Roby: VA changes ‘sorely needed’

Published 10:51 pm Friday, August 22, 2014

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., said the removal of Central Alabama’s VA Health Care System’s top two administrators was “sorely needed.”

Director James Talton and Chief of Staff Dr. Cliff Robinson were removed from their positions this week.

In a press release, Roby said “the change in senior management at CAVHCS was sorely needed.” Roby went on to say she “applauded the VA for taking decisive action.”

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Roby has been a large proponent and advocate for changing the Central Alabama Veterans Affairs management. Roby has sought more accountability and responsibility from the VA during her time in Congress, and said veterans deserve immediate access to healthcare.

“We have made promises to our veterans that we absolutely must keep,” Roby said during a visit to Troy this week. “As I have learned about all of the problems that exist in the VA, I have made it a priority in my office to continue to do all I can to shine light on these problems on behalf of our veterans. There must be accountability and responsibility throughout the VA, but also our veterans who deserve our absolute best must have immediate access to healthcare, the best healthcare, so they can receive the treatments and attention that they need.”

Roby has brought to light several different issues within the CAVHCS, including a CAVHCS worker taking a recovering patient to a known crack house, where drugs were purchased, and the extortion of VA payments to pay for vehicles and services from a prostitute. Roby has said that in order to fix a problem one must fully appreciate what the problem is, which is why she has continued to express her concerns for the problems within the CAVHCS.

“Until you can fix a problem you have to fully appreciate what the problem is,” Roby said.

“That’s why I continue to dig down deep and make sure that we know everything that’s going wrong in the VA, so we can offer the appropriate solutions to fix it. Accountability and access, our veterans deserve access immediately.”

Talton and Robinson have been placed on administrative leave to allow for a thorough and unbiased transition process.