Memphis V.A. Medical Center director speaks to Rotary Club

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dr. Diane Knight’s staff says she didn’t expect the media attention Tuesday.

In fact, we had a hard time getting her to speak with us when she arrived at the Rotary Club Luncheon where she was the guest speaker. Yet she had plenty to say to Rotary members about negative press.

“Good news is no news. If there is some bad news about the Memphis V.A., it makes the headlines and the 6 o’clock report,” Knight told the Rotary members.

Knight went on to highlight the successes at the Memphis V.A., saying it’s a top ranked facility.

Those problems that got it flagged, she says are being addressed.

“Just three weeks ago our new Emergency Department Chief arrived. We have just recently have come closer than ever to the community standard of wait times in our Emergency Department.,” said Knight.

That comes after the Memphis V.A. was investigated for improper patient care that led to three deaths. Knight never talked about that.

At the end of her speech, her staff said she had to leave, but we still had our questions, especially since veterans are still complaining about services.

“By and large our veterans are very satisfied. We are always gonna have some complaints. We are still working on the problems,” Knight told us.

She said those with problems need to call the patient advocates. Knight says she is trying to boost the morale of her workers upset over the negative headlines.

“Some days it’s a thankless job because of the negative press and the things that are going on around the country, but that’s why I am here to let you know your local V.A. is working hard to rectify issues that we have,” she told the crowd.

Knight says she is conducting internal reviews this week with the V.A., scheduling staff to find out about delays in appointments. It’s all a part of the Memphis V.A. being flagged by inspectors for further review.


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