VA fires head of Phoenix medical center at heart of scandal

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Veterans Affairs Department says it has fired the director of the Phoenix veterans’ hospital at the center of a national scandal over delays in patient care and appointment records falsified to cover up the delays.

Sharon Helman, director of the Phoenix VA Health Care System, was fired Monday, nearly seven months after she and two high-ranking officials were placed on administrative leave amid allegations that 40 veterans died while awaiting treatment at the hospital. Helman had led the Phoenix facility since February 2012.

VA Secretary Robert McDonald said Helman’s dismissal underscores the agency’s commitment to hold leaders accountable and ensure that veterans have access to high-quality, timely care.

Helman is the fifth senior executive fired or forced to resign in recent weeks in response to the wait-time scandal.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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