Setting the record straight – Response to VA Letter from Mr. Wayne Pfeffer

Posted on November 6, 2014

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Article by Tina Quizon  – My Response to  the VA Letter from Mr. Wayne Pfeffer. Although I am sure the VA will dismiss and not respond to my response  to Mr. Wayne Pfeffer . I wanted the records to accurately reflect the facts of the harm, denial, punishment and retaliation that the VA has inflected and subjected me (Tina Quizon) too. 

Link to full text of the letter from Veterans Affair LETTER from Mr. Wayne Pfeffer to Tina Quizon

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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS PACIFIC ISLANDS HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
Spark M. Matsunaga Medical Center
459 Patterson Road
Honolulu HI 96819-1522

Ms. Tina Quizon
No Known Address
Sent via e-mail: tinaquizon@ rocketmail.com

Dear Ms. Quizon,

This letter is in reference to your inquiries regarding your October 10, 2014 e-mail correspondence to VA Secretary, Mr. Robert McDonald, and VA Pacific Islands Health Care Systems Director, Mr. Wayne Pfeffer regarding a number of issues including: 1) the lack of assignment of a primary care physician since December 2012, 2) VA PIHCS refusal to provide you with “services for stress”, 3) allegations of harassment and retaliation by VA, U.S. Vets, and YWCA for being a whistleblower about 4-month old (expired) meat, 4) being denied rights to videotape a grand opening event for a female Veteran homeless transitional housing program, and 5) not receiving a court ordered Mental Health evaluation.

Due to the volume and complexity of the issues you have raised, several of our Service Chiefs and Associate Chiefs of Staff and their staff researched your concerns and provided responses. Therefore, I apologize in advance for the lengthiness of this correspondence.

In response to not being assigned a primary care physician since December of 2012 and being refused services for stress, our records indicate that you registered with the Grant Per Diem program with our Mental Health services on December 6, 2012. You had several follow up encounters such as TB test in January 2013, and a dental appointment in Februrary 2013. In March 2013, you enrolled in the Homeless Program and on May 8, 2013, you had your first Primary Care appointment with Dr. Li from our Womens’ Health section.

Tina Quizon :  I am responding to the inaccuracy in your responses and your false statements of the facts. Clearly the review done by you was only a surface investigation. Since your responses clearly demonstrates that this was not a true and through investigation of the facts into my Formal Complaints, any real due process and vetting for me and the denial of my rights and services.

Mr. Pfeffer you fail to ever mention, address or response to my formal complaint to the VA, that I had to secure my own unsecured medical and personal files at the YWCA/U.S. Vets a VA funded program and was continuously harassed, denied due process, retaliated against, written up, punished, evicted and arrested from the VA Homeless program by the VA for filing this formal complaint to then Secretary Eric Shinseki and the VA OIG .

You then state that after 6 months of waiting, I do received my primary care Physican who as you state is Dr. Li. I will reiterate the statement I originally made to you. You stated that you would be clarifying why it has taken more than 16 months for the VA to determine and assign me a Primary Care Doctor, and why it was such a long delay in getting a Primary Care Doctor decided upon by the VA PIHCS since my initial VA intake in December 2012, subsequent refusal of VA Health services on April 4, 2013.

What are your finding in regards to why it has taken the VA PIHCS more than 16 months for the VA to determine and assign me a Primary Care Doctor and the VA refusing and denying me my Health Benefits and services?

Subsequently as I mentioned directly to you on September 29, 2014 at the VA Town Hall, that two days prior to the VA Town Hall Meeting on or about September 29, 2014. I had been contacted by an employee at the VA PIHCS that they were calling me to schedule a 16 month follow up appointment with the Women’s Health Doctor Dr. Lee.

When I asked the VA Employee why I have not received a Primary Care Doctor, that it is now “more than 575 days without a Primary Care Doctor” and my initial intake in December 2012.

The VA employee said she did not know why I did not have or why I have not been assigned a Primary Care Doctor and that the VA would have to call me back, the VA employee hung up.

I received no phone call back from the VA . So the following day, on about September 28, 2014, I call back to the VA to ask again when was I going to be assigned a Primary Care Doctor, the VA employee could not tell me, asked me to hold on and then transferred me to the Nurses Helpline, Mr. Rick Valquez the Manager. The Manager of the Nurses Helpline Mr. Rick Valquez now stated more than 16 months later, that my Primary Care Doctor was in fact Dr. Lee from the Woman’s Health Section. I asked him how could that be?

And that this was not the case, since Dr. Lee stated in my visit to her office in May 2013, that she was not my Primary Care Doctor in May 2013 and could not refer me for services for the stress I was having as a whistle blower not being protected from the punishment, retaliation, harm and abuses I shared with her at that visit, that I would have to wait until I have a Primary Care Doctor assigned to me to be referred for those services.

Also in a prior attempt on or about April 4, 2013 which the VA refused and denied me any services for the stress I was having as a witness and a whistle blower not being protected. As I stated I have not receive and did not receive any referral appointment or services by Dr. Lee on that date (May 2013) or any VA Medical appointment or referrals after my May 2013 visit with the Woman Health Dr. Lee.

Upon asking Mr. Rick Valequez if Dr. Lee of the Women Health section was my Primary Care Doctor why did she not refer me for services/an appointment for my stress Mr. Valquez states to me “oh well we will just assign you to another Women’s Health Doctor.

This is nothing more that trickery, and I believe Mr. Valques behavior is disingenuous, criminal, unethical and is just another example that show the continued culture of the systemic failures and crisis we have right now, the continued harm and abuse to Veterans, and is nothing more than a VA Cover up and more attempts by the VA which has avoided the problems myself and other veterans are experiencing.

Mr.Valquez or anyone at the VA has not or did not give a valid answer as to why if Dr. Lee refused and denied me services for the stress I was receiving as a result of the punishment, retaliation and harassment by the VA for being a witness, filing my formal complaints and a whistle blower not being protected under the no fear act by the VA, its leadership, the VA’s mission and by our Congress. What our your plan to address these wrongs?

Dr. Li recalls the visit and says that she was concerned about your blood pressure and suggested starting medication to which you refused. Additionally, Dr. Li spoke with our patient advocate staff regarding your homelessness and discovered that you had been offered several permanent housing options that you had turned down. There is no further indication of requests for services that were denied.

Tina Quizon wrote: Yes it is correct and was noted by Dr. Lee that my blood pressure was high on that day, I normally do not have high blood pressure and I have never required any treatment for high blood pressure. And as I stated to Dr. Lee, I attributed the high blood pressure to the stress at this moment and was the impact on me that I was having as a witness & whistle blower asking for help and not being protected from the punishment, retaliation, harm and abuses from the VA U.S. Vets & YWCA, this was shared with Dr. Lee at that visit.

Tina Quizon Wrote: As for your statement of Permanent Housing options, the VA was in the process of punishing me for filing my formal complaints by evicitng me from a Homeless Program for Female Veterans and denying me the right to participate and be in the U.S. Vets /YWCA homeless program. The VA’s only outcome was to remove me from a Homeless Program for Female Veterans, the VA agenda was to at no cost to evict me from a Homeless Program at no cost or consideration of the harm and consequences to me. I had entered the in Dec 2012, not March 2013. For months, I endured letter after letter of predetermined punishments to me for securing my unsecured files, exposing fraud, wrongdoing, etc. I was threaten by the VA in letters that I was going to be put back on the streets homeless, evicted by the VA, while the VA claimed it was doing ongoing investigations of my formal complaints and of the VA U.S. Vets/YWCA program’s SOP’s, rules and regulation that Mr. Andrew Dahlberg of the VA Homeless Program stated and wrote were not in place.

On June 4, 2013 the VA Homeless Director Andrew Dahlberg & Misty Kiyuna verbally informed me that I was being evicted and not allowed to be in the VA funded U.S. Vets YWCA program, that the VA Grant Per Diem program was stopping the funding for me and the VA would no longer pay for me to be in the U.S. Vets/YWCA Homeless program. I was not being given any choice, I did not get to chose anything, I believe I had a right to fully participate and be at the VA program. I believe that , I was not afforded or given the full opportunity to participate and that my rights were being violated and instead because I had filed my formal complaints I was punished, attacked, retaliated against, evicted by the VA and subsequentially arrested because the VA said I was no longer allowed to be in a program for homeless female veterans.

In reference to your allegations of harassment and retaliation by VA, U.S. Vets, and YWCA for being a whistleblower, we take such matters seriously. We have identified that the meat that you claim had expired was actually meat that was stored in a freezer for future use. Once frozen, meat can be kept and used past the marked expiration date on the packaging. Therefore, to the best of our knowledge, there was no wrongdoing on the part of the staff at the grand opening and no cause for retaliation or harassment. VA PIHCS staff were not involved in acquiring or preparing the meat in question and there were no reports of any illness from event participants following the event.

Mr. Pfeffer you are mistaken in your statement that the meat was frozen, clearly the meat that was served to me was not frozen at the time that it was fed to me at the VA Funded U.S. Vets/YWCA program, the meat had exceeded the expiration date 4 months prior to me being fed the meat.  The unfrozen meat I observed was in fact in the refrigerator for at least more than a week with an expired date of Dec 4, 2012 when I was informed of the 4 month old expired meat and took the photo’s of the meat which was on or about March 8, 2013. While you may dismiss my concerns of feeding me old expired meat, I believe that even though I was homeless at the time, I feel it is no excuse to feed me old expired meat, I still try to take care of my health and safety. I was offended and I am  not accustom to and I can’t eat expired meat.  When I see an expired date on any meat, I can’t eat it and for my own health and food safety, I aways throw expired meat away. I don’t believe just because I am a homeless client, that as you stated, it is okay to feed me old expired meat that had exceeded the expiration date 4 months prior.  

Regarding the issue where you claim that your rights were being denied when you were prohibited from videotaping at the grand opening,  the U.S. Vets program staff informed you several times that a conflict of interest existed because your were a participant and beneficiary of the female Veteran transitional housing program but you were filming as an investigative reporter.  You were informed via e-mail, and verbally of the dual role conflict.  It was agreed that you could not film on the premises during the event, but you were able to film off property.  Again, no VA PIHCS staff were involved in the decisionto prohibit you from filming the event.

Tina Quizon : In regards to your statement “Again No VA PIHCS staff were involved in the decision to prohibit you from filming”, is not accurate and is a false statement of facts.  I was directly notified by a VA employee,  Ms. Misty Kiyuna, (VA Grant Per Deim counselor) on Dec 20, 2012, Misty directly informed me that I was not allowed to video the January 4, 2013 Grand opening Gala,  Ms. Kiyuna (VA Grant Per Deim counselor) directly stated to me that now I can not film/video the Grand Opening Gala event because it creates a “conflict of interest.” I filed a formal complaint to the VA for being denied the right to film/video. 
 
I might add recently while being informed that, my providing a service while being given VA services  creates a “conflict of interest”,  I discovered that another client Ms. Donna Klinch at the same VA funded program at the U.S. Vets was featured providing a service while being given services in a News Story by KGMB Mr. Jim MendozaIn the news story “New shelter at YWCA to house homeless female veterans” which aired on Oct 26, 2012  Donna is clearly show in the TV Story working at the VA funded U.S. Vets front desk answering the phones for the U.S. Vets and taking messages for the U.S. Vets business calls, the story goes on to tell how as a current client of the U.S. Vets Donna continues to receive services by the U.S. Vets a VA funded Program. This is directly  in conflict with the statements the VA made to me – creates a “conflict of interest” and to the VA’s explanation for denying my rights to video.    Here is the link to the news story http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/19929847/new-shelter-at-ywca-to-house-homeless-female-veterans

A review of our records shows that we did not provide a court ordered Mental Health evaluation.  However, you were seen in Mental Health triage on May 30, 2014 where you were informed that VA PIHCS does not have forensic psychiatrists or psychologists, and therefore is not equipped, nor mandated, to provide assessments that are directed by the court.  Mental Health staff offered to provide other mental health services, but you refused it and denied having any mental health issues, therefore we did not provide any services.

Tina Quizon : Mr. Pfeffer your statement about me refusing  any services by the VA Mental Health is not accurate and is a false statement of facts.  I came to the VA on May 30, 2014 for Mental Health services, I never ever refused any services offered by the VA Mental Health.  

 
Also your statement of my “denying any Mental Health conditions” is misleading, since I am not a Mental Health care doctor/professional I can not self assess myself or make self representations of any diagnosis that has not been determined by a doctor. However,  yes as I stated in my letter to you and to the VA Doctor that day and will reiterate.  I do not have any Pre Mental Health Diagnosis/ Conditions,  I am not being treated for any Mental Health Diagnosis/ Conditions, I take no medication  or have any prescriptions for medications for any Mental Health Diagnosis/ Conditions and I do not  have any current therapies/counseling for any Mental Health Diagnosis/ Conditions. 
 
My Letter October 10 2014, stated  to you that  – Yes, the attending Doctor at the Mental Health section, informed me that the VA does not do any Court Ordered Mental Health evaluation/assessment and could not help me. The attending Doctor also stated that since I do not have any Pre Mental Health Diagnosis/ Conditions and I do not take any medication, or have any current therapies/counseling, that the VA does not do intake assessments, the can only VA provide mental health services for preconditions, so the VA could not provide me with services. 
 
 
I had asked the attending Doctor to write out a statement that day to give to the courts, showing I attempted to receive a Mental Health Assessment /Evaluation by the VA but was denied, which you reviewed and we discussed, that the doctors written statement is not accurate and is misleading in the false fact that he stated I did not want care, since his discussion to me was only that since I do not have any Pre – Mental Health Diagnosis/conditions and I do not take any medication or have any current therapies/counseling, that the VA does not do intake assessments for mental health, the VA could not provide me with any services. I am offended at your hurtful disingenuous statement inferring otherwise and that I refused VA Mental Health services.  
 
Although I am sure you will dismiss and not respond to my response I wanted the records to accurately reflect the facts of the harm, denial, punishment and retaliation that the VA has inflected and subjected me (Tina Quizon) . 
Wayne Pfeffer (R) , director of the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System along side of James Tuchschmidt (Left) , a top VA official photo by Tina Quizon

Wayne Pfeffer (R) , director of the VA Pacific Islands Health Care System along side of James Tuchschmidt (Left) , a top VA official photo by Tina Quizon

 

Veterans Affair LETTER from Mr. Wayne Pfeffer to Tina Quizon

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