Town hall meeting held about Durham VA issues

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – In recent weeks, the Durham VA has been the subject of criticism for wait times and also the quality of care veterans receive there.

Veterans had the chance to take their questions and concerns directly to Durham VA leadership Tuesday evening as part of a town hall. That meeting was held at Raleigh’s newest outpatient clinic on Atlantic Avenue.

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“It’s scary because it’s patchy at best,” Deborah Tilton, a veteran from Cary said.

Tilton described the care she said she received at the Durham VA for a rare form of lymphoma. She told CBS North Carolina she developed that cancer as a result of her service in Desert Storm.

“I’m concerned that the doctors spend appropriate time with you, get the chance to (and) that they have the proper supplies,” Tilton said.

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Tilton said she’d been through six months of chemotherapy, two stem cell replacements, and is now on maintenance drugs.

Tilton said the Durham VA can do better and that’s why she attended Tuesday’s town hall.

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Veterans told CBS North Carolina about a host of concerns.

“My wife and I were just talking to the insurance man today trying to make sure, I can’t get the insurance that I need,” Robert Joy, a veteran from Raleigh said.

“The VA can be fixed. There are good people in the VA. There’s a system, they need to use it. There needs to be some accountability,” Lawrence Aviles, a veteran from Raleigh said.

Dr. Christian Donohue is the medical director for that new facility.

He said they’ll use the feedback moving forward.

“We look at our wait times almost every week. We look at numbers. We just added a new provider here. She actually just started this week,” Dr. Christian Donohue said.

Tilton said she’s optimistic.

“I was just talking to the gentleman, so I am feeling more positive about it because he says they are working on doing something about that,” she added.

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