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New imaging center dedicated at VA hospital

CORRYVILLE, Ohio (Jeff Hirsh) -- It was just coincidence, but there was a big event Friday at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Cincinnati.
   
While the national VA headlines are negative, what happened in Cincinnati was positive.  But many of vets are still concerned.  If you've ever had an MRI, you know how you can feel claustrophobic with the thing seemingly closing in on you.  Now, they have an open MRI at the Cincinnati VA hospital along with other new high-tech imaging equipment which was shown off Friday.
   
Dedication of the new, 8 million dollar radiology imaging center took place.  The latest MRI, CT and high-tech x-ray equipment is critical because the scandal at the Phoenix VA hospital, where some people may have died while waiting for appointments, was on a lot of minds.

Michael Hobbs is happy with the care he's gotten at the Cincinnati VA.  But looking to Phoenix, he says no veteran should have to unnecessarily wait.

"You've got to get a problem out there and expose it before you can figure out exactly what it is and I think they're making strides in that," Michael Hobbs said.
   
Philip Alexander is also a Vietnam veteran.  Regarding Phoenix he said, "That was pitiful, there's no doubt about it."
   
But Alexander says he has seen progress in Cincinnati, particularly in the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder.

"The Vietnam war or Korean war vet, it was called shell shock or you're just different.  Now they know it's a problem with PTSD and they are making an effort towards getting them help," Alexander said.
   
All VA facilities are being audited to check out waiting times. 

Ohio VA Director, Jack Hetrick, said, "It's a huge task, one that we take very seriously and we do the best we can to make sure everybody gets their needs met as soon as possible."
   
Secretary Shinseki has resigned.  Audit results of this and other VA facilities will go to headquarters in Washington and to Congress before being made public.  Local 12 has gotten several phone calls, e-mails and Facebook messages complaining about VA care.  But there has also been some positives, including one woman who told us off camera this place saved her life.

The Cincinnati VA hospital covers 18 counties in our area.  Since last October, when the federal budget year begins, the local hospital performed nearly 58,000 procedures.


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