JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The new director of the veterans’ hospital in Jackson is struggling to change perceptions of the institution as members of Congress and a government oversight office pursue investigations into misconduct.
Joe Battle stepped into a public relations nightmare when he arrived at G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery Medical Center in early 2012. Whistleblower complaints were piling up as employees and patients began to lose faith in the hospital.
Then, a year into his tenure, the Office of Special Counsel sent a letter to President Barack Obama detailing previous and ongoing investigations into whistleblower complaints in Jackson, and the inadequate response of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Battle says the negative headlines are no longer deserved, that the medical center delivers quality care and has resolved its past troubles, but he faces skeptics.