Overton Brooks briefs media on VA system - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Overton Brooks briefs media on VA system

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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Officials with the Overton Brooks VA Medical Center in Shreveport went on the ''P-R offensive'' in getting their message out to the media and to the public about what's "right" at their health system.

It comes amid recent calls for a thorough investigation of VA centers in Louisiana, in light of the national 'deadly delays' scandal involving several VA facilities.

What a difference a week makes. Last week, local VA officials denied requests for an on-camera interview after a committee meeting of the Caddo Parish Commission in Shreveport.

But on Thursday the VA rolled out the welcome mat for an hour-long briefing and question and answer session for the local media.

Interim Director Toby Mathew gave a very detailed description of the in-patient and outpatient services offered to the 37-thousand veterans enrolled in the local VA system, and provided by their 1,400 staff members.

The news briefing took a very personal turn when one VA official described how proud she is to be a VA employee; Proud enough that her own father is a patient at the hospital:

"Right now! (laugh) And they're taking excellent care of him. And believe me, if I'm willing to trust my dad with the VA, I believe in it a hundred percent," said Reba Glidewell, PhD. She's the Mental Health Services Assistant Chief.

Toby Mathew says the national "Access Audit,", which included Overton Brooks found quote, "good scheduling practices." It also found areas for improvement.

So, Overton Brooks has added weekend and extended hours at the clinics. They're also recruiting more clinical and administrative staff.

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