Almost All Alaska Vets Seen Within 30 Days At Anchorage VA

Ninty-nine percent of veterans seeking medical appointments from the Anchorage VA are seen within 30 days.

That’s according to a Veterans Affairs audit released Monday. The audit found an established patient could schedule a primary care appointment within two days, on average. The average wait time was less than three days to see a specialist, and less than a day for mental healthcare. New patient wait times were closer to 30 days.

The auditors interviewed staff at hundreds of VA hospitals and clinics across the country. Nationwide, 13 percent of schedulers reported they were told to falsify appointment schedules to make wait times appear shorter. Sen. Mark Begich says the Anchorage numbers reflect great improvement. Sen. Lisa Murkowski calls them encouraging but warns they represent a snapshot in time and require commitment to maintain.

SHARE
Previous articleState To Fight Challenge To Same-Sex Marriage Ban
Next articleBritish Ambassador Speaks on U.K.-Alaska Relations

Liz Ruskin covers Alaska’s congressional delegation, federal agency decisions that shape life in the 49th state, money in politics and elections. She has deep roots in Alaska and this is her third stint in Washington, a city she has grown to love.

She was born in Anchorage and is a West High graduate. She studied political science at the University of Washington and has an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia. During graduate school, she moved to Washington to intern as a D.C. correspondent. But for her first real journalism job, she moved back to Alaska to work at the Homer News. She was there for three years before taking a job at the Anchorage Daily News. Over the course of nine years in Anchorage, she covered City Hall, courts, state politics, and Native and rural affairs.

Then, in April 2001, she moved back to Washington to work in McClatchy Newspaper’s D.C. bureau as a correspondent for the Anchorage paper. She stayed in the position for five years.

She took a year off for a journalism fellowship at the University of Colorado in Boulder, then freelanced for several years from the U.K. and Japan, in print and radio.

When a vacancy occurred in APRN’s one-person Washington bureau, she jumped at the opportunity. Liz has been APRN’s Washington, D.C. correspondent since October 2013.

lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz