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I am both a severely disabled Army Veteran (medically retired) and an employee of the VA for several years.

I work at a small VA hospital in Pennsylvania, and receive my specialized medical care at one of the largest VA healthcare systems in a major metropolitan area in our state.

A few years ago I reported concerns of patient care and safety at the small VA hospital where I worked. In response, VA began cancelling my consults for care related to my service-connected disability. Then VA employees not involved in my medical care began repeatedly and frequently accessing my medical records at the hospital where I work. Last year a doctor at that hospital went into my Veteran medical records and enter a false diagnosis that I had a cognitive disorder (dementia), which I believe was an effort to discredit my claims of patient care and safety.

I first thought the diagnosis was a mistake and went to through the administrative process of having my medical records corrected. Instead of removing the false diagnosis, the VA had another provider formally confirm the false diagnosis even though he had not seen me as a patient in over 5 years.

I went to my doctors at the large VA hospital that I had been receiving specialized medical care for over 15 years, and they tested my cognition and brain functions and found that I had absolutely no problems with cognition at all nor did I have dementia. I again asked my local VA to remove the false diagnosis. The specialist that provided my care also petitioned the local VA remove the false diagnosis, but local VA officials still refused to remove the false diagnosis first by having a local doctor try to refute the specialist’s testing and when that was not successful arguing that even though the diagnosis was false now that I may someday in the future have dementia. My medical records with the false diagnosis were then printed out by local VA officials and given to my supervisor and my supervisor’s supervisor at the hospital where I work.

To date the diagnosis is still in my records, and I have not returned to that VA for medical care since.