Tue 18-JUL-2017 Noon News Script


Good afternoon, I'm Cat Viglienzoni. We have new details about an investigation into the V-A hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire. A Boston Globe investigation this weekend revealed that 11 doctors and medical employees contacted a federal whistleblower agency -- about what they say is dangerous and substandard care. And as Amy Coveno reports -- they were surprised when they walked back into work Monday morning.


Dr. Ed Kois / Manchester VA Whistleblower: "Then I went into the cafeteria, and this vet thanked me. The vets have thanked me. I don't think the administration is going to talk to me, but I don't really care." DR. KOIS WASN'T SURE WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN HE ARRIVED AT WORK MONDAY MORNING. HE LED THE WHISTLEBLOWER EFFORT THAT LANDED ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE BOSTON GLOBE SUNDAY. Dr. Ed Kois / Manchester VA Whistleblower: "I didn't know how I would be received, and I have problems walking, and they have a van pick me up, and the guy who drives the van stuck his hand out and shook it, and he thanked me." DR. STEWART LEVANSON TURNED WHISTLEBLOWER AFTER 18 YEARS AT THE V-A, AND SAYS SOMETHING SIMILAR HAPPENED TO HIM TODAY AS WELL. Dr. Stewart Levanson / Medical Service Chief, Manchester VA: "People were grateful. Many of them were relieved that these problems came to light. I shook a bunch of hands this morning, which I wasn't expecting." DR. LEVANSON SAYS FOR YEARS HE TRIED TO RAISE CONCERNS TO UPPER MANAGEMENT AND HAD RESERVATIONS ABOUT EXPOSING THE ALLEGATIONS. Dr. Stewart Levanson / Medical Service Chief, Manchester VA: "It was not something I did lightly. It was something I was very concerned about. I didn't want issues getting confused where the veterans would lose confidence in the care they were getting." 11 MEDICAL PROVIDERS FILED FOR WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION LAST AUGUST ... AND HAVE BEEN WORKING QUIETLY WITH THE BOSTON GLOBE SPOTLIGHT TEAM TO EXPOSE WHAT THESE DOCTORS SAY ARE SYSTEMATIC PROBLEMS -- INCLUDING ANTIQUATED EQUIPMENT EXPENSIVE EQUIPMENT THAT WAS ORDERED BUT IS UNABLE TO BE USED BECAUSE A ROOM IS TOO SMALL TO FIT THE MACHINE... OR FLIES IN THE OPERATING ROOM. DR. CHIBARO SAYS THE ISSUE WITH THE FLIES MIGHT SOUND SIGNIFICANT -- BUT ISN'T -- AND HERE'S WHY. Dr. Ed Chibaro / Manchester VA: "I wish I could tell you that it's a bigger story than it is but frankly it's not because we don't do anything. There's no reason to even use that operating room because we don't do anything." DR. CHIBARO ALLEGES UPPER MANAGEMENT WOULD RATHER SEND SURGICAL PROCEDURES OUT TO OTHER HOSPITALS -- UNDER A PROGRAM CALLED VETERAN'S CHOICE. Dr. Ed Chibaro / Manchester VA: "They want to cost shift."


Two top officials at the hospital were removed over the weekend. And the Secretary of Veterans Affairs has now ordered a top-to-bottom review of the hospital.


New York health officials say a second case of a rare tick-borne illness has been confirmed. Today -- they said a second case of the Powassan virus has been found in Saratoga County. And they expect a third will also be confirmed as well. The person with the confirmed case is still in the hospital -- the other has been released. The rare virus was first spotted in a 74-year-old Saratoga County resident who died last month -- but the illness has not been confirmed to have caused his death.


An autopsy is being done today to figure out how a man found in Lake Champlain actually died. The Essex County Coroner says, dock workers spotted Raymond Faville's body near the Essex Marina Monday morning. The 60-year-old was found facedown in about 10 feet of water near his boat. The victim's wife last saw him Sunday evening. Police do not think his death is suspicious.


Police say they've caught a car thief. They say 37-year-old Jeremiah Smith stole a car from a dealership on Shelburne Road back on June 21st. Two days later -- Burlington Police found it... but they say Smith got away. He was arrested yesterday by South Burlington Police -- and was in court this morning to face charges.


The mascot name change fight continues in South Burlington. The school district wants to dismiss a lawsuit filed by four residents -- over the decision to drop the "Rebel" nickname. The lawsuit seeks to delay the name change until a court decides if a community vote on the name should happen. The school district's lawyer says the district did nothing wrong. Students have chosen "wolves" as the new mascot name.


The transition has begun for Northern Vermont University. Lyndon and Johnson State Colleges will officially merge in July 2018, but Dr. Elaine Collins has already began her role as the school's first president. She tells us administrators are currently working on the university's finances. The price tag for the transition is two million dollars. She hopes that long-term, the switch will save money, create more academic programs, and provide a larger alumni network.


((President Elaine Collins, Northern VT University 1376 5:40:45-41:02 "It's taking 2 institutions that have done things for over 100 years in certain ways and now trying to get them into one way of doing things. It's an opportunity though because it gives us a chance to kind of rethink our practices and decide it there are certain operations that need to be improved and we're making those changes.")) Northern Vermont University will be launching its new brand design and logos next month.


An Adirondack airport is getting federal money for improvements. Adirondack Regional Airport in Saranac Lake is one of four in upstate sharing more than 800-thousand dollars given out by the Federal Aviation Administration. In addition to Adirondack Regional Airport in Saranac Lake ... Here are the other three getting money. They include Chase Field Airport in Cortland, Finger Lakes Regional Airport in Seneca County, and Oswego County Airport.


Today: Partly sunny Chance for a few showers Highs: 78 to 85 Wind: SW 5 to 10 mph Tonight: Mostly clear Areas of fog Lows: 58 to 65 Wind: Light Wednesday: Partly cloudy Chance for showers late Highs: 82 to 88 Wind: SW 5 to 15 mph Extended: Thursday: Partly sunny Lows: 60s Highs: 80s Friday: Partly sunny Chance for showers, t-storms Lows: 55 to 65 Highs: 80s Saturday: Partly sunny Chance for showers, t-storms Lows: 60s Highs: 75 to 85

Top of Script

Last Update: Tue 18-JUL-2017
© copyright 1996-2012 WCAX-TV