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VA Dentist May Have Infected Hundreds Of Veterans With HIV, Hepatitis
Nearly 600 veterans learned this week that they could have hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV because a Department of Veterans Affairs dentist did not correctly disinfect his equipment over a one-year period, according to a VA statement.
The Tomah VA Medical Center in Wisconsin sent letters to 592 veterans Tuesday informing them of the possible infections, including the virus that causes AIDS. The VA is offering free screenings, and those who test positive will receive free VA treatment.
The VA said risk of infection was low, but it was contacting all veterans who might have been exposed “out of an abundance of caution.” As of Thursday, there was not a confirmed case of a veteran contracting an infection from the unsterilized equipment.
The dentist is no longer seeing patients and was reassigned to administrative duties. In a statement, the VA said actions were pending to “ensure that those responsible for this serious breach of patient trust are held accountable.”
“Failure to follow established infection control procedures is not acceptable, and we take the safety of our patients seriously,” Victoria Brahm, director of the Tomah VA hospital, said in a written statement. “We are deeply sorry for the concern this has caused veterans and their families.”
Veterans with questions should call 888-598-7793.
Last year, the Tomah VA came under fire for overprescribing opioids, with some dubbing the hospital “Candyland.” An inspector general’s report faulted the hospital for the accidental overdose death of a Marine Corps veteran.
“We have clear evidence that we are moving forward,” Brahm told reporters at a news conference earlier this week. “There are pockets where improvements still need to occur, I’ll be really honest.”
Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., responded to the news Thursday afternoon by saying it was an egregious instance of “botched care.”
Miller is the chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. He helped to draft the $10 billion Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 in response to the VA wait-time scandal, and President-elect Donald Trump said during his campaign he was considering Miller for VA Secretary.
In a statement Thursday, Miller criticized the department for not holding its employees accountable.
He also plugged a bill he sponsored and pushed through the House earlier this year that would make it easier for the VA to discipline or fire poor-performing employees. The bill has not been taken up in the Senate.
©2016 the Stars and Stripes. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
The White House doctor still under investigation for doling out pills like a ‘candy man’ is now running for Congress
Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician and retired Navy rear admiral who had a short run as the nominee for the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2018, now plans to run for a seat in Congress.
University of Phoenix to pay $191 million for lying to troops about its close ties with major companies
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The University of Phoenix, which is owned by Apollo Education Group, has agreed to pay $191 million to settle charges that it falsely advertised close ties with major U.S. companies that could lead to jobs for students, the Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.
The University of Phoenix will pay $50 million to the FTC to return to consumers and cancel $141 million in student debt.
Some of the advertisements targeted military and Hispanic students, the FTC said.
As UCF research associate Shane Reynolds guides his avatar over a virtual minefield using his iPad, small beeps and whistles reveal the location of the scourge of the modern war zone: Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs. He must take his time to sweep every last inch of the playing field to make sure his character doesn't miss any of the often-deadly bombs.
Despite his slow pace, Reynolds makes a small misstep and with a kaboom! a bomb blows up his player, graphically scattering body parts.
The Navy has posthumously awarded aviator and aircrewman wings to three sailors killed in last week's shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
"The selfless acts of heroism displayed by these young Sailors the morning of Dec. 6 are nothing short of incredible," Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. Daniel Dwyer said in a statement.