Jackson’s VA Medical Center ratings are low but leaders promise improvements

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – For the second year in a row the G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center hospital has received only two out of five stars.

Doctor David Walker says they’re already making changes and the two star rating is not representative of their performance.

Every year the US Department of Veterans Affairs rates 146 VA hospitals on; access to care, quality of mental health care, employee perception, nursing turnover and efficiency.

Jackson’s VA hospital is in the 46 percent that has not shown improvement in the last year.

“We’re out performing a lot of hospitals both nationally and locally and that star rating actually compares us to just VA’s and again it’s also something that takes time to improve. Now am I happy with the two star I’m not,” Doctor David Walker said.

Doctor David Walker is the Medical Center’s Director. He says there are a lot of factors to take into consideration.

“Over the last couple of years we’ve had a lot of vacancies in leadership positions and in the last year we’ve I have filled; my chief of staff, my chief nurse, my chief of mental, my chief of hr, my chief of food nutrition, and we just made an offer for chief of surgery,” he said.

Walker says they’re working to hire 70 registered nurses for in and out patient care, something the hospital has had trouble with in the past.

“Congress passed a law and the president signed it that changed the rules about accountability and so if and employee is not doing what they should be we have the tools to deal with them and the rules have changed and so we are very close to being an at will employer,” Walker explained.

“So far I have had excellent results at this hospital I can not praise them enough for what they have done for me and for some of the veterans that I have sent up here and I have sent thousands,” Veteran, James Sterling added.

Veteran James Sterling says he’s had several procedures at the hospital.

“The doctors are great the people the nurses they will bend over backwards to help you and give you everything you need,” Sterling said.

Walker says he knows they have a long way to go but they’re heading in the right direction.

 

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