Active shooter scare raises concerns: Is VA crisis center ready for its own crisis?

7:00 am Nov. 2, 2017

When the VA launched the veterans crisis line call center in Atlanta last December it was touted as a critical part of a national system that would answer thousands of calls from distressed and suicidal veterans every day.

But in the rush to open the new center, VA executives seem to have overlooked an important facet of its operation: Adequate crisis training for the center itself. So, on the evening

Did Atlanta’s veterans crisis hotline fall short in helping suicidal veterans?

11:35 am Sep. 19, 2017

VA officials touted a crisis hotline center launched in Atlanta last December as a cornerstone of a renewed push to curb the problem of veteran suicide.

More than 300 staff were hired and trained in Atlanta, and by April VA officials testified before Congress about the crisis line’s success answering the needs of suicidal veterans. The new center and the one operating for years outside Rochester, New York had

VA executive who exchanged offensive messages earns $100K+

12:58 pm Aug. 15, 2017

The VA executive who exchanged unprofessional and offensive instant messages with another VA employee earned $96,586 last year, according to the latest federal salary data available.

But that was before Angel Lawrence was elevated last fall to the top job at the national Health Eligibility Center in Atlanta. Past directors of the center were at a GS-15 pay grade that pays between $125,132 to $161,900, according the 2017 federal scale

Fort Gordon hit by second scandal as Reality Winner case unfolded

9:06 am Jun. 9, 2017

As the Reality Winner case was unfolding this week, Fort Gordon found itself in a second controversy.

A grand jury on Wednesday indicted Army Col. Anthony Tyrone Roper and his wife, Audra, along with an officer of a large defense contracting company, Dwayne Oswald Fulton. They are accused of taking part in a bribery scheme aimed at obtaining over $20 million in Army and private company contracts.

The scheme lasted

Atlanta VA fails to conduct criminal checks on employees

7:30 am Feb. 3, 2017

The Atlanta VA Medical Center failed its obligation to complete timely background checks and drug tests for hundreds of new employees,The investigation by the VA’s Office of Inspector General does not directly address whether the

Whistleblower to VA secretary: Fix problems at veterans enrollment office

7:30 am Feb. 1, 2017

Dr. David J. Shulkin, who faces a Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday to become the new secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, is no stranger the major problems at the VA’s national health enrollment office in Atlanta.

Shortly after he became Under Secretary overseeing the Veterans Health Administration, Shulkin visited the national Health Eligibility Center (HEC) in DeKalb County in August 2015. The AJC reported in 2014 about a series

Atlanta whistleblower to Trump: Address ongoing “nightmare” in VA’s systems

10:51 am Dec. 1, 2016

An Atlanta-based whistleblower who helped expose failures in the VA’s national health enrollment system called on President-elect Trump to appoint a strong executive to fix the troubled agency.

Scott Davis, a communications official at the national Health Eligibility Center headquartered off Clairmont Road in DeKalb County, wrote to the incoming president in an open letter published this week in the Washington Examiner newspaper.

He mentioned many of the issues he helped