icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
21 Oct, 2023 06:06

Whistleblowing on the VA


On this episode of The Whistleblowers, Ted Blickwedel, a 27-year veteran, began providing counseling services for Vet Centers in 2009. However, by 2016, he realized that what was originally a people-centered approach to helping veterans had become a numbers game, where patients were rushed through appointments to meet Veterans Administration numbers expectations. Ted began to feel burned out, and he realized other counselors were having the same experience. In 2018, he emailed 1,300 Vet Center counselors across the US to learn how the VA’s expectations and bureaucratic demands were affecting them. The results were so stunning that Ted decided to blow the whistle, resulting in a Government Accountability Office report in 2020 revealing that the new productivity standards were leading to counselor burnout across the country. A bill to correct these wrongs is currently pending in Congress, but it has not yet been acted upon. Ted speaks to John Kiriakou about the book he has written, Broken Promises, which chronicles his experience and provides insights into how to report problems in government agencies.