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Congressman Peter DeFazio

Representing the 4th District of OREGON

STATEMENT FROM REP. PETER DeFAZIO ON RESIGNATION OF VARHS DIRECTOR DOUG PAXTON

Feb 1, 2018
Press Release

EUGENE—Rep. Peter DeFazio today released the following statement on the resignation of VA Roseburg Healthcare System (VARHS) Director Doug Paxton:

“I have repeatedly pushed for a change in leadership at VARHS, and I am pleased to see that the Veterans Administration (VA) has taken my concerns seriously. This, along with other recent leadership changes and support from the VA are signals that the VA is committed to improving the deeply-entrenched issues at our Roseburg and Eugene facilities. But these are just steps in a longer process.

“Because I raised the chronic issues at the Roseburg VA facility to the VA Secretary, today the VA is announcing nationwide improvements to their oversight process for failing facilities. Thanks to the dozens of VA employees who came forward—at risk to their careers—to report sub-standard practices at VARHS, we are making changes together to improve medical care for all our veterans.

“As the VA searches for Director Paxton’s replacement, I have asked them to look for a candidate who is committed to working closely with our active local veterans’ service organizations. I will continue to be in touch with the VA throughout their hiring process and will push for a new director with strong leadership qualities, a history of working in veterans’ healthcare, and a proven track record of success in management.

“While I am encouraged by the steps the VA has taken to remedy the serious issues at VARHS, I have pressed them to finalize and deliver the results of their investigations in the coming weeks.

“I look forward to working with the interim director to put VARHS on track toward success. I will not rest until VARHS employees and Oregon’s veterans have a health care system that effectively and efficiently serves the community.”