Grand Junction VA Provided ‘Inadequate’ Care To Vet Who Died, Review Says

(Photo: Courtesy Chris Blumenstein)
<p>Chris Blumenstein and Rodger Holmes.</p>
Photo: Holmes and Blumenstein
Chris Blumenstein and Rodger Holmes.

Rodger Holmes went to Grand Junction’s VA Medical Center to treat a case of Hepatitis C, a blood-borne virus that affects the liver. He later died from complications.

Allegations that substandard treatment led to his death sparked an investigation by the VA’s Office of Inspector General


That review found his “follow-up care was inadequate” and he should have been admitted to the hospital earlier than he was.

Paul Sweeney, the VA facility’s public affairs officer, said the head of the VA facility disagreed with the findings.

“He’s standing by his earlier convictions that the care was adequate," Sweeney said.

That reaction is being criticized by the social worker who made the allegations, Chris Blumenstein.

“A culture of deniability still persists in some places in the VA, despite all the national rhetoric that we do hear about turning that situation around," Blumenstein said.

The review recommends improving access to specialists. Blumenstein has said Holmes had difficulty seeing one to check his liver.