Secretary of Veterans Affairs says changes have been made at Atlanta VA Medical Center

by: Justin Gray Updated:

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WASHINGTON - Channel 2 Action News was the first to uncover federal audits showing that mismanagement at the Atlanta VA Medical Center contributed to the deaths of three patients.
 
Now, Channel 2's Justin Gray is the only reporter to talk to President Obama's Secretary of Veterans Affairs about whether the problems have been fixed.
 
Secretary Eric Shinseki was on Capitol Hill on Thursday to testify before Congress about the VA budget. Gray tracked him down to ask about the Atlanta VA Medical Center.
 
“There have been changes,” Shinseki told Gray.
 
Changes that Shinseki said have improved conditions at Atlanta's VA Medical Center in DeKalb County.
 
Shinseki said he's confident a change at the top, a new Atlanta director, has reorganized the management.
 
“You believe it it's a problem that's been fixed?” Gray asked Shinseki.
 
“I believe we have the right leadership in place and the appropriate changes are being made,” Shinseki said.
 
For the past two days, Shinseki testified before both houses of Congress. Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson says he believes the changes are working.
 
“The new director Leslie Williams is doing a great job of holding the VA accountable,” Isakson said.  
 
But has enough been done?
 
Seven people have been disciplined.
 
Gray asked Shinseki why no Atlanta managers lost their jobs after the loss of life. He says that's not the case, but didn't go into specifics or details.
 
“Over 100,000 of us in this department are veterans. We have their best interests at heart,” Shinseki said.
 
In previous hearings and interviews, VA officials have said nobody was fired. Shinseki indicated to Gray on Thursday that's no longer the case.



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