The death last month of 26-year old Army veteran Isaac Sims in a confrontation with Kansas City, Missouri police raised many questions including whether this loss of life could have been prevented.
On this edition of Up to Date Steve Kraske brings together a panel to look at the events leading up to Sims' death, the special municipal court that works with veterans facing criminal charges, and a therapy program treating military PTSD sufferers while they are still on active duty.
Hugh Steadman, a World War II veteran who lives in Great Bend, Kan., used to have to drive two hours to the Veterans Affairs medical center in Wichita, pictured here. That commute shortened to 10 minutes when a pilot program paid for him to see a doctor in Great Bend.
A pilot program in Kansas allowing veterans who live far from Veterans Affairs hospitals to get care from local doctors may end, threatening veterans like Hugh Steadman with the cutoff of needed medical care.
Steadman, who flew combat missions over Germany as a bombardier during World War II, lives in Great Bend. He used to have to drive two hours to the VA medical center in Wichita, a trip that was getting more difficult for him to make.
Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran says a Veterans Administration pilot program offering timely quality health care to rural veterans is being allowed to expire in a few months, even though VA officials tell members of Congress no decision has been made.
Moran and four of his colleagues sent a letter to the VA Secretary seeking an explanation.
The pilot program, called Access Received Closer to Home, or ARCH, is offered through five pilot sites across the country, including one in Pratt, Kan.
The Topeka Colmery-O’Neil VA Medical Center has not been implicated in the waiting-list scandal unfolding across the country.
But on Friday, two Republican members of the Kansas congressional delegation, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran and U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, said their offices have fielded numerous complaints from veterans in recent months about long-standing appointments being canceled or rescheduled at the last minute.
For months, Kansas City resident Cherie Fishback has been writing letters to the Department of Veterans Affairs on behalf of her boyfriend, Lee Murphy, who last year had to have emergency gallbladder surgery.
The Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center says its cardiology clinic never kept a secret waiting list, but "a serious clerical mistake" delayed several veterans waiting for follow-up care.
Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt flagged the facility Thursday in a growing scandal over long wait times for veterans. He told reporters he planned to press the hospital for more information "based on my firm belief the Kansas City Medical Center is likely to be found to be one of those hospitals that has a secret waiting list."
Despite assurances to the contrary, the VA hospital in Wichita kept a secret waiting list for patients. The hospital's director revealed that information Friday in a message to Kansas Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran.
Roberts told the Wichita Eagle he was not happy to see that message just hours after he’d met with officials of the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center, who assured him the hospital was doing just fine. But one patient of the Wichita VA facility says the news is no surprise.
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (center), R-MO, spoke at a roundtable discussion at Truman Medical Centers' Behavioral Health Services. Joining Blunt at the head table were Charlie Shields (left), chief operating officer of Truman's Lakewood facility, and John Bluford, president and CEO of the Truman system.
Credit Mike Sherry / The Hale Center for Journalism
The weekend shooting death of a former Army paratrooper in Kansas City highlights deficiencies in the care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, said during a visit to to Kansas City on Thursday.
Gov. Sam Brownback has a plan to beef up veterans' services in Kansas. The proposal would include improvements at two facilities and new workers aimed at helping veterans.
The plan would include a $1.4 million renovation of a veterans' home in southwest Kansas. It would also add 40 new beds for long-term care services to a veterans' facility in Winfield.
Gregg Burden, executive director of the Kansas Commission on Veterans' Affairs, says under the proposal they'll also be looking to hire four new staff members to help veterans access the benefits they've earned.
They've mastered advanced battlefield operations planning. They’ve navigated years of overseas intricacies and family complexities. But now, can they master trigonometry?
The Veteran in STEM program seeks to support veterans in acquiring the education they need to pursue jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields. While the process of retooling your education to focus on math or science might seem daunting to anybody, only half of STEM jobs require a bachelors degree or higher level of education, the other half typically require associate degrees or specific trade training. Dean Kevin Truman of the School of Computing and Engineering and Alexis Petri, Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director of the KC BANCS program guide us through the unique supports and programing they've put together to help veterans advance their education and careers.
Nearly two million active duty U.S. servicemen and women are due back home by the end of this year. Many have struggled to reintegrate, but few more profoundly, or more publicly, than Tomas Young of Kansas City. Young now says he’s ready to take his own life, but not before making one more stand against the war that wrecked his body.
Arthur Fillmore has spent more than thirty years closing the deal in corporate mergers and acquisitions in his professional life as an attorney. But for two decades he’s been unsuccessful in realizing the wish he’s held as a military veteran . . . until now.
Lee Woodruff's life was profoundly changed starting in 2006 when her husband, reporter Bob Woodruff, took over for Peter Jennings as co-anchor of ABC's World News Tonight. But the events of a month later changed her - and Bob's life - forever.
Hundreds of thousands of veterans have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years, eager to get an education under the new post-Sept. 11 GI Bill.
Many vets looking for a school find they are inundated by sales pitches from institutions hungry for their government benefits. Now, lawmakers are looking for ways to protect vets without narrowing their education choices.
The number of women serving in the military has mushroomed in recent decades to more than 200,000 active duty, not counting National Guard and reservists. This growing population faces many of the same problems as men but also health and mental issues that are unique to female veterans.
Blue Springs, MO. – Creators of "THE WALL" In Washington, D.C. honoring men and women of the Vietnam War are forming a giant collection to humanize the thousands of Americans killed. Some of the effort is linked to the traveling exhibit that takes the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial to small towns of America. KCUR's Dan Verbeck reports.
St. Louis, Missouri – Democratic Congressman Russ Carnahan was in St. Louis today to hear from veterans about problems with sterilization of dental equipment at the John Cochran veteran's hospital in the city.
The dental clinic at the hospital did not follow Veterans Affairs procedures when sterilizing the equipment. That left 1800 veterans at a low risk of contracting hepatitis B and C and HIV.
Independence, MO – Sixty years ago today, President Harry Truman was in Independence when word came that the North Koreans had invaded the South, and the cold war had become hot. Today, veterans of that war were honored in Independence at the Community of Christ Auditorium and sponsored by the Harry S. Truman Library Institute.