Interim director takes over Phoenix VA system - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Interim director takes over Phoenix VA system

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A new interim director is taking over the Phoenix VA healthcare system on Monday.

Steve Young will over see the troubled hospital, and he has a lot of work ahead of him.

He'll oversee the delivery of healthcare to some 85,0000 veterans with an operating budget of about $500 million.

But, he's also taking charge while the system is being investigated over an alleged secret waiting list which is being blamed for the deaths of at least 40 veterans.

Young will assume his duties Monday.

He has been the director of the Salt Lake City VA healthcare system since June of 2009.

He also served as an interim director in Chicago for a couple months in 2011.

The Phoenix VA medical director, Sharon Helman, has been placed on administrative leave as the investigation into the alleged secret waiting list continues.

There are also calls for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to step down.

Over the weekend, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel supported Shinseki, but admitted that the VA needs to do more.

"I do support  General Shinseki, but there is no margin here.  All the way along the chain accountability is going to have to be upheld here, because we can never let this kind of outrage, if all of this is true, to stand in this country," said Hagel.

Hagel also says if the allegations in Phoenix are true, "accountability is going to have to be upheld."

We don't know at this time how long Young will remain with the Phoenix VA healthcare system or if there are any plans to keep him in the position permanently.

If it is found that Helman is responsible for the long wait times and scheduling procedures, those actions may have led to the veterans' death.
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