The Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina is now on a war footing. They have circled the wagons and nobody is talking. There is something very bad going on there the management doesn’t want anyone to know about.
The entire medical center needs to be fully investigated on how it’s handling cases. Veterans are crying out for help and assistance, but only getting resistance. All VA medical centers have issues, but the Dorn VA Medical Center is particularly bad.
No sooner than we post an ARTICLE about the plight of Joshua Goodman, that another case pops up on the radar. Our staff thought it was just another example of a veteran being screwed by the system.
Much to our shock and dismay… the case, once again, involved the Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina. Amazingly, the veteran was from the same county where Joshua Goodman lived, York County, South Carolina. Both were in the Army and both served in the Middle East and both veterans are African American.
THE JENKINS FAMILY of
YORK COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
Both husband and wife chose to serve America as non-commissioned officers in the United States Army. During his military service, Tyrone Jenkins contracted what is known as “Valley Fever.”
Valley Fever is a mammalian fungal disease and is endemic in certain parts of the US in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and northern Mexico. Jenkins believes he may have contracted the disease on practice exercises in the desert.
Tyrone suspects he could have contracted the disease in the deserts of the Middle east as well, because he had served three tours in the Middle East, including Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Valley Fever is a dimorphic saprophytic fungus that grows as a mycelium in the soil and produces a sphere form in the host organism. The “Fever” is dormant during long dry spells, then develops as a mold with long filaments that break off into airborne spores when it rains.
The spores, known as arthroconidia, are swept into the air by disruption of the soil, such as during construction, farming, or an earthquake. But, most of the soil disruption in Tyrone Jenkins’ case occurred by military vehicles and weaponry such as tanks and armored vehicles.
Coccidioidomycosis is a common cause of community-acquired pneumonia in the endemic areas of the United States. Infections usually occur due to inhalation of the arthroconidial spores after soil disruption. In some cases the infection may become chronic for the rest of the person’s life as was the case with Tyrone Jenkins.
Tyrone was forced to fly from Colorado to Texas three times a month as the medical professionals were trying to diagnose his maladies.
Sergeant First ClassTyrone retired from the Army after 22 years and received 100% disability by the VA immediately after separation from active duty because his health was in very bad shape.
Tyrone’s wife Ceslie honorably served in the Army also. When the Jenkins family moved to the York County area of South Carolina, she became a patient of the Dorn VA Medical Center on or about September 2015.
Ceslie Jenkins had suffered neck and back injuries while on active duty and the situation was growing worse, so she sought help from the Dorn VA Medical Center.
The problems she had with the VA are too numerous to list here, but anyone who has dealt with the Dorn VA would be sympathetic.
HOW THE JENKINS WERE MISTREATED
BY THE DORN VA MEDICAL CENTER
Tyrone Jenkins received a notice in the mail from the VA, you know, the typical VA communication involving many pages saying, “Why we are contacting you,” and “How this may affect you,” and “Eligibility Criteria,” and “If you want to file a new claim,” etc. etc.
Tyrone did as many veterans do, he scanned the lengthy letter, along with the attached forms and notices attempting to get to the crux of the matter quickly.
Tyrone had deduced the VA was cutting his disability rating, meaning that he was to be losing $1,300 per month. The shock sent him reeling. He had to figure out how to re prioritize and belt-tighten substantially.
In actuality, the VA letter indicated they were only considering cutting his benefit and wanted to hear back from him.
For some unexplained reason, without a doctor’s appointment or any examination, the VA decided that Tyrone was getting better and shouldn’t be rated at 100% disability.
I guess the VA figures out the disability ratings of America’s veterans by osmosis. Or, maybe the VA doctors are tossing chicken bones on the ground to figure out who is getting better.
And by golly, when the VA didn’t hear from Tyrone they indeed slashed his monthly benefit, even though he continues to take medication daily to treat the fungus in his lungs which he contracted while on active duty.
Even though, Tyrone should have read the VA letter more carefully, he is perplexed as to how the VA can arbitrarily decide that he no longer is 100% disabled without some sort of examination. Failure to prudently check the patient to assess his/her condition makes people think the VA has Witch Doctors who guess at someones condition.
Is this how the pencil-necks at the VA save money? Do they arbitrarily pick veterans rated as 100% disabled, then without any examination at all, they tell the veteran, “We think you might be getting better, so we are considering slashing your VA disability benefit.” WTF, over?
Tyrone’s wife Ceslie was also having major issues with the VA. The VA authorized her to have chiropractic work, but didn’t bother to tell her these treatments had been authorized until a year had passed. She was unnecessarily subjected to needless pain for a year because the Dorn VA Medical Center doesn’t have a damn clue on how to properly notify anyone.
Ceslie made an appointment at the pain clinic at the Dorn VA Medical Center and asked for any help to be seen by doctors in her area. It was a 1.5 hour drive one way from where she lived to the Dorn VA Medical Center. Being forced to take off from work and deal with getting her children to school was creating a real hardship.
The way the VA employee dealt with her plea for help was to say, “Why are you wasting my time.”
Ceslie sought help from a patient advocate and was essentially told there were veterans with worse problems than yours so stop your whining. The VA was making a stressful situation much worse and could careless about how they were addressing her case.
SCREW THE DORN VA MEDICAL CENTER
The Jenkins sought help from an advocate who told them to speak with people at another VA office who do care about veterans. This is when things started to turn around a little bit. It’s too soon to make the determination that everything has been corrected.
The Jenkins case could be just another example of how some employees in the VA abuse our veterans, while other VA employees are doing their level best to fix the screw-ups of the Dorn VA Medical Center.
WHERE THE HELL IS OSHINSKI
There are people in the VA who need to be summarily fired for the chronic screw-ups that are causing pain and anguish for our veterans. Tyrone Jenkins should have never had his disability benefits slashed without a medical examination. How stupid is that?
Ms. Oshinski should take out her long knives and start holding some VA employees accountable. It’s time for some real leadership. From the details we are now aware of concerning the Jenkins case, both husband and wife should be designated as 100% disabled, permanent and total.
The VA should reexamine the letters they are sending out to veterans. Are they so damn wordy that their meaning gets lost? Is the VA sending out volumes of paper in an attempt to cover their own ass? And when veterans become overwhelmed, they respond with, “Stop wasting my time?”
The system is not firing on all cylinders. In some cases it completely broken. So, where the hell are the policy makers of the VA? Where the hell are the managers of the VA? Where the hell is Oshinsky? For that matter, where the hell are the Washington bureaucrats in the VA who should be managing what is actually going on at each of their VA facilities?
LET’S PULL OUT THE CARD, SHALL WE?
Again, we do not like pulling out the “race card” unless there is concrete proof that racism is involved. But, we would be remiss if we did not at least broach the subject. The cases we have been made aware of all involve African Americans.
Joshua Goodman cried out to the Dorn VA Medical Center for help and now he’s in prison. The outreach coordinator who was trying to help Goodman was fired. Goodman’s mother attempted to get help and she disappeared and is believed to have been murdered.
Tyrone Jenkins had his disability rating summarily slashed. Ceslie was ignored and maltreated to the point she was at the precipice of having a nervous breakdown… or worse.
All of them were African Americans… Josh Goodman, Mischele Calvert (his mother), Dr. Alex Juitt who was fired, Tyrone Jenkins and Ceslie Jenkins.
Are there racist assholes in the Dorn VA Medical Center, or did all of this happen to people who just happened to be Black? Please God, don’t tell us we are still fighting the Civil War for Heaven sake.
The questions are there, but the answers are not!