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Sec. Tennant Visits VA Medical Center in Martinsburg

West Virginia Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Natalie Tennant toured the VA Medical facilities in Martinsburg on Tuesday morning, in light of the recent federal audit regarding the center's wait time.

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - West Virginia Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Natalie Tennant toured the VA Medical facilities in Martinsburg Tuesday morning in light of the recent federal audit regarding the center's wait time.

"To see the facility, to see some of the patients, to talk to the administrators, as well because you know when we see reports coming out that some veterans around the country are dying because of too long of a wait time. It is so important for West Virginians to know and for West Virginia military families to know that their family members are taken care of," said Tennant.

"Secretary of State Tennant joined us today to walk through the facility and see some of the wonderful things we have been doing for our veterans," said Tim Cooke, medical center director of the Martinsburg facility.

In May, Tennant urged the Department of Veterans Affairs to add the West Virginia facilities to the veteran's affairs investigation.

In June, a federal audit of the Martinsburg facility said the wait time to be seen for a primary care appointment is 47 days, the goal is closer to 14.

Tennant wants to make sure that the current system is not failing veterans or staff.

"We need to look at and not maybe let processes from old be used now in 2014," said Tennant. "We can't accept that something was the way it use to be, we need to implement a cultural transformation and whether that comes from the administrative level or the anticipation from patients, all the way around as we make a transformation into the VA system of 2014."

Tennant says she called for the investigation to take a look at what is working and compare it to what needs to be changed.

"By using the positives in the way that we also need to improve in working and changing the system; so you look at the good that is working, the bad that is not working and change that center for the future and for taking care of our veterans," said Tennant.

She hopes this investigation will lead to results in the near future.

"We have to have results, and accountability is good but results are what bring the action and when you have an investigation that can focus on positive things, the good things that are taking place, and also be able to fix what might be causing some of the problems, this is how you move forward," said Tennant.


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