny over the cost of government-funded travel by other Cabinet members.

In front of the Veterans Affairs office at Bay Pines, 22 mannequins stood to serve as a reminder of this American tragedy.

The Veterans Crisis Line — which has been criticized for calls rolling to voicemail, dropped calls and veterans put on hold for long periods — received a glowing report Friday.

The award comes after the department announced its decision abandon its own, existing Veterans Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) and adopt MHS Genesis, the same EHR system that DoD is deploying. All patient data will reside in one common Cerner Millennium 

An Ohio couple criminally charged for keeping a Vietnam veteran's decomposing body in their home for several months to steal his Social Security and veteran benefits have received six months in jail.

A whistleblowing employee of the Iowa City VA Health Care System who resigned over concerns with the agency’s treatment of veterans is entitled to unemployment benefits, an administrative law judge has ruled.


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