In Lakewood, VA officials hear from frustrated vets

As his back pain swelled last year, Richard Scheeder could not get into the Seattle Veterans Affairs hospital for the test he needed to move forward with a medical plan. In fact, he could not even get his phone calls answered for 10 days at the clinic he needed.

It wasn’t the first time that Navy veteran Scheeder, 77, ran an into overwhelmed VA Puget Sound medical system in recent years. The delays he experienced were so bad he wondered if anyone in the system’s administration was paying attention to its shortfalls.

“Do you know how the organization is running?” the veteran from Seabeck asked a panel of VA Puget Sound administrators. “You don’t have a critical system for documenting the problems you have, managing them through and keeping track of them.”