There is progress being made on problems with Veterans Administration hospitals, according to U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.). Kirk had repeatedly singled out the Hines VA Hospital in Maywood for its part in a nationwide scandal of veterans being kept waiting for months for appointments. He now says those problems are on their way to being resolved thanks to a change in leadership.

“The biggest progress we’ve made is we got rid of (Hines VA Hospital Director) Joan Ricard, who is now retired from Hines, and that most horrible VA employee has now left the service of the VA,” Kirk said.


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As for other Illinois VA facilities, Kirk names one as an example of how the system could be improved. He says more hospitals should be run like the Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, which has active members of the military caring for veterans.

When the new Congress convenes in January, Kirk will be the new chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs.

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