Originally Published: August 7, 2018 5:23 p.m.
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I am a veteran who uses the Prescott VA. I feel very fortunate to receive the services I do, but I’m saddened to see beneficial programs, and excellent employees, disappear.
The fact that the VA has a large turnover, speaks volumes of its leader, Director Oemcke, and not in a positive way. Unfortunately, this has been an ongoing problem. Several years ago, before Director Oemcke, the VA had a Manual Arts Clinic. However, when the program coordinator retired, the VA sold the equipment and abolished the program. When the leader of Recreational Therapy transferred to Tucson’s VA, that clinic also disappeared. Both programs were extremely helpful to numerous veterans, yet that apparently was not important enough to the leaders to hire new employees and continue the programs. I fear that a program that is currently running will go by the wayside when the therapist of that clinic retires. It, too, is an enormous help to several veterans. Not long ago, three expensive pieces of equipment were donated to the Outpatient Occupational Therapy clinic. Because of electrical requirements, these pieces of equipment are still inoperable, and may never be functional. Even though this would help an abundance of veterans, Director Oemcke has determined that it is not a priority, which is one reason I believe veterans do not come first at the Prescott VA. Projects are being undertaken that do not have a positive direct impact on the veteran, but rather makes the upper echelon look good to their superiors. What ever happened to the VA motto, “Veterans First?”
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