President Obama coming to Phoenix with plans to visit VA hospital

The Phoenix VA Medical Center was the epicenter of the national scandal regarding veterans not getting the proper medical care.

Some were turned away, others were waiting for months to be seen by doctors, some died in the process.

FOX 10 spoke with a whistle blower who has been outspoken about the issues at the center.

He said he is hopeful the Presidents visit will lead to changes at the VA hospital and also that the President will be able to speak to veterans themselves and front line employees. Some of those people have been leery to report problems for fear of retaliation, which is what he claims happened to him.

"I just want to help my vets; that is where I want to be," said Brandon Coleman.

Coleman has worked as an addiction specialist at the Phoenix VA Hospital for the past three years, but was put on paid administrative leave he says after he raised concerns about the mishandling of suicidal veteran.

"Within the Phoenix VA healthcare system there is a toxic environment, to where people are scared to come forward," he said.

He is hopeful the President's visit on Friday along with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs will lead to some changes within the Phoenix VA system.

"We need that transparency, and we need for people to be able to talk to him, and the secretary, and tell them what is going on, and what they see on the front lines. That way we can hopefully get it fixed," said Coleman.

Coleman says he feels he was placed on leave as retaliation for reporting his concerns, and that has a chilling effect on others at the Phoenix VA Hospital who want to come forward as well.

"And they won't, they're scared to death because look what happened to me, I'm a stellar employee, and I was placed on paid administrative leave. And so if they can do that to me, they can do that to anyone that needs a paycheck," he said.

Coleman has been on paid leave for 43 days now; he has no idea what his future with the VA will hold. He did send an e-mail to the VA Secretary Robert McDonald, hoping to meet with him or his staff during the visit, but at this time he has not heard anything back.
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