Roseburg VA director resigns

This comes after controversy surrounding some of Doug Paxton's management decisions since he took over in May 2015.

Posted: Feb. 1, 2018 6:30 PM
Updated: Feb. 1, 2018 6:42 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore. – The Director of the Roseburg VA Health Care System is stepping down from his position and getting reassigned.

This comes after controversy surrounding some of Doug Paxton's management decisions since he took over in May 2015.

Congressman Peter DeFazio said the Roseburg VA has been severely mismanaged under Paxton's tenure. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said Paxton has been reassigned as the Assistant Director at the Huntington VAMC in West Virginia.

DeFazio said an investigation last year showed that staff did not think they were properly serving patients. He said doctors and nurses said they were asked to modify reports to make the facility look better.

DeFazio said he hopes this investigation will improve the rating system at VA’s nationwide.

"I hope we come up with something that better serves our veterans and gives us a measure of quality care, not just volume or costs,” said DeFazio. “Cost is not we don't want to provide unnecessary care, but the cost of needed care should not score against a hospital rating."

Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley released a joint statement on Paxton’s resignation Thursday afternoon.

"It's been clear from the growing number of troubling reports from veterans served in Roseburg’s VA system that change is needed to provide the top-notch care those veterans deserve," Wyden and Merkley said.

DeFazio said the interim Director, David Whitmer, will be a great addition and is a proven leader with 20 years of federal service.

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