Chronology of the VA Crisis

May 21, 2013
House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., sends a letter to the White House requesting President Barack Obama’s “direct involvement and leadership” in addressing “an alarming pattern of serious and significant patient care issues at Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers across the country.” The request came after the VA inspector general concluded management failures at the Atlanta VA contributed to the deaths of three patients.

September 2013
The deaths of six veterans at the Columbia, S.C., VA Medical Center are linked to delayed colorectal cancer screenings.

November 2013
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., asks VA for a report on how it is addressing patient care problems, understaffing, misread radiology reports and other issues at the Jackson, Miss., VA Medical Center. Six months later, the report
had not been furnished.

April 9, 2014
Miller reveals that dozens of VA patients in Phoenix may have died awaiting medical care. He also writes VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and requests that the agency preserve all records related to delayed medical appointments at the Phoenix VA, pending an investigation.

April 9, 2014
American Legion National Commander Dan Dellinger tells Congress that VA leadership must be held accountable for mistakes that lead to preventable deaths at VA medical facilities.

April 17, 2014
VA’s Office of General Counsel tells Phoenix VA to preserve all  documentation related to alleged delayed appointments.

April 18, 2014
In separate meetings with Obama and Shinseki, Dellinger expresses concern about the claims backlog, preventable deaths, VA transparency and other issues.

April 23, 2014
CNN reports that as many as 40 veterans died waiting for care at the Phoenix VA Medical Center. In addition, Sam Foote, a recently retired VA physician, claims the facility kept a secret waiting list to hide the fact that veterans waited months to see their physicians.

May 1, 2014
Shinseki places Phoenix VA Director Sharon Hellman and two other officials on administrative leave pending an inspector general’s inquiry.

May 2, 2014
Katherine Mitchell, a physician at the Phoenix VA, comes forward after she and a co-worker hide patient records because they worry that VA executives will destroy the information about long wait times for medical care.

May 5, 2014
Dellinger calls for the resignations of Shinseki, Undersecretary of Health Robert Petzel and Undersecretary of Benefits Allison Hickey, citing poor oversight
and failed leadership.

May 6, 2014
Shinseki tells The Wall Street Journal he won’t resign but pledges that his department will work to improve communication and collaboration with VSOs.

May 13, 2014
Miller writes to Obama requesting that he appoint a bipartisan VA medical acccess commission, similar to the 2007 Dole-Shalala Commission that made recommendations to better care for America’s wounded warriors.

May 15, 2014
Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., conducts a hearing in Washington to learn from Shinseki and Petzel the steps they are taking to correct the problems. Dellinger testifies for The American Legion.

May 29, 2014
The VA inspector general reports that 1,700 veterans were left off the official waiting list to receive care at the Phoenix VA.

May 30, 2014
Shinseki resigns as VA secretary. Obama appoints Sloan Gibson interim secretary.