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Local Veteran Frustrated About Care from VA Medical Center
Written by Jared Pelletier
Last updated on May 12, 2014 @ 6:44PM
Created on May 12, 2014 @ 5:48PM

Recently there have been multiple stories at the national level where concerns about medical services at veteran's hospitals were brought to the surface.

On Monday, a local Navy veteran who served from 1967 to 1971 spoke about why he is frustrated with the level of care he claims he's received from the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg. Lawrence Bolyard currently lives in Taylor County. He said, "Some things the VA is very good at and other things they're not. 

According to Bolyard, problems began after he developed kidney stones and had surgery in December 2013. "When I went back for an appointment in January the stones were still there," said Bolyard.

Following the appointment, time went on and he's saying the pain continued. Bolyard stated he had another appointment in March 2013 which is when a doctor from the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center referred him to the VA hospital in Pittsburgh.

Bolyard claims a doctor told him, "There was nothing else that he could do and and he was referring me to the Pittsburgh VA hospital."

Officials from the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center told 5 News they couldn't comment specifically on the care Bolyard received because of patient privacy laws. The hospital's chief of staff is saying even though many services are available in Clarksburg they do refer patients elsewhere when necessary.

Glenn Snider is the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center Chief of Staff. He said, "There will be occasions where a patient has a highly complex or complicated condition that would require tertiary care."

Bolyard believes his referral apparently fell through. He claims he hasn't heard back from anyone regarding treatment in Pittsburgh. On April 15, Bolyard had to be rushed to United Hospital Center by ambulance. He said, "I was so weak I couldn't stand."

According to Bolyard, doctors at UHC told him he had a dangerous infection which was caused by a stent that had been put in place during his initial surgery at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in December 2013.

"The doctors have told me a stent can only be in for 90 days. Well, it had been well past 90 days," said Bolyard. In addition, Bolyard said he tried to contact his patient advocate at the VA hospital numerous times and never heard back. 

According to Dr. Snider, if this happens patients should try to contact the hospital's executive leadership staff. He said, "The patient does have the ability to contact any member of the executive leadership team here at the hospital."

Bolyard is saying he believes he waited too long before receiving adequate care. He said, "This was not something that someone should've said well we can deal with this down the road."

Bolyard is now beginning to worry about what financial impact his medical emergency may end up having.


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Comments (4)
Jun 12, 2014 at 4:25 PM
First commenter is pretty darn heartless. Have you no COMPASSION? Vets have DIED while waiting to see a dr at these hospital/clinics run by obviously a bunch of deceitful arrogant uncompassionate unqualified people. You seem to be such a person to be so 'flippant' about people DYING! How disgusting and obviously immoral you must be. Feel a bit sorry for you. Especially for any family members you have as you have proven to be not so caring a person.
Jun 12, 2014 at 10:53 AM
The previous comment is so true. I also work at the VA hospital and the administration there is "dirty" to say the least. They absolutely cover for each other, and if someone goes against them they will find a reason to get rid of that person. These administrators need to go!!! The Clarksburg VA needs to clean house in administration. As for the medical professionals the doctors and the nurses want to take good care of these patients and try to do so with the resources we have been given. We need administrators with morals and who are there to assist us in caring for the veterans instead of being there to "climb the ladder" and "fatten their own wallet". It is absolutely disgusting to me.
Jun 11, 2014 at 6:20 PM
In response to the comment left on May 13, 2014, this article just isn't about someone being "unhappy" or "dissatisfied" and as a fellow disabled Veteran, shame on you for saying so! This man was hospitalized with a dangerous infection due to scheduling and follow-up errors and negligence. We have to take care of each other man, not look out only for ourselves. We're all we got and the VA scandal has proven that.

I worked at the VA in Clarksburg for 10 years in a administrative position and I can tell you that there isn't one thing that the current Executive Staff do that isn't shady to say the least. The fact that Dr. Snider states that we, as patients, should "contact the executive leadership team" if faced with a circumstance such as this is appalling, yet typical at that facility. There is no accountability within the VA because management covers for management. It's how they all continue to get away with their FAT paychecks and bonuses without worry of someone selling them out. Clarksburg has filled the HR Manager position with an unqualified, inexperienced "person" for the past 8 years simply so the administration can have a puppet and do as they please. It's a scheme and it's widespread! VA management needs replaced and those who've collected bonus monies due to "gaming" the system need to be prosecuted. I hope you continue to get the care that you have been receiving. But please, support your fellow Vets who sacrificed just as much as, if not more than, you and deserve the same type of care.
May 13, 2014 at 9:20 PM
I go to the VA in Clarksburg, and am very happy with the service I've received. No matter where you go, you will always be able to find one person unhappy with something. For every person you find dissatisfied, you'll find a thousand satisfied customers with the VA. I'm sure you could find people not happy with the other hospitals in the area also.
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