No comment from Wilmington VA on union's whistle-blower protection effort

“We have made strong progress,” Charlie Quesenberry said today in an e-mailed response to questions from The News Journal. “But we need to do more.”

VA, he said, is developing better ways to measure how promptly and effectively it serves vets and a model on which to base mental health care staffing, and is establishing an Office of Mental Health Operations to oversee mental health care. He said a comprehensive mental health information system is now available for staff to use in making “management decisions and quality improvement efforts.”

Quesenberry declined to address the retaliation charge the union attorney handling Washington’s case has directed at Wilmington. Tuesday, the attorney, Ward Morrow, called it “more than circumstantial” that the normally outstanding performer was given an "unsatisfactory" personnel evaluation just before she testified.

“Employee privacy rights prevent us from discussing Human Resource actions, including a given individual's performance evaluation,” Quesenberry said.

Quesenberry responded similarly Nov. 30 when asked about Washington’s concern, expressed in her testimony, that she might face reprisals. But, he added, “The VA does not retaliate against its employees. It’s just not done.”

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