Local VA reacts to national scandal - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Local VA reacts to national scandal

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South Dakota is on the American Legion's list for VA mismanagement. 

The number of states is now at 18.

The Sioux Falls VA is not on the list.

The Director said they have a very committed staff that helps the 28,000 veterans they care for get the access and resources they need.

"It is disheartening. It is disheartening that any vet would be disenfranchised from any benefit that they've earned," said Darwin Goodspeed, the Director of Sioux Falls VA.

He said they were audited when the VA scandal started.

They looked at the scheduling practices, how they train the schedulers, and how they keep track of veterans asking for care.

"Three times the audit team applauded our staff and said I was very lucky to have the team that I have and I was very much appreciated their comments and knew that I had a good team here," Goodspeed said.

He credits his staff for why their hospital scored so well.

"I think it's the commitment of our staff and working closely with our community and our Veteran Service Officers. They hold us accountable and they are there to be the voice of veterans if there are issues or when problems do arise and we are committed to working together to make sure the veterans get the care and the access they need," he added.

Veteran Ken Laughlin agrees.

"Our VA is probably one of the better ones in the nation. The people there seem to really care for the most part," he said.

He added he's angry about the allegations brought against some of the VA hospitals around the country.

"These few VA systems are giving the VA system as a whole a black eye, which is really sad to say because there are a lot of them out there that do a lot of good," Laughlin said.

Laughlin added he doesn't think the wait time at the Sioux Falls VA is bad and said it's usually two to three weeks, which is no where near the alleged times around the country.
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